ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – This past Friday, I moved into my new apartment in Maitland, Florida, after spending the last 26 months working in Cleveland, Ohio.
People wearing sweatshirts in 60 degree weather was an odd sight for me.
Here are five things I've noticed since moving to Central Florida:
I am drinking more water.
On Sunday, I spent the afternoon walking the loop around Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs. Temperatures hit 86 this past weekend, so while exploring the area, I kept going through bottles of water. My body is not used to temperatures rising above 80 in March.
Wearing a jersey of your favorite team helps you meet people.
I grew up in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. If you ask me where I’m from, I will just tell you the Philly suburbs. Since my move down here, I have been sporting jerseys of all the Philadelphia teams. While shopping at a grocery store or sitting down for dinner at a restaurant, people have shouted “Go Birds” at me and asked me for my opinion on the Bryce Harper signing.
A lot of passionate "Harry Potter" fans live here.
A good amount of people I have met in Central Florida are fans of the book and movie series "Harry Potter." This makes sense, with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. Locals have not been shy about explaining what makes them a Hufflepuff or why they are a perfect fit for Gryffindor.
Everyone has their own way around the Interstate 4 construction.
The moment I started looking for apartments in the Orlando area, each leasing agent informed me to find a way to work without using Interstate 4. Conversations with Lyft drivers included different routes of getting to a destination without using I-4. During discussions with Floridians about the heavy traffic, many were proud to let me know about their "secret way" to get somewhere.
Palmetto bugs are big.
After making the long drive from Ohio, I finally got the keys to my new apartment. While making trips in my Subaru Impreza to the new place, I noticed something I haven’t seen before in my life: I saw a beetle-esque creature crawling out of one of the drains. I totally forgot about unloading the car and made a sprint toward the front office of the complex. A leasing agent gave me everything I need to know about the bug commonly found in the Sunshine State.