Hey y’all! See what I did there. Today I wanted to share a bit more about my southern roots. As some of you know, I was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada but moved to Orlando, Florida 4 years ago for a fresh start. Florida has always been my second home, as my mom was born and raised there. Every year my family would visit Florida over the holidays. We were extremely blessed to escape the cold weather and experience Disney, the beach, and create a strong bond with my mom’s side of the family. My cousin Ashley (you may know her!) and I grew close when I began spending more time in Florida and she even managed to convince me to start a blog! I thought it would be fun to share the top 5 things I love about my Southern roots – and why I continue to call Florida home.
#1 The Beach
When I think of Florida, I envision all the gorgeous beaches! The beach is hands down my favorite part of Florida. I live in Orlando, so the closest beach is under an hour away. I try to make it out to the beach as often as I can to enjoy the sunshine, swim in the salt water and just clear my mind. There is something therapeutic about knowing you can escape to the beach on a moments notice. My favorite beaches are on the West coast as the water is the clearest and it tends to be less touristy.
Are you even allowed to discuss Florida without mentioning Disney? I was a Disney kid throw and throw. Our grandparents would spoil us with trips to Disney every year. To this day it never gets old – my mom bought my brother and I Disney season passes and I almost cried! If you live in Florida, I’d HIGHLY recommend buying an annual pass as you can go on low traffic days when the weather is bearable (not boiling hot!). Even after all these years, I can still feel the magic in Disney every time I go.
#3 The Food
Ahhh southern comfort food. I’m a huge foodie so it comes as no surprise food is #1 on my list! Give me shrimp n grits and I’ll be one happy lady! Shrimp and grits is a Southern delicacy filled with grits, cheese, shrimp and bacon. It’s basically all the best foods thrown together in one dish. Collard greens also hold a huge sentimental value as my grandfather used to love collard greens! He would prepare them for my mom and uncle when they were young as a “healthy” snack. And don’t forget hushpuppies! They taste like cornbread, but are a lot more addictive. Ignore the calories.
#4 The People
Growing up in a conservative city where people don’t make eye contact on the street, being in Florida is like a breath of fresh air. In the community I live in, people will smile and say hi to you as you’re walking down the street. This was definitely a huge adjustment for me as growing up in Ottawa I was taught to keep my distance from strangers and try to blend in as much as possible. Florida has a contagious energy about it – I blame it on the sunshine. I mean, if you lived in a city with sunshine 95% of the time (and no snow!) – wouldn’t you be cheerful? I’ve been blessed to meet so many amazing lifelong friends since living in Florida!
#5 Southern Accents
I’m a sucker for a southern accent! Southern accents make everything better. They’re just so endearing! While I’ll always have my Canadian accent (don’t worry – it’s not that strong!) I love to sneak in the word y’all every once in a while. It’s just precious – okay? When I saw this embroidered jacket with y’all in the shape of a heart (which goes right over your heart, too!) I instantly fell in love. It symbolizes my southern roots perfectly. It’s super simple, ties at the bottom (love), is comfortable as heck and is under $30. If you’re a southern girl like me, you should definitely pick it up! I paired it with this embroidered jacket to give it a bit of an edge. With fall around the corner, my outerwear is starting to populate and I ain’t mad!
What do you love most about your city?
Thank you to Belk for sponsoring this post. As usual, all opinions are mine alone.