My boyfriend’s parents are down in Florida visiting for the weekend from Kentucky. It’s the first time they’ve come to visit us and it’s the first time they’ve been to Florida (or at least this area) in 20 years. Now, I’ve lived in Florida for 21 years, but I’ve only lived on the West Coast (Tampa) for 3 years, so this area isn’t as familiar to me as the East Coast. Today we took his parents over to Clearwater Beach and south to St. Pete Beach. We’re pretty familiar with that area because that’s the direction we usually drive in when we’re out on our random afternoon drives, but those are leisurely and we’re not out being tourists. Today we were being tourists, we were out to show them the touristy side of Florida (but not too touristy because that’s not our thing). I realized today that it’s incredibly weird for me to do the touristy thing in Florida and I’m not really all that good at it. I’ve rarely (like maybe once or twice) had to play hostess to visitors and since I’ve lived here my whole life I’ve experienced all of Florida and most of it was before the age of 10. Once I realized this, I started to wonder if I could begin to look at Florida differently. Tomorrow will be another day of playing hostess, so I’ll give it a try. It’s a lesson in (re)learning to be the wide-eyed learner in an environment that is so familiar because in doing so you’ll see many things that are taken for granted.
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