Florida is a land of paradoxes.
For instance: One of the biggest upsides to living in Florida is the sun. One of the biggest downsides to living in Florida is the sun.
The latter is especially true if you happen to be fair-skinned (guilty) and/or ginger (double guilty). While the near constant presence of the Giant Yellow Orb is a blessing in the winter when it is 70 degrees out in January, it is a terrible curse during the summer months when the whole state can feel like a giant greenhouse. While this situation is great if you rely on chlorophyll, it is less than desirable if you simply want to walk to the corner store without your shoes mating with the asphalt.
This unfortunate solar dominance would be tolerable, OK even, if not for one thing: YOU CAN NOT ESCAPE IT. Oh sure, there may seem to be ways to avoid it, but those are just lies we tell ourselves so we believe we can exist here. Even if you put on tons of sunscreen, you will sweat it off. Wear long sleeves or a hat? You will feel like you are melting. Work indoors with air conditioning? Great – enjoy coming out to the car that you left roasting outside all day. Wait to go out at night like some sort of ginger zombie? The leftover heat continues to rise from the pavement until midnight. Plus, because the sun is an early riser, the sun will even beat you in the morning (my car temperature gauge read 85 degrees at 8:30 this morning).
Since Florida was not designed for human habitation, we have had to come up with a variety of ways to deal with this heat, the most important being air conditioning. Walk around during the summer and you will be treated to a chorus of humming and chirping. The humming is from the omnipresent AC units, while the chirping is from the omnipresent bugs who are also complaining about the heat. (Side note: Prior to the invention and implementation of air conditioning, Florida’s population did not really spread into the peninsula, staying in the panhandle. This is why Tallahassee in the northern region of Florida is the state capital, even though it is only the seventh most populous city in the state. The more you know!).
However, for all the good that AC brings, it comes at a hefty price, and energy bills spike in the summer months. However, since the only other options are to stay in the water with the alligators (or sharks depending on where you are. Did you know an east coast town called New Smyrna Beach is the Shark Bite Capital of the world. Again, the more you know!) or to just die a slow dehydrated death, I’d say just pay the man. Besides, alligators don’t send you past-due notices, they are pretty much instant collectors.
After AC, there are a wide variety of tools and methods available for use in fighting the solar tyrant. These are mostly hit or miss, even though people will swear by them. For instance, even though people will tell you otherwise, those cardboard windshield things don’t seem to do much, except provide a great way to smack your passenger in the face every time you park your car and struggle to put them up. Other people stand by farmers’ hats, which are a great way to look like Doug from The Hangover AND sweat out half your body weight. Another strategy is to carry an umbrella, but come on, let’s be real here, nobody wants to look like they just stepped out of an impressionist painting.
In summary, pretty much the only way to avoid the Florida heat is to avoid Florida altogether. Or to buy a vacation house in North Carolina.