People of Florida, I need your help! (Plus a rant about winter, because it sucks)

I try not to complain about the weather very often. Being Canadian this is sometimes no easy feat, because sometimes the weather sucks for quite a long period of time. I will never, EVER, ever ever ever, complain about summer. Ever. I love the heat. I want to live on the equator. As long as there is some sort of body of water I am all good. Summer in Canada is my absolute dream. It is sunny and warm and gorgeous, the scenery is beautiful, and there are ample lakes for water activities. I can’t think of anything better.



But then, of course, there is winter. Cold, grey, windy, depressing, stupid winter. And on the rare chance it’s sunny, it’s usually even more freezing because there is no cloud cover to keep the “heat” in (I don’t know if that is actually scientifically correct, I’m just rambling).

Winter sucks. It is fun for maybe two days. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where there is ample snow for winter adventures, then maybe it isn’t so bad (I mean, the hunting camp was fun), but I don’t think there is any way to put a fun spin on city winters.

Again, usually I try not to complain about this, but this winter has been exceptionally horrible. I have kept my winter anger to a minimum for the most part, but as I walked home from work last night and I stopped myself from slipping and smashing my poor windburnt face on the sidewalk for at least the seventh time, I felt a rage towards winter that I have never felt before. I want to punch winter in the face.


It needs to stop.

Last year at this time, I remember sitting outside on a patio in the beautiful sunshine, several days in a row, drinking pints of beer and loving my life. I was all “Cheers to global warming!” and it was fabulous. I remember it being 10 degrees and sunny in early FEBRUARY.

This year, no. Ohh no no. It has been cold and awful since October. That is nearly six months of winter. That is half a year!


And someone needs to go kick all the groundhogs in the crotch for predicting only six more weeks of winter. I call BS on that. It is almost April and it has been below zero every day this week. Is it too much to ask for plus one?  That’s all I want! Just one measly degree above zero and maybe no wind. I would take that.


No one likes you winter! Even the diehard snow fans who are all “YAY! SNOWBOARDING!” they’re sick of you. GTFO.

I know I shouldn’t complain. I have been luckier than a lot of people this winter. Some people have it worse. At least I don’t live in the Yukon. Or the prairies. Or the east coast. And geez, Alberta. And at least I got to escape to Jamaica for a week.


Though all that did was make me miss summer more when I got back.

Anyway, sorry, rant over. BECAUSE. Evan and I are going to Florida next week! THE SUNSHINE STATE! I can barely contain my excitement.



So there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For me. Hahahaha, sorry fellow Ontarians. I am abandoning you.

My Dad and stepmom Mona bought a condo in Florida about two years ago, and I have yet to go there. In fact, I have never been to Florida. I know, what is wrong with me? I need to take advantage of this condo situation ASAP.

So Floridians and snowbirds, I need your help! Besides visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (a dream of mine), playing shuffleboard (a dream of Evan’s), and FINALLY meeting my longtime blog friend Paula for the first time (so excited about this), I want to eat all the things and leisure on all the best beaches! And I want to see a gator.

I am open to any and all recommendations of places to eat and things to do in the Tampa/Bradenton/Sarasota area (specifically Bradenton though no one seems to have heard of it). Florida friends, I have heard great things about your amazing food and cheap shopping and beautiful beaches, so please enlighten me. I need your advice. Please help me enjoy the sun and get fat! I will only be there for a limited time, and then it is back to this silly winter business. Although hopefully I will bring some sunshine and warmth back with me.

And Lord help me if the weather is crap in Florida while I’m there.

Anyway, you can just leave me a comment with your recommendations, please and thank you. Or send me an email. Whatever’s clever.

I hope you’re all having a great Wednesday and it is less frigid than mine. Blech.


45 responses to “People of Florida, I need your help! (Plus a rant about winter, because it sucks)

  1. you will LOVE florida! i moved here in 2003 with my family and it’s thankfully not disgusting-hot just yet. perfectly sunny! i’m so excited for your visit. my husband’s family is from sarasota, so i have a few recs for you! definitely take time to visit siesta key beach. it’s GORGEOUS. st. armand’s circle is very touristy but absolutely worth a visit. it’s super cute with lots of fun shops (i never buy anything but they’re fun to browse) and you can stop for lunch, ice cream, drinks, etc. if you like upscale markets/grocery stores, morton’s in sarasota sells fantastic wine and pre-made meals and is a great lunch spot in sarasota as well. have a BLAST!

    • I am pretty sure my lover was just telling me about that beach, I wanna go there! It sounds amazing. Thanks for your recommendations Julie! I will have to check them out. Have a blast in the UK next week! Though I hear the weather is pretty crap there… 😉

  2. Yay for a vacation! I am the opposite of you. I live in New Orleans and hate summer. And it is always warm, moist summer here. But I did have two years in Charlevoix, Michigan growing up, and I did get sick of winter around April. It’s just that there is so much snow! I got tired of wet pants legs and wearing gloves. And I can’t even imagine weather being sub-zero in March. Poor thing. You deserve a Floridian escape!

  3. I am feeling your pain about the never-ending winter. It’s the same here in England. I don’t think our weather gets as extreme as in Canada but I’m truly sick of snow, rain, coldness, grey skies, general miserableness. Boo hoo 😦 British Spring time apparently starts today but it is cold and rainy once again. Enjoy your time in Florida! I could seriously do with some sun right now.

  4. There is not much to do in Bradenton (except Bradenton Beach (which is beautiful) and The Lost Kangaroo – basically the best local bar ever, ever ever where you can throw peanuts on the floor. I lived there in my youth). Sarasota is your spot for things to do. (Siesta Beach (Daiquiri Deck!), St. Armand’s Circle (shopping and food!), Lido Beach (sun!), Main Street (moar bars!)).
    I got no clue for Tampa, but the St. Pete Pier (very close to Tampa) is really nice and they have good burgers at the end with a great view. And the Dali Museum if you’re feeling artsy.
    If you are going to Harry Potter, you will be near meeeee!!!!!!!

  5. Oh, I should mention that in Sarasota, at Marina Jacks (a marina and restaurant right before the John Ringling Bridge), there is a booze cruise called LeBarge. It’s 2 hours long. THAT is some fun right there.

  6. Take the sunset cruise. You will thank me.
    The live entertainment (usually an old dude with an awesome mustache and guitar) is LOL awesome.

    I’ll stop leaving comments now.

  7. If you figure out a way to kick Winters a$$, count me in as part of the posse! I’m OVER IT! I went to college in FL for a bit & loved the climate. Winter Park is a super cute suburb of Orlando if you make it near there. Enjoy your vacay!

  8. Winter is fantastic, you might be having stress over some unrelated issue and redirecting your anger, it is the only explanation I can think of. Also lego land is down there.

  9. It might be different in Bradenton but here in Tampa I haven’t seen the sun all week and forecasts are showing that it won’t come out again until next Thursday. For cheap shopping, the outlets at Ellenton are pretty good and should be fairly close to you (they’re right on the interstate outside of Bradenton). We like to go to Fort DeSoto for the beach there. The Ringling Museum in Sarasota is interesting. If you go to downtown St. Pete there’s the Dali museum, there’s also a Chihuly exhibit; they also have several good restaurants down there. Ybor city (in Tampa) is cool.

  10. What’s wrong with Alberta? It’s going to be +10°C in Calgary today… Just sayin’

  11. lol I moved to Orlando for all of the reasons you described above. Bush Gardens is close by in Tampa- and it’s awesome-o 5000 fun, especially if you take the little safari truck ride! We have Universal season pass but we honestly use our Disney pass at least 9,423 times as much. I ❤ tha mouse. But since you will be wizarding, you must get the frozen butterbeer. Also, if you get the two park pass, you can go to Mardi Gras at old Universal on Saturdays (Harry Potter is in "new" Universal – Islands of Adventure) you can walk from one park to the other. At Mardi Gras they have concerts (for free with your park ticket) after all the floats and bead throwing. March 30th is Pat Benatar and she's great in concert! Near Tampa is Ybor (E-bore) City, which has a little fun old timer type town that's very entertaining on the weekend. You're going to have the best time! I ❤ Florida!

    • I used to be OBSESSED with the mouse. I wore a Mickey Mouse shirt every day in Grade’s 5 and 6. But we can’t do everything and Orlando is far 😦
      Good to know about the two park pass though, I do like Mardi Gras. Thank you!

  12. Okay first of all, I definitely know your pain with winter. Alaska winter I literally just wanted to die. I mean 40 below for 2 weeks long is bullshit haha. and whenever i explain to people down here in “the states” that yeah when it is sunny its cool and all but it means it is just THAT much more cold they are like “whaaaaaat?” i really like y our holding the heat in theory by the way haha.
    Okay second, I am so jealous you get to meet paula.
    and thirdly…(word?) Tampa is where torrances mom lived, so we have spent a lot of time there. go to busch gardens and drink beer and ride roller coasters! and see animals (that is secretly my favorite part about it).
    HAVE FUN!!

  13. How weird! I just came home (to Kentucky) from the Ellenton/Bradenton area. There wasn’t a lot to see or do in the Bradenton area in my opinion, but the outlets in Ellenton are pretty awesome. I thought Sarasota was a good sized city with stuff to do, but I think my favorite area was Anna Maria Island. As for food, Yoder’s Amish restaurant was good and if you like BBQ, definitely go to C&K Smokehouse.

  14. I am in Manitoba and would kill for that forecast.

  15. If you go to Ybor City in Tampa, you will HAVE to dine at The Columbia. Authentic Spanish/Cuban food and SO SO good. Have the sangria and a 1905 salad to start. You won’t regret it! It’s my husbands favorite restaurant.

  16. Meant to post the website for The Columbia –

  17. I find your cold-weather rant hilarious. And I believe it’s cathartic, so let it out, lady 🙂 I feel just like that Chuck Norris gif towards the damn wind near me! I seriously can’t walk outside without literally being blown over. It freakin’ ticks me off and nearly sends me into a blind rage while trying to take a simple walk outside haha.

    Enjoy FL!

  18. I’m in Winnipeg. We got two feet of snow in the last three days after getting dumped on for the last six weeks. Oh, and the temperature with the windchill this morning while I was waiting for the bus? -33. I could die!!! And in the run clinic I’m in right now, it’s brutal. The same clinic last year and we ran in short on St Patrick’s Day. Gah! There is not enough booze for me to get through the seasonal affective disorder I’ve got going on right now. I’m happy it’s sunny though. Sunny is nice.

    Have fun in Florida! I went many years ago and loved it. Green grass will be so nice. 🙂

  19. I have been to Bradenton!! The town beach is awesome. Plus they have an oyster bar that has amazing seafood. I’m pretty sure its just called the oyster bar. We went to several beaches including clearwater and siesta keys. We limed Bradenton the best.

  20. I know how you feel – March is nearly over and winter will not go away! I’m going to Berlin in 2 weeks time and right now they still have snow! Winter better go away before my trip!!

    (Can’t help with the rest – I’ve never been to Florida. I’ve only been to America once!)

  21. You’re so lucky to escape! I kind of hate you now.. . 😉

  22. I’ve been moaning and groaning about winter too. But, when I see your temps, 30 with a wind chill doesn’t look so bad. Yikes.

  23. I’m in Florida right now, but heading home to NJ tonight. I went to Venice Beach which is a little south of Sarasota. It is known as the shark tooth capitol of the world. My friends and I had fun searching for shark teeth and even found a few.

  24. Pingback: The LeBarge Booze Cruise | Happy or Hungry

  25. Pingback: The Cottage Birthday and Chicken Balls for Breakfast | Happy or Hungry

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