For over five years, I lived in Orlando, Florida. Here’s some things I miss about that experience.

  1. Driving Ettiqute: Orlando has a lot of foreign visitors from far-off places, like Europe, South America, and New Jersey. There is a reason why car insurance is so expensive in Orlando, and that is the number of rental cars driving around, missing their exit for SeaWorld. Protip: there are several exits for each theme park, so no need to slam in your brakes in the middle of I-4 rush hour traffic due to missing the first well-market exit.
  2. Highways and Turnpikes: Jumping on the Turnpike with your SunPass is the local way to avoid traffic and road closures. Also: thanks to the way Florida tourism sprawl has taken over the Interstate, paid toll roads are essential to cutting your commute in half. Although, this doesn’t solve every problem; just ask anyone who’s had to take I4 to the 408, and they will recount their story with horror in their eyes.
  3. Monuments to Failed Ideas: When I lived in Orlando, I toyed with coming up with a bus sightseeing tour that would show some of the worst of human ingenuity. Sure, the “I4 Eyesore” (pictured right) would be on the tour, along with Holy Land Experience, several hotels on the 192 tourist corridor, and the entirety of the Orange Blossom Trail.
  4. AMSCOT, 7-11, and Walgreens, Everywhere: I never really used these stores, aside from giving tourists directions. “Turn at the Walgreens,” I would say, “Past the Amscot. If you see the 7-11, you went too far.” With that sentence, I just described 80% of Orlando intersections.
  5. Publix Produce Section: Really, why is it so small? If not for the deli subs, I would have stopped going there years ago.
  6. Disney Skywriters: You may get the wrong impression from that label, thinking maybe they’d draw three concentric circles to form corporate big cheese Mickey Mouse in the ski, or something. But in reality, these are paid pilots who fly over Disney property and write things like “JESUS LOVES U,” “U + GOD,” smiley faces, and the like.
  7. Public Records of Health Inspections: Yeah, this list exists with that place you at at yesterday. This list got me to stop eating Hungry Howies, true story.
  8. Sweet Tea, Everywhere: With as many Northerners that have invaded Central Florida, you might find yourself forgetting this is the South. Until you have to ask for unsweet tea, that is.
  9. Iced-Over Windshields: It does happen, and usually once or twice a year for the time I lived in Orlando. And naturally, people would freak out and not know how to get the ice off. Not being a huge market for ice scrapers, once a year you hear about some poor soul who pours hot water on their windshield to melt the ice, and the story always ends with “…and it cracked on me!”
  10. Working on Holidays: It’s funny, but I spent years working all the major holidays, choosing to do alternative “staycations” in the generally slower times of the year. This isn’t really normal, unless you work for a service-oriented hospitality behemoth.