Today it was 80 degrees in Florida and 40 less degrees in Baltimore. I’m happy to be back and learn how to survive my first real winter. In Florida, buying any type of jacket other than the occasional hoodie seemed ludicrous. In Baltimore I have a completely expanded wardrobe and the thrill of enjoying the change in temperatures year round. Nevertheless, it was good to give my mind a break and return to the normalness of home. Here are a few of the things that I had to get in before returning to hopkins.
1. The Beach
I’ve always taken the ocean breeze and nearby sand and sun for granted growing up. Now with four weeks to make up for months of missing out, I made sure to make the most out of it. The beach is great, kinda like the beach at hopkins, because you can make what you want out of it. (Perhaps this is a larger metaphor for going to Hopkins). At the beach, you are granted this immeasurable freedom, a creative space with few bounds. You can create your own shaded oasis with oversized colorful umbrellas, or an impromptu brunch spot with acai bowls and beach towels. It can be a great place to soak up some vitamin D or to just take in the natural beauty around you. The sand can become your own personal stadium with just a soccer ball and a few lines drawn in the sand. It is also a great place to catch up with friends. Chisme across a bag of Tostitos is a very common occurrence for me. All in all, it is definitely something I will miss and can not wait to get back to.
One way in which Baltimore and the Palm Beach area are similar is that they are both great places for a foodie to reside. There is, of course, a ton of fresh seafood in all shapes and sizes thanks to great proximity to the ocean. There are many places that become local staples, that play into the chill, care free, beachy-if-not-a-bit-cheesy vibe of the area. But also there is great variety in cuisine. Anything from pure burgers only joints to taco trucks to dim sum to amazing italian places; let’s just say retirees have lots of time on their hands to eat, which puts an unusual amount of demand on restaurants to be great and diversify for such a small area. So below are a few of the places I had to hit up before leaving.
3. The South Florida Fair
I was just able to catch this annual event right before leaving. It is a place to get the greasiest, most decadent food the state has to offer and also to enjoy thrilling, if not somewhat terrifying fair rides. They have everything from the basic spinning rides, to roller coasters, swings, and all slightly scary combinations in between. After a whole semester apart, it was great to revive the tradition of attending the fair with friends, something that I hope we keep doing no matter where we all end up. Also, just a word of advice, it is usually much more enjoyable to ride everything first and THEN eat.
4. Disney World!!!
Literally Just The Most Magical Place On Earth! I don’t know how else to describe it; it just is.