Tuesday, July 2, 2013

There's no fucking pizza here...



So, most of you know I live in Florida and I LOVE IT.  And, a bunch of you know that I’m from the Chicago area and I moved to Florida on my 16th birthday.  None of you know the events that turned the Ilovethecitygirl into the Ilovethebeachgirl.  It was long.  It was ugly.  And, there was no fucking pizza.

October 1985.  We have a lovely visit to Port Orange, FL cause’ Jimbo's (the amazing not so stepdad) best friend and his family moved there.  I had been to Florida when I was much younger.  Even visited the same area (weird, no?).  It was okay.  It was vacation. I wasn't in school, so...who cared where we were.  Back to October 1985.  I remember it well because my 15 year old ass went trick or treating.  Whatever.  It was candy.  And, it was FREE.  So, we have a great vacation with the friends and all is well.  We head home and my awesome parents inform me that we are going to move to…Florida.  Whaaaaaaaaa???  I’m 15 years old, lived in the same house my whole life, know the same people my whole life, you KNOW.  It will take a bit, don’t worry they said.  We have to sell the house, get things in order, settle financial stuff they said.  Ummmm, okay.  I wait.  I go about my normal routine thinking they will forget about this whole moving thing.

Fast forward…June 9, 1986. 8 months after our vacation, we were leaving to move to Florida.  Our house sold in some crazy number of days like 3 or something.  Of course it did.  My best friend since I was 7 years old came with us.  Like really with us.  Like, she packed everything she owned, her mother gave her permission, my parents said okay and we were moving to Florida, TOGETHER.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her.  We were both still totally bummed about this move thing.  Totally bummed.  Isn’t it cool that I had such a good friend?  She rocked.  She lasted 2 months.  Such is life.

I’m totally gonna skip all the driving from Illinois to Florida in 2 separate vehicles, with a cat, a 6 year old (baby sister), my parents and us.  It sucked.  I will throw this tidbit of info in cause you all love the Drunken Queen.  On the way out of town we stopped for lunch.  At an 84Lumber.  They were giving away free hotdogs as a promotion.  The Drunken Queen?  Frugal.  This Princess? *ashamed* I ate a fucking hot dog though.  I sure did.  Oh, and our cat?  Was never the same.

We arrived in beautiful sunny Florida, found a place to rent and began the search for a house to buy. But first, the parental unit decided we were going spend several weeks traveling around the state.  Great.  Uproot me, rent and then travel so we will fer sure get to know nobody before school starts.  This traveling involved a lot of searching for what Chicago is famous for.  Know what that is?  PIZZA.  Know what Florida didn’t have?  Pizza.  It’s true. No pizza (that was edible), no good beef (have you seen the skinny ass cows in Florida?), no Squirt (It’s a drink.  Google it), no delis, no bakeries, no giardiniera for my Italian beef, no Vienna beef hot dogs, no White Castle, no everything I loved…  I could go on, but you get the idea.  For years, we had pizza shipped from our hometown.  5 pizzas at a time, par-cooked.  (We still do this for special occasions) Yep.  A good portion of our grocery items were shipped via visiting relatives.  Looking back?  We were insane. Or maybe just not good at change.


This here is a Chicago Pizza.  The best kind ever.  Pizza is to be cut in squares.  And have sausage.  Yes, sausage.  Real sausage.  With spices and fennel.  I didn't try pepperoni until I was 12 or 13 years old.  Because?  Sausage.  Or, if you're from Chicago? SASSAGE.






The food. We found no pizza, beef, or any of that stuff...FOR. YEARS.  You will be happy to know that most of our favorite food items are currently sold in Florida or can be purchased online.  I make my own Italian beef, a bunch of places carry Vienna beef hot dogs, Squirt is everywhere...you get the idea.  The pizza is still iffy but I've found alternatives (lowered my standards).  It took many years but we had finally found all of our Chicagofood needs.  Yes, it's important.  I (we) like to eat.  K? K>

The sun.  It's bad. (can be bad)  I've had 3rd degree burns on my entire body.  TWICE.  I keep telling you I'm not that bright.  In all honesty, the burns were mostly due to dehydration.  Too much beer, too much sun, not enough water. I used to hate the beach.  The parental unit made me go.  They loved it.  Dicks.  I hated sand in my hooha.  Yes, sand will get in your hooha when you're at the beach.  There is no way around it.  Seriously.  Even if you NEVER sit in the sand.  It's magic sand.  Not only is it in your hooha, it's in your car, on your feet, trapped in your bathing suit, in your hair, everywhere you have a crevice.  Pretty much.  Embrace it.  It's sand.

I was into my 19th year of living in Florida and married to my 2nd husband when one day, I realized...I like it here.  I live here.  I like it here.  I love the weather.  I love my house.  I'm happy here. It was one of those eye opening, spiritual, cool, uplifting moments.  It was good.  I still refer to my hometown Chicago as "home" but it's mostly of habit.  I learned to love the beach.  It is my very favorite place, ever. The sound of the ocean is soothing and awesome.  The sharks aren't that cool but I don't go in the water so I'm good.

I meet people almost every day that are new to Florida.  Most of them?  Not happy.  The wedidn'tdoitthiswaybackhome thing kicks in.  Just like me.  I smile as I remember my own experience.  I proceed to tell them how much I love it here.  How the weather is beautiful, and the only thing I would change is possibly move FARTHER South cause I get cold when the temp drops below 80 degrees. (This is real, I wear sweaters everywhere) They complain about the low paying jobs and lack of jobs.  Just wait til you're outside in December.  In shorts.  Without the snowsuit and the shovel.  You'll be glad for your low paying jobs.  Also, no state taxes here.  That's a huge chunka cash.  Yes, there are negatives...hurricanes, tornadoes, humidity, bugs as big as your hand.  You get used to it.  And when new residents ask how long it took before I got "used" to it here.  19 years is my reply.  19 years.

PS -  That whole yourbloodthins thing?  Is a farce.  It's absolutely not true.

How does South Florida's warm climate affect your health?
January 21, 2011|By Ken Kaye, Sun Sentinel

Here's a cold, hard fact: No matter how long you live in South Florida, your blood will not thin out and make you sensitive to chilly weather.

See?  I promise.  I know stuff.

PS- Da' Bears :)

*This is a link to my favorite pizza place back home.  They ship.  They Rock.  Ed & Joes in Tinley Park. 


6 comments:

It's why you like me said...

I enjoy that you left the cold weather to the warm weather. I left the warm weather for the cold. WHoop

Precious Princess of Banananland said...

You're a wackadoo.

Joy Christi said...

SASSAGE hahahahaha! Love it. Is there REALLY no Squirt in FLorida? Seems very ironic, since Squirt is made with CITRUS!
One of the best quotes of my entire life was from a homeless man in Florida, I was lucky enough to be in Florida for training in February and I was standing there grinning like an idiot b/c YEAH I was in SHORTS. In February! And this homeless guy nailed it "You must be visiting here from somewhere cold" so I told him yeah, Chicago, it's the WORST for weather. He said he migrated to Florida from the Midwest b/c (GET THIS) "You don't have to shovel sunshine."
You bet I bought that homeless genius a cup of coffee. (Or $2 worth of booze, whatever, his call to make.) and I've quoted that guy a hundred times since then! The weather SUCKS HERE, good pizza or not.

Precious Princess of Banananland said...

LMAO! Only you.

Amanda said...

My dad's side of the family was from Chicago too and there was this amazing place in Seminole that we used to go to, a hole in the wall place that had AMAZING Chicago style pizza, called Charlie and Millie's. Sadly, it's no longer there. And my grandma made the best Italian beef ever. I've never tasted au jus as good as hers.

Precious Princess of Banananland said...

Italian Beef is one of my absolute all time favorites and my favorite food is PIZZA so moving was sad for a bit.