Canada Day in Florida

In early spring 2014, I had just returned from a month long trip to Miami…I waltzed back into Toronto and when visiting my family, my mum aptly asked – “So what are you going to do now?” to which I replied “I think I am going to go down to Miami for a while!” – she gave this funny look, shook her head like all mums wondering what is going through their kids’ heads sometimes and said “Call me when you get there!”.

Six days later, I packed my car with a few things, hopped in the driver’s seat and set off on my maiden voyage to Miami. Takes about 23 hours in total to drive there from Toronto – you have the choice of two highways – the I-75 or the I-95 – the latter I would not recommend if traveling in the winter as it goes through the Appalachian Mountains and the roads can prove dangerous depending on the weather. The I-75 has you traveling through more level ground except when heading through Tennessee – then you got the Smoky Mountains – but the weather relaxes then, so the worst I have ever experienced is dense fog.

Back to it, so I venture down to Miami for an undisclosed amount of time, move in with my close friend and since I work from home – I take care of his dog and occasionally handle the food situation in return for room and board, quite nice of him to be honest. Kind of really picked up where I left off since I only returned to Toronto for 6 days lol…

Few months passed and July 1st was here – to non-Canadians, it doesn’t mean much, but to me, it was Canada’s birthday and I wasn’t concerned with where I was, to celebrate it. I recruited a close friend of mine (a Miamian) to engage in my festivities and away we went – today was gonna be a day of all things Canadian and she played the misconstrued and often stereotyped image of a typical Canadian, it was cute if you asked me and she was game for whatever I had in store…

One good thing about Florida is that it is home to Snowbirds – Canadians (mainly retirees) who come down here during the winter months to escape the cold and enjoy the tropics of Florida without breaking the bank of other foreign paradises. And with such a huge population down here, some who are permanent have chosen to set up businesses that appease the Canadian appetites for food, drink or activity. So, on the menu for Canada Day was Poutine for her and a Hot Chicken Sandwich for myself from Dairy Belle in Ft. Lauderdale (Quebequois owned), next we went Ice Skating in a south suburb of Miami called Kendall, made our way to a Dunkin’ Donuts (unfortunately there are no staple Tim Horton’s in Florida that I have seen) for Donuts and Coffee and finally ended the night off right in Midtown Miami with an intimate Sparkler show for two show!

I think that wherever you go should not make the person you are, adapting is fine but changing right up doesn’t work – I am proudly Canadian and I take that pride with me wherever I go – I say sorry a lot, ask politely for everything and always say thank you and excuse me when appropriate – those things I will never lose so it keeps me grounded and humble. So in celebrating my Country’s birthday in another country, it was great, the company, the weather, the everything…was just so great!

And if you ever head down to South Florida and want to take part in any and all things Canadian, check out…