Welcome to Florida – I hope you brought an umbrella!

I mean, sure, it’s technically summertime and we’ve definitely got plenty of sunshine ready for your stay, too – sometimes upwards of 100 degrees of it at a time, but it’s always the rain that catches people off-guard because, well, I guess there are certain expectations that get set when people plan their vacations to The Sunshine State that in reality might not actually be 100% accurate…

Fortunately, being that it typically only lasts for about 30 minutes each afternoon, rainy season is something that those of us who live here in Florida have kind of gotten used to over the years, just like the overwhelming barrage of tourists and retired people that roam our streets and theme parks like equally bewildered lost puppies.  But eventually with time you learn what tourist traps to avoid and why never to play chicken with an old man on a golf cart, just in the same way that you learn not to take a late lunch between the months of June and September, or if you do, it’s not a bad idea to bring along your canoe in tow just in case!

Because it may not be a long shower, but oh boy, is it a thorough drenching during that half hour when the sky opens up and unleashes its wrath of a thousand bathtubs upon an unsuspecting mass of the soon-to-be-soaked!  People sometimes throw around the classic phrase “raining cats and dogs” in reference to just any old drizzle outside their living room window, however there are periods during the rainy season here where it actually wouldn’t surprise me to see real, live cats and dogs pelting down from the skies, flooding the streets with a gigantic fur ball of anger that’s going to make an absolute mess before we’re finally able to dry them all off!

Of course, as much as we might moan and groan about the inconvenience of these regularly scheduled tidal waves, we all know that our afternoon rain storms are small potatoes compared to the hurricanes that seem to be ever-looming off our coast, proverbially being the difference between it “raining cats and dogs” vs. “raining elephants and hippopotamuses…with the occasional angry mountain lion thrown in there for ambiance, too.” I’m happy to carry an umbrella pretty much everywhere I go during this time of year if only to ensure that the roof of my house will actually still be there where I left it when I later return home!

Besides, there are plenty of things that you can do to make the best of this slippery season to avoid getting washed away between the hours of 2:30 and 5:00pm – simple things, like…

  • keeping no less than 18 sets of dry clothes in your car
  • stowing a small, inflatable life raft in the trunk, for those instances when your wife is literally willing to paddle her way to the latest savings at the mall
  • maintaining a money clip’s worth of tens and twenties to provide the generous tips that you’re going to owe the delivery guy when you order in for lunch instead of venturing outdoors like a gambling crazy person

And above all, just remember – a bad day at Disney World is still better than a great day back home at work, and besides, they don’t call it Splash Mountain for nothing!  Grab a poncho and a couple of dozen pairs of dry socks from the gift shop and you’ll be back waiting in line in that sweltering heat in no time…

Happy vacationing!