Help redefine the infamous Florida summer

Dear Readers,

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Ah, the infamous Florida summer. The snowbirds flee, temperatures creep towards 100 degrees, and the air’s so humid, it’s kind of hard to breathe.

Well, that doesn’t sound like very much fun. In fact, it sounds kind of awful – earning summers in the Sunshine State a notorious reputation as a pretty dreaded experience.

Well I for one have a little more faith in Florida. I know it’s a state of many faces, with environmental gems, great historical significance and the benefit of rich cultural diversity, offering a cornucopia of food, music and personality of which we can imbibe. Believe it or not, the scorching Florida summers can actually be pretty cool.

Readers, let’s stand up for the Sunshine State summer. Let’s band together to prove our summers are plenty desirable – even downright exciting – for those brave enough to make the most of them. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to join me in completing and sharing stories about a series of tasks that should easily clear up any misconceptions about summer in Florida. Complete these adventures and help dispel the myth of our summers being anything but fun, fulfilling and maybe even a little sexy.

Without further ado, here are your “Beat Our Bucket List” challenge items to complete by the end of August:

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1. Say hello to a sea turtle. It’s sea turtle season in Florida, and if you live in the Suncoast or Sarasota area, this issue offers all the scoop on how and where to spot them near you. If you live elsewhere, visit us on online to learn about nighttime sea turtle walks in both places or, if you’re up for a getaway, head down to the Keys and visit The Turtle Hospital – a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles. Get educated about beach/sea pollution, meet the dedicated scientists who help return them to their natural habitat and of course, feed the turtles!

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2. Capture a rainbow. We admit, torrential downpours on the road stink. But viewed from a screened-in patio, they’re nothing short of meditative. Wherever you are when they end, if you’re greeted with a rainbow, all the onslaught of rain suddenly seems worth it. Snap a picture to remind your loved ones, and yourself what beauty comes after the storm.

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3. Embrace the heat with your own seasonal pepper salsa. According to Florida Organic Growers, our summers welcomes sweet potatoes, eggplant and lots of hot peppers. Bell, hot, and sweet pepper varieties all grow well during the hot months, so choose a few and spice up your snack life with a new salsa recipe.

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4. Wander with wonder. Florida is home to more day trip treasures than we can count. Read about a few favorites in this issue, as your final challenge is to explore one or two and show off Florida’s secret side.

Challengers, prepare for some serious fun – and a mystery grand prize to the first reader who emails photo proof of all four completed challenges to editor@LifestylesAfter50.com. Here’s to the best Florida summer ever.

Sincerely,
Amanda Smith

PS. Here’s what you thought of our May issue…we appreciate all of your valuable feedback! Reader Feedback

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