Growing up in Virginia does something to your head…but I mean that in a good way. There’s definitely something about growing up in a place where a drive through the country teaches you about where your food comes from, a drive through the city teaches you about your roots, and a drive to the coast teaches you about the beginning of our state AND our nation. By the time you were 12, you had probably been to more battlefields than most veterans, climbed a mountain, ridden a wave, and waded a river. And here are a few of the things you probably thought about…
1. I’m going to have the coolest personalized plate EVER.
While other kids thought about what they would be when they grew up, you thought about how awesome your first personalized plate would be. And it probably was the coolest idea ever... until you realized that 15 other people had already had the same idea and you had to get creative with the spelling.
2. You dreamed about how you could TOTALLY live at the beach.
At least once, and probably a lot more than that, you sat on the beach and thought about the surf shop you would open one day…now THAT would be awesome.
3. Wearing a three-pointed hat and playing a fife was the coolest.
Remember how you begged your parents to buy you a wooden fife and pointed hat at Colonial Williamsburg? You thought you were so cool. And you were...in your own mind, at least.
4. There is nothing better than Busch Gardens.
This is probably still true.
5. Everyone says “y’all” don’t they? So, why is everyone looking at me funny?
I remember the first time I went out west…turns out that not everyone does, in fact, say "y'all." Who knew?
6. Apple butter is a standard breakfast condiment.
Well…yeah. It is, isn't it?
7. Everything worth doing is within a half-day's drive.
It probably never occurred to you that there are places where a few hours of driving won't get you to the beach, or the mountains, or the nation's capital, or the lake, or the river, or….you get it.
8. “Tea” comes sweet and cold.
Unless you are sick. In which case, hot tea with honey and lemon could cure anything short of a severed limb.
9. I don’t have an accent…do I?!
You really, really didn't think you did. Until you met someone from the Northeast…of course, that was the pot calling the kettle black, wasn't it?
10. Sweet corn in the summer is better than dessert.
Ok, so this one never changes…sweet corn is still my favorite dessert.
11. Lightning bugs LIKE living in jars.
Hmmm, whatever we had to tell ourselves. But a jar of lightning bugs sitting by your bed DID make the best night light.
12. Who needs a swimming pool when you have THIS?
In the movies, every kid in California had a swimming pool. But we had lakes and rivers…and that was just fine by us.
13. Kids in Florida don’t get snow days?? Whaaaat?!
It just doesn't seem fair, does it?
14. Politics – everyone is involved.
Whether it was your grandfather talking about how things were done in "his day" or your mother running for the school board, politics in Virginia mattered. As a kid, being involved just seemed second nature.
15. Just because your best friend moves away with his military family in 3rd grade doesn’t mean you won’t go to high school together.
With 20+ military bases in the state, odds are, you'll see your buddy again…especially if you live in Northern Virginia or near the beach.
16. You know what college you want to go and have since birth…or shortly thereafter.
Virginia has 3 of the top 40 public colleges and universities in the nation, and countless other nationally ranked departments, programs, and private schools. And sure, plenty of kids head out-of-state, but you knew you couldn't go wrong if you chose to stay in Virginia.
17. Visiting a president’s house is just a normal Saturday.
Well, hello there, Mount Vernon. It's good to see you again.
18. Jimmies, Sallies, and how to shuck an oyster…everyone knows this stuff, don’t they?
You may not have thought much of it, but when you brought out-of-state friends home from college and not only could you tell the boy crabs from the girl crabs and have them picked clean in two minutes flat, they were impressed. And oysters? Forget about it.
19. You can’t WAIT to get out of here…
...until you finally do. Then it doesn't take long living somewhere else to realize that there is just no place like home.
What did you think of our list? Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments below!