All of this is true of Florida, but mainly because it is a huge state. Or rather, it is long. Very long.

To drive from Pensacola, FL to Key West, FL is a 13 hour trip (if you don’t stop) and 832 miles.

North Florida — where I grew up — is very Southern indeed. South of Gainesville, it gets less so as you proceed further down the interstate. On the coasts, it depends on where you are.

One time in the Army I had a guy ask me since I was going to Florida could I take him to Miami when I went. I said, “You know I’m going somewhere close to Jacksonville, right? That’s a six hour drive from there to Miami.”

He wanted to visit a friend there, and wasn’t very familiar with the state. He thought it was 30 minutes away.

And I think that is true of many people — they perceive Florida as being very small, perhaps because they’ve only flown over most of it.

But yeah, 832 miles from one end to the other (with a bend in the middle) over land. And a lot can — and does — happen in 832 miles.