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LIFE IN FLORIDA
F or a long time, Florida has held a special place in my heart. I grew up in Illinois, and when I was young, my parents started taking winter vacations down to Florida. It became our annual family getaway. Over the years, though, my parents would spend more and more time in the Sunshine State. By the time I was in high school, my parents were spending upward of a full month in Florida every year during the December holiday season. The great part was, during my winter break from school, I got to go down and spend time with them. I would get as much beach time in as I could and hang out on the water. Florida, I quickly learned, was the perfect antidote to those cold, snowy northern winters. Fast-forward a few years, and I had big decision to make. Before I went to law school, I spent a lot of time deliberating which school I wanted to attend. I also needed to figure out where I would practice law after graduation. My original thought was to go to a law school in Illinois, or at least a little closer to home. Then, once I was out of school, I would join my dad’s practice. My dad, however, didn’t think I needed to pick a school so close to home. He encouraged me to take a look at other options around the country. So I did! During my research, I looked at a handful of schools in Florida, and one in particular caught my eye — Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. Long story short, I applied, got in, worked hard, and graduated. Spending so much time in Florida can have an impact on you. I loved the area so much that I decided not to go back to Illinois after graduating with my law degree. I stayed, got my first job out of school, and met my wife, Ashley. Eventually, we had that all- important conversation about where we wanted to settle down. The answer, of course, was Florida!
A day at Juno Beach with Matt’s long time friends, the Masons.
For me, a big reason I love living in Florida is the weather. Between October and May, it falls into that “perfect” category — at least, for the most part. More than that, simply being able to be outside year-round is important to me. We love to get out on weekends to go surfing (which I am terrible at), swimning, or biking. With so many great parks and beaches all over the place, there is always something to do. There is one spot that holds a special place in my heart: Juno Beach. It’s where Ashley and I had one of our first dates. We spent all day there, and we still get out there when we can. Another thing that makes living in Florida so great is the proximity to Disney World. We try to go to the park once or twice a year. Of course, there are many other attractions in Orlando that are worth a visit. I’m thankful that my parents gave me the opportunity to experience Florida in my youth. It led to a lot of other decisions in my life that ultimately brought me to where I am today!
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