The hot weather in Florida can be pretty dreadful especially over those summer months. I learned this real quick, last summer, my first summer in business and working outside all summer long in the hot heat. It was unbearable and I wish I was more prepared for it.
As some of you may know, I left home, Boca Raton Florida from mommy and daddy’s nest to go and spread my wings and start my book tour. The book tour started up in Pensacola, Florida traveling to a good number of the cities in the panhandle, trying to expose my book to more and more children and their families. Not doing much research when it came to the weather in Florida from April-August I was doomed and set myself up to fail.
The drive from Boca Raton, Florida to Pensacola was so unreal… It took us all about 11- 12 hours… Seriously, hats off to my parents for taking off work to help me load up the cars and drive up to drop me off. That was a sad day for us all. This was the only time my parents and I were apart. I never went away to college or spent the summers at sleep-away camp. It just wasn’t something that ever interested me. I come from a very close family where we actually enjoy being around one another. Wow… can you imagine that? So the idea of spending a summer away for months at a time I never really understood. My parents balled their eyes out when they kissed and hugged me goodbye. They said, “we will come back in August to help you pack and drive back with you to Boca…” If you have been following my posts and on social media… the book tour continued in Tallahassee and now we are touring the Tampa Bay area and cities as far south as Boca Raton, Florida!!! My hometown…
“Oh, heyyyy Boca…heyyyy!”
I had a number of book readings, signings, markets and shows all lined for the 3 months while I was scheduled to be in town. I chose not make a “survival list” of what to pack and thought I could “just handle it.” I was wrong…
And did you know… the heat is much… much… warmer in the panhandle, Alabama, Louisiana and in Mississippi. Yes, the people from those states I have met were all so kind, sweet and welcoming. But, that didn’t make up for the fact I passed out the first weekend I was in Foley, Alabama. From what I can remember I signed up for a 2-day juried art show. It was so uncomfortably hot I couldn’t make it the entire show. I tried my hardest to stick it out drinking fluids and eating the food Zach had packed me in my lunch box. Halfway through the afternoon, I became so dizzy and lightheaded. Luckily, Zach was just around the corner at a local coffee shop. So he came to bring me Gatorade and ibuprofen to ameliorate my headache. He had warned me to drink more often and eat ALL the food he had packed for that reason.
Oh and by golly… do not even try to wear your favorite rings or watch. I did this which is why I am saying this my fingers swelled up and was such a pain trying to remove the rings later the day. A simple necklace, earrings and bracelet can be a real statement and complete an outfit.
Make sure to pack everything I have written down and you should be A-okay! Here is my Hot weather survival guide list:
- A case of water (12 bottles) Sounds like a lot but better to be prepared than not at all… you can always save it for the next time… water never goes bad.
- Put 6 bottles of water in a cooler with ice packs
- Your favorite flavor of Gatorade
- A balanced lunch (healthy, yes!… make sure you have enough carbs to keep you going)
- A chair so you can sit down
- Battery operated fan (ideal if you can buy 2 for each side of your tent)
- Big floppy hat
- Spray bottle with a fan
- Wear light and loose fitting clothing (no dark colors)
- Stay hydrated!
- If possible ask the market manager if you can have your booth in the shade. If not, try and position your tent in a way to block the sun and place your table further in.
This summer, I have decided to learn from the previous summer and only go prepared. The only way to go and be successful I believe. As of now, I will be doing a few outdoor weekend shows in the heat, about 1-2 big ones. But other than that, the majority of my time will be spent indoors at summer camps doing book readings and presenting my motivational speach “Dream Big.”