Florida tends to remain on the receiving end of many a cruel joke, due to its comically unfortunate shape, its geographic positioning, the subtropical heat, and its weirdo populace. (Us!)
Those of us who live here know how to take it. Heck, we're laughing the loudest -- when we're not coming up with the jokes ourselves. We all know: Despite the hurricanes, the year-round humidity, the backward politicians, the face-eating bath salt zombies, and our multiple-personality disorder, there's still much to love about our wonderfully twisted state.
Broward County especially -- BroCo, as we like to call it -- is kind of awesome. Nestled between the flashy, urban jungle of Miami and the manicured retiree's paradise that is Palm Beach, we have an abundance of sweet, fun, amazing, and nutso stuff to do before you croak.
Over the next few days, gentle readers, we'll be laying out the very best of them -- the things that make this place the freaky little gem of the South that it is. Here are numbers 81 through 100:
100. Watch the cruise ships slide in and out of Port Everglades. Climb onto the rocks on the jetty behind the Point of Americas towers and wave to the ships pulling out. Best around 4 or 5 p.m. on weekends.
99. Play hardcourt bike polo. This sport -- like polo but on bicycles instead of horses -- has been called "the most fun you can have on a bike." Last month, the world championships were held in Weston. At Fort Lauderdale's Holiday Park, players meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m.
98. Sunday Jazz Brunch at Riverwalk. Visors, yoga pants, and Guy Harvey T-shirts abound at this neighborly gathering on the first Sunday of each month. Bring a stocked cooler and your well-behaved, leashed pet.
97. Watch fire-dancers at Mai-Kai. Any self-respecting Browardite is already familiar with the Barrel o' Rum and 50 other cocktails at this "Grand Polynesian Palace of Tiki." At least once in your life, stay beyond happy hour and see the show -- the Polynesian Islander Revue. Nothing mixes better than booze and fire!
96. Grill your own beef tongue. At Gabose, a Korean barbecue joint in Lauderhill, grill your own food over a crimson fire pit built right into your table. Use this as a jump-off point to explore scores of Jamaican, Korean, and Vietnamese joints in the city.
95. Boogie down at Adult Skate night Thursdays at Galaxy Skateway in Davie.
94. Prancerciiiiiiise! The totally equine and sorta sexy fitness revolution that took the world by storm started in the little ol' city of Coral Springs, and it will never go out of style.
93. Have a Halloween adventure at the Howling Hammock at Birch State Park. Spooky forest trail, pumpkin patch, and a two-mile haunted carriage ride through the park. It's basically England.
92. Volunteer. Don't be a selfish jerk all the time! Visit handsonbroward.org for cool volunteer opps.
91. 3 a.m. breakfast at Lester's Diner on State Road 84. Hangover food!
90. See a Florida Panthers hockey game at BB&T Center in Sunrise.
89. Ride the bull at one of the Cowboys Saloon's Ladies Nights, every Wednesday and Friday. Chicks dig an 8-second man.
88. Take Tri-Rail. A daily pass on weekends is $5.
87. Run through the fountain at Hollywood Arts Park. (Preferably clothed.)
86. See a show at Culture Room. This is a music venue without a Facebook page that still manages to pack its insides every single show. This place is pure Fort Laudi-dadi.
85. Fly kites atop the hills of Vista View Park. Yes, this park used to be a landfill. No, it does not smell. It's the highest point for miles.
84. Jump off a diving board at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex. With eight springboards and five platforms as high as ten meters (equal to a two-story townhouse), be sure to keep all of you inside your swimsuit.
83. Tailgate from 8 a.m. at the KISS Country Chili Cookoff. This January event is the Southeast's largest country music show.
82. Do a brown bag winetasting at d.b.a./cafe. Wednesdays starting at 6:30, bottles of wines are poured from paper bags, and diners try to guess the vintage.
81. Unwind with a spa day at a gay bathhouse. Club Fort Lauderdale offers a state-of-the-art gym, a maze-style steam room, saunas, and private video viewing rooms, while Clubhouse II is a members-only joint with fun theme nights like Bear Night Thursdays and complimentary pizza on Leather Tuesdays.
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