For Florida Wu, finding somewhere to go for spring break was a no-brainer. The answer was in her name.
During the semester, Florida saved up money by stocking shelves at MacCracken’s Market Street. Customers commented on her name tag, but Florida admitted she’d never visited the Sunshine State.
At least she hadn’t yet.
Florida picked her American name while attending Beijing Huijia Private School, months before she enrolled at Miami University.
“In China, no one is named Beijing,” Florida said. “I picked Florida because it’s like the sun and my brother said it would be special.”
While the flight to Orlando wasn’t cheap, it was her best option to spend spring break.
“If I stay at Oxford there is nothing to do and nobody to play with,” Florida said.
After moving to Ohio and out of her mother’s eyesight, Florida dyed her hair purple, then gold, finally landing on flamingo pink tips to symbolize her adventurous spirit.
It was this spirit that drew her to skip the warm beaches in favor of Orlando’s theme parks.
Florida and four friends took a plane to see Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Despite having never read the books, Florida was charmed by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
She was also impressed by Cinderella’s Castle but wasn’t a fan of the Magic Kingdom’s long lines or army of Disney princesses.
Florida preferred Universal’s roller coasters, even if they upset her stomach.
“Just one is okay, but when you finish all the rides you will feel gross,” Florida said.
Strangers still ask her why she picked Miami University instead of the other Miami school in Florida. Her answer? Ohio’s sunshine suits her just fine.