Sunday, June 13, 2010


We took the kids to St. Petersburg last week to enjoy the beautiful, clear water while we can.  It was a gorgeous day, with barely a cloud in the sky.  The water was calm, bathlike, and that exquisite green that defies description. 

My husband explained the gulf coast beach experience best.  On the east coast, people are playing in the waves, swimming and surfing. There's a lot of energy and enthsiasm.  On the gulf coast, you just sort of....bob.  There are few things more relaxing than a day at the beach on the Gulf of Mexico.  The water is like a tepid bath, and the current gently rocks you as if Mother Nature herself was cradling you to her bosom.

It was an exceptional day.

The kids and I like to snorkel, and, although there isn't much to see except white sand, there are still little finds to get excited over.  We found a few big sea snails, and the kids loved seeing the little eyes poking out from the curling confines of their shells.  They put the first one back in the water and watched it's hopping progress for a full 15 minutes before moving on. 

We saw a pod of dolphins making steady progress north.  My youngest  was really excited to see the dolphins, but they were too far out to swim to.  We had to be satisfied with watching their undulating progress from a distance.  I, like many people, am a sucker for a dolphin.  I have to admit my heart went pitter-pat as I watched them pass - it always does - so I understand her joy.

Not long after the dolphins passed, we sighted not one but two manatees. It was an unexpected treat. They were close enough to shore that we tried to swim out to them, but they are faster than they look and we couldn't manage to catch them.  We got a few good looks at them as their lumpy round heads surfaced for a gulp of air, followed by a long, humped back and their large paddle-shaped tails flicking up and slapping down.  It's probably just as well that we couldn't catch up, because they are much larger up close than expected - they can grow to be 15 feet long.  And it's not a slender 15 feet, either! 

The day was rounded out with ice cream for the girls and a hawaiian style shave ice for me and my man.  Truly, a perfect day. 

But for how long?

With our administration more interested in assigning blame and litigating, BP clueless on what to do next and the environmentalists giving everyone a pass, the prospects are bleak indeed.  But at least we have a wonderful memory to look back on fondly. 

It's too bad that soon that will be all that's left of our beautiful gulf coast beaches - memories. 



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