mangrove forest

Fins

What a mild winter. It’s been sunny and almost warm not freezing. Still, when Ron mentioned he had to take a business trip  to Florida, I packed my suitcase in two seconds flat and waited by the door. I haven’t been to Miami or SWFL since spring break trips with my parents and brothers, so I was curious to take in the sunshine state as an adult. Here are 11 personal thoughts about Florida:

Paddleboarding in Bunche Beach Preserve

  1. Paddleboarding is my new favorite sport. Loved the quiet ride through the mangrove forest in Bunche Beach Preserve. What a beautiful and unique world God has created.
  2. Ceviche is my new favorite dish (especially Fire & Ice at Ola). Also, I love grouper. Seafood Watch says grouper is a fish to avoid because of overfishing. Tried to stick to local red and black grouper (okay alternatives). Anyway, I ate so much fish I thought I would grow fins.
  3. Kelle Groom is my new favorite Florida writer (go read her heartbreaking work I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl).
  4. A morning run in Florida is relaxing, but deceiving. I felt like I got a better workout (so much sweat!), but I covered the same short distance.
  5. I finally found a city (Ft. Myers) where people drive exactly the same way I do… SLOW.
  6. All winter long in Northern Virginia, I will put my icy cold hands on Ron’s neck…or back…or arms. He’s like a space heater. I tell him that it must be so nice to live inside a warm body. The concept boggles my mind. In Florida, I was warm all the time. It was amazing. Lovely. A dream. I loved not being cold.
  7. I discovered sea hares – and I even held one. Such neat little critters. When they are underwater they look prickly, but it’s just a defense mechanism. Pick one up and it is soft, like a snail without a shell. I also encountered a cute frog.
  8. I could live in Florida.
  9. If I lived in Florida, I’d have to seriously invest in hair products. Between the wind and the humidity, my hair looked like the mangrove branches – a tangled mess.
  10. Ocean, ocean, Ocean
  11. Our big treat was visiting the Hendersons – family friends who adopted Ron and me for the day. We both admire their kind hearts and strong faith in God.

You don't have to stand up on a paddleboard, especially when floating under mangroves

I just realized one of my last posts was about a California trip. For the record, I do work! That’s why I haven’t been blogging much. And I’m about to head into a double work week – working on-site for a publication by day and then writing magazine articles at home  by night. See ya next time I come up for air.

Ribbit