Other than Disney
People often look at Florida and wonder what there is to do other than Disney World. The sunshine state has so much more to offer than mouse ears and an obscene amount of nursing homes. This is also the main reason I got into photography, to share and hopefully inspire people to get out and enjoy the diversity of this beautiful place.
What's the best thing about sunset? You don't have to wake up at 6am to enjoy it! I'm sure there are worse things in life than enjoying a cold brew on the beach watching the sun peek over the horizon but why not do it later in the day when you're actually awake and maybe bring an adult beverage with you? I can promise you, this never gets old.
The next day my step brother texts me, "hey, I have 8 days off, lets hang out." Ok, sure why not. So I decide on Big Cypress thinking that's just enough time in the car together to not kill one another. Due to hurricane Irma, more than half of the trails and boardwalks are still underwater but there is still so much to see. Driving along 41 you can see egrets, ibis, spoonbills and of course, alligators.
And not just one or two, but dozens. And don't think just because you're in the middle of a swamp you won't be able to find good food. Everglades city has a few restaurants with some freshly caught stone crabs that do not disappoint.
Another thing caused by Irma, beach erosion. The islands shore tends to gradually change throughout the year but Irma has exposed some interesting sights while uprooting trees providing some new material for landscapes.
The next day I met up with a great friend and all around awesome person in Arcadia to paddle the peace river and see if we couldn't find some megalodon teeth. If you ever want to see me freeze up and start to talk to myself put me in a river of dark water with tons of gators. While Jermaie didn't even bat an eye and insisted these were "little guys" (he was wrong and clearly delusional) it was an extraordinary paddle. The cypress trees lining the banks made you feel like you were in another place and another time. All fears of prehistoric beasts faded away and thoughts of the winding river took over. He complied a great video of our day together and you can view it on his blog at: jeramievaine.com
To wrap up the week I decided to go to Venice beach for a little free diving as one last attempt at finding some teeth. Caspersen beach goes out several hundred yards and it only about 15' deep with excellent visibility. The water temperature is around 73 and depending on who you ask, that is either warm (northerners) or freezing cold (me). Nothing a little wet suit can't handle. I spend about 45 minutes in the water and find over a dozen teeth from sand tigers, bulls and sting rays.
Florida will be taking a backseat for a few weeks as I run around the south and Caribbean for Christmas. Looking forward to the new year and new adventures.
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