Finally finding the Gulf





   I may have seen the Gulf of Mexico when I was younger, but I really don't remember. I have an Aunt Vicki whom we have visited in Louisiana when I was around 8, I think, but I for real don't remember if we visited any bodies of water. I grew up being surrounded by water, so I guess that makes it difficult to distinguish one ocean from the other. Back to the subject of the Gulf of Mexico in which I will assume, until I am told differently, that I have never dipped my toes (or what I presume is correct: plunge my whole body in) into the nearby waters of the Gulf and I recently did this. It was called Pine Island and that is what I came to near the end of highway 50 which goes east-west across the state of Florida. On one of Saturday adventures I jumped onto 50 and drove until I hit the oddly colored Gulf. Pine Island had a small hidden gem of a beach with white sands, a few palm trees poking out of the sand here and there, and an orange/ green/ teal hue colored water. I'm guessing it wasn't all that crowded on a Saturday because all the kids were all already or getting ready to go back to school. There was a beach volleyball court, a snack shack (don't get the bacon grilled cheese, it was a huge hamburger bun with 1 strip of bacon and 1 slice of melted cheese...not good) with a scary amount of variety of food. From chicken sandwiches, clam strips, crab cakes, and shrimp to hot dogs and smoothies. Honestly, I was scared to try crab cakes there. It was a small but cute beach overall and a nice find for us. I saw a whole bunch of people start to stare and walk out towards the water while I was getting my food and my first thought was of course...SHARK! No shark though, it was dolphins. The water was very shallow a long way out and they must be used to humans because they were close. They were jumping and swimming very close to everyone walking towards them. There were kids jumping and running towards the dolphins which scared them away. It was cool to see them, even for a few moments, interacting and being free. Seeing nature in a new area always makes me feel good all the way through every time I visit somewhere. I was about 100 feet out in the water and I sat down in the knee-deep orange-blue water and felt the short seagrass flowing around underneath me. I was running my fingers over the top of the grass and it felt so soft to my touch.

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