Saturday, April 16, 2011

Swamp and Sand...

Yesterday we went to Snook Haven to go canoeing. Admittedly, I haven't been canoeing since I lived in Florida about a decade ago. It doesn't seem like it was all that long ago, but it was and evidence of my inexperience could be seen in the less than smooth progression of the canoe. Oh well, it was fun.

Snook Haven is the home of some of the Tarzan movies, killer turtles, and moonshine smugglers during Prohibition. The water looked like root beer and sweet tea, shimmering all velvety like andalusites. Along the banks grew live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, scrub pines, and Sabal palms. Blackberries also lined the banks and more than one hand was sticky and stained by the end of the trip. Surprisingly it was very quiet and hardly any birds or creatures stirred. Cynthia and Steve did say that they saw an undulating, black, finned creature roiling in the waters.

After our canoe trip in the Myakka River, we stopped for lunch at the Snook Haven restaurant. The menu was filled with "Old Florida" favorites like gator bites and corn fritters with a gooey corn pudding filling. We got several plates to share family-style.

Our adventures did not end there. We headed to Siesta Key Beach near Sarasota. It was truly beautiful. I don't think I've ever seen such fine, powdery white sand. It was soft and sparkly. The water was also warm like bath-water and supremely clear. One could easily see the ocean floor and a sandbar provided a nice place for the kids to play.

We got there just before sunset. It was cool and the direct rays of the sun had already faded. The shadows on the sand took on a pale purple and neon blue shade.

Azalea didn't pack her bathing suit, but she still had fun splashing around. We all had fun.

The waves were much more gentle and Max climbed in. The water was warm and he enjoyed playing around, splashing the water.

It was one of those places that I knew I'd eventually return. Have you ever been some place that you knew deep down in your bones that you'd go back to? One day I'll be back to the cool white sands and the crystal clear waters.

I enjoyed looking at the powdery sand, finding prints. The seagull prints I think were my favorites. I liked how the webbing of their toes left marks, almost like cuneiform or hieroglyphs.

The sunset painted the sky and concluded another perfect day at the beach.


Kay Mallery said...

Oooooo, Siesta Key is my favorite, used to vacation there every year. If you have a chance, try Gulf Shores, AL -- we found it to be pristine and NOT CROWDED during spring break last week. You are so brave canoeing in FL! Any gators in the Myakka?

Kiki said...

This is where I live! I hope you enjoyed Siesta Key as much as I do!

Unknown said...

Oh Andrew - you've made me so homesick. I spent much of my 20s living in Venice/Nokomis. Sunday afternoons at Snook Haven, two-stepping and drinking beer, shark fishing off the Casperson Beach pier, watching the dolphins from the end of the North Jetty. It's my hearts home... I long to go back...

Enjoy your trip!