Monday, June 21, 2010

What a difference a day makes.




As one prone towards adventure (and having recently discovered it’s a major reason I exist), I can report to nobody in particular that an adventure came together in typical haphazard fashion last weekend.

Sunken Gardens was a place I learned about in a book, a short drive from here in St. Petersburg. An individual created these lush, tropical gardens on his property, about 20 feet below sea level, way back in the 30s. They’ve now been adopted as a park the state of Florida helps maintain. We arrived just after buckets of rain had fallen, proceeding to splash around in puddles, stared at so, so many flowers and handled leaves bigger than even me (really). There was a 2-foot-long alligator snapping turtle, a parrot that could tackle a handshake with one of his pointy feet and mating lizards everywhere. It was a beautiful oasis of a place, really.

Other parts of the adventure happened on the way there or just after, like stopping at a roadside market that had so, so many fruits and vegetables, things like a bowling ball sized watermelon for $2 and tomatoes the size of grapefruit and peaches and mangos and, well, that list goes on. There was the crab shack dive with the crabby, bearded waitresses (no joke) who served us scallops and cod and shrimps. There was a new beach to grab rays at, even, and it, too, felt like warm bath water. We were advised to “shuffle our feet” as the stingrays were out in full force that day. And there was a place called Dairy Kurl that was a must-see (must-taste?), because few things go better with sunshine than gigantic dipped, drippy soft serve cones.

Ah, summer. Ah, summer!

The adventure ended with lightning and so, so much more rain and dark, foreboding clouds but, well, perhaps that was all part of it, too. Yes, yes … I do think that is the case.

Until the next adventure, then. And I sorta hope it includes swimming with the sea cows.

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