I left Cleveland on an evening flight, after a long day of work. It makes for efficient, yet exhausting travel. Luckily I had a direct flight to Miami.
The next morning was my beach day. My mom and I slathered on some sunscreen and headed out to the beaches. We didn’t go to South Beach, like I originally planned because Memorial Day weekend is Urban Beach festival, which means the streets were shut down and set up with multiple police check point stations. All in all, it was too much of a headache that I preferred to avoid. So we went to Crandon Park instead, which was relatively empty.
We settled under a palm tree for some partial shade and then basked in the bathwater temperature Atlantic ocean. The continental shelf is further out in this section of South Florida, so it is shallow for really a long stretch. There are also lots of seagrass beds, which are home to bottom dwelling marine creatures, like crabs and clams, and juvenile fish. Once the fish grow up they head out to the coral reefs.
When the tide rolled out, the beds were exposed, prompting seagulls, anhinga birds, and pelicans to feast on the exposed fish and invertebrates. Some of the exposed creatures included pink marine worms that truthfully looked like pink condoms. Some teens were freaking out about them, thinking they were jellyfish they would be stung from. I assured them that there weren’t. They delighted in touching the worms.
I strolled out to check out the beach dunes, which highly protected ecosystems. The plants have really deep roots that function to prevent the sand from eroding away into the water. They also are home to sea turtle nests! I really couldn’t have asked for a better lazy beach day!
I ended the day with an early dinner at Tarpon Bend in Coral Gables. Their mojitos and calamari are to die for. I also splurged on some oysters and a shrimp sandwich. Let’s just say that I am happy I do not have a shellfish allergy. I love them way too much. YUM!