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Notes from the beach

  • Southwest Florida is better for a short family vacation than Maui, conditional on the family not owning a private jet.
  • Florida sand is superior to Maryland and Delaware sand. For one, it doesn’t collapse as easily; second, it is much easier to clean; third, on Sanibel and Captiva islands it is mostly made of quartz and broken down shells and is there anything cooler than that?1
  • More bird diversity makes for happier humans and while D.C. has a respectable population of birds, it doesn’t come close to Florida with the ospreys and the fish hawks, brown pelicans and roseate spoonbills, white ibises and snowy egrets, sanderlings and sandpipers, woodpeckers both pileated and downy, and not a robin in sight.2
  • Is it just me or is sunscreen really so much better now than it was 30 years ago? With UPF swimwear you need less of it anyway, and the little that you do need is easier to apply, lasts longer, and just works better than whatever smelly Coppertone slurry we used in the 90s.
  • Beach towels are useless.
  • Spending a week in a zip code with no Instacart, no DoorDash, no Uber or Lyft or ad hoc taxis of any kind was refreshing, but I wouldn’t recommend it long-term. Although there was still Amazon next-day delivery and plenty of UPS trucks, so not all was lost.
  • Physical books continue being better than e-books; the calculation will change for me as soon as e-book readers solve quick note entry — emphasis on quick.
  • Where are all the Nightingales is a great way to start the day, on or off the beach.

  1. Sure, volcanic sand sounds cool, but have you tried washing off the glossy black detritus? Not to mention it is much sharper. 

  2. Although maybe a few too many common grackles. 

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