Florida Family Fun – Days 7 & 8

Day 7 – Friday, July 8th

We were back in Sarasota around 1:00am on day 7. We had left our rental in Islamorada the day before (day 6), driven down to Key West and then back up the Keys, through the Everglades, and back into Sarasota with no incidents. We were literally 5 minutes from the house, waiting at a red light, and a truck comes speeding up behind us. The driver had lost all control of his vehicle and was swerving all over the road, careening straight for us. We reacted quickly and pulled our car to the left just in the nick of time. The truck flew past us with such force that the rear of our car was pulled back to the right about half an inch. For a split second I thought we had been swiped. The truck plowed into a light pole at the intersection and burst into pieces all over the road. At this point we are all absolutely freaking out. We pulled our car out of the middle of the intersection and immediately dialed 911. Within minutes there were a dozen police cruisers on the scene. Because we were the only witnesses to the accident, we were asked to stick around to give statements. It was around 3:30am when we finally pulled in the driveway at the house. We were all still pretty shaken up about the ordeal, so it was another hour at least before anyone was able to go to bed. We just kept thanking our lucky stars that we were able to get out of the way in time. (I have no information on the occupants of the truck, but I sincerely hope everyone was okay.)

Needless to say, everyone was completely wiped out and the rest of day 7 was spent at the house watching movies and lounging by the pool.

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{Typical household shenanigans}
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{Sometimes you just need a little down time}

Day 8 – Saturday, July 9th

After a day of recuperating, we were ready to hit the beach again. On the agenda for today: find some shark teeth!  We headed to Englewood Beach on Manasota Key with the idea that if we didn’t find any there we could just hit Caspersen on our way back to Sarasota.

I really liked Englewood Beach. The water is a beautiful shade of blue, relatively clear, and the waves and beach erosion aren’t as bad as they are at Caspersen Beach. Plus, my 13-year-old found a shark tooth within 10 minutes of being there! The other two kids were very jealous and continued to search. My 11-year-old was determined to find one for herself.

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{He’s just relaxing and taking in the view at Englewood Beach}
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{She was not leaving Florida without finding a shark tooth, lol!}

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{Englewood Beach is great for swimming}

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{The kids found a bunch of these sand crabs (Emerita analoga) while building sand castles at Englewood Beach}

enviro fact (14)

After hanging out at Englewood Beach for a couple of hours, we piled in the car and headed about 25 minutes north to Caspersen. We had stopped by Caspersen Beach on day 4, but we hadn’t had any luck finding shark teeth that day. But I had heard that this was the spot, so we paid it another visit.

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{Waves crashing on the rocks at Caspersen Beach}
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{Back to looking for shark teeth…}
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{… and building more sand castles with our rescued sand toys}
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{We build a lot of sand castles, but we are always sure to knock them down and fill in any holes before we leave. Knocking them down is actually more fun than building them, lol!}

Enviro fact (15)

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{Caspersen Beach}
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{She is a determined little thing, she will find a shark tooth}

After scouring Caspersen Beach for shark teeth, we headed to Siesta Key to grab some dinner at the Old Salty Dog Café. This is one of the kids’ favorites from past trips, so we had to make a point to stop in again. After dinner, we made our way back to the house to get some rest. Tomorrow will be our last beach day before we have to pack up and head back to Tennessee.

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{About to get our grub on after a long day of shark teeth hunting}

Good news, though… my determined little 11-year-old finally found herself a shark tooth! Perseverance pays off!

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{Fossilized shark tooth}

Enviro Fact (16)

Enviro fact (17)

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4 thoughts on “Florida Family Fun – Days 7 & 8

    1. Great question! I should probably add in a new Enviro Fact card for this topic!

      Ten million years ago, when Florida was submerged under water, the area was teeming with sharks. Over time, as the water receded giving way to land, the prehistoric sharks died – their skeletons disintegrated, but their fossilized teeth remained. The Venice coastal area, just south of Sarasota, is labeled “the shark tooth capital of the world” and sits on top of a fossil layer that runs 18-35 feet deep. With storms and waves, the fossils are slowly driven into the shallow waters and then up onto the beach.
      Sharks average out to 15 rows of teeth in each jaw. Although most have 5 and then there is the bull shark that has 50 rows of teeth. (Yikes!) Shark teeth are popularly found as beach treasures because sharks shed 1000’s of teeth in a lifetime (typically at least one per week).
      Fossilized shark teeth are not white because they are usually covered with sediment (which prevents oxygen and bacteria from getting to them). It takes about 10,000 years for a shark tooth to fossilize. The most commonly found shark teeth fossils are from 65,000 year ago (the Cenozoic era).
      The best times to hunt for shark teeth at Caspersen Beach are at low tide (particularly on the morning of a full moon or after a storm).

      Here are a few links if you would like to learn more: http://www.visitsarasota.org/article/authentic-florida-venice-shark-tooth-capital-world
      http://beachchairscientist.com/2012/08/12/sink-your-teeth-into-this-20-facts-about-shark-teeth/
      http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/florida-land-and-sea/hunt-sharks-teeth/#close

      Like

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