This weekend was a mini-vacation. A couple friends and I went down to Miami on Saturday and returned on Monday. The travel was complicated (as always) but I fully enjoyed my time there. We spent Sunday alternately kayaking and snorkeling in the keys (I never realized how many definitions there are for the word key, this is referencing low islands and reefs). The weather was perfect, the water totally clear and nature surrounded us. In some cases it surrounded us quite closely- we kayaked through a mangrove forest where the roots and branches grow together in amazing patterns. There were small channels, little throughways and suddenly an opening into the bay. Even right by the coast there were fascinating fish, coral and sea life. One being looked like silly string sprayed across the rocks and reef, but apparently if you reach toward it the tendrils get sucked up inside! We also spent some time at the everglades and saw a great number of alligators, plus some turtles and fish. The most exciting was definitely a grasshopper which looked like this (this is a similar one at a distance, it was actually that first bright color though). It walked around on my hand allowing us to take pictures and marvel at the fact that it was real. I had seen models of them in science museums, but I thought they were toys, not so realistic! I wasn't cool enough to actually carry my own camera, but I'm hoping to nab some other people's photos soon.
Between feeling guilty for the excess of pollution this weekend caused and hating the chaos that is air travel I'm swearing off flying. My bag got lost twice, flights were delayed and missed, I didn't get any meals after breakfast Monday, etc. We really need to master teleporting, it will instantly solve so many problems! Planes are generally awful, but I like seeing my friends and escaping the pollen.