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We went to Lauderdale-By-The-Sea beach again.  There’s something about a beach vacation that you somewhat forget about when you live near the beach: the touristy shops that smell of cheap vinyl pool floats, T-shirt printing, and suntan oil; ice cream shops crammed with sweaty, salty people dreaming about the curative powers of waffle cones; the sunburnt look on faces young and old.  Typically, there’s also a smell of old hot dogs, cheap chips, and deep-fried mystery foods, but LBTS magically avoids all that while still being an affordable escape.  (Fort Lauderdale had parking for “only $10” but we ended up putting about 75 cents in the meter a couple of exits north.)

On our way out into the water, which was packed because the weekend had blessedly arrived for the locals and long-weekenders, someone starts yelling “shark.”  We watched as the large — much too large to be a single shark — dark spot moved passed us at a leisurely pace.  When it finally came up, it wasn’t a fin but rather a snout.  Manatees.  What they were doing so close to shore, I have no idea, but at least they were safe from boaters there.

Out at the reef, we saw a turtle, a bunch of fish, and loads of coral — some of it seems to be coming back or at least growing anew.

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