Storm lashes Florida’s gulf coast, again

On December 19th, 2018, another storm hit the gulf coast of Florida. Unlike storms Gordon and Michael that hit in September and October respectively, this storm had no name. At least none that I could discover.

We heard the storm warnings on the radio and TV, so the ominous clouds, lashing rain and rising ocean swells were no surprise…

storm clouds
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lashing rain

Named or not, I was a witness to this particular storm. Any of the locals I spoke to that day claimed they had never seen the waves so high. A stranger sent me this copy of a video he shot. That is my husband checking out the waves crashing on and washing over the jetty as the rest of us huddled further back from the action.

waves at the North Jetty on Casey Key, Nokomis, Florida

The news spread fast, locals and visitors alike flocked over the drawbridge that connects Casey Key to the mainland of Nokomis. The road to the north jetty was well travelled with those wanting to witness the wrath of Mother Nature. The level of the water rose so high with the wind and rain that most of the jetty was under water and the beach was barely walkable…

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crashing waves
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crashing waves wash out jetty
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high water levels
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crashing waves
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massive waves
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water level rising to grasses

Later that day, the waves subsided somewhat, the skies cleared and a spectacular sunset promised better weather the next day…

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here comes the sun!
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flooded beach
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beach sunset

drawing the shell collectors to the beach and the (rather bedraggled) wildlife to the jetty the next morning…

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shell collecting after the storm
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collecting shells after the storm
disoriented (rescued) crab

white ibis

sleepy pelicans

Although the beautiful beach and spectacular ocean front homes had already sustained an incredible amount of damage in the previous storms, we saw more the next morning…

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steps buried in sand
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steps buried in sand
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beach erosion
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beach erosion
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storm damage
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storm damage

Everywhere I travel, I cannot help but stop to admire (and snap pictures of) the local plants. That’s the gardener in me I guess…

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bird of paradise
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bougainvillia
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variegated yuccas
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beach access

The stormy weather lasted around 24 hours. As much as it was spectacular to witness it, I prefer walking the beach with calmer waters and sunshine.

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Margarita Tester

I was a self appointed margarita tester on a recent trip to Casey Key in Nokomis, Florida. I love anything lime flavored, and as margaritas definitely impart a tropical vibe, they were my beverage of choice for the week. What I did not realize is that every establishment appears to have their own version of the perfect margarita.

Our evening dinner locations ranged from casual family grills to upscale dining choices. These restaurants turned out my top three favourite margaritas. The only thing they had in common was the lime and tequila, with other ingredients creating the uniquely delicious concoctions.

Fishbone Grill offered the tastiest food (if you are into seafood) as well as the fanciest atmosphere and service, but the margarita was kind of boring. While the fancy presentation of the margarita at Mi Pueblo had my hopes up, the flavour was just ok. Delicious Mexican food and the authentic atmosphere almost made up for my disappointment. Gecko’s Grill & Pub version of a margarita, garnished with a (rubber) gecko, was the most delicious concoction of lime, tequila and “je ne sais quoi” The food was superb too, especially the ribs that literally fell off the bone and melted in my mouth.

margarita
#3.. Fishbone Grill offered the tastiest food (if you are into seafood) as well as the fanciest atmosphere and service, but the margarita was kind of boring
margarita
#2…the presentation of this margarita at Mi Pueblo had my hopes up but the flavour was just ok. Delicious Mexican food and the authentic atmosphere almost made up for my disappointment
margarita
#1… Gecko’s Grill & Pub margarita, garnished with a (rubber) gecko, was the most delicious concoction of lime, tequila and “je ne sais quoi” The food was superb too.

Margarita taste tester was a tough job, but I was happy to do it. Deciding what to make and preparing dinner can be tedious for even the most organized and creative person, so I am happy to relinquish that job when travelling.

However, my bathroom scale may convince me to revert back to the original job now that I am home. Booooooring!