I will admit it, I’m a beach snob. Florida Gulf beaches or bust (see Image 1). I’ve been going to the white sand beaches of Florida that border the clear blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico for as long as I can remember. They’re hard to beat, and still are, even with some tar ball splatterings. It’s crazy to think that 2 years after the oil spill there are still tar balls washing up on beaches daily. Although the beaches we visited today looked fine at first glance, once you took a trained eye (or eye in training) to them, you can start to pick out just how much oil is still washing up on the beaches today (see Image 2), which says a lot about the magnitude of the spill.
In other news, I’ve been earning my keep as the resident Southerner– informing the group of places to eat, including the story behind the Moe’s franchises. Who knew that Mellow Mushroom’s and Einstein’s didn’t exist everywhere? Not to mention I’ve successfully opened their taste buds to the unbelievable deliciousness that is cheese dip. Furthermore, as amateur storm enthusiast of the group, I got to show off my useless knowledge about lightning during the insane storm that raged for hours after we left the last sample site. Contrary to Pat’s former belief, the majority of lightning during a storm is cloud-to-cloud lightning, not cloud-to-ground. And the highest concentration of lightning in the world is found in the Congo (Florida is second though). Luckily, we made it through the storm without getting struck by lightning (even though you’re safe in a car as long as you aren’t touching any metal part of the car).