So that’s a shark…

While we were down in Florida we headed over to the Gulf coast which is far superior to the Atlantic side. IMHO of course. Just saying. Went to Anna Maria Island again like we did two years ago. And had lunch at The Sandbar like we did two years. Had the fresh grouper tacos like we did two ago. All still good. We drove down to Lido Beach and stayed there a night. Once we settled into the room we headed to the beach. I realize this shouldn’t surprise me but Bails decided she needed to collect shells. All kids do this. But I think Bails thought she needed to collect all of them. Needless to say, the shells didn’t make the cut when it came time to pack our bags for the flight home.

Anyway, on the Gulf side people always warn you of sharks. More sharks on that side evidentally. Something about the warm waters. I’m not a shark nerd so all of that might be total crap. Doesn’t really matter to me since the locals all talk about the sharks and how you don’t swim at dusk or at night. Good enough for me. But while they talk about the sharks they don’t tell you about the sting rays. Yeah, so I’m about two steps into the water when Bails tells me I need to shuffle my feet when I walk.

What? Why?

Sting rays.

“Sting rays? Really? Do I need to look out for an aquatic T-Rex too?”

Then my older sister disgustedly looks at me and informs me that there was a sign as you walked onto the beach that lets us all know that there were sting rays in the area and that you needed to shuffle your feet when you walked into the water because it would alert the sting rays to your presence.

Okay, but what is going to alert me to their freaking presence? Pretty sure the sting rays aren’t going to give two craps if I show up. But I sure as hell would like to know if they’re around because sting rays aren’t on my afternoon itinerary. Anywhere. I checked. Twice. Plus the girls would probably find the most pissed off sting ray on this particular stretch of beach who by happenstance is exceptionally displeased with feet shuffling in his or her neighborhood.

But we managed to go the whole afternoon without seeing any sting rays. Can’t say the same for old dudes in speedos however.


I’m not sure how else to describe this but old tan wrinkly hairy dudes should not wear speedos. Ever. And if you really must know, no one should wear a speedo. Olympic swimmers don’t even wear them anymore. If the International Olympic Committee could swing it, they’d strike them from all Olympic photographic history.

Anyway, we make it through the night despite having to wedge Bails onto two chairs so she could sleep. I just assumed we’d get her a couple extra blankets and have her sleep on the floor. But we get into the room and it has a tile floor. Doesn’t matter how much Bails likes to stay in hotel rooms, she ain’t sleeping on a tile floor. Worked out okay though. We get up the next morning to take a walk down the beach with the girls and we see this:

Shark Lido Beach

It’s a dead shark. Animal Control Guy pulls up in his pick up and says its probably a dead bull shark. Not sure how it died. So two things here:
1) Bull sharks are more likely to attack people in shallow water than any other shark.
2) Animal Control Guy’s uniform consisted of shorts and a cell phone. Yup. No shirts, no shoes, no hat, no badge, no nothing.

Beach patrol must be a tough gig.


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