A travel moment in Florida

It’d been 2 months now that I was living and working in Florida and a week off, meant a road trip from Orlando to Miami, it was exciting already!

So picture this, golden sands, turquoise ocean, women in bikinis with matching heels and a Chihuahua in their matching bags also with a collar that matched. Men carrying more gold around their necks than I’ve probably ever seen in a jewellery store never mind on a person. It was actually like being on a movie set.

It looked like a postcard, and there was me, cigarette in one hand, bottle of corona in the other. Laying on my Mickey Mouse towel, chilling, absorbing the rays, thinking to myself, is this real?

A couple of hours past and I was getting hot. I didn’t want to be the only woman on the beach looking red and sweaty, so I went for a refreshing deep in the ocean, which, turned out to be a whole lot warmer than expected, but still, I love the sea, so swam to a little sand bank further out.

Instead of chilling on the beach over looking the sea, I was laying in a shallow bit of the sea over looking the beach, Miami, and everything around it, I was God-like, people-watching, taking everything in. I’d become totally absorbed in a world of my own.

Interrupting my day dream, I heard ‘Beth!’ I was aware that in the whole of Miami beach there’d be other people called Beth and figured it was unlikely to be me, so I continued in my daze, splashing the crystal clear water and playing with the wet sand rubbing it in between my fingers and toes. Again‘Beth!’

Frustrated, I looked around only to realise I was the only one left in the entire ocean. I looked to the beach to see a couple of my friends waving and calling me back, and a whole crowd of people looking at me and to make things even better, a fairly attractive life guard on a beach-buggy with a microphone saying ‘get out of the water, these creatures will harm you.’

That was it, my Miami dream land just got turned into a newspaper headline, ‘Stupid English girl stays in ocean and gets eaten by shark.’

In my panic I forgot how to swim, breathe, see, everything. I stood up on the sand bank to see this huge grey thing flapping about. Shark, definitely a shark, I thought, what a way to go, I can’t believe this was going to be it. And to make matters worse I realised to actually get out of the water like instructed I’d have to swim towards this thing!

I scrambled up on the beach, out of breath, spitting out water, to receive no attention from anyone. The crowd weren’t worried; they were smiling, taking photos, and clapping.

Confused, I pushed my way through to the front, this shark actually turned out to be a family of manatees!

B McGowan

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