The last time we were at the beach, we didn't swim. The intention was to swim, but a storm or a tropical disturbance of some sort the night previous had churned the water into a filthy mess. The sand was covered in broken seashells, and there was an occasional palm frond that had been thrown up onto the beach. The weather was pleasant, but the heat had dissipated, and most of the people on the beach were wearing light jackets and shoes. There were no manatees or dolphins to be spotted. On the way back, we looped through the wooded preserve, where we followed animal tracks of unknown origin, examined blooming plants with explanatory signs, and were hidden from the rest of the world.