The five year old was speaking with Sayre about our plans for the afternoon.
“I know what he wants to do. He wants to go to a playground!”
“No, I don’t think Mr. Neil came to Florida to go to a playground.”
“I want to go to a playground.”
“Sweetie, we don’t always do what we want. Sometimes we do fun things that other people want to do.”
“Well, if we can’t go to a playground, we can go to the mall!”
“Mr. Neil doesn’t want to go to the mall.”
I jumped in. “Yeah, I don’t want to go to the mall, unless I can buy a manatee there.”
“You can’t buy a manatee at the mall! And you can’t take it home on the plane!”
With the weather worsening and a moody little girl in tow Sayre took me to the Canaveral National Seashore. Located to the south of New Smyrna Beach the Seashore is a barrier island, Atlantic on one side, Intercoastal Waterway on the other, and wonderful in between. As a National Park Service property the Seashore has historic structures as well as beaches and fishing piers, and there are hiking trails to explore. Our visit was going to be short as the weather was cold and windy, and I had dinner plans with the Kulps.
We did, however, briefly visit a beach. The beaches were the big selling point over the years in Sayre’s repeated attempts to lure me to Florida, but with the disappointing weather I’d not near the water. Today I insisted, and with my shoes and socks safely above surge level went into the Atlantic. If only for a minute.
We stopped a couple of places to hike, but the wind was fierce and blew against us hard.
Our last stop on the trip was the short Turtle Mound Trail. Mounds are archeological dig sites through what is basically a Seminole garbage pit. The trail, as usual in Florida, was a boardwalk. What was unusual is that the trail had elevation. And three distinct overlooks.
The highest of the three overlooks gave a sweeping view down the island. It might have been the best reason to come to Florida.
Despite the weather we had a good time. Sayre picked up his daughter and held her up so she could see the view. And she had something to say.
“Isn’t this great! Aren’t you glad I told you to come here?”
Yes, we all were. And we stopped at a playground on the way to dinner too.