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August 11th 2006
Published: August 14th 2006
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Siesta Beach, SarasotaSiesta Beach, SarasotaSiesta Beach, Sarasota

Lifeguard and patriotic display
Hello there:

It's hot here in Florida, between 95 and 100F practically daily. Thus, nothing like escaping to the beach for a few days.

After visiting the University of Central Florida, the second largest university in Florida, we headed to Sarasota and Saint Petersburg, 2 cities on the golf of Mexico.

Beaches packed with people provides quite a scenario for an addicted people watcher like myself. A display of the ever so growing American body, literally speaking ( 67% of the American population is now overweight), families, tourists,... Very different from the beaches in Brazil and the springs around gainesville.

Many languages could be heard, primarily German and Spanish. An Italian guy played tones from his homeland, a group of Colombians played the instruments from their native home, dancing to their hearts content.

An interesting observation: many people read books at the beach. I counted 11, not including Amanda and I, just a few feet around our spot. I have spotted American book lovers in many settings, from beaches to airplanes, and of course at the many bookstores everywhere in the US. Americans aren't well known as big readers, but I can attest differently. There is
The hunk lifeguard, the jeep,...The hunk lifeguard, the jeep,...The hunk lifeguard, the jeep,...

...but it's not baywatch, just Siesta Beach
quite a cast of readers around and schools usually promote reading.

Talking about that, we spent quite a few hours at Borders, one of our favorite bookstores. For those of you not familiar with the trend this past decade, the bookstores are huge, with coffee shop inside, confortable reading chairs, etc. A great environment to pass time, and learn of course. It has been rewarding to see that Yannick and Amanda enjoy time among books.

Some pictures for your to visualize a little more of Florida.


Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


The bald...The bald...
The bald...

...and the book
Sad realitySad reality
Sad reality

Too much to eat + too little exercise = obesity, the epidemic
At the beachAt the beach
At the beach

The sand is white like sugar

14th August 2006

Hi Connard
Consider your request granted. I'll be mailing you the picture soon. Love, Patricia
25th August 2006

Hi from New Zealand
Hi! We're the New Zealanders that you met on the Great Wall of China. Thanks for sending us the updates to your blog. We enjoy reading it and looking at the pics. Your photos of Tibet were amazing and made me want to go. Have you had a chance to look at our pics of our Sth East Asia trip? If you want to look, or if any of your fellow travel-loving friends want to look, please go to www.spaces.msn.com/rachelandbevan There are pics of Brunei, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar. Keep in touch!

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