Man, I love the beach!

It’s been a while since I had the time to just sit down and blog about shelling. Now’s a good a time as any.

Since we came back home from the Blueberry Festival, we’ve had a chance to do some serious shelling and sun tanning.

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We met up with the Shellinator and his girl Val the week before last and had a grand ol’ time diving on Sanibel.

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Filled up the shell bucket with some fantastic¬†keepers. The Queen fell in love with the Shellinator’s little ones, who were doing their own shellinating and teaching the Queen how to find Wentletraps. Look out, Sanibel Island. Once these two are old enough to know better, the island will be shelled out!

ūüėČ

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 So I decided to go out the following day with my brother and his wife, who came to town for a week looking for a little R&R. I think they found it. Both were celebrating birthdays this past week. What a great gift to give each other Рa trip down South to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

My bro was a little reluctant to get out into the deeper water with me. It didn’t help that I was razzing him (you know, like brothers do) about looking over his shoulder for giant sharks. Once you get somebody riled up, the only thing to do is pile it on…which I did. I should be ashamed of myself, but I’m not. ūüėČ

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Once we got into the water though, I let him off the hook and we shelled for a good hour and a half, pulling up some real keepers. For someone who had never dove for shells before, he did a great job, pulling in his share of Alphies, Sharks Eyes, Lace Murexes and Lightning Whelks. He was having a ball, saying things like, “This is awesome! I could see myself doing this all the time.”

I didn’t do too bad either, finding this beast of an Alphabet Cone.

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Holy smokes! I know it’s not in pristine condition, but it’s the biggest one I’ve ever found.

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 Cleaned up real nice too.

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 The one on the right is just a normal sized Alphie. You can see that the one on the left is an absolute monster!

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¬†No, I didn’t find another J. That’s one from the collection. I just put them side by side so you can see just how large that monster Alphie is. He measured right at 3.5 inches.

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We took them out for a little Thursday Thunder, which was a lot of fun. It was good to catch up with him and his wife. Seeing them happy made the Queen and me happy.

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Whether or not we found a bucket full or keepers or not, it was enjoyable watching them enjoy our beautiful beaches.

 We are truly blessed to live in this paradise.

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We decided to take a day off  from work this past Friday and spend the better part of the day diving over at Little Hickory, where the cool water was crystal clear. My brother and I even got to swim with a manatee, which came within about 2 feet of us. What an amazing experience and something to remember for a long, long time.

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Fourteen Florida Fun and Festival Tour ‚Äď April 2014

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Blueberries seem to be a constant in our lives. The Queen often eats blueberry waffles with blueberry syrup for breakfast. We have blueberry popsicles in our freezer. I have a K-Cup holder that almost always has Wild Mountain¬†Blueberry Coffee. Even the¬†flavor in my vape pen is blueberry. Plus, they’re good for you. So it was only natural when we scanned the festival list¬†to hit the 3rd Annual Florida Blueberry Festival in Brooksville, Florida.

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 Anything and everything blueberry in Brooksville, which is a small, quaint little town about 3 hours North of Fort Myers and just a hop, skip and a jump from Tampa. The streets along the main drag are cobblestone. Pretty cool little town, if you ask me.

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Upon entering the festival, I was surprised at how many people there were and how large it was for only being the 3rd annual event.

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As we entered, there was a main tent where the locals were selling their blueberry wares. Blueberry Syrup, Blueberry Pancakes, Blueberry Mustard, Blueberry BBQ Sauce….anything you can think of, these folks figured out how to put a blueberry in it.

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So we settled on some Blueberry Preserves, which should go nicely with a toasted bagel for brefass. Nom Nom Nom!

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¬†After a long drive, your boy was hungry…and let me tell you, the sweet smell of meat on a stick was in the air.

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It seems that I’m always two steps ahead of the Queen. That’s because when you’re running point, you have to look out for booby traps¬†while you’re scanning the landscape. If anyone ever tries to make a booby trap¬†with¬†meat on a stick, well…they’d get me.

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Like I said, anything and everything blueberry. Like this blueberry soda with honey. Not too bad. Sweet and thirst-quenching.

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The Queen and I love honey. Not just because it tastes good, but it’s healthy and good for your immune system. So we always have some on hand. Soon as we spotted Blueberry Honey, well you know we had to grab a few. Honey with my honey…awwwwww

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We saw Ginger’s Booth from Ginger’s Jams and had to take a peek. She had a delicious assortment of goodies. I tried the Jalapeno Jelly, then promptly bought a jar. A-maa-aa-aa-aazing!

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I’m a sucker for old muscle cars, so as soon as I saw the street lined with classics, I had to stop and drool. The guys over at Monster Transmission and Performance put on a nice display of some of the sweetest rides around.

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This ’57 Chevy had me in awe. What a beautiful ride. This was how you styled and profiled in 1957. Classic beauty.

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And this 1968 LeSabre had me giggling. Good lord that’s a beautiful car. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

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But this one here….if you ever wondered “What kind of car would¬†the Shell King drive¬†to the beach?”, this would be it. The orange paint job on this ’68 Beetle was immaculate. I said to the Queen, “We would look awesome in this car!”

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See the guy on the right? You know he’s saying, “Oooohhhhh sweet Jesus.” Drooling. Shaking.

I was too.

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¬†We settled for a couple of corn dogs. Yeah I know, it’s not really meat at all. But it was on a stick and we were hungry.

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Queenie washed it down with a blueberry smoothie, which was really good. One thing we noticed there was that every ingredient in every blueberry dish was fresh.

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Beef Jerky soaked in Moonshine. Yeah I tried it. It was pretty good, but too expensive. I guess the cost of running your own still has increased in the past few years ūüėČ

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On our way out, we saw a booth for Blueberry Pie in a cup. You know I had to try one, and yes it was deelishis!

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Since this was only the 3rd Annual event, no doubt it will be bigger next year. Although it was a pretty long drive with a lot of toll booths along the way, it’s worth the drive. With the food and events, there is plenty to enjoy, no matter what your age. This event definitely gets the SK/SQ stamp of approval.

Of course, we had to stop at Yoder’s, since it was on our way home. You know, to stock up on cheese curds, whoopie pies and candy.

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 A few of our delicious wares from the day:

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We ended the weekend with a day of power shelling ¬†on Sunday with our friend, the Shellinator himself and half of¬†his wonderful family. I look like I’m wearing daisy dukes. Striking.

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 Today, we are beat, worn out, sunburned and exhausted.

And we’d do it again tomorrow if we could.

Totally worth it.