I broke my no buy ban, but when you see what I bought, I’m sure you’ll agree that it was impossible to avoid. We just got back from a week in Florida. You weren’t expecting that, were you?

I wasn’t quite sure how to pack, so I took everything. We weren’t planning on doing laundry. Also, I’d forgotten how awful humidity can feel.

What I took:
Nylon hiking pants - Columbia - 5 prs - obviously too many
Nylon shorts - REI - 3 prs

Denim cropped pants - Style Inc and Lee - 3 prs
Tops, casual and slightly nicer
Fleece shirt - Patagonia
Windbreaker - Eddie Bauer
Nanopuff jacket - Patagonia
Goretex rain jacket and pants - Mammut and Arcteryx
Brimmed hat - Tilley
Nylon ball cap - Patagonia
Hiking shoes - Salomon
Suede casual sneakers - Adidas
Water Sandals - Teva
Flipflops - Vionic
Swim suit and coverup - Lands End

The first few days were surprisingly windy and chilly. A front come through our first night, with a thunderstorm warning, and a tornado watch. It rained cats and dogs, and if the timing had been different, I might have worn my rain gear. One morning I wore the fleece shirt under the Nanopuff jacket. Each day was warmer than the previous, and our final day got up to 88F, with VERY high humidity.

I wore all of the shoes and both hats. I did not use my swim suit. We walked on the beach, but didn’t swim in the sea or in the various pools.

I wore the shorts every day once it warmed up. The denim crops were too hot to wear except out to dinner. My nylon windbreaker was the real workhorse. I wore it walking on the beach and also in restaurants which were generally too cold. It packed up small and I could stuff it in my bag. Speaking of bags, I took a small thrifted Timbuk2 messenger bag that I used when we went out to dinner, otherwise I used a small EB knapsack that I could fit my binoculars and camera in if necessary. I also had a big North Face knapsack for the plane.

We went to a manatee preserve south of Tampa, a wildlife preserve on Sanibel Island, the Everglades, the Keys, a wildlife preserve in Palm Beach County, and some other preserves and parks.

1-2. Cool and warm weather outfits
3. Black skimmer
4. Croczilla in the Everglades
5. Osprey
6-7. Manatees - we saw at least 50 at the manatee preserve
8. Wood storks nesting
9. Key lime pie
10. My impossible to avoid purchase - manatee socks.

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