On the first day I won the 200 fly in my age group in 2:14.8, better than my previous effort. I didn't even feel that tired at the end. After that event, though, I got disqualified in the 200 backstroke, and missed my first turn in the 100 back, the kinds of mistakes that 10-year-olds make.
I took a hike in Myakka State Park on the afternoon of the first day of the meet, which left me more tired than I should have been for the second and third days. Part of the reason I wanted to see it was that it's a hot spot for sightings of the Big Fella. I didn't spot him, but I did see a wild boar and three river otters.
I took the canopy walk, which they warn you not to take if you have a fear of heights. I'm terrified of heights, but the 25 foot high, 25 yard long walk was about as scary as sitting on someone's second floor patio. The wooden canopy tower, at 75 feet, tested my nerves a bit more. Here is the view from the top:
The view from all four sides of the tower are similar: you can't see anything manmade (other than some power lines), all you see are trees. The park encompasses 58 square miles. There's something reassuring about seeing such places.
If you drive along highway 75, you see mostly just scrub pines and the like. But in Myakka you see oak trees covered in ferns and palmettos and other large trees covered in lichens and Spanish Moss.
I was by myself and read all of the trailside display boards, about alligators and coral snakes and the like. Eventually I was able to stop jumping half a foot whenever a tiny lizard would make a rustling noise among the dry leaves.
I'd like to share some observation about the different "culture" in Florida, but really didn't notice anything particularly interesting about Sarasota, other than its warmer climate and different flora and fauna.