Topsider.

We began our Eastern USA Adventuring with a Cantor family reunion, and now we’re finishing with a Prieto family vacation – A week in the Florida Keys with J’s maternal side family.

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It’s an idyllic, relaxing vacation for which I packed all sorts of cute outfits, then wore nothing but a bathing suit and sarong all week long. Above, the dock at Topsider, where the Prieto family has been vacationing for 32 years. Below, cousins! (minus Eddie J)

Cousins

We spend the week doing this:

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This:

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And this:

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C water-skied! J slalomed! We canoed amongst the mangroves, biked around the island, ate delicious seafood and played some rousing board games. Also, Manatees! Squee!

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I definitely didn’t pet it and feed it water from the hose and hang out with it for hours because they’re an endangered species and that’s definitely illegal. In lieu of all that, 10 fun facts about manatees!

1. Manatees can easily grow 12 feet long, weigh up to 1,200 lbs, and live up to 60 years.

2. Manatees eat about ten percent of their body weight in plant matter every day.

3. Manatees require water that is at least 60-70 degrees. They’re not actually as fat and blubbery as they look – it’s mostly stomach and digestive tract.

4. The closest living relative to the Manatee family is the elephant.

5. The brain to body size ratio in a Manatee is the smallest in any mammal. However, they can learn basic tricks, and can differentiate colors!

6. Manatees are generally solitary, but babies stick with mom for up to two years.

7. Manatee flippers have three toenails.

8. Manatees are the only aquatic mammal that is an herbivore.

9. Adult manatees are so frequently wounded by boat propellers that scientists use the pattern of their scarring to tell them apart. The second most common cause of death is ingestion of abandoned fishing tackle wrapped in vegetation.

10. Manatees have no natural predators in the wild except for humans.

After a wonderful couple of months in Miami, we depart tomorrow to road trip across the country to Seattle! A few departing photos of the Larmiers: J, dad Philippe, and bros Antoine and Alex (so much more clean-shaven than his last blog appearance in SE Asia!)

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And Prietos: Martha, Mimi, and J.

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Farewell, Miami!

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Next up: The American South.

Lots of love!

C & J

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