Getting the flavor of...
If you ever go beachcombing in Venice, Fla., “skip the seashells and search for something a little sharper,” said Patricia Sheridan in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. People of all ages crowd these shores year-round to hunt for prehistoric sharks’ teeth. Millions of years ago, Florida was underwater, and because a shark sheds thousands of teeth in a lifetime, fossilized teeth wash up endlessly on the state’s Gulf Coast. Venice, known as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World, attracts visitors who return year after year to collect teeth. It’s easy to get started: At Papa’s Bait & Snack shop, you can rent “Florida snow shovels”—mesh baskets on long poles, perfect for panning. Occasionally, a lucky hunter still scores a fist-size megalodon tooth worth hundreds of dollars. Divers can hire a charter boat to hunt for such treasures offshore, but a beachcomber is more likely to find fossilized mako or tiger shark teeth. “Find one and you’re hooked.”
Massachusetts’ first racetrack
The Whiskey Hill Raceway in Palmer, Mass., is “coiled like a frenzied rattlesnake,” said Matthew Bellico in The Boston Globe. For auto aficionados like me, the new 14-turn, 2.3-mile track is a gift—a place to learn and a place to “channel my inner Steve McQueen” behind the wheel of my BMW M6. Some of my fellow enthusiasts are old hands at track driving, and travel long distances to check Whiskey Hill off their bucket lists. I’m just getting started, so I enroll in a driver’s course, which combines classroom instruction with 20- to 30-minute track sessions, the first few with an instructor aboard. The key is to discover the right line through the maze of turns, and when I did, I started hitting 118 mph consistently on the last straightaway. There was never time to pout when I flubbed my line into a turn. “But that was the beauty of it. There was no turning back. There was only the pursuit of the next corner, with perfection a goal that lay tantalizingly beyond reach.”