When I moved to South Florida, over 10 years ago, I discovered my love for the ocean. Being a passionate snowboarder since I was a little boy, the ocean has become my substitute for mountains. Therefore, this article is supposed to give some insights into our life in Florida trying to combine a busy dental career with a relaxed balanced lifestyle to enjoy living in paradise. (Fig. 1)
My wife Danielle and I are very dedicated to the American dental industry. This begins with our own operation, Zahntechnique, and reaches out to international speaking engagements for many industry leaders. My passion in the dental field, is to combine the digital world of CAD/CAM with our traditional craftsmanship. This specifically is one of the strongest pillars of Zahntechnique. But every passion needs a balancing counterpart. So, we found our work-life-balance in our passion for Stand Up Paddle Surfing.
South Florida is a paradise for this type of lifestyle. After a long and exhausting day in the laboratory we enjoy a relaxing after-work paddle or after-work surf. On the weekends, this can well be an early morning or sunset paddle. (Fig. 2)
Florida’s nature has so much to offer.
We spend most of our time in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. Key Biscayne has some very special vibes when visiting from the ocean. The Biscayne Bay is full of sea life. From star fish, sting rays, manta rays up to dolphins, it is not unusual to see all of these beautiful creatures during a single day.
The crystal-clear water allows seeing all the way to the bottom and observing underwater nature very conveniently from the surfboard.
A very nice paddle on a Sunday morning is Dania Beach, which is just south of Fort Lauderdale, close to the Hollywood Airport (yes, we also have a Hollywood in Florida). Paddling in the morning along the whiskey creek to the whiskey hideout can be mystic. Inbetween deep mangroves, all kind of birds, iguanas, rays and fish can be observed. The whiskey creek is hidden between the intra-coastal waterway and the ocean, the water is a so called brackwater, which is the home of both salt water and fresh water creatures.
Fortunately, no motor vessels are allowed in this area, so it is very quiet and peaceful. After a quick break at the whiskey hideout with its natural beach, the paddle goes back to the Dania Beach Marina. The perfect finish for this Sunday morning paddle is a breakfast in the Bake Shack at Dania Beach. If the mood is more for a late afternoon paddle or sunset paddle, this can be completed with dinner at Tarks in Dania Beach, Tarks is a local seafood shack, with fresh catch from the Cocoa Beach grill and fantastic seafood platters which include everything that the ocean offers. Definitely one of our favorites. (Fig. 3) (Fig. 4)
Besides the South Florida region, we love to go north towards Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach is north of the Bahama shadow and offers more opportunities to for a great surf. Especially when our boys spend the summers with us, we try to head north on long weekends to go surfing.
The best tip to stay somewhere nice and comfortable is to utilize Airbnb as the Space Coast Hotels are usually older and booked out pretty quickly.
We love to go for an early morning paddle at Thousand Islands in Cocoa Beach, which is an island area in the intra-coastal. Early mornings gives the best opportunity to paddle along with dolphins, which are trying to get their breakfast in this beautiful nature preserve. Also manatees, a real Florida staple diet, are always visible in this area.
After getting breakfast at one of the many coffee shops in Cocoa Beach, the best is Simply Delicious, it’s time for a surf at the Cocoa Beach Pier.
Spending the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the beach or close to, there are many dinner places to eat fresh seafood and comfy food.
On the way back towards Miami, we pass the Palm Beaches. The Jupiter/Palm Beach region is an amazing water sports area as well. With its many nature preserves to go Stand Up Paddling, it’s a true paradise for us after a long week spent on dental work. We love to go early in the morning and finish with a breakfast at Sarah’s Kitchen, which is one of the best hidden breakfast gems in that area.
This is just a very small portion of the beauty of Florida’s nature on the water. We are discovering new places on a regular basis and it is not uncommon that we often say “this is our favorite place to go on the water”, although there are so many.
As mentioned at the beginning, I used to be, and still am, a passionate snowboarder. Thinking back on my time in Germany, I would not be able to just give it up. Therefore, as soon as the winter season comes close, we go to the snow in Colorado to enjoy some powder snow days at Breckenridge, our favorite snowboard spot.
So besides being a dental family, we are pretty much Board-Heads.
Danielle and I define our work-life-balance as work hard – play hard. We realized pretty quickly that when running a business together with your spouse it is very important to share other things than just the business life together. So, topics and discussions after a hard day of work are not exclusively about the dental world.
And what is better than enjoying it in the outdoors in the beautiful nature. (Fig. 5) (Fig. 6)