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Published: January 25th 2018
When the weather cools here in Florida.....okay, okay I can hear the disgruntled mumbling from our Northern family and friends who truly know “cool” weather.....our park people shut themselves up in their RV’s and cottages. It gets quiet around here. Not much different than those in the North who chose to hibernate in the warmth of their homes. In Florida, a marine mammal also seeks areas of warmth during these cold spells....they are the manatee....sea cows of the south.
Yesterday, we boarded our black travel mobile and visited Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida. Here the manatee gather, en masse, in the clear water springs to stay warm. A beautiful location for visitors to observe these big sea cows floating along the glistening waters .... doing nothing. They said there was a count of 153 manatee in the water this day but we didn’t think there were that many. Maybe they had moved on to other spots... where they could again just float along and do nothing. Not really a bad life. Float around and do nothing....Lulu was thrilled to be there and called out to her new found, floating, fat friends....they ignored her. She accepted their rudeness.
Manatee Floating Around
A large plantation style house stood on the grounds near the boardwalk that took us along the waters’ edge. It had an interesting history on display as we wandered in and out of some of its rooms. If I had lived there, my favorite spot would have been on the huge wrap around porch on the second floor. I would never have left it. I love porches and this one was truly inviting. Call me a porch person!
Boat rides are available here. They take you on a two hour cruise down this big waterway...The St. John’s River. We opted out on this river ride and continued along the boarded pathway on foot...but not Lulu...no feet - so she rode in her carry bag as usual. She is getting heavy! I’m calling her a fat head! She can’t deny it.
Now, if you are following the list of “festival” events, you are asking why we went yesterday to see the manatee instead of this weekend. This coming weekend is their big, annual Manatee Festival with many various attractions besides just viewing the floating sea cows. One comment on the review page for this festival said because of
the large crowds, it would be difficult to get close enough to see the manatee. Thus...we went ahead and beat the crowds! Plus, less chance of coming in contact with a contagious flu person who would be spitting and spurring germs all over the place. Knock on wood....we have all been healthy....and we want to stay that way. Hope all of you have been well, also.
A couple of our days have been spent shopping at the many stores (besides my favorite Walmart) situated around us. This is such a convenience to us compared to at home where we have to plan “A Shopping Day” and travel a couple hours (one way) just to get there. Haven’t bought much but fun just to look. Cory & Sam enjoyed their man-time inside Harbor Freight (inexpensive tool store). Sandy & I found our happy moments inside a Bulk Nation Food Store. Here the sign said “Take Home All the Cereal in the World or Just One Cornflake”. I would take home only one cornflake cause I don’t like this kind of cereal. BUT I did find other goodies to buy. It was like an entire grocery store in bulk bins. I
bought 4 large, banana gummies, a small handful of buttered popcorn jelly beans and 1 1/2 lbs of dried apricots. All very tasty. Healthy? I wish I could share them with all of you.
We are in a Catch-22 dilemma. Every time we go out on one of these excursions, we always find ourselves topping off the day and celebrating our friendship at a restaurant. I love eating out....just love it. I don’t like cooking anymore. After all the many years of cooking meals, I think I cooked myself out....super saturated! So, dining in a restaurant and being waited on is right at the top of my favorite-things- to-do list. Of course, as you guessed, there is a downside to it. Rats! All these delicacies are piling on the pounds. Noooooo! This morning’s scale reading brought tears to my eyes and a gagging in my throat. Not pretty! I guess all the soup, breadsticks and spaghetti I devoured at The Olive Garden just didn’t dissolve into thin air.....Rats! Nor did the scrumptious half chocolate/half banana milkshake at Steak n’ Shake......Rats! Looks like something has to change. ME! ....And, obviously, what I select to order if we continue to eat
out. Rats! You play; you pay. You eat; you weep! I always order just water to drink and then make my own lemonade from it.....that’s good....but it’s everything after that which seems to be my undoing. Tonight we are dining at “Guenter’s RV Cafe”. Rats! You are welcome to join us. Just don’t bring a big appetite......Lean Cuisine is not that filling.
Hoping to compensate for the calories taken in, I tried to burn a few of them up by accompanying Cory on his morning walk. He’s more dedicated to it than I am....but it looks like that will be changing. We’ll have to hoof it together. Our walk was interesting to say the least. Nothing like our hike up the back field to our critter feeding station at home. Down here, we can meander through quaint shops and restaurants in “Old Town” and then amble amongst various amusement park rides at FunSpot. All of these spectacles are right at our front door! They recently just built a huge wooden roller coaster at FunSpot. Not my forte....my speed is the Merry-Go-Round. It all provides so much to observe and take in. You forget you are waking for a reason.
So put on your hiking boots and join us next time. See you then.
Twenty photos...you know the routine.
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