3/11/2009 to 4/11/2009
Today we left Crystal River, Fl. We have been here a month and have enjoyed our stay. The entire time we've been here, the weather has been in the high 70's and low to mid 80's. We had 2 days of scattered rain during the month. We have been so blessed to be here because the Florida panhandle where we were the whole winter has been hit hard with heavy rain while we sat in the sweet spot of great weather. Every day we walked for 30 to 40 minutes around the park with Mallery. She walked for about 8 minutes (she could not go any farther), then rode in her stroller. I spent a day cleaning and organizing stuff in our RV basement, and we spent lots of time reading. We went to the public beach, which was very small. Kind of like an Iowa beach- not very impressive.
Birdies on top of bath house
The beach looks much better in the pictures than real life, or I am just spoiled from all the other beaches we've been on.
Joe making dinner looking pretty
This little sparrow was very busy under our picnic table tearing apart this fuzz.
Another day we went to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The cost was $9.00 each and well worth it. We saw our first Manatee's, as well as bears, birds, snake, cougars, bobcat's, alligators, otter's that are indigenous to the state of Florida. The manatee's lived in a spring with a underwater observatory. They had 5 female Manatee's that all had been hurt in the wild and could not return.
Lu the Hippo, has been here for year, before the park became a state park. No one else wanted him and he was going to be put down, so the town voted to make him a honorary state citizen of Florida so he could stay at the state park. He will turn 50 in a couple years.
Another of Joe's creations
Mallery enjoying her new yard
We also went to the Fridge, restaurant on the water that had a fun atmosphere, that even allows dogs to sit at the table with you. Joe had 1/2 dozen of blue crabs for $6 and I had 1 dozen of shrimp for $10.We highly recommend the place, if you are in the area.
We took a day trip to Cedar Keys, just north of Crystal Rivers. It is a quaint little fishing town with a population of 958. In the late 1800's it had a population of 3000. Shipping, fishing, clamming, lumbering, and the first railroad that crossed Florida from the Gulf to the Atlantic, were the industry of this town. As more railroads were built, more competition increased. A hurricane hit, and the Cedar lumber was depleted. The town started to suffer. How do I know all this. We took a boat ride to several islands, and learned all this. Mallery got to go too, and did great for a first boat ride. We saw some porpoises on our ride.
We enjoyed lunch on the deck of a little restaurant.
And watch fisherman on the pier
Lastly, we drove in our car to see my niece Traci and her two girls, Falon and Cairys.The first night we just hung out at her home and she cooked a lovely meal for us. The next day Traci treated us with free tickets to Universal Studio's and Fantasy Island parks in Orlando. Traci has been working at the Hard Rock Hotel for 7 years as a bartender. To stay at the hotel which is right next to the parks, it will cost you $300 a night, but you will get express ticket to all the rides. We had a great time at the park, and Joe and I went on a few rides with Tracy and or the girls. There is something about getting older, that makes the rides you loved at youth, not as desirable and more scary. Maybe it's the signs that warn you as you stand in line, that if you have this medical condition or that medical condition you should not get on the rides. I think I'll stick to the rides with Falon and Cairys, though Falon wanted to go on the Hulk, a roller coaster ride Traci and Joe went on. Falon was not big enough for the ride. The first roller coaster ride I went on with Traci did me in for the day. Joe rode the 2nd ride with Tracy because he didn't want to look like a sissy in front of her. Traci also got us express tickets, so we could get on rides in the express lines. Instead of the average 50-60 minute wait, we got on in 10-15 minutes. This week is spring break, so the park was very busy. Joe said he almost felt guilty, walking past all the people who had been waiting so long, as we past them up in minutes, and got on the rides. It was a cool and windy day at the parks, but the day warmed up a bit by the afternoon.
Time to head home to Crystal Rivers. Thanks Traci for a fun day!
We got home last night around 9:30. We had to get Mallery out of the kennel before we left the park. Universal Studio has a kennel for only $10 a day - to 3:00 AM. What a bargin! We had a RV repair man come today to fix a few things, like a noisy AC unit, TV antenna not working, a slow leak around a pipe near the hot water tank. After 5 hours of work and $400.00, we are fixed up. No matter home or RV, things need to be maintained. Can't get away from every day problems!