Monday, February 10, 2014

Fun with friends

This past week, our friends Shelly and Bob invited nine of us from the park to come over for buggy rides. Their friends, Denny and Lavyrle, have a winter home near the Goethe State Forest complete with RV hook-ups, horses, and buggies.  We could not have asked for a better day weather wise....warm temperatures and blue skies - not typical of what we have been seeing this winter in Florida.
Off we go!  We had a total of three buggies!

Ed and our driver...."Stick"

Our Mules.....Bailey and Boomer

Having fun on the buggy ride!
 We meandered through the woods and visited two of Shelly and Bob's friends that lived close by.
Group shot of the girls that went on the buggy ride.

I didn't get an organized shot of the guys! 
Sunny skies!
One of the stops we made was at a farm that had Percherons (a type of horse that the owners race).  The buggies that they use are beautiful....
Bob checking out one of the buggies

Majestic (and big!) horses

Dan was in awe with their brand new tractors!
Headed home

A wonderful ride on the trails!
After we got back to Bob and Shelly's, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner.  It was a great day with friends!!

Last Tuesday, we went to Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River to go kayaking with the manatees.  It was another beautiful day and were happy to have two nice back-to-back days weather-wise!!  We loaded up the gear in the vehicles and nine of us were on our way.

Sure hope this isn't the only manatee that we see!

Putting in the yaks!
It wasn't the easiest place to put our kayaks in but it worked and soon we were on the water!
It was a beautiful day to be on the water

We had to paddle in a tunnel!! 
There were a TON of people on the water that day.  And, I mean a ton.  They were in kayaks, canoes, personal boats, commercial boats, swimmers, and snorkelers.  At some points, it made it difficult to maneuver the kayak.  But alas, we were rewarded with what we came for!
This big manatee floated by right in front of us.
There is an area roped off that you can't enter and there were a ton of manatees congregating there.   Signs were posted not to harass, touch, prod, etc etc the manatees and trust me, there were spotters located on the boardwalk to ensure that this did not happen.  There were also "manatee watchers" that were counting the number of manatee in the water.

The springs were actually open for paddlers and some of our group ventured in to do this. Dan, Gin, Syl, and I couldn't fit our kayaks between the posts (used to close off the springs) so we  hung back.  Gin and Syl sought shade while Dan and I motored about.....

Should we trade in the kayak for this lovely boat?  :-) 

Pete's Pier in Crystal River
Pelicans were everywhere!
We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the water....this was the perfect spot!

We saw several manatees floating by but it was a bit hard to capture them in a picture as the water was quite dark.  We paddled a bit more and the weather started looking like it could get cranky so we headed back to our put-in point.
Ed, Dan, Gin, Syl, Tricia, Maggie, Pete, Vel, and Carol
It was a great day on the water.

Life is good!


  1. We've launched from that same graceful way to get in and out at all :-). It's a beautiful spot but yes, very crowded. Still hoping to get up to Cedar key and visit Pelican Place.

  2. What a lovely couple of days!! Can't wait to see you in a week...let us know what day and time works for the rest of you.

  3. Looks like good times. Both doing fun and unique kinds of things with big groups of friends. Very nice!

  4. How fun! I can't wait to get out FT this summer and hopefully winter in FL this year. We love to kayak and that looks like a great place!

  5. Gotta take advantage of the gorgeous days since there really have not been that many. Just to be outside with friends is great.

  6. The buggy rides look like great fun! The kayak paddle too. I really think the swan boat was made for you guys :) I'm sure McGiver could make that into something even more fabulous :)

  7. How much fun was that! You guys seem to find fun :-)

  8. What fun! I would have loved the horse farm and the paddle with the manatees would have been awesome!