Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Manatees, Pelicans, Eagles, and Owls...oh my!

Although the weather has been a little less ideal that we like it in Florida, we have managed to stay quite busy!

In early January, we met about 20+ other RVers at Crackers in Crystal River for lunch.  It was a mixture of old friends as well as some we had not before.  We enjoyed a great meal and it was fantastic getting caught up on what everyone has been up to.

One Saturday, we went to the Manatee Festival in Crystal River with Syl, Maggie, Vel, Ed,and Diane.

The day was cool but the sun was shining brightly.  We walked around the streets of the festival and had typical fair food for lunch.  Boy - our guts sure aren't used to all of that!  We did not even eat dinner that night.  We opted not to take a tour on a boat ($10 a person) and took the free shuttle bus over to Three Sisters Springs to see the manatees and they did not disappoint.
Those grayish blobs are manatees! 
We walked along the board walk and had wonderful views of these gentle giants.

One good thing about this cooler weather is that the manatee congregate in the Springs where the temperature stays consistent year round.

A beautiful place to kayak
We all agreed that we needed to come back to kayak Three Sisters Springs....we didn't think it would be enjoyable to kayak with the manatees and thousands of your closest people friends during the festibal!

It was a great day with great friends!

Quite a bit of time has been spent on creating a very special place....

A few years ago, Gin, Syl, Dan and I named ourselves "the pelicans".  Pelicans are kinda goofy (like us), not too coordinated (like most of us), and seem to be happy go lucky (like us!).  Not to underestimate the amount of work (or to simplify it in anyway - it was quite the effort by Syl and Dan and our friend Charlie - Gin and I were great supervisors!), but after brush was cleared, the sand base leveled, pavers installed, and a few cosmetic enhancements, we have one heckuva nice patio between our two rigs. And, it's complete with a wood shed, fire pit, and a  hitching post (to hold drinks, nosh, and whatnot).
Enjoying the day and Pelican Place

Ariel view of Pelican Place
It's very cozy, secluded, and a wonderful place to enjoy a campfire.

We have also been bike riding in Cedar Key a few times.  Yesterday, we went out with Syl and Maggie. We parked at the marina and pedaled to the cemetery and onto the boardwalk that overlooks the sound.  There were a few ladies there walking their dogs and mentioned that the owl's nest (which we found a few years ago), was active again.  Sure enough, you could see one of the great horned owls in the nest.  They said that there are eggs there and should be hatching in the next few weeks.  Well - alrighty then, we will definitely have to keep an eye out for babies!

Maggie had also mentioned that she had heard that there was a bald eagle's nest near the state park.  So, off we pedaled.  We were cruising down a side street when Syl and I spotted the HUGE nest (much larger than the owl's nest!) with a white head poking out.  We got turned around and parked the bikes.  The four of us watched the bald eagle and saw that she was feeding her baby (or babies).  It was absolutely amazing to see. Of course, I didn't have my camera with me but know that we will be back to watch some more and will get pictures then.

We have said it a thousand times...there sure is something special about Cedar Key.  There are no chain restaurants or motels (or even a stoplight!), just a small, quaint village that reminds many folks of Key West back in the 50s or 60s.  It's very laid back and bicycle friendly.  We just love our winter home!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Time to update the blog!!

You would think with the weather being so cold the past few days, that I would have had time to update the blog before now.  Well - not so much.  Seems even when we plan on hunkering down due to the cold weather, we find something else to do!

We had a very nice holiday with friends.  Christmas Eve was spent with four other couples.  Our hosts, Shelly and Bob, had moved from the RV park to a private residence near Goethe State Forest. They put on quite a spread for all of us!
Rod and Tammy

Charlie and Dot

John and Marcella

Shelly and Bob

After dinner, we played several rounds of golf (the card game).  It seemed like it was non-stop laughs.
Fun times with friends

Surely this is not one of Santa's elves!

Tammy laughing so hard she had to hold her head!

On Christmas Day, we shared a meal up at the clubhouse with about 40 other people.  It was good fellowship, the food was delicious and we left with our bellies full.

Sunset on Christmas Day
I did get some pictures from family back in NC.  That was neat since we weren't there in person....
Daughter Ashleigh and Son Brandon

Brandon and DIL Amanda

Voyce Family!
Barbara, Cathy, Mom, Dad, Elaine and my "baby" brother, Patrick!

Mom and Dad and some of their grandkids!
Sammie, Nick, Brandon, and Ashleigh 
A few days after Christmas, we got new neighbors!!

Here they come!
Our good friends, Gin and Syl, have bought the RV lot right next to us.  We are so glad!  We have a little secluded area between our lots that we have deemed "Pelican Place".  We have a fire pit that we have put to good use and know that we will have many, many good times here. Welcome friends!

New Year's Eve was fun!  Music, food, drink, friends.  It can't get much better than that!


Gin and I wearing our Mickey smiles and ears!

Cliff and Connie

Dave and Debbie

Dan and Charlie

Maggie and Vel

Dan, Joan, and Lee

Dan, Vel and DJ Gin

Dan and Trica - Mo and Mac in the background 

Debbie got Cliff to dance! 

Girls just wanna have fun (and we did!!)!

Silly Beans getting her groove on!  

Debbie and I moving on the dance floor!

Dan and I did not make it to midnight!  But, we did have a fun New Year's Eve!!

To all our family and friends, here's to a healthy and happy 2014!!