Thursday, February 27, 2014

Time flies when you're having fun!

I really wonder how I ever had time to work!!  But then again, when I worked, I wasn't perfecting the art of piddling, gazing at the birds, exercising regularly and taking time to smell the roses!  ;-)

We've been incredibly busy since the last post and I am quite sure that I will leave something out of the list of things we have done!  We have had a birthday party (Maggie!), held a celebration of life for our friend Marty, kayaked the Rainbow with friends, biked in Cedar Key to check on the owls and eagle, and have participated in a bunch of activities at the park.  Dan has also put new tires on the rig, gotten new bearings pressed, and installed a hydraulic thing-a-ma-jiggy!

For Maggie's birthday, a group of us went to "The Freezer" in Homosassa for a late lunch.  The place has gotten great reviews and is a hit with the locals.  The place was packed when we got there and the crowds never really thinned out.  The menu is not expansive but the food is yummy.  I managed to eat over a pound of steamed shrimp all by myself!  ;-)  And a few garlic butter chicken wings that were wonderful.   After lunch, we hit a few geocaches in the area. That night, back at the clubhouse, we had cake and ice cream.
Happy Birthday Maggie!
She loved her cake!
We had gotten a copy of a picture of Maggie mimicking Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation. There was one scene when Eddie was emptying the black tank in the street drain.  Maggie did a great job of imitating Cousin Eddie so we had to take advantage of it!!

We also had a group of friends get together for a celebration of life for our friend Marty.  Marty passed away in September and her presence is missed at the park.
Dot, Cliff, Connie, Tammy, Maggie, Syl, Rod
Tricia, Dan, Gin (Vel was taking the picture; not sure how we missed Charlie!)
 Everyone brought "nosh" (appetizer/snack) and Charlie and I grilled pizzas.
Getting the pizzas ready to grill

Chef Charlie
Dot and Rod enjoying pizza; Gin acting silly!
After pizza, Dan lit a campfire....

We all had wine corks and one by one, threw them in the fire and shared a special memory of Marty.  We know that she was smiling down on us.

We joined our friends Nancy and Bill and Gail and Rick for a paddle on the Rainbow River.  Gin, Syl, Dan and I packed lunches and headed over to Rainbow Springs State Park.  The weather was absolutely perfect!  We ate lunch at Nancy and Bill's campsite and then enjoyed paddling (or motoring!) the river.  It was great catching up with everyone.

The next day, Nancy and Bill and Gail and Rick came to Cedar Key for a bike ride.    We enjoyed eating lunch at Pelican Place (our patio area!).
Smiles and laughter at Pelican Place
The bikes were packed up and we drove down to the marina in Cedar Key.  It was a perfect day for a bike ride.
Taking in the sights
We were on a mission to see if the eagles and owls were in their nests.  It was our lucky day!
Papa Owl close by.....watching the nest 
The owlets had hatched since the last time we were there.  We got glimpses of their downy heads but I was not quick enough to get their picture.
Mama Owl - we think there are two owlets
We watched them for awhile and then pedaled off to check on the eagle's nest.

Wow - the baby eagles have gotten so big!
These guys were moving all around the nest,ducking in and poking out.  They would walk around the edges as well.  Mama eagle was close by watching them/.

We pedaled out to the airport and actually saw a plane land.  We then started our way back to the marina....taking in the sites along the way.
Pier on the left; the old Honeymoon Cottage on the right
The group parked their bikes to check out the pier.
Plenty of people were fishing and Bill and Rick got some pointers from the fishermen.  Gin was having fun with the pelicans.
Pelican whisperer! 
We really enjoyed showing Bill, Nancy, Gail and Rick Cedar Key.  With hugs, we bid everyone "safe travels" and know that we will see them again soon. ;-)

We have six more weeks left before we hit the road again.  Hitch itch has not yet set in since we are staying so busy but I know that those six weeks will fly by.


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!