Gosh I sure wish that each of you could join me for a spell while I am here on Florida’s Nature Coast. There seems to be no end to the list of fun things to do here. On Christmas Day, Matt, Sherry and I spend the morning at Weeki Wachee. You may already know this is the home of the Mermaids. Expecting a rundown, holdover from the 1960’s we are pleased to discover this attraction is a newly renovated Florida State park. The mermaids amaze us with their impressive abilities to breathe underwater while performing, singing and dancing! To complete our non-traditional celebration, we have Thai food at a nearby restaurant for Christmas lunch.
During the holiday weeks, tourists swarm to the springs to see Manatees. In the tradition of good news, bad news scenarios, the Christmas weather here warms up nicely making a swim with the manatees more tolerable. The bad news is that the manatees desert the warm springs when the shallow Gulf water is heated by tropical temps. They take advantage of the warming trend to enjoy the seagrass buffet filled open, uncrowded waters of the Gulf.
Human visitors to this area are left with only the option of playing with my fellow kayaking volunteers and me at the warm springs. Disappointed by this turn of events and upset that they traveled so far to see me instead of a manatee, the crowds get very restless. My arms are feeble from attempting to row into the fray and maintain order in the holiday aquatic frenzy.
Seeking respite from the raucous hordes, Matt, Sherry, myself and others take a few side trips to more peaceful parts of the coast. We paddle the (no I can’t pronounce it either), take a pontoon ride in the RiverCrystal River Preserve State Park, stroll through the Christmas lights at Ellie Schiller State Park in addition to our Weeki Wachee visit. Thanks to Buffy and Captain Mike at Crystal River Preserve for an entertaining and wildlife filled tour (and that is not even including the animals we saw!)
Check out the photos below of our adventures.
One last note – if you find yourself longing to enjoy some of the warm winter weather and lovely scenery here on the Nature Coast and you can get down here before the middle of February, give me a call. I would love to host your visit!