So I have now been in Florida since April 22nd and it has been a warm, relaxing time to the very hot, very muggy day today. But, that is Florida. Spring is over and summer is here.
Today, my stay in Crystal River is the focus of my writing. In summary, I loved this quirky town. You have pockets of tourism mixed with the feel of a cute town with the more laid-back areas that lay outside of this sometimes overwhelming structure of “go, go, go” of tourism. This is a great place to vacation, but I wondered if it would be a good place to stay awhile too.
I had a great visit and I actually got to go swimming in the bay with some manatees! Something I have been wanting to do ever since I started coming to Naples, Florida to visit my parents over 20 years ago. I loved floating around playing “don’t touch me” with the manatees, twisting and turning to avoid touching them! They blend in so well with the bottom that all of sudden you are right over the top of them while they are floating up to the surface to breath in some air. But they are so cute! Saw a mom, dad and baby in one group. It was so sad though, the mom was very badly injured by a boat rotor (at least one). I wondered how in the world she survived to have a baby! In another grouping we say about 8 of them resting on the bottom of the bay.
The next day I want on an airboat cruise out to the gulf. Didn’t see a lot of wildlife (a manta ray, a turtle and some coral) but the ride was so beautiful! Wove through the river and the mangrove islands and out into the bay. I haven’t been on an airboat yet, so one more box checked off!
My last visit was to Three Sisters Springs for a walk, and to stop and eat of course! Lots of fun places to eat at around here. Beautiful place to walk at, but no access to the beautiful waterway for cooling off! Although you could see where a few walked around the signs. Definitely some of the most beautiful water I have seen here.
Homosassa Springs is a must-see spot in this area. Saw a couple manatees here, but it really wasn’t the season for them. Primarily it is the variety of local wildlife and all the birds! So pretty.
And of course, my last stop on the way Naples was visiting the Veteran’s Cemetery just east of Crystal River. It was a beautiful drive over here, through what would be called the hill country in Florida. So very glad I took the back roads to avoid the toll road!
Now, I am in Naples Florida until the end of May, visiting family, seeing my favorite, beautiful, smart, strong-willed niece get married to a wonderful man, and spending a lot of time with my Mom. More time than I have in years probably. It has been, for the most part, so relaxing and a great time. It just goes so fast! Too fast….