We went to “Three Sisters Springs” in Crystal River this past weekend. It was one of their “free” days. We try to go to these whenever possible–especially when we have guests! Otherwise, the only way to get into the park is to pay to ride the trolley from the Visitor’s Center.
This time the buses were running from the Manatee Festival in Crystal River. We went to the Manatee Festival a few years ago specifically to get on the bus and go to the park. By the time we had got through the crowds to the pick up spot, there was a very long line. We left and drove to a shopping plaza that’s directly across the street and walked into the park.
This year the charge for the Manatee Festival is $5.00. And it was really cold. So we parked at the plaza and walked in. Along with dozens of other people that had figured this out.
We went to the park back in December with Lauri, Piper, and Adley but it was a warm day and the manatees were out catching the rays somewhere else.
But Saturday was a cloudy, windy, COLD day, and the manatees were on view all along the boardwalk!
The boardwalk goes by the Three Sisters (Big Sister, Little Sister, and Pretty Sister) and Idiot’s Delight. A path continues from the boardwalk to Magnolia Springs. This was the first time we walked down to Magnolia. According to the guide, Magnolia is a deep spring so the manatees just float on top of the water.
Like I said, it was cold. Here’s Terry and Phil Prior and my Terry. Terry and Phil were visiting us from South Carolina–no manatees there!
The cold didn’t keep the tourists away!
It was a great day with good friends. But we were happy to get out of the cold!
Yesterday Maggie took us for a chilly walk down the Chassahowitzka Salt Marsh birding trail. She wouldn’t let me take her picture because I made her wear a sweater and she was embarrassed. So I snapped a pic of the Lastinger Tower at the end of the trail.
I was making Christmas quilts for all of our children this year. HA!
I finished one and gave it as a wedding gift last week. (What! Where are my priorities!) We ran into her at the grocery store today and she told me how much she LOVED it! (Sorry adult child that won’t be getting that one but she was really happy!)
I did ALMOST get one done for Lauri and Alan. I’ll be finished this morning. Yippee! Now I’ve got to ship it to North Dakota. Two day priority usually takes four days to ND but I’m hoping that it gets there before she puts the Christmas decor away! I’ve only been working on these quilts since August! Thought this would be easy peasy since I had so much time. Whoops! I should stay home more!
I guess I’ll give the other three kids IOUs.
I probably told you about our Children’s Christmas Outreach. Of course I did! Between the Homosassa Civic Club, The Old Mill Tavern, the Homosassa Rotary, and Cayla’s Coats, we bought gifts for 40 families–104 CHILDREN! “Wrapping the presents” day was on Tuesday (because the Old Mill is closed only that day) Started about 1 pm and all the presents were suitably attired by 4:30!
Then the parents/guardians started picking them up Wednesday morning at the Homosassa Civic Club. Volunteers were there to hand out the gifts. So much stuff! Many parents were in tears that the organizations had been so generous. I’m sad because so many of our neighbors are in so much need. But happy that all these kids will get something from Santa.
The civic club also had a Christmas Party for the Homosassa Children. The Coolest Santa ever was there with his wife. (Gotta say that Mrs. Claus looked at me and said “I know you!” and I shouted out that “I’ve been really good this year!”)
So much fun!
And all the volunteers. BIG SHOUT OUT! We can’t do it without these people. And when I look at this photo I not only see Homosassa Civic Club volunteers but lets talk about all the other groups. From the left, there’s Jackie that volunteers for the Good News Club and the Old Homosassa Learning Center. Hiding behind her is Steve Minguy–head of the Homosassa River Restoration Project, me, Judy Biston–part of so many charitable groups I can’t even list them, Cindy Minguy–volunteers at the Learning Center and does website and everything else for the Homosassa River Restoration Project, Iris Rose–Homosassa River Alliance and Access to the River Committee, Robby, Homossa Civic Club Member and all around volunteer for everything, Barb Fletcher–I can’t even list everything but she is on every charitable group everywhere, Tim Gatto, clown and chairman of the house committe, FRONT ROW, Rhonda Yent–chairperson of the arts and crafts of the Homosassa Arts, Crafts, and Seafood Festival plus chairperson of the Children’s Outreach, Donna Fletcher, volunteer for everything, and Christine Stuckie, treasurer of the Civic Club and will do anything that is EVER NEEDED!
Along with many other people that weren’t in the photo (Terry had just gone home to get ready for the next event!) We have a GREAT COMMUNITY! It’s totally amazing how much everyone gives back.
Have a great weekend and a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!