Anyway... we progressed on our way down into Florida proper and I mentioned that we were nearing Crystal River. Bruce says "Isn't that where the Manatee are?". Out comes the iPad again. I found Crystal River National Park where the Manatee are featured. OK, so we have another destination!
Manatee Tour business (among other things) out of her home on a canal very near where the Manatee come in the winter. We were just in time to dash to her home, be ushered through the house into the back yard and hop aboard her small pontoon boat. We joined a Japanese couple with their (tiny) 10 year old child. They were wearing wet suits as they would be swimming with the Manatee. We opted for the dry tour as it's still just COLD! Check out this picture, look closely at the water's surface near the shore. Those bumps you see are our first glimpse of the Manatee. They come up into these canals where the water is warm near hot springs. They just "hang out".
Three Sisters, where the Manatee converge in the warm spring waters. They are protected by a refuge area where they may go to get away from the reaching hands of people, but they can (and do) also come out and play with the crowds who come to see them here.
The Japanese family got into the water and disappeared up into the cove where the real fun is, but we were more than adequately entertained by these looming hulks drifting right under our feet.
This was just a brief interlude in our day and we were soon on our way. After collecting the Japanese family, we returned to the dock and said our goodbyes. Pavla felt like family and we vowed to return.
Hotel Indigo. We were WOWed with the decor! From the front entrance to the bathroom, this place was Done UP!. I was tickled to fall into the sumptuous bed with piles of pillows. I made Bruce sleep on the other bed just so I could luxuriate in peace...
We spent a quiet night with Chick-Fil-A in the room for dinner, watched some TV, caught up on the Blogosphere and turned in. It had been a long and full day. Tomorrow, we explore St. Pete!