Tag Archives: winter

The Great Florida Manatee Migration of 2018

Last week Florida experienced winter for the first time in 4 years, at least that’s what the news was reporting.

I’m sure you probably saw the memes floating around social media: Floridians can handle category 4 hurricanes, but not winter. But hey, human beings weren’t the only ones struggling. Iguanas were literally falling from trees it was so cold, and manatees were making their way to warmer waters to get some cuddle time in.

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Blue Spring State Park is a designated manatee refuge. When temperatures drop, the manatees make their way into the natural springs to stay warm. Water temperatures in the springs are a consistent 73 degrees year round.  During my visit, there were 495 manatees in Blue Spring.

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That’s a record!!!

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It sure was an amazing sight, seeing them slowly swimming along the banks, seeking out sunlight. Some were even playing in the waters.

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These manatees were putting on a show for us, rolling around, doing flips and even flopping their flippers in and out of the water.

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If you plan on visiting Blue Spring State Park, keep in mind, it can reach capacity quickly so try to go early. Besides manatee viewing, there is also a boat tour and museum.

The guided St. John’s River Cruise is both relaxing and informational, plus you’re sure to get a glimpse of even more wildlife and beautiful landscapes. Again, try to get there early.

Then take a self-guided tour through the Thursday House, built in 1872. The Thursbys left New York and arrived at Blue Spring by steamboat and became the spring’s first permanent settlers.

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They sure had an amazing view, one you should check out for yourself.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Blue+Spring+State+Park/@28.7292105,-81.6367863,9z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x88e70fff6a1481c9:0x6d9b3334ffafdb6a!8m2!3d28.9481475!4d-81.3379668

Camping, scuba diving and nature trails are also available at Blue Spring State Park.

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Just a Walk in the Park

I am a huge fan of getting lost in a park; wandering for hours until I have to somehow recall which path or paths I must take to find my way back.

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On my recent trip to London, which was a business trip, I was lucky enough to have just enough down time to explore a few of the parks the city had to offer. Just a few short blocks from my hotel were Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.  I made my way through Queen’s Gate, a large maroon colored gate that separated the busy streets of London and the vibrant green openness.

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Imagine a large city and all the noisy traffic, once you pass through the gates it’s as if you have wandered into another land, a peaceful, quiet one.  Each time I would visit I knew I was on a bit of a time limit so I couldn’t wander too far, which I would have loved, so I would carefully choose a path I could remember. I have a pretty good sense of direction, but the size of the park and the lack of my google maps would have made it difficult to make it back if I were to stroll too far.  On my first visit, I took the path to the left which led me to Kensington Palace where Will and Kate live. I was planning on having tea with them, but I heard they were out of town. I cannot believe they didn’t let me know beforehand, oh well.

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I wandered the grounds of the palace a bit before i set back on the path further into the gardens. The trees were bare from the cold winter, but the grass was still bright green and colorful flowers were beginning to bloom. Everyone in London was saying it felt like spring, but being a Floridian, it felt like winter to me.

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As I walked, I passed the Prince Albert statue and Royal Albert Hall before I decided to make my way back to the hotel in time for dinner.

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I felt energized and refreshed. It’s so nice to just have time to yourself to think and enjoy your surroundings because so often we are stuck behind a computer all day.  I saw a lot of people on bikes, riding through the park. Next time I come to London I want to do that.

The Kensington Hotel was an ideal place to stay due to its close proximity to the parks, tube station and many of London’s museums.

The weather in London was beautiful!  I cannot wait to go back (or at least relive it in my next few posts).

Cheerio!

 

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Photo of the Day: New York Central Park

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Brrr….it’s cold outside, but I captured a great photo so it’s ok if I freeze to death.

I ventured into the bitter cold of Central Park in the middle of a New York winter because I find the snow covered ground absolutely breathtaking, especially right before sunset.

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Sadly since it was right before sunset, I didn’t get to wander too far into Central Park, but I was still able to get some good photos and get a nice breath of fresh air (and some numb fingers).

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I’m a Florida girl and we don’t see sights like this, unless we travel out of state, so I was determined to take advantage of it.

Time to warm up…until next time 🙂

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