Winter hibernation is the excuse for the neglected blog. Spring has sprung and the blog is back. Our winter in Florida does not mean we will end our US and worldwide travels. In fact, we have already begun planning several amazing journeys for late 2017.
December in Florida was filled with holiday light displays with a southern twist; most notably the lit palm trees and the Hawaiian-shirted Santa. Balmy evenings allow viewing the lights in t-shirts and shorts. There have been multiple water parades with elaboratly decorated boats along the intercostal waterway. Several towns, including downtown St. Augustine, have a tradition called Nights of Lights.
The chill in the ocean and rivers send many of the manatee herds to the temperate springs off the St John River. We visited Blue Springs in Orange, Florida. Blue Springs State Park is a designated manatee refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. We counted over 150 manatees while we walked along the springs. There is such a joy and peace watching the herds loll about in the transparent springs. The manatee don’t mind sharing their space with gators, several schools of large fish and plant life not to mention many human onlookers.
Early spring blooms brought us to the Morikami Botanical Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. Morikami has been a center for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida since 1977. The Morikami gardens include expansive Japanese gardens with strolling paths, resting areas, a bonsai collection and koi filled ponds.
Now that it is officially Spring, we will explore other unique offerings. Next up Worm Gruntin! Yes…really, worm grunting. Stay tuned.