Sunday, January 25, 2009

Walking on the Beach

Our days in Florida are drawing to a close soon. We plan to leave Sat. Jan. 31 so we can be in Tuscaloosa in time to see Jessica and Dexter (Derek?) on Sun. before they go back to Birmingham. So we've been doing some long walks on the beach here. One day it was about 6 miles and another day maybe only 4 or 5 miles. The miles go by nicely because the scenery is beautiful. To get a picture of us walking on the beach we got a couple who was on the beach fishing. They put their poles in pole holders of some sort and fish right from the beach. They mostly fish for whiting. They say it's good eating. Here is the picture they took of us. It was a little chilly that day. I've learned you have to dress in layers some days so you'll see me in layers. Bob, on the other hand, dresses the way he dresses and bears the heat or the cold or whatever comes his way. I'm the whimp and want to have options.

Notice the beautiful blue water and white sand. There is also red sand on a lot of the beach in our area. I think it comes from some sort of sea algae.
No surfers, whales, dolphins, sharks or swimmers in the background. The signs said the water was about 52 degrees. I wouldn't be in that water either. The air temp was probably in the 60's. Nice.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Manatees at Blue Springs State Park

We continue to enjoy the Florida weather with temps of 60's and 70's. Glad we're not in Iowa where it's been below zero. We miss friends and family, but it's a sacrifice we are making. Right or wrong.

We took a short trip to Blue Springs State Park yesterday. This is where a spring flows continuously with water temp of 72 degrees. It's just perfect for the manatees who live there during the winter because of the warm water temp.

We saw a lot of manatees so I did get some pictures, but the best picture opt escaped me because my camera's batteries went dead and I did not have new ones. But I did buy some new ones and was able to get other pictures, just not the best ones I could have had if I had batteries at just the right time.

Manatees are mammals. They are sometimes called sea cows or sea elephants. They have a thick skin but little blubber or hair. They remind me of hippos. They go under water for a while and then surface to breathe. They can stay under for about 20 minutes, but ususally they come up for air about every 5 minutes or so. They share the care of the calves, they are social and help each other out as needed (ex. if one is sick or injured), and they can survive in fresh water or sea water. In fact as they go from salt water to fresh water and back and forth, the organisms that collect on their bodies are killed because the salt water organisms cannot survive the fresh water and the fresh water organisms cannot survive the salt water. Anyway they are so ugly only their mothers could love them I guess.

Here are some pictures:

Bob and Lucy on the boardwalk at Blue Springs State Park.

Origin of the spring at Blue Springs

Since the water at the springs is so clear you can see the manatees quite well.

This is what manatees like to do most, just float and be lazy.

Buddies hanging out together. Sometimes as many as 150 will huddle to share the warm places.

Coming up for air.

A bunch of manatees were hanging out by this island with a palm tree, and they were coming up and eating the leaves. Yum Yum.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Swimming In Outdoor Pool

Not to rub it in, but the big news lately is that Lucy got to swim in an outdoor pool on Jan. 5 and 6. The water temp was 83 or 85 and the air temp was upper 70's. That's very do-able.

A gentleman who was swimming asked if I was posing for Playboy. I replied, "Oh, you recognize me?"

This is my Esther Williams pose.

There she goes!!!!!!! What form!!!!!!
Meanwhile, although there are no pictures as proof, Bob has been working for his sister. He has painted her master bedroom and her master bathroom. He has also taken out her two old sinks and faucets and replaced them with new ones. He also installed a new headboard she bought for her bed. It all looks very nice. Bob also makes time to go for walks, ride his bicycle, and go to interesting events in the area.

ONe night we got all dressed up to go to an arts festival at a swanky hotel. They were going to serve complimentary drinks and hors doorves (sp) and inform the public of the arts in the area and probably to get people to support the arts, but when we got there we discovered it had been canceled. Guess why? It conflicted with the Florida vs Oklahoma football game to determine 1st place. Pretty ironic I think. Arts vs Sports. Well we know what wins out.

Well Charlene, Bob's sister, seems to still be able to tolerate us being in her home. We enjoy her company and have enjoyed our visit here. Our plans are to be here till the end of the month. Then we will be off to Alabama for a couple of days and then to Susie's in San ANtonio till the end of winter which is probably May.

When we see the weather reports in Iowa, we are very happy to be in Florida instead of fighting snow, ice, and cold weather.

Happy Birthday to Al and Rosemary and to Drew. Congratulations to Cassie and Mike for the birth of their new son, Wyatt Thomas Shoup. Our family continues to grow and to age. That's a good thing.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

We wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope it is filled with hope, love, and peace.

Here are some pictures of us enjoying riding our bicycles. Notice the background. The picture with just me is on one of our favorite routes.

Retirement and Snowbird life continues to be great.
One concern. I see that is for sale so I don't know how long this site will be available. It has been fun to keep everyone posted as to our travels,and hopefully we'll be able to continue to do so. Otherwise we'll have to find another form to use.
And congratulations to Cassie and MIke on their new arrival. Hugs and kisses to all.