It's about time.

Many of you that can relate to this. Working long hours at your career. Raising your families. Buying a home and paying all the bills related to being homeowners and parents. We're now retired and don't need all that work and expense. Now "It's about time" to follow our dreams.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Very WWWonderful Day.

Our Location today is Crystal River, Florida.

To say we were a little anxious to get started this morning was probably an understatement. What that also meant is we spent more time awake than sleeping last night yet we were both ready for breakfast before 8:00 this morning. After eating and quickly checking our E-mails Kathy pack a small picnic lunch for us to bring with us on our adventure. By shortly after 9:00 we were out the door and on our way.
Internet didn't say you needed a watercraft to get in the Refuge.
Kathy had read online about Crystal River Wildlife Refuge being a great place to visit and to be able to get fairly close with some of the state’s animal inhabitants. There was even somebody that gave it high praises as the place to go. The GPS had no trouble taking us the seven miles to the location but once we were inside the office we were set straight. The only way of accessing the refuge is by water craft not by land. We were redirected to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.
This is the park to go for real natural wildlife.
Bob the boat driver.
Another three miles down the road and we had arrived at the place we should have gone in the first place. We started by taking the boat tour that meandered its way through the natural habitats that many of the different species live in. Our guide Bob was very informative and answered many questions from the people on board. At the other end of the line we disembarked and actually had to cross a road that runs through the park to go through the Visitors Center before entering the animal compound.
It was well laid out and the paths took you from one display to another. They had different Educational program sessions every hour on the half. They explained the reasoning behind why the Manatees come to the warm waters of Florida during the winter months and their diets. On the Wildlife Encounters they spoke of the bears, wolves, foxes, bobcats, panthers and otters and their contributions to the Florida ecological system. They continued about the different birds such as the Ibis, herons, spoonbills, egrets, flamingos, pelicans, owls and ospreys that were also part of Florida’s history.
The last Educational session was on the alligators and crocodiles of Florida and they also talked of Lu. During the early days of filming movies they used captured domesticated exotic animals in many of those films. In the winter those animals needed to be kept in a warm climate such as Florida. However when those animals were no longer needed for the films they were abandoned so many ended up being adopted by zoos across the country where they were shipped to because Florida only wanted to keep animals native to the state in the refuge.
Unfortunately no zoos want a 6,000 lb hippopotamus who once was a movie star. The state Florida then had to declare Lu a natural citizen of the state so he can live out the rest of his days in the climate he has become used to. On January 25th the refuge will be celebrating Lu’s 53rd birthday so if you are in the neighborhood of Crystal River on that day stop by the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and help Lu celebrate his birthday.
Bob Bates volunteering at 80 years young.
Bob Bates was the driver for our tram ride back to our vehicles and again at 80 years young was a wealth of information and humor. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.


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You've ever bought lingerie at a yard sale.


  1. looks like you did have a 'wonderful day'..Lu is one lucky hippo!!

  2. Wow...that looks like a great place to visit!

  3. A great fun day in the Florida sunshine.

  4. I love to visit nature-oriented places like you've shown.