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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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday.

Our Location today is Sugar Loaf Key, Florida, USA.

As stated in yesterday’s blog post Kathy had made plans that would keep us busy for the day and she was right. We enjoyed our breakfast and didn’t even take the time to look at our computers this morning. By 9:00 we were already driving north on Highway 1 heading towards Marathon Key.
Our first stop was the Dolphin Research Center located at 58901 Overseas Highway Marathon Key (mile marker 59). Cost is $25.00 per adult but with our Auto Club Membership the cost was only $22.00 each. Strangely they didn’t give the Seniors discounts but the parking was free.
One of the many Dolphin pens.
Unlike the Turtle Hospital that we visited last year also in Marathon Key they only had a couple of rescued Dolphins that are now residents of the center. Most of their Dolphins have been born and raised in captivity and have been used for studies of their mental abilities. These Dolphins are well cared for by being given the best medical care to be certain they are in good health.
During the research phase most of the Dolphins are trained little tricks that earn them treats. If they do the trick incorrectly they get an open hand shown to them with no treat. But in order to help pay for this research the Center puts on little demonstrations that if you pay higher than the normal admission cost you can interact in small groups swimming with the dolphins. There are periodic announcements telling you of different demonstrations at the different pens but in the end you are seeing a repeat of the last performance just with different dolphins performing.
A family interacting with a Dolphin.
We were surprised that they gave a slide show not about Dolphins but about Manatees. They were very knowledgeable about those wonderful creatures that Kathy and I have swam with twice so far. Another surprise was that they didn’t recognize the Manatee Hospital at Homosassa Springs State Park that we know has rehabilitated many Manatees. All in all the experience was very educational and for families a great way for the children to safely interact with Dolphins.
Everyone needs a hug once in a while.
It was nearly 1:00 by the time we left the research center and Kathy’s sugar was dropping and her head was starting to spin so we needed to eat. As we pulled out of the parking lot at the research center we spotted The Wreck Galley & Grill right next door. We pulled in to the lot that was full of vehicles but followed another vehicle around the building only to end up in the parking lot at the Dolphin Research Center.
Jumping together.
After parking in the same spot we’d just pulled out from we walked over to the Wreck Galley & Grill. Kathy enjoyed a Turkey BLT and I had a Caribbean Fish Sandwich and they were both really good and reasonably priced.
Did you know that Dolphins also study Human Behavior.
Kathy set the GPS for our next destination but for some reason it took us in the opposite direction bringing us to mile marker 63 and a chained up gate that said Private Property, Go Away. Heading back towards mile marker 50 we traveled only half the distance before getting stuck in bumper to bumper traffic that was due to a traffic accident a block away from our destination.
At the Crane Point Museum Nature Center and Historic Site (mile marker 50) the entrance to the small parking lot was very tight and hard to see. After getting parked and paying our $11.00 each we were rushed onto the last mobile tour of the day of the grounds by a very knowledgeable guide. He had information about all the different trees and plant life in the area. He explained the height of the ground and what happens to the region during times of storm surge from hurricanes.
Different types on Mangrove trees.
We were brought back to the Crane home that was a building before its time in the early 1950’s and before the need of Building Permits and Environmental Assessments. It was around this time that the camera battery I’d been using all day decided it was through for the day and I’d left the spare in the truck.
Cacti growing among Mangroves.
We were also brought to a small bird hospital sanctuary. Many of the birds here will never be returned to the wild due to their disabling injuries. As we were about to leave we noticed jars labelled for the last five years all filled with fishing lures and line that have be removed from rescued birds.
The Crane house now deemed unsafe for living in
due to structural issues.
We also saw another homestead that was established in the late 1800s on the property before returning to our starting point at the museum. At this point we saw the video that we missed before our tour. This helped to reinforce what our guide had told us about the Ecological Importance of this Natural Habitat. We enjoyed the tour enough to add one their “T” shirts to our collection from the Gift Shop.
Seed pods in a tree. They only bloom through the night
 and fall to the ground in the morning.
Since it was only 5:00 when we were leaving and the traffic light brought us straight into the Kmart parking lot we stopped to stretch our legs and to find a few things we needed. Kathy’s Planters Fasciitis has really been bothering her so we found a pair of insoles for her shoes that will improve her arch support. We’ve mysteriously lost our beach umbrella and a few articles of summer clothing were also added to the mix.
An Iguana feasting on the fallen flowers.
It was after 6:00 when we stopped at Boondocks Bar and Grill (mile marker 27.5) for supper. Other than an overworked greeter who was having a bad day the rest of our service was fast and courteous. The food was reasonably priced and delicious.
A shoal off Marathon Key.
It was nearly 7:30 when were arrived back at the trailer. By the time we unloaded the truck the sun was setting. I then had the job of uploading the nearly three hundred pictures we took today. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

You Might Be a Redneck If

You worry more about your PlayStation score than your credit score.

2 comments:

  1. That sounds like a lot of sightseeing for one day, but sounds like you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You two have put in some really long days. We've not been to either Crane Point of the Dolphin center. It looks like you've had a good day. What was the name of that tree, do you know?

    ReplyDelete