Some of the best moments are in the mornings when it comes to our vacations! April, my sister, is prepping for a mini marathon so I decided to go running with her. She ran 3 miles and I ran 1.5 miles. The views are so pretty around here with all the palm trees, pelicans, rays of sunshine, and variegated plants. When we left Michigan, there was 4 inches of snow and gray skies so it was nice to run in a happy environment!
We googled places to go in this area and found a viewing center to see manatees! Manatees love warm water and the Big Ben Factory releases warm water into the canal.
The area became a sanctuary for the manatees because 1/3 of the population has been wiped out by boats running over the poor manatees. Here in the canal, they are safe from boats.
We were joking around by saying the manatees looked like potatoes lol One had some scars, probably from surviving a boat propeller, and it looked like he got nicked with a peeler. Poor baby. He is safe now though!
There was also a viewing deck were we saw sting rays feeding and burying themselves in the sand. They migrate here from Clearwater, Florida, which is where we will be migrating later today!
We also were able to pet some sting rays in the reserve. FUNNY STORY, when I bent over to pet one, my sunglasses fell put of the pocket of my overalls and into the water. The sting rays all hovered around them and I was hoping they wouldn’t eat them and choke! They realized they weren’t food and swan away. Quickly, I grabbed them out of the water.
We ended the stay, in this area, by playing volleyball at St. Petersburg, Florida! Having a great stay here so far!