Manatee Springs State Park

10/31 we arrived around 4-5 PM and the rangers at the front entrance were so very nice. They helped us get settled even giving us a personal escort to our site. One of the rangers had leftovers from a cookout earlier.  So he told us to take what we need for supper. Thanks, for sure, it saved us time for we were really getting tired.😑

11/1 The trees are all twisted interesting and beautiful too! We had 3 visitors this morning at the front window,  a fawn and 2 babies. About 10 am we went up to the Rangers station and met Kelly, who is the volunteer co-ordinator. Most of the day we got settled with our uniforms, manuals, rules and regulations. Don’t we all love new job orientations…lol. She was so kind in showing us around and demonstrating how she wanted things done. 

11/2 – 11/4 We just chilled,  read, played games. Went into town for odds and ends. Went to the snack bar….where they have WIFI. It is so peaceful here and in the mornings the deer come to visit even on buck comes alone. Plenty of hawks or vultures are around so I keep Peanut on a leash. We were going to golf on Sunday but rain had a different idea….oh well chillin.. 

       We only have to work Tues thru Fri. doing campsites and on Fri we do whatever the “clean” supervisor needs done. So we have every weekend and Monday off – WONDERFUL!!

11/5 David and I both had a cough we couldn’t get rid of so we decided to go to a walk in clinic in Chiefland. Well we found out there are 2-3 clinics for established patients, no quick in and out…..lol. We were told we would find walk in clinics in Gainsville, which is about 35 -40 miles away. So off we went, we did find some clinics that took walk ins but there was still a 3 hour wait. Eventually we found a CVS with a minute clinic. We were in and out, in about 1 hour. The NP said I was just about finished with my bout but David was at the beginning so she prescribed some medication for him.

      The one good thing was we found a restaurant called the Bahama Beach. Happy hour $5 drinks and half off appetizers. It was yummy!!!

Happy Hour

11/6 Well the time has come, our 1st day on the job. Camp bathrooms here we come…Haha. We also clean up campsites

 

1st day on the job

11/7 – 11/8 Volunteer meeting this am it was informative and after a meet and greet. It was great, as newbies like us could ask the seasoned host questions. Unbelievable some of them are all booked up for a year. The 1st day was pretty uneventful till going to dump ashes, our go cart stopped and we had to be towed back to the shed…I couldn’t stop laughing. Day 2 on the job we snapped a broom and rake in half…they won’t want keep us if we continue like this bahahaha.

 

Getting a tow….. lol

11/11 We took a ride to a small ocean inlet …Cedar Key. It is so small that most people get around on golf carts. We stopped along one of the waterfront restaurants. We were lucky the restaurant allowed dogs. Yes, Peanut came with us. We had steam clams in herb broth and delicious snow crab legs. Of course onion rings and cold beer.

11/12 We were lucky the weather stayed sunny and so off we went….golfing!!!

11/14 They had Clay Landing days which are about the early settlers and Seminole Indians, that settled the area. So the rangers had a dry run for the volunteers. In between 10:30am and the 1:00pm run we had a pot luck lunch. David made homemade meatballs with homemade sauce…nothing was left!!

In the afternoon run for work I found a painted rock…

11/15 We went to a Chamber of commerce get together that we were invited too. It was a simple gathering with hot dogs, chips and soda. There was a fire so you could keep warm or make some s’mores. The highlight was a moonlight walk along the boardwalk. One of the rangers lit the walkway with tiny electric candles.  It was so pretty,  the moon was only a half but it was so bright making the marsh beautiful.  When we got to the boat deck and looked up the stars were so bright and there was so many. The perfect way to end a day!!

The ranger that is in charge of the whole park!

Nov. 15-16. Saturday we were invited to one of the rangers home for a smoked Turkey and pork. Everyone brought a side dish and did we eat!!! Later he was giving rides on his platoon boat, great times!!

Sunday we just chilled and Monday was golfing day at the country club.

Nov 20th The Manatees are starting to come more into land. This morning there were 7 of them. Pretty exciting! The vultures are also arriving and they are here by the hundreds!!!

Nov 22 Happy Thanksgiving, we had to work but the volunteers got together for an afternoon dinner. As always there was more food than you could imagine which included a  fried Turkey!!!

Nov 23rd. We participated in the Clay Landing days.There were vendors, horses and wagon tours. Halfway on the wagon ride there was a Seminole re-enactment. It was interesting,  they even made corn meal pancakes, rabbit, acorn pancakes and a cake made inside a pumpkin. 

Hmmm tomorrow we reach the half way mark, 4 weeks down and 4 weeks to go!!

Manatee
Vulture

11/26 We lost electricity today after a vicious  thunderstorm…. in an RV it sure sound LOUDER!

Lightning hit a tree outside the state park entrance.

12/1 rain, 12/2 rain, 12/3 RAIN!!!! I told David I was going stir crazy, so we packed up the car and took a 2 hour ride to Clearwater or I should say that is where we ended up! Lol We sat outdoors in beautiful 80 degrees weather having drinks, appetizers. Even Peanut got an ice cream!

So many shells

YUMMMY!

Surprise package from Evelyn and Dylan!!

12/4 – 12/7 Business as usual.

Our refrigerator door!

Dec. 8th Was a wonderful day, we went to Homosass state park. There were Manatees of course, but also a Hippo named Lu and he is 58 years old. Then deer, snakes and eagles,  oh my!! It took us about 3 hours to go through the exhibits, lectures and videos.

Lu

12/9 It’s official we are going to Disneyworld for our Christmas, even Peanut. I found out they do have some rooms that are pet friendly. Pure luck, I couldn’t believe that they had one available for all the dog kennels were booked.

12/12 David surprised me with a Christmas tree!!

David sure makes me smile!!

12/15 Tonight was the staff and volunteers Christmas party.  I made my pork pies and even froze one for Christmas. There were tons of food as usual!! After dinner we had a yankee swap, it was really funny as lottery tickets kept getting stolen round and round.

12/19 Finally I got my hair cut! I’m starting to get excited about going to Disney. 

12/22 – 12/24 Disney!!! What can I say!! Fun!! Fun!! Fun!!!

Of course I had to show food, Bento box!

12/25 Back to work…grrrr! It is our last week here at Manatee springs state park. 

12/31 Last night and we went to a born fire. I was so lucky to work with great staff and volunteers!

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