On Friday (2/26), we hopped on a Friday night flight to Orlando. After arriving a little before midnight, waiting for luggage & then waiting 1.5 hrs at the rental car place... we finally got to our hotel by 2:20! We managed to get a little sleep & then were ready for our first full day in Florida. It was a little rainy... good day for a little drive up to Blue Spring State Park where we heard some manatees were hanging out in the warm spring. We did a little exploring on the way...
Somewhere in Orlando... cool trees with the spanish moss hanging on them
On our boat ride on the St John's River (in Blue Spring State Park)
We saw lots of wild life on our boat tour on the river...
Great Blue Heron
Manatee grazing in his pasture
... and lots more wildlife too including bald eagles,vultures, many varieties of herons, anhingas... a virtual birders paradise! The alligators weren't out on this cool, cloudy day.
After the boat ride, the drizzle had cleared so we walked around the park & got to see the manatees hanging out in the warm (72 degrees) spring.
Mom & babies
Pig pile... manatee style!
After leaving Blue Spring, we headed for Longwood to check out there BIG cypress tree ("the Senator")...
... it is supposedly 3500 yrs old & 120ft tall. Another in the park was about 2000 yrs old, not quite as impressive!
Next stop was Cocoa Beach... after checking into our hotel, we found a local spot for dinner (awesome fish tacos) & then headed to check out the Cocoa Beach Brewing Company...
... which happens to be owned & operated by some high school friends of mine!
... if you find yourself in the Cocoa Beach area (near the Cape), check it out! It is a unique pub setting with some fabulous beers! Chris & Tracy are fabulous hosts!
After leaving Cocoa Beach, we continued our journey down the coast towards Miami & the Keys... we stayed the next night in Boyton Beach (just south of West Palm Beach)
We had a fun evening down at the Two Georges on the waterfront
Next stop Miami...