Travel Diary: What I Did on Winter Vacation

20170224_072628-titleWe are back at home in Our MT Nest after spending the past two months in St. Augustine. We enjoyed our time there immensely and stayed busy. I took a vacation from writing blog entries. I find it’s difficult to come up with meaningful or interesting blog content when you’re vacationing away from home and not working on crafts, home improvement projects, or seasonal decorating.  But I took quite a few photos, so I decided to share some of them in a post that gives just a sampling of our Florida vacation activities.  Here’s what we did on our winter vacation.

Shortly after we arrived in Florida, I helped plan a baby shower for Brown-eyed Girl which took place in mid-January. Sunshine and I made the decorations and favors and worked with Brown-eyed Girl’s sweet mother-in-law to host the party. Now we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new little guy any day.

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Later in January, Mr. MT Nest and I had lunch at some friends’ home and enjoyed watching the Sandhill Cranes that frequent their backyard.

dsc_0652ec2w dsc_0647ec2wWe visited other friends who were camping at Blue Springs State Park, which is billed as the “Winter Home of Manatees.”

dsc_0721ecwThe gentle manatees enjoy the warm springs on days when the weather turns chilly, so on cooler days, it’s a good time to visit one of the springs. There were over 300 manatees in the spring on the day we visited.

dsc_0701ecw dsc_0679ewWe saw a few baby manatees playing with the older ones. This shot shows one of the babies with its mother.

dsc_0741ecwThis colorful fellow greets visitors on one of the manatee viewing platforms.

dsc_0703ecwA few weeks later we visited another state park, Rainbow Springs. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed strolling through the park. The spring water is clear and turquoise. There were other park visitors swimming and kayaking in the springs, but we opted for just a walk, as we were on our way to meet a childhood friend of Mr. MT Nest for lunch in a town nearby.

collage-rbsprngsWe always enjoy strolling through the charming streets in downtown St. Augustine’s historic district.

dsc_0863ewAnd there are many excellent restaurants to enjoy. We have some favorites that we like to return to each visit but each year we seem to discover one or two more.

For Presidents Day weekend, we drove across Florida to Clearwater to attend the two-day Clearwater Sea Blues Festival that takes place annually in Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater. We enjoy the atmosphere and the music at this event and look forward to attending it every year.

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Of course, one of my absolute favorite activities during our winter vacations in St. Augustine is my morning walk on the beach. When I walk on the beach, I find that it has such a calming effect.

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6 Responses to Travel Diary: What I Did on Winter Vacation

  1. tsanta516 says:

    The Clearwater Blues Festival sounds like fun. You should check out New Orleans Jazz Fest.

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    • carolyn says:

      We’ve considered the NO Jazz Festival. But, from what I hear, it’s a much bigger event and seemed a bit pricey when I checked it out online. Maybe we’ll put that on the list for sometime in the future. The great thing about the Clearwater festival is that the crowd is contained in a relatively small area and it’s free unless you want to sit in the VIP section. Even that is very affordable. We prefer to bring a lawn chair and the only cost is our food and beverages purchased from the vendors. It’s a really fun, relaxed event.

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  2. Linda Miller says:

    Beautiful photos, Carolyn. I have fond memories of visiting Rainbow Springs as a child with my family during the summers. Best wishes to brown eyed girl and the entire family on the upcoming birth of precious little Nate.

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