Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Vacation Tales: Crystal River

I just got back from almost two weeks of vacation, just in time for Biggie Snows to make his appearance in my neighborhood. So much for escaping winter.

Vacation started harried enough. As usual, I put off packing until the last minute. Soph decided to help out.

So, I was up until 2am or so, our flight leaving KC at 7am. I told Mom to call at 4am to make sure I was awake, so I curled up in bed for what I thought would be a two-hour nap. An hour later, Mr. Recommendation calls and tells me that our flight was cancelled, and we would have to scramble for another flight. Mind you, a big, fat snowstorm was set to hit town around noon, and I had a planned excursion the following day. So, getting out of KC that morning was imperative.

Mom, with the help of a very nice Southwest agent, procured us another flight to leave at 6am. So, we hauled ass to the airport, arriving with 15 minutes to use the bathroom and then get groped by a TSA agent named Pam. I know her name because I made sure we were on a first name basis before she started the foreplay. The flight took us to Texas, then onward to Ft. Lauderdale. We got our rental, which was the equivalent to a suburban tank (Chrysler Town and Country to you), waited for Indy's plane to arrive, picked up Mom's sister, and then made the long-assed 4 hour drive across the state to Crystal River, Florida.

The next day, we woke up at 5am, Indy immediately grumbling that one should not have to wake up so early on vacation. We drove down the road to Birds Underwater where we pulled on unflattering full-length wetsuits an went out for our morning swim with manatees. I've done this excursion before, but the most of the manatees were out in the Gulf at the time, so my encounter was limited. However, we got plenty of manatee time in as they were quite abundant.

They would swim up to you, allow you to pet them, and they would even flip over so you could pet their bellies (they like that sort of thing). At one point, a little calf took a liking to me and followed me around.

I booked this excursion for my mom's birthday, and she absolutely loved it (I give the best birthday presents). She did have a habit of trying to pet the manatees who were busy getting their freak on, which really didn't look all that freaky. Apparently, manatees will have sex without prejudice when it comes to other manatees. Male, female...it doesn't matter. They are such whores that way.

Indy freaked out shorty after getting in the water (he's not a strong swimmer). Despite my best efforts to calm him, the water noodle, the wetsuit that makes you buoyant, and the water being 5 feet deep, he retreated to the boat to raid the box of donuts there. Oh well, just meant more manatee rubbin' for everyone else.

Swimming with the manatees is one of those Bucket List type things. Everyone should do it at least once in their lifetime. Mom is already planning on doing it again. But this time, we'll fly into Tampa. That drive sucked balls.