Beverly Hills to Homosassa Springs

After a ten-hour drive yesterday that took us much further than I thought it would, The Wife and I spent the night in Ocala, Florida, and then drove about an hour and a half this morning to Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park. There, we were surrounded by snowbirds with extraordinarily ill-behaved children, and the parents were not much better. Sample conversation:

(At top volume:) “What are they doing?”
“They’re waiting for the manatees.”
(At top volume:) “Hey, what’s a manatee?”
“It’s like a fish.”
(Screeching hyserically:) “I wanna see a manatee!”
“They won’t be here until 11:30, like the man said.”

Ugh. These kids were so out of control that The Wife and I vowed to buy stock in contraceptive manufacturers then and there.

The manatees were there; the park has six of them. Three are pictured above. The keepers feed the manatees a diet of lettuce, radishes, spinach, and for special treats, carrots. One is kept in a separation tank for some reason, and we got to see the keepers feed her a Caesar salad. Well, a lot of romaine lettuce. They were a little smaller than I remembered from having seen them several years ago in river inlets back when I visited my parents, back in the day when they lived on the Atlantic coast.

There is also a very impressive hippo whose sex I misidentified. We named the hippo “Gloria” but upon seeing the hippo from another angle, it was evident the hippo was male. The park guide spoke to the assembled tour group and said his name was Lucifer. I think it’s a charming name for a charming beast. He didn’t have nearly as much room to play as other hippos I’ve seein zoos and preserves, and unlike the other animals in the preserve, Lucifer is not going to be released back into the wild eventually; hippos are not indigenous to Florida, obviously.

Also on the way to Homosassa Springs, we passed through the small Florida hamlet of Beverly Hills. It wasn’t exactly the same thing as its namesake in California. Since The Wife and I had been talking a long time about how much we’ve been missing California, it was quite amusing to drive through this place.

A longer drive later took us through some Florida farm country. We bought some farm-fresh strawberries, which are sweet and delicious. They’re small and only sold by the quart. That means we’ve got a lot of strawberries to eat tonight! On the way back up to Tennessee, we’re going to have to find another farm stand and get some of those really big, sweet Florida onions.

Now we’re going to figure out what to do about dinner, and make some calls to start family time for the weekend. So far the trip is going pretty well.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

One Comment

  1. Hey. This has nothing to do with your trip. I was wondering why, although half the new attorneys getting sworn in each year in CA are female, whenever I go to court I see 20 percent females, tops. Of any age. Oftentimes, like this morning in downtown L.A., I’m the only female lawyer in a crowded civil courtroom. Where do they all go?It’s like that time we drove to court downtown, and I got weirded out because I noticed there were almost no other women in the cars on the freeway. Normally, I forget to notice because most TV shows are like that, too. Except on Lifetime or Oxygen. But every now and then it creeps up on me.Is it me against whom they’re hiding out and secretly plotting? Or is it you?

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