The Manatees!

We LOVE manatees! The first wild one we saw in Florida was in our very own backyard, the day we closed on this house. We’ve had a special affection for them ever since. There are three at the local museum and Max and Mason love visiting them.

Last Sunday, we had cabin fever so we threw on shorts and t-shirts (it was 90 here!), and headed north on I-75. Just half an hour away is the Manatee Viewing Area in Apollo Beach. The power company releases very warm water and the manatees hang out there during the winter months. We got lucky because the attraction will close in a week. We could see why, too. There was only one manatee (that we could see) basking in the warm water and sunshine. We know others are already in the bays because Ali and Justin passed one in their boat last weekend.

But, we were not disappointed. We saw LOTS of fish – some very large ones – and even a shark! The boys were so excited! Inside, they had a mini-museum, which was very educational, and, of course, a gift shop. My new rule at gift shops is the boys can pick out an educational book but NO TOYS. Heaven knows they have plenty of those, including two stuff manatees!

Mason picked out a cute picture book about a manatee and Max chose the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Sea Creatures. Now, the boys can easily identify all the critters in the salt water canal out back, which makes a great recess assignment during homeschooling. Very cool!

This Week’s Masonism:

Mason was eating a bag of organic gummy worms. I said, “Don’t let the name fool you. There’s plenty of sugar in those things so don’t eat them all, and brush your teeth when you’re finished.”

He turned the bag over, and said, “Hmmm… Let me read the nutrition box.” He then squinted up his face, trying to figure it out.

He finally said, “It says they make you very fat!”

Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of, the President and CEO of and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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