Holly Jolly Manatees

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Well to be honest, I’ve been back for a couple of days but I needed to recoup from my vacation.

Where did my family wander off to you may ask? Naples, Florida, to spend time with my adopted uncle. We drove there and back. That’s twenty hours one way. It was rough but a cool experience that we don’t ever want to do again. Lmao.

The first day we went on a hike through the cypress swamps in the Everglades. This was a really cool experience offered by the National Park Service for free. They do it once a week during their dry season but you have to sign up for it ahead of time.


All the times I’ve gone to Florida, I had never seen a manatee. This trip was Mission Manatee and did we ever succeed! The welcome center to the Everglades had spotted manatees recently so we hung out until they popped up. Manatees are hard to photograph as all you essentially see is their little nostrils pop up and sometimes their tail as they dive back down.

Day Two, we went deep sea fishing in Ft. Lauderdale. Unfortunately, the Gulf of Mexico has been experiencing a red tide in recent months so that forced us to drive to the other side of the tip of Florida. Deep sea fishing is on Mr. Cupcakes & Machetes bucket list, so we had to make it happen.


Day Three we did your usual Florida tourist thing and rode an airboat and took a swamp buggie tour. It was my first time doing the swamp buggie tour. It was pretty cool. The guide was very informational and we saw a ton of birds. To everyone’s surprise, we saw manatees AGAIN. But this time….there were BABY manatees! I lost my shit.

Day Four a storm rolled into town and made it a little difficult to do any touring. So, my uncle threw out the idea of family tattoo therapy and the mister and I jumped right on that.


Day Five we attempted to go to Ten Thousand Islands but the storms kept rolling through. The water was choppy and the island we stopped on started flooding, so that was exciting. We did find a random boardwalk into the swamps on the way back so we did a little more exploring in the Everglades.


Day Six was the day we started our journey back to Michigan. We spent the night in Chattanooga, Tennessee and took a quick trip to Ruby Falls first thing in the morning before we took off again. ($20 per person is definitely worth the experience. It’s a waterfall inside of a mountain folks!)


What have you fine folks been up to in my absence?? How did the holidays treat you??


32 thoughts on “Holly Jolly Manatees

  1. I started collecting walking sticks about a year ago. Not serious, only have 2, but I’m always interested in seeing what other people use and what they think of them.
    I see you have straight poles in those first couple of pix. How did they work out? Especially considering the height of them. I’m used to ones about head height or so.

    Sounds like you had a blast and welcome back to the blogging world!

    1. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was oodles of fun. The park service provided those walking sticks and I was SO glad to have them or I would have fallen multiple times. We walked through thick muck and there were lots of cypress roots in the water. I’m no expert but they seemed to work fine. If I had to picky though, I would have preferred one a little taller.

      1. Ok, thanks for the info. That is the type of thing I’m always just a little curious about ๐Ÿ™‚

        Did you have to wear special boots to deal with the muck and water?

      2. No! They just said wear old tennis shoes and pants that go down to your ankles. That was the scary part but it ended up not being so bad. It’s their dry season so there weren’t any insects and all we really saw was birds. Pretty sure a snake swam along our legs at one point but he didn’t bite anyone so it’s all good.

  2. Cool tattoo! I like the simplicity of it. Very cool. My only knowledge of Florida is from Seinfeld. Didnโ€™t Georgeโ€™s parents retire there and wear Hawaiian shirts? Itโ€™s always good to get away but how nice is it to get back home? Talking of Hawaii, my family and I have just booked a trip to go there at the end of March.

    1. I’m so jealous! Hawaii is on my list of states to visit. There are hawaiian shirts available to purchase EVERYWHERE in Florida but I didn’t see a lot of people wearing them. Naples is a pretty rich city so lots of white pants and expensive cars.
      I like the simplicity of my tattoo as well. Since it was spur of the moment I didn’t want to commit to anything bigger or more complex and I’ve been wanting an owl. Choosing the species of owl was the hardest part, I like them all.

      1. Thatโ€™s cool. I have my wifeโ€™s name in Balinese on my forearm and so many people say oh thatโ€™s good because if you break up you can say it means something else. What the shit? So many negative people. I say we will never ever break up and they raise their eyebrows. Then I take a small scalpel from my utility belt and remove their eyebrows. Sigh… Hey but on a lighter note did you know thatโ€™s sonic the hedgehogs real name is Ogilvie Maurice The Hedgehog???!!!! Mind blow!

      2. I did not know that! You know what’s really funny? I made the same joke to my husband that if we broke up no one would know it was my name. He wasn’t amused. ROFL. I stand firm that I won’t get his name in return though because every couple I’ve ever known who has down their names on each other has broken up. It just feels like a jinx to me, but then again, I’m weird. Why Balinese?

    1. Thank you! It was a total of 9 days. 4 days of driving and 5 days of fun. I’m going to avoid Florida for a bit now because that was around my 5-6 time going there since I was little. Time to check out another state next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. You can treat it as sarcasm, or a genuine comment about your ability to explore and find the most interesting things in a place where mainstream Amer— no, I can’t go on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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