The B&B breakfast was served at 8:30 so at 7:30 I headed out for a run. My Garmin was being fussy about finding the satellites so I used my phone and went 15 min out and 15 min back. The humidity was already in 70% plus range and the temps about the same. Still I enjoyed getting out somewhere new. The hustle and bustle of Duval street from the night before had been traded in for quiet. A few shop-owners were getting ready to open up. I was running along minding my own business and taking this all in when a chicken ( they are roaming free everywhere here) popped out in front of me. It startled me but no harm done. Still what is it about wildlife that makes them think I'm the one to jump in front of?
We enjoyed good coffee ( not Wawa but good enough) and a light breakfast in an outdoor courtyard area. We had to share the space with geckos but they kept their distance.
We had decided the night before to use the trolley to get a tour of the island. Since it was one of those off and ones it was handy for getting from one end to the other quickly. First stop the Lighthouse. For the record I climbed the steps ( all 88 of them on a wrought iron circular stairway) to the top. Never mind that I was jabbering nonsense the whole way to distract myself from what I was doing, Getting to the top was as far as I was going save for the 10 seconds I stood out on the ledge so Dave could get proof that I was there. He went around the ledge alone and took pictures. Coming down the steps was another adventure. And I would have been just fine if we hadn't met people trying to come up at the halfway point. They recognized crazed woman though and graciously moved over to let me keep going. Bless them!
We toured the lighthouse keepers cottage and then on the advice of the clerk there we skipped Hemingway's house. We asked her if she thought it was worth the price of admission. She said it was if we liked cats ( there are several roaming around apparently) We don't so we passed.
Next stop Eco-Discovery Center. This was pretty neat I thought. All about the coral reefs, the mangroves and all the wildlife. Then back on the trolley to Margaritaville and lunch. I had the official vacation Margarita here. I'm no expert but this one was much better. While we were there it poured rain.
We headed over to Higgs beach to see the Wildlife hospital and nature center. While watching the turtles playing in the pond the skies opened up again. We were drenched. Last stop was the horticultural society gardens. It reminded me of Longwood Gardens only much smaller. The gardens were built around the ruins of a civil war era fort. That was neat. I took some pictures. I hope they show it well. We also saw a large green lizard here.
It was time now to head back to Mallory Square for a glass bottom boat ride out to the reef. This was my favorite part of the day. It was a 30-40 minute ride out to the reef. The skies had cleared and we rode up top in the open air. It was awesome. I can't describe it really. I just like that feeling. Once at the reef everyone moved downstairs and inside to see the reef and hear the narration. I did my best to take pictures. We'll see how they turn out. The coral was amazing. There were lots of cool looking fish and frisbee sized jelly fish. Unfortunately those suckers were too fast to get a picture. After about an hour there we headed back while watching the sunset. Some large puffy clouds prevented seeing the final drop over the horizon but it was still pretty.
We decided to skip dinner since neither of us was hungry enough. When we returned to the B&B there was a medium size yellow toad on the handrail. I wasn't sure it was real until he moved his head to look at me!
Tomorrow. On the road again back to Orlando.