This manatee agreed to pose.
What a wonderful day to open up 2014 - sleeping on Apollo Beach in our 12 year old Roadtrek camper. Lulu is in the Ellerton Shopping Outlets right now. I am listening to CNN on my iphone - satellite radio - Bose Mini System.
Lulu read where Apollo Beach was having the biggest fireworks display in Florida - and she wanted to be there. We are about 30 miles south of Tampa on the Tampa Bay. We were waved into a parking spot at the Circle Restaurant. Everyone else was charging $20 to park - but this sponsoring restaurant let us in for free. They have a beautiful setting on the marina - they had live music - lots of lights - outside bars - good food - and lots of safe parking.
Since we had a free place to park and sleep - I did not mind spending $9 on a few Mohidas. At first I thought the drinks were watered down - but the second one hit me between the eyes. Good thing I did not have to drive.
We stopped at the Apollo Beach coal fired power plant. It is old and does not have cooling towers. As a result - the water coming from the power plant canal is 82 degrees. It reminds me of the old canal at Hauto plant back home. It attracts manatees. There were easily 100 there. The power plant did have an odor that smelled a lot like human sewage. They set up a viewing area to try to make people "like" the old power plant. It is one of the few coal fired plants left in Florida. Most of them run on natural gas here.
The camper performed perfectly. We came down highway 19 and 41 most of the way. We kept the it at 62 MPH. It is great having the bathroom especially on the morning drives. The toilet - frig - furnace - hot water - shower - all worked great.
The fireworks were set off on a barge. The crowd was mild. The food was good - The atmosphere was perfect. It is warmer here than back in Tallahassee.
We are heading south along the coast. We will go to Sarasota and the Ringling Museum. I expect to be home Friday.
The water temperature was a balmy 82 degrees at the power plant.
The bumps in the water are each a manatee.
It was fun seeing the big old coal trucks dumping their cargo.
Some toothless cracker at McDonalds gushed over Lulu's shirt and earings. I thought they were all gators.
If we were driving a Tesla - we could have parked and charged here at the power plant. With the smoke belching in the background is proof that electric cars pollute.
You just wave your credit card - and fill up your battery.
Apollo Beach is a marina community on Tampa Bay.
We fell sleep listening to the Duke football game. Lulu's alarm woke us up for the fireworks.