Where the dolphins and manatees play.

We call this ‘the house where the dolphins and manatees play’. They seem to show up when you least expect it and put on a show like no other-catching a fish and throwing it up and catching it again or the manatee with her newborn by her side right at the dock.

My multi-talented guy designed it and was the builder.

He created a kitchen with a backdrop the same color as the crystal clear springs-it is a little like the water is reflected in the tile. I didn’t include a photo of our bathroom sinks but they are glass bowls of a similar color. The springs in this area of the world run deep in the earth and when they bubble up to the surface near our house, they are a beautiful color similar to the tile and glass in the house.

The springs near the house keep the water at 76 degrees all year long. In the summer, it feels refreshingly cool and in the winter, it is warmer than the air. The manatees come in large numbers to keep warm during the cooler months and some stay all year long.


Here is where the recipe testing takes place for my blog. It is easy to keep an eye on the manatees while cooking. That is the tile I am talking about. Can’t you just see the reflection of the water. Yup, Dave made and designed those bar stools from old tractor seats.


Dave designed a loft that looks out over the great room and then into the bay. As the builder, it was easy to put all kinds of special things in the house-plus a whole lot of love.


Breakfast in bed never happens for us, but if it did-this is where I would want it.


We are often out on the water in the kayaks or paddle boards right about sunrise.


We can see both the sunrise and sunset from our house. The water is often amazingly calm at the beginning and end of the day.


After cooking and tasting all day, this is where I swim to revitalize. Swimming with the manatees is what Crystal River is famous for, but when our family vacationed here 20 years ago, I swam with the dolphins. We did not see a single manatee that day but now we see them just about everyday. Dave counted 16 manatees swimming up this canal one day.


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