Rainbow Springs

The beauties and I are visiting my parents this week, and one of the top things on my to-do list was to go take a dip in Rainbow Springs.  I love this spring, almost as much as I love Mammoth Caves.  The spring is Florida’s 4th largest, and according to archeological evidence has been used for almost 10,000 years.  The water is completely crystal clear – like a giant, unchlorinated swimming pool.  There are lush trees, vivid flowers, and grassy hills for picnicking on.  Although we’ve never done it, you can rent canoes and kayaks, and there’s even a campground.

The first time my parents took us there was in 2008, when Emily was about 2 and a half years old.  It was December, and since the water is always about 74 degrees year round it was just a little too chilly to go for a swim.

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Rainbow Springs – 2008

The next summer when Emily and I took our annual Girls’ Road Trip to visit my folks we were sure to include another visit to the spring in our activities.  Actually, pretty much anytime my family took a trip up there my parents or my brother would accompany us, sometimes for a swim, sometimes just to enjoy the pure beauty.  (Unfortunately, we seemed to have forgotten to take any pictures for a few years).

Since the weather has been so temperamental lately, the lovely bit of sunshine this morning was enough to get us all on the move before the next thunderstorm.  I was particularly excited about this visit to the spring, because not only is Emily an excellent swimmer now, but it was also going to be Julia’s first trip.  I made sure to bring my camera this time!

Walking up to the entrance of the park.

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This is the first glimpse you have of the spring after you walk through the entrance.

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The shallow wading area.  The main area is too deep to stand in.  Julia did not enjoy it – she kept saying, “Too cold!”

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Sugarbear and I had fun swimming in the deeper main area.  This water is unbelievable!

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It’s hard to see, but I’m way in the back waving my arm in the air!

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Sugarbear soaking up as much time as she can with her beloved Uncle Kevin.

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Unfortunately, as I was getting into the car I was stung right behind my ear by this large bumblebee.  He’s not looking too good because my heroic brother squished him.

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We had a wonderful time (bee sting and all), and can’t wait for the next trip!

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