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.
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.
This is the first glimpse you have of the spring after you walk through the entrance.
The shallow wading area. The main area is too deep to stand in. Julia did not enjoy it – she kept saying, “Too cold!”
Sugarbear and I had fun swimming in the deeper main area. This water is unbelievable!
It’s hard to see, but I’m way in the back waving my arm in the air!
Sugarbear soaking up as much time as she can with her beloved Uncle Kevin.
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.
We had a wonderful time (bee sting and all), and can’t wait for the next trip!