So we’re getting ready to do a little traveling next week. The wheels go up first thing Thursday morning, on a big ol’ jet airliner headed towards Orlando, Florida! Travis is meeting with a few people he does business with on Thursday, Friday and Monday. But Saturday and Sunday are all ours to spend as we please!

We decided to hit up as many fun places as we could think of on our adventure, since we don’t get the chance as much as we’d like to travel. It will be a work hard, play hard sort of situation and I get to play Lovely Assistant and keep us on schedule with a semi-nazi-esque itinerary that I pulled together over the course of a few weeks we had to plan the trip!

Strangely, one of the things I’m looking forward to most is checking out are Florida Orange Juice some of Florida’s natural springs! There are apparently hundreds of them throughout the state, most of which are on private property. But there are several that are state parks! I watched a documentary-type video a long time ago about the Mermaids of Weeki Wachee! Weeki Wachee is a natural spring that they built a glass wall into the side of, that allows people to sit in an underground amphitheatre area and watch “live mermaid shows!” How could the little girl in all of us not be totally into that?!

Weeki Wachee Mermaids beckoning travelers in off the highway like Sirens of the deep to come watch the Mermaid Shows

According to the Weeki Wachee website, (which I couldn’t get to load at the time of this posting) the girls who performed as the mermaids back in the day were like celebrities! Everywhere they went, they were treated like movie stars! The spring is sort of off the beaten path, so the girls would go out to the highway road and stand near the sign and beckon travelers in for the show and then quickly run and jump in the spring for a show! There’s even video on YouTube of live wild Manatees who swim into the show area. It’s pretty rad!

Vintage photo of a Mermaid Show from the early days

 

Unfortunately, we won’t be in the Weeki Wachee area so we had to suck it up and check out Rainbow Springs instead. Which in my opinion is a little more awesome because we will actually be able to get in and swim and enjoy the springs first hand.

For those of you that don’t know a whole lot about me, I am a water person. I usually prefer a river or a lake. I like the ocean but I know that most things in the ocean can and will kill me. I am cooler with the ocean for some reason if I can see what’s possibly going to kill me. But I am not a major fan of raging rip-tides and angry waves that beat you down and force dirty-tourist-butt salt water up your nose. I want to swim, not fight that fierce bitch Mother Nature to survive!

I grew up on a lake, and I was the first one in the water in the spring and the last one in out in the fall. This was usually not on purpose – I had a bad habit of playing too close to the water and usually fell in, fully dressed while chasing bugs or just being me, and generally in near-freezing temperatures.

We swam at night, swam in the day, in the rain, in the cold, in the blazing heat when the water felt like someone’s old bath water. We jumped off the top of the dock and nearly killed ourselves. Stuck our toes in the mud on the bottom and picked it up and threw it at each other… The lake was the last thing I saw before bed while we sat out on the porch and talked about the day. It the first thing  I saw in the morning while we ate our toast and coffee on the porch and watched the mist over the water roll out.

The lake was my place. There’s just something about the water. It’s peaceful and makes me feel at home.

 

But I’ll take this place! This is Rainbow Springs… That’s fresh spring water, not sea water!

 

I’ll only get a few hours to enjoy it, but that should be enough to appease my water-loving soul! Then a few days later we will be spending a few days in St. Augustine right on the Atlantic coast. St. Augustine seems BAMF because it’s the oldest continually occupied city in the WHOLE COUNTRY! I’ve only passed through Miami, Florida on the way to other places, so I don’t know what to fully expect. The water in St. Augustine is pretty and the sand looks soft and the tide doesn’t look brutal. I guess I will have to just wait and see!

St. Augustine Beach, Florida

 

Traveling gives me a little bit of anxiety. It’s not the fear of actually the mode of traveling (you know, the plane ride…) it’s the fear of “OMG! What happens if my house catches on fire while I’m gone!!” Or “OMG!! I forgot my ID or my Credit Card or My Pants!!” or “OMG! We missed our flight!!”

… ok so I’m not really concerned that I’ll forget my pants…

Basically the fear of anything and everything going completely wrong or terrible things happening, like the things that always tend to happen to me and my family such as:

  • My mom and I nearly missing a cruise ship once due to a delayed flight. Note to anyone else out there… ALWAYS fly in the night before your cruise sets sail…
  • Travis and I flew to New Orleans on whim when he worked at the airport and got free flights. We didn’t have a hotel or anything booked before we left, so naturally we ended up spending the first 6 hours in New Orleans walking around looking for a hotel.
  • On the first day of our Bi-Annual Family Vacation to Myrtle Beach, my mom slipped on a puddle of dish soap in a grocery store and fell down and broke her arm.
  • Our freaking boat almost sank on a trip to Lake Cumberland, as told here.

I guess I’ve got to learn to relax. Hell, if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. But I’m going to be like Aunt Bunny falling down the steps, I’m not going down easy!

 

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