In order to make this the most relaxing vacation we tried not to cram so much into our time that we would be totally exhausted when it was all said in done. Most of the days we all slept in (which was quite a treat) and didn't actually leave the house until after lunch.
There were so many inexpensive things to do in the area we had a hard time choosing! One day we headed to Blue Springs State Park to do some tubing. Even in the hot temps of Florida the water was FREEZING. This was the park that I saw the manatee!! This was the HIGHLIGHT of my trip! Yep, I even teared up a bit! :) I had told the family that I just wanted to see a manatee at some point on our trip...in the wild...not in an aquarium. We had just finished tubing and decided to drive on to another part of the spring and was amazed at all the gar to be seen! The water was crystal clear and there were hundreds of them! According to a sign we read this was a refuge for the manatee in the winter months but they were usually gone by April. Well, one stayed behind....just for me!! :) It was awesome...so slow...so huge...yet so graceful! And to think we were just tubing right up stream...I would have FREAKED if one of those swam by me! :) No pictures of this awesome experience...just in my head...and I don't think I'll EVER forget it!!
These pics are from De Leon Springs State Park. We just did some hiking and had a picnic. It was really hot so we enjoyed our time and then headed back to the pool! :)
The community pool at the house was unbelievable. I think Joseph and Anna could have spent their whole vacation there. Even if we spent the day at the beach, they wanted to go back to the house and go swimming!! :) When we first arrived Joseph was scared to get in the water...after two weeks we couldn't get him out!