Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beatin the Heat

Two weeks ago, I went to visit my sister in Florida for a few days.


It was pretty warm and humid down there, as expected. One day we headed to Rainbow Springs to beat the heat. The springs are a perfect place to go on a hot day. Water from the aquifer is constantly bubbling up to the surface, making it completely clear and very cool (averaging about 70-75 degrees, I think). There are lots of these swimming holes all over Florida and up through the 60's and 70's, many of them were made into popular road-side tourist attractions, complete with performing mermaids and glass-bottom boat tours. Rainbow Springs was taken over by the State of Florida in the 70's and now there's a nominal fee of $2 a person to enter the park.

It was really great, there are walking trails, a butterfly garden, the remnants of an old aviary and zoo, and of course the river, which begins at the spring and on which you can take canoes and kayaks. Below is an old map of the amusement park in its heyday.

Rainbow Springs_

Kelley 2_

oh florida_

water fall 1_


swimming hole_


swamp _


more water_

Kate Smiling_

swimming hole 2_



This is a big part of Florida as I remember it from growing up there. Swampy, kitschy, sunny and replete with alligators, palms, oaks, pines, and Spanish moss. There are other tourist attractions like this that have survived post Disney. A great one is Ponce De Leon's Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. I find these places fascinating; they're relics of another time in America's history of tourism, but they've persisted, so they also say something about us today and what we think about the past.

On another day, we visited a great pizza place that also has a tourist/junk shop attached.

Junk Shop_

And this was outisde, so we had to take a photo...


So that's my story. Has anyone else gone on a vacation lately?



  1. Oh I've not heard of Rainbow Springs...I love the old map.

    Your dresses look great too.

    Yep I've been to New Zealand, which was a lovely break.

  2. i am loving that last pic + that awesome art installation...


  3. You and your sister look so much alike. I'm sure you get that often! Looks like a lovely holiday...I want to parade under trees of Spanish moss! Just got back from my own holiday, Switzerland, France, Kenya, Tanzania, a bit different!

  4. What an amazing park! I would so love to visit, though after reading the sign maybe not swim? :) You and your sister are adorable.

  5. Mad! Actual alligators? Don't know if I'd be brave enough to jump in though the water looks cool and marvellous.

    Arianne from A + B in the Sea


I'd love to hear your thoughts!