In keeping with our summer tradition, my sister and I loaded up the kids and headed out to a spring. It had been five years since our last visit, so we decided to head back to De Leon Springs State Park. It’s always a fun place to visit and some of our crew had never been before. First stop was for pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill, which is a unique restaurant located inside the park. The kids love that you get to cook your own pancakes in the built-in griddles right at your table.
After breakfast, it was time to see who the bravest out of the bunch was and jump in first (it’s never the adults). Some of the kids helped each other in with a big push (which you can see in the video), but they all got their paybacks in the end. The water felt so cold and there is no way to ease yourself into it, but it’s so hot outside that eventually you take the plunge. It takes your breath away every time.
We decided to take a break from swimming and take a paddleboat ride down Spring Garden Run. We rented two paddleboats and headed out for 30 minutes which was plenty. On the way back, the kids wanted to switch boats so we pulled the boats together to let the kids switch, amazingly without anyone falling in. Unfortunately we pulled the boats a little too close together and couldn’t separate them with my boat tilting to the side. My sister and I laughed so hard trying to separate them without flipping the boats. We thought for sure we were going to just have to somehow pedal them back hooked together. We ended up separating them and managed to get back before our 30 minutes were up. We were so hot when we got back, we couldn’t wait to jump back in the freezing water.
We ended the day with a stop at Central Avenue Treat Market in Umatilla, which is a cute 50’s themed ice cream parlor. They had lots of flavors to choose from and were really inexpensive. They had games at the tables to play and some arcade games in the back. The kids loved it and it was the perfect end to a perfect summer day.