Day 9 – Sunday, July 10th
This was our last day to go to the beach before packing up to leave on Monday. But before hitting the beach we had to stop by the gift shop at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium to do a little more souvenir shopping. We went through the aquarium last summer and it was amazing! If we weren’t running so low on funds at this point, we would have definitely gone inside for another visit. Oh well. Add it to the list for next time, too!
After leaving Mote, we were off to South Lido Beach on Lido Key for one last afternoon of swimming, sunning, and shell hunting. South Lido Beach is a very cool place. The water is blue and clear; the sand is soft and white; and when the tide goes out, large tide pools are left behind just waiting to be explored. (However, there are strong rip currents so swimming outside of the shallows isn’t permitted here. For more information on rip current safety, click here.)
I waded into the water with my GeekPro camera to take some underwater video. As I was walking out, a long stream of fish came swooshing by right in front of my camera. It was really neat. Check out the video below!
After our last afternoon on the beach, we headed back to the house to make dinner and start cleaning and packing to leave in the morning.
Day 10 – Monday, July 11th
When we woke up on Monday, everyone was extremely unmotivated. Leaving the beach is always hard to do, plus we had a really long drive ahead of us. It’s funny how the drive to the beach is never that bad, but the drive home is excruciatingly long and depressing. No one was looking forward to it. At least we had one fun stop planned along the way.
My son and I had discovered Ginnie Springs on our way home from Sarasota last summer (everyone had stayed a bit longer than we did last year, so we were traveling back alone). I fell in love with this place from the moment I saw it, and so did my son. I had to bring everyone else back to see it eventually. This past May, my husband, Vince, and I made a point to stop here during Honeyversary 2016. He loved it. And I just knew my mother and my girls were going to love it, too.
The water at Ginnie Springs is some of the clearest in the world. Legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau characterized the water here has having “visibility forever”. Seriously, it’s as clear, or clearer than, your tap water. The only drawback to Ginnie Springs (besides, maybe, the admission price) is the fact that it is kind of a party place – which is rather unfortunate given the natural beauty of it. If you have children with you, or you are looking for a quite spot, I do not suggest going here on weekends or holidays. Early in the day, Monday through Thursday, is most likely your best bet.
Once we arrived at the springs, we fired up the grill to fix a quick lunch before testing out the waters. (If you’ve read Honeyversary 2016, I think you know what it was…) I made us some grilled cheese sandwiches and bacon (Hormel’s ready-made, microwave kind) on the grill with a side of this amazingly delicious cucumber salad that I had prepared before leaving the house that morning and stored in an old pickle jar. After lunch, we threw some s’mores foil packets on the grill and headed down to the water while they cooked. (Find these recipes and more on my Roadtripping Bites Pinterest board!)
Find our more about Florida’s springs here!