Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Fountain of Youth

One of our recent adventure dates was a day trip to Ponce de Leon Springs State Park.  We live in the city, so it's nice to get away from the craziness and spend time in nature.  And I found a gray hair the other day...yikes... so it was off to the "fountain of youth". 

Us dipping our toes in the shallow creek bed
As with many of the dates I plan, this one was a surprise.  I typed up a clue and gave it to M the night before.

The clue said, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to seek out the Fountain of Youth.  Betty [our GPS - an inside joke] can help you find it; enter the coordinates below."  Then I listed the coordinates for the state park.

He was totally stumped... fountain of youth? Huh?

Suspense.  I love it.

So I packed a lunch and we headed out to get up close and personal with nature...

After one wrong turn/dead end (umm... thanks, Betty...), we "recalculated" and arrived at the State Park.  Apparently, it was the place to be - at 11:00 a.m. the parking lot was packed.  We ended up parking in the grass under a tree at the far end of the lot.  It was sort of a parking spot.

With the temperature at 97 degrees and climbing, we were anxious to get down near the water.  AHHH... the water comes from a deep aquifer and is 68*F all year round.  That might be chilly in the winter, but in the summer, it's heavenly.

Random History:  "This beautiful spring is named for Juan Ponce de León, who led the first Spanish expedition to Florida in 1513-as legend has it-in search of the 'fountain of youth.' The main spring is a convergence of two underground water flows, and produces 14 million gallons of water daily."

There's a deep pool section, then a creek-like shallow section that meanders through the woods.  We walked the nature trails, looked for alligators, then stuck our feet in the shallow section for a while.  After munching on our picnic lunch - ham, cheddar, field greens and (what else) mustard on sourdough bread with a side of cherries and a brownie for dessert... washed down with a LOT of water - we got back in the creek, where we stayed for another hour or so.  Then it was back on the road and headed home.

You may be thinking, what's adventurous about that? Well, it's more adventurous than couch potato-ing or office chair-ing.  The point is, we got off our backsides and spent quality time together.  More thoughts on the importance of dating after marriage and date ideas in future posts - stay tuned!

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