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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

FLORIDA'S HOMOSASSA SPRINGS

This is a guest post from one of TAT's readers.  I really enjoyed this, and wanted to share with you.  I think you’ll enjoy it too.  Remember you, too, have a standing invitation to share your vacations with us.
Follow this link to get more information on Homosassa Springs
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What if you're adventurous??????
Just came back from turning a sour weekend into a good one.  Went from the funeral of a friend in Ocala, Florida on Saturday to a neat experience of reliving the past by visiting Homosassa Springs in Central Florida, one of the first attractions my parents introduced Florida to me when I was 12. 

For a mere $13.00 ($10 with AARP) each person gets to go on a scenic boat ride on the crystal clear springs of Homosassa and view the "real Florida" as it was when the first explorers came to our land.  There are hundreds of species of beautiful birds, including 5 foot high gorgeous flamingos and many 14 foot toothy alligators. We walked boardwalk about a mile long through a thoughtfully put together theme park with "open" cages filled with Florida key deer, fox, the "blue" wolfs of North Carolina soon to work their way down to Florida, and huge bobcats. There’s a reptile house, and the oldest hippo (53 years) inside the United States.  I believe his name was "Lou."

They also have a rehabilitative center for manatees, "the Florida sea cow, or mermaid," and two of the biggest manatees I have ever seen in my life.

Throughout the park are a good number of clean restrooms for us older walkabouts with ice cold water running through the fountains.  There are several rest areas that sell ice cream and drinks and snacks and at prices that won't send you to having to use your credit cards just to get some refreshment. 

 Another thing, when you park your car, guess what, they don’t charge you $15.00 for them only  to slap you in the face and say they are not responsible for your vehicle.

Right next door we stayed in the beautiful Oasis Hotel that was as clean as the theme park (not connected), with a beautiful pool, bar, and restaurant. The room with nice furnishings included your coffee pot, refrigerator, microwave, and plenty of hot water for---are you ready - ? - including tax $65.00 per night.

I have to warn you in advance, however, there are not many hotels in the area, and although this hotel appears to have at least 200 rooms in it, I would recommend booking in advance as far as you can.  We stepped right into a room on a Saturday with no prior reservations, and around us were several "good old" 1960's type MO-tels that were $32- 38 per night each.

In morning we went across the street to the Sunrise CafĂ©, and for a mere $16 had a super "Platter" breakfast that stuffed the two of us. 

What a refreshing way to see the real Florida.  We enjoyed it and maybe one day after my description someone else may take a look at it too. 

This was originally written to a grand friend who travels a lot herself with her husband and I thought after writing it to her I might share with the rest of my friends as well.

Everybody out there take care of each other.


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