J & I had the chance to take yet another Saturday road trip this weekend so we decided to venture over to Rainbow Springs. We got up at the crack of noon, hopped into my PT Cruiser, made a little pit stop at Publix for some yummy subs & hit the open road. We played 21 questions, listened to playlists from the 80s and 90s on Spotify & just enjoyed each others company. We went a route that we've never taken before & laughed at all of the weird things that we drove by. We passed a couple of giant manatees, a million Dollar Generals & came across an actual street called Panda Bear(my favorite animal) Terrace. We also stopped at a gas station that looked like something directly out of a horror film. After a busy week of tests & assignments, a silly drive with my guy was just what I needed.
The two hour drive turned into three after we stopped a couple times to explore but we finally made it to Rainbow Springs around 4 in the afternoon. We paid $2 per person (which is a total steal) to get in, changed into our bathing suits & walked over to the clear blue water. I was under the impression that the springs were 72º year round, but it ended up feeling like we were in whatever water Jack & Rose were in when the Titanic crashed into that iceberg. Even though J has a zero tolerance policy for cold water, he was a trooper & hung out with me in the spring for 15 minutes. We hopped out before J froze to death & went to explore the rest of the beautiful state park. They had the coolest waterfalls & we hopped the fence to get some cool photos in front of one. I know, very #PUNKROCK of us.
From the 1930s to the 70s, Rainbow Springs was a popular tourist attraction with live animals & a rodeo. After it closed, the state park kept all of the cages that the animals used to live in & turned the rodeo area into a cool butterfly garden. I think abandoned areas are really interesting because I like to visualize families bringing their kids there to explore back in the 40s & 50s. J even got inside one of the cages that a bobcat used to live in, which made for some sweet photos.
On the way home, we stopped at one of the only restaurants that didn't weirdly close at 3 p.m. on a Saturday night, Cody's Roadhouse. They gave us a bucket of peanuts & had the yummiest bread with this incredible cinnamon butter. After we filled our bellies, we headed back home & got so lost in conversation that J didn't notice the sudden drop in the speed limit as we entered Hillsborough County. We got pulled over RIGHT before our exit, met the grumpiest cop & Jake got his first ticket ever.
It was another day full of firsts for the both of us & I'm just happy that we got to do all of it together, as a unit.