This weekend, we celebrated the glorious late-winter Florida weather by heading to the great outdoors. We’re lucky to have so many great state parks nearby, and this weekend we chose one of our favs — De Leon Springs State Park.
This is the real reason to make the trek to De Leon:
The pancakes are a thing of beauty. More on them in a moment. We weren’t the only ones with pancakes on the mind. We arrived by 9:15, and when we checked in, we were told the wait was an hour-and-a-half (which isn’t that bad. We’ve been there before when the wait has been up to 3 hours). Luckily, there’s lots to do and see while you’re waiting.
We’ve been swimming here in the summer. The spring water is always 72 degrees, so it feels nice and cool in the summer and warm in the winter. In fact, by the time we sat down to eat, people were in the water! I’m not so brave.
Until it warms up more, we stuck to the playground.
I have to admit, I try really hard to be brave around E. and not pass on my bad habits. My absolute biggest fear in life is snakes. I have a near-debilitating phobia but I really try to hide it around her and encourage her to keep thinking that snakes are “so cool” (her words, believe me, not mine). As much as I put on a brave face, this is NOT what I need to see as we’re about to head into the swamplands:
Honestly, the sign freaked me the hell out and made me way jumpier than I normally would have been. DadJovi kept getting annoyed at me because I jumped at every squirrel noise as we made our way through the nature trail. Stupid sign. Here’s how bad my fear is. When we saw this sign, I was relieved and rooting for bumping into a bobcat rather than a snake — poisonous or not.
We worked up an appetite during our walk through the woods, so luckily our table was ready sooner than we thought. Finally, it was time for the main attraction: pancakes!
They bring you two pitchers of batter — old-fashioned and five grain. And you choose your toppings. This trip we picked blueberries and peanut butter. As our griddle heated up, it was torture waiting for our fixins’ to arrive!
And I think I have a new obsession: blueberry peanut butter pancakes. Trust me on this one. It will change your life.
Every time we head to a spot like De Leon it reminds me again what a beautiful state this is. And it’s just wonderful to be able to get out during all 12 months of the year. We spend a lot of time — A LOT of time — at Disney, so it’s also nice to show E every once in awhile that Tom Sawyer’s Island or the Kilimanjaro Safaris aren’t exactly the real outdoors. Although, at least I don’t have to worry about the shape of a snake’s eyes at Magic Kingdom (yeah, that’s one of the tips on that terrifying Poisonous or Not? sign above. As if I’m going to check out the snake’s eyes. In the words of Forest Gump, I will be RUUUUUNING!)