It's about a 1 1/2 hour drive to get there, but some things are worth it. And that definitely includes the blackened grouper stuffed with crab meat, on a light shrimp sauce. This dish is on our "Best food on the Road" list. They don't make it in a lunch-sized portion, so we had to order the full dinner. Bad luck, but what can you do?
Next Donna suggested we visit Fort Island Gulf Beach, about 25 miles away. It's a lovely stretch of land, with a boardwalk that gives a great view of the gulf. And off in the distance is that nuclear power station that was converted to use coal.
Nearby is a pretty little strip of sandy beach, cordoned off for swimmers. Pete and Randy moved the car over there, while Donna and I walked to it via the boardwalk.
Our third stop of the day was Rainbow Springs State Park. When we parked and got out of the car, immediately to our left was a big spider. Then we noticed that there was another one....and another one... and a bunch more!
Pete gave me a heart attack by pretending to push me into this mess; he doesn't know how lucky he is that he didn't actually do it! But soon I quit screaming and we moved on. And found one of the most beautiful waterways I've ever seen. The main area looks a lot like a pool, but only the dock is man-made. The bottom is sand and rocks, and natural springs supply water that is always around 72 degrees.Just a few yards over is where the dock ends and the natural shore begins. The only thing that separates the swimming area from the rest of the springs is a rope with buoys.
This is so pretty that I almost (but not quite) quit looking for spiders.