Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lithia Spring

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 Man, did it rain!    It threatened most of the morning and before we reached Lithia Springs it started!   We parked in the rain and I believe it rained all thru the night.  Thankfully it was not as incessant as the last all-nighter downpour.    It’s been a few years since we’ve parked in this Hillsborough County campground and it hasn’t changed any.  The electric and water hookups are still goofy.  Imagine a deep, secluded, picturesque campsite carved out of the jungle, complete with fire ring and picnic table – but the hookups are way up at the edge of the road - - - on the wrong side of the drive!    We were assigned our spot first and it was great – deep, almost level and hookups in the right spot.  Ron was given the big spot next door – deep but not level and had a big Live Oak limb hanging a bit too low for him – and, yes – hookups up by the road and on the wrong side.  He ended up out of yelling range, a half dozen sites down the way before he found a site that fit.  Good thing we had walkie-talkies and bikes – and nobody camping between us.   The lousy speed bumps are still lying across the roadways everywhere.   SPFB!   The views are still great tho, and the spring is still clear, cool and inviting so when the weather warms- we’re going in!  The Camp Hosts are a hoot.  George is from Pennsylvania and Joe and Bev are from Shelby MICHIGAN.  When we rode our bikes past their site and saw the Michigan tag on his truck, I couldn’t contain myself and yelled “GO BLUE”!  \

 On our 1st full day, it was H’s turn to drive and we ended up at our favorite lunch spot – Brandon Farms for their ever so yummy strawberry shortcake!  On Wednesday we all climbed in R’s big gray truck and headed to Ybor City (EE-bore) the historical community of eclectic Cuban shops and restaurants just north of Tampa.   The last time we were in the Tampa area, Bud and Carol joined us to explore and we road the trolley from downtown Ybor to downtown Tampa and back.  A really nice ride – past the Florida Aquarium, the cruise ship docks and the convention center and then back.  Once back at the campground, the temps had hit a new high of 85 degrees so off we went – over or around the stupid speed bumps to the spring! OH – did the cool, clear water feel great!    It was H’s turn to drive the next trip out and we headed back east towards Plant City.    We had no problem entering the 2nd of the 3 Hillsborough County Parks – Edward Medard.   We still had our Lithia Springs tag hanging from the mirror!   The campground was empty except for the campground hosts.  What a shame for such a lovely park!  We had heard that the lake was still drained because of dam problems from several years ago but the lake level was plenty high and the parking lot had a good share of empty boat trailers just hanging around with nothing to do.  We did finally arrive in Plant City and the “boys” let us “girls” go shopping on our own - antique shops and a great quilt shop.  I resisted the urge to buy any more fabric that I didn’t need!   Nancy didn’t!

Friday was a stay at home day for H and I.  More miles on the bikes; knitting and reading; and finally we headed back down to the spring with our snorkel masks this time!   The “pond” was totally ours and we took advantage of the peaceful setting!    H took his new camera that can go under water and got some pretty neat shots.  He thinks it’s funny to take a picture with the camera half in and half out of the water.  The results are cool – but definitely NOT flattering to a lady’s mature figure!  Oh well.  And, if you stood still for more than a few minutes, all those fish would come and nibble on your feet and ankles which is quiet a shocking feeling the first time their little suction lips pull on your unsuspecting flesh!!   More than once, H had to remind me not to make so many funny noises!!   

Saturday has arrived and it’s our last day here.  We made the most of it by going out for yet another wonderful lunch of Strawberry Shortcake at Brandon Farms.  Then it was back to the “pond”!      R&N came over for supper - fresh sweet corn, BLT’s and cukes in sour cream.   Now, dishes are done, the awning is brushed off and rolled up and our little bikes are folded up and back in the truck.   Sunday morning is moving day again!    Here we come Ruskin!