W is for Wide-Eyed Wonders

Recently we went to visit Army Wife/Guy and Peanut when Army Guy graduated from Warrant Officer School. One of the days we kidnapped Peanut and took a day trip to meet The Floridian and her guy in Tallahassee. After lunch, we found an interesting state park called Wakulla Springs…which works nicely for ABC Wednesday’s W-day as well.

Wakulla Springs is one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. There you can find a beach, swimming area, nature trail and underwater cave. The 1937 Mediterranean Revival lodge on the property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated as a National Natural Landmark. We took  the three-mile Wakulla River  guided boat tour that lasted about an hour. But before that we stopped in the ice cream shop…because in late May, Florida is already STICKY,  HOT and HUMID! Sans the afternoon nap, Peanut charmed the ice cream shop lady out of a cup full of maraschino cherries, drank her vanilla shake and was ready to hit the boat deck.

Now, since we adults like to think we’ve been there, done that for most everything, things really need to be spectacular to impress us. And my question is…at what age do we stop marveling at things in this world? Why do we lose our sense of wonder? When is amazement replaced with indifference?

A boat tour with river wildlife, flora and fauna is probably not the most exciting trip we’ll ever take. But to a two-and-a-half year old, it’s a whole new world opening up right in front of her eyes. And looking at that world through her young, impressionable eyes made a seemingly ordinary river ride something unique.

Here are some of the wide-eyed wonders she saw on the Wakulla River

Bald cypress trees covered with Spanish Moss growing out of the water.

Highlighted in red is a baby alligator. Most people missed it…but not The Floridian.

Turtle Love. Just hanging out on this tree trunk with my friends. The guide said they will stack themselves on top of each other 3 deep.

The highlight of the tour were the manatees. Can you see them?

An Osprey nest…with Mom or Dad on the lookout for presents to bring the kids.

Don’t know what kind of flowers these are, but I’d love to have them in my garden.

This is an Anhinga. It’s also called a “snake bird” because only its head is visible above the water when chasing fish. When it comes out of the water, it holds out the wings to drip dry in the sun.

There are 3,000 acres of forest refuge in Wakulla Springs State Park and it’s home to more than 180 varieties of birds. The underwater cave next to the swimming area is part of the longest and deepest freshwater, underground cave system on earth. More than 28 miles of its cave system has been surveyed and mapped. On average, the springs flow around 400,000 gallons of water into river. On a clear-water day, the glass-bottom boats will show visitors the bones of slain giant sloths, mastodons, camels and giant armadillos that the Paleo Indians hunted 12,000 years ago.

And if this isn’t enough to impress you, I have one more wide-eyed wonder…

A grandgirl…who left with us at 10am…rode two and a half hours…spent the entire day doing fun stuff..rode two and a half hours home…and didn’t take a nap all day.

She’s talking with Papa (who is driving) on her cell phone about her day. I should rename her the Energizer Bunny.

Submitted for ABC Wednesday. For more Ws from around the World, click HERE.




6 thoughts on “W is for Wide-Eyed Wonders

  1. What, no nap?!
    Did you ever read Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss? If you haven’t the Peanut might like it in a year or two. (Your pic reminded me of it.)
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team


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