Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wakulla Springs

Earlier this month we dropped Hannah off for S.E.E.K. at this picturesque lodge in Wakulla Springs State Park. It was built in the twenties and was filled with antiques and decorated with old pictures. The ceiling was carved wood with beautiful paintings on the panels. Hannah said each room was uniquely decorated and were very large. Not at all like bunking down in the dorms at the University of Florida last summer.

The middle kids and I spent 4 days exploring Tallahassee and studying Florida history together. We were blessed in so many ways by the lovely people we encountered. From the visitor center to the Mission San Luis, we were treated like royalty. The people took their time to teach us everything they could and were so patient with the less than enthusiastic one when they got no response to their inquiries. At the Museum of Florida History the director loaded us down with books, c.d.s, maps, and many educational items when he found out we were homeschoolers. I have never learned so much or met such lovely people on a field trip as we met during our visit.

We enjoyed driving around the city and learned our way around by getting lost numerous times. This is my way of finding all the treasured spots and it is a fun adventure, although it is a bit stressful at times. The old brick buildings and meticulous landscaping kept my head turning and my camera clicking. We walked until our feet hurt and then walked some more. One child begged to take elevators just to get a break from all the steps we walked up and down.

The simple candle inside a friar's cell at Mission San Luis.
Although this is a reproduction of what the Mission looked like, the people who worked here made history come alive. They were in character the whole time and we felt we were a part of the life they lived so long ago.
The bell would be rung for prayer. There was chanting in the church and many reproductions of religious art. An altar, crucifix, candles, and baptistery made you feel you were walking on holy ground. The fact that Florida had it's own Camino Real, just like California's, made me go back to my youth when I studied the missions. So many fond memories of the holy moments in my childhood.
I will post more when I've had a chance to go through the multitude of pictures.