Last month our friends from southern Maryland came to Florida to get away from the cold and visit some old friends. We were on their list too.
We spent an enjoyable afternoon at De Leon Springs State Park in De Leon Springs, FL in Volusia County. The park covers over 600 acres and is built around a natural sulfur spring flowing at a rate of about 20 millions gallons a day. The spring water remain 72 degrees year round (the spring water is still cold even if the weather outside is lower than 72 degrees). The park offers a wide range of activities from boating to wildlife viewing.
The park used be the site of an old plantation with a mill to grind corn and sugar. The plantation was destroyed during the Civil War but the waterwheel and building remains. The building now houses a pancake restaurant called The Old Spanish Sugar Mill. Each table in the restaurant has a griddle on the table where you make your own (all you can eat) pancakes. The table also has honey, molasses, honey and pure maple syrup for the pancakes. We came into the park around 1PM and we told the restaurant has a waiting time until 4PM. We decided to put our name down and take a boat tour in the mean time.
We saw lots of wildlife! Some that I could remember included: American alligators, turtles, otters, great blue herons, American white ibis, egrets, limpkins, tricolor heron, hawks and vultures. We saw manatees playing in front of the springs. Manatees are cool! Scenery was beautiful too.
After the boat tour, we went to check on our waiting status. As it turned out, they were ready for us! The three men and myself ordered pancakes. I can speak for myself, I ate too many pancakes but it was good!
After this meal, I felt I wasn’t going to be able to eat until the next day. I was stuffed. We were invited to Eustis/Mount Dora for an authentic home cooked Peruvian lomo saltado dinner. It was delicious! Our hostess prepared this delicious meal for eight people (I was so caught up in the moment and conversation that I forgot to take pictures!). Needless to say, we had a wonderful day! Good friends and good food make for a good time any day!