I am in between Bands!…of rain from Tropical Storm Colin. Its been quiet for a while now; hoping that I can press out this post before the internet goes down again.
You may have (or not) noticed that links are often included in my posts. In most instances I hope that you click on them because they usually provide information which may clarify some of my story…validation that I’m not making it up.
A couple of days ago, I was lucky enough to experience not one, but TWO adventures of the first kind. I strongly urge you to click on the links today because there literally are not enough words to describe these two destinations. Really!
It may have become evident that I will quickly jump on any oppurtunity for a new adventure. When the email from my January cruise cabin mate arrived, I instantly accepted her invitation to explore the mineral springs fountain of youth http://www.warmmineral.com/. Originally we planned on today’s date. Then the weather forecast mentioned possibly tropical storm watch for Monday. No problem, we both have flexibility so we decided to go Saturday.
We were both curious about the website phrases which include, fountain of youth and wellness. The sink hole made it interesting. Not to mention the depth of over 200 feet. We can both swim, I no longer feel the need to touch the bottom and break the surface before running out of air so I was okay with that. My only concern was the water smelling like rotten eggs from sulpher.
The site also mentions water tempurature of 87 degrees. What could be better. She picked me up promptly at 8:30 for the hour plus drive to the magical mineral springs; which were only recently re-opened. We arrived shortly after the 10:00 o’clock opening hour. There were already a fair number of cars in the parking lot. The surrounding grounds are pleasantly groomed; entry area clean and welcoming.
Some one in the parking lot mentioned that yes, noodles are permitted, one of us hadn’t even thought to bring mine along. We paid the admission price; I bought another noodle; we were instructed on the suggested minimun forty-five minute immersion deep enough to cover shoulders; directed to bathroom/changing-locker-shower room. Signs over the sinks ordering visitors NOT to wash shoes or suits in the sink. Okay, we commented.
The ticket seller had also provided guidelines about the ropes, the children’s section and the warning about center depths. If we were wearing any 10 or 12 carat jewelry we may want to remove it before hitting the water…it would tarnish. We easily decided that chairs in the shade would be better than in the sun and quickly found two side by side. The lush green lawn added to the welcome thought of 87 degree water.
We donned our protective sun hats and headed to the launch pad. Think sink hole, no sandy shore just a steep drop into the water. There are a couple of ramps around the sink hole. A large clock hangs near the ramp so those in search of youthful wellness can make sure not to exit the waters too soon.
First of all, one of us never even considered water shoes (yeah, that’t be me). The sand bags at the bottom of the ramp provided to first clue and instant regret about the lack of water shoes. I boldly and probably louder that necessary that I was no way going to put my feet on the bottom of the hole. My gratitude meter for the noodle shot way up to the top! I retracted my legs into a crunch position – quickly.
As we were aclimating to the water temperature that felt colder than the pool at “the creek,” we observed things. Weird things. There was the person wearing a complete head/face cover combination of Sahara sun flaps and Muslim veil; quickly dubbed, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Followed closely by the Blue Bubble Head which was actually an old fashioned bathing cap stretched over a LOT of hair. Only hair. Truely a bubble of hair.
It’s really hard to describe the floaters. Multiple types including humans with various combinations of noodlery configurations. Some tied into donut shapes, some strong together with shoestrings to form horse shoe shapes – too many other creative connections to continue. Oh, yes, there really was some one with white face paint and bright red lipstick. Some sported white parallelogram shaped nose guards. BUT then there were the organic matter floaters. Minnows were easily identifiable. But the others – ugh, yuck, geez. In reality mostly some sort of algea – maybe. But they could be ancient chunks of archaeological human remains, or chunks of aquatic plants, or the worst possible option, poop!. Yuck.
Checking the clock we still had forty minutes to soak up maximum benefits; my friend had not been brave enough to get her shoulders wet yet. We witnessed what was probably a hands-on-healing encounter. I boldly confided that I too had the healing touch. She turned so I could place a hand on her shoulder; my hand rapidly honing in on “the spot.” Not too many looked our way when she started moaning that it “hurt good.” “Don’t stop.” A little weird, considering.
Given the fact that we were tuned into language predominately sounding like Russian I was not too embarrassed. I vaguely recall reading something to the effect that visitors world wide are attracted to the warm (!?) mineral springs.
As soon as we hit the forty-five minute mark, we practically launched ourselves out of the stink hole. Not rotten eggs smell – just – minerals I guess. As we sat in the chairs drying off we initially were undecided about going back in for another “treatment.” I asked her if she felt any younger. We were hungry. I suggested that we may want to re-immerse and at least spend as long in the water as it took us to get there. Merely a suggestion. We opted to frantically try to rinse the stink and slime from ourselves and find something to eat. I know understood the sign about not rinsing shoes or suits in the sinks.
Bottom line, yes, I would return now that I know what to expect. I would bring soap and shampoo and wear a disposable swimsuit if possible.
We laughed a lot which may be the real healing, youthful benefit of the warm mineral spring experience.
After a pleasant lunch on the ride home, she looks over and asks, “Have you been to the bowling bowl house?” http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/21302
I of course started my queries but she remained mum. My next question was, “When can we go?!”
Well, we could fit it in this afternoon. So we did. Honestly, Google Whimzyland if the links provided don’t bring you to the most unusual house ever. E-v-e-r!! I can’t even begin to describe it justly. I also couldn’t ignore the twelve foot high piece sign on the lawn across the street or the larger than life purple and pink elephant on the other corner. It is a must see. At Christmas they include lights. My new Christmas Eve tradition, I feel it coming.
As another fresh band approaches I’m hitting publish before I loose connection. Apologies for any typos or grammatical errors in advance.