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We had planned on leaving town at 3 PM on Thursday (past). We left after 9 PM. We were all so angry and stressed, I’m surprised we just didn’t all implode and/or kill each other before we left town.

We got into Crystal River, FL about 1 AM. Ugh. Friday we went to Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, which was very enjoyable. Unfortunately, we discovered much too late that the really great on-property restaurant is now in different hands, and is no longer great. That was the first of many mediocre to bad meals that followed us for the rest of the vacation.

We left Homosassa Springs and headed southwest to Lakeland, FL. It holds the titles of “Most Depressing City Stuck between Two Major Metropoli” and “Worst Food in West Central FL”. The best meal we had all weekend was at an Olive Garden. Maybe if we had some time to actually get out an explore the area our initial impressions would have been more positive, but for me, all I saw was the hotel and the clubhouse where my workshop was being held.

On Saturday and Sunday I attended a 2-day workshop on Floral Tile Jewelry construction with Lynne Schwarzenberg (polymer clay). It was great to meet new clay friends, especially ones who all live in Florida, too. Learned a lot, too. Here’s the tile that I completed – the yellow/fuschia rose and the 2-tone leaves are mine. The yellow rose and background is Lynne’s, the long dark leaves were my tablemate, Priscilla’s, work and the bugs came from Lynne’s stash (I forget who the artist is).

On Saturday Jon took Avner to Tampa’s Museum of Science & Industry. Got in for free with our membership to the local science museum. On Sunday Jon and Avner went to Dinosaur World and Harbor Freight Tools.

We left Lakeland on Monday and decided to ‘do’ the Kennedy Space Center instead of Cypress Gardens. We had a BLAST (lol).

And, since we arrived later than planned and we knew we were going to miss a few things, we bought an annual pass, which if we come back only 1 more time, saves us $50 off of standard admission. We had a great, if pricey, lunch at the on-property sit-down restaurant and on the way out of Titusville stopped at a local seafood place for another great meal (FINALLY).

Made it as far as Gainesville last night and spent the night there. Got up, breakfasted and drove 2 hours home!