We had planned a day at Silver Springs, which is Florida’s oldest tourist destination, so we were up early and after striking camp, showers and a bit of breakfast we began the drive. Arriving at the address given in the travel guide, we came to a gate, with the address written on it, which had quite clearly not been used for a while. Looking up Silver Springs on the GPS we followed it another couple of miles only to discover that it was not, as we had thought, similar to Blue Springs the day before, but a theme park of sorts, with a $7 parking fee and $30 each for admission… No thank you. We were a little disappointed at this so found somewhere to pull over and looked to see if there was anything else that interested us in the area. There wasn’t anything else in the immediate area so we decided just to start the 4 hour drive to our next stop. Liz drove for two hours before we switched over, then I took over. We stopped off at Denny’s for lunch. (Even though it was lunchtime, we had the build your own all day breakfast – cereal, eggs and toast for lunch… yes please!)  The weather all day had been a little disappointing, but after leaving Denny’s the heavens opened and it poured with rain as thunder growled and lightning split the sky above us. As we drove, we crossed into a new time zone, we are now in Central Time (GMT – 6 hours) , however I got confused and thought it went the other way… fail! The thunderstorm was still going strong by the time we arrived at the campsite.  There was no-one in the office and we were told that we could hang out in the rec room until the rain stopped. After a while the owners (a retired air force man and his young Columbian wife) came in and we chatted for a while. They also told us that they had rustic cabins available if we didn’t want to camp in the thunderstorm. We said that we would see if the weather cleared up and make our decision later on. The owners and their young daughter were around the rec room and chatting to us for a while and as it got later asked us if we had made our decision. We decided to go for the cabin since the rain was still coming down in sheets, and Maria headed out to prepare one for us. When she returned about half an hour later, Bob got up to take us over and said that she had prepared the wrong one and they then went out together to prepare the other one. After a short while they returned and directed us over to it, they had very kindly given us an RV for the night, complete with its own kitchen and bathroom, bliss! He also refused to let us pay full price for this, giving it to us for the same price as our $15 per night tent site. After showing us around and telling us how everything worked, they invited us for dinner with them, which we couldn’t politely refuse, and anyway, it sounded much more appealing than microwave rice. They bid us goodbye for the time being and said to come over in about an hour. We settled in to the trailer and made ourselves a bit more presentable before heading over to supper. It was a bit of a squeeze round the table with Pookie (the baby, her real name is America) in her high chair, and as much as possible being kept out of her reach, but we managed. Both Liz and I were a bit surprised when we all joined hands around the table to say grace, but obviously did so without comment. Dinner was lovely, spaghetti and salad, followed by ice-cream. They were so welcoming to us, even though we were complete strangers and it was very much appreciated, particularly given the weather. After dinner we headed back over to our trailer and got ready for bed, while listening to the still continuing storm outside.

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