Trip to Gainesville, Florida

While all the college kids were going on their spring break trips, I went on a little trip of my own even though I’m no longer in school. Matthew and I went to Gainesville, Florida.

Matthew’s uncle who lived in Florida passed away a few weeks ago. We went to the celebration of life service that was held for him last weekend. We traveled just over 13 hours down to Florida with Matthew’s cousin, Jake. The rest of the family, siblings, cousins, in-laws, aunts, and uncles, drove in separate cars. We arrived on Friday to a nice little campground.

Matthew’s immediate family and Jake stayed in the campground together. I loved it! I very much prefer staying somewhere like that rather than a hotel. I always enjoy my stay more!

Matthew and I had our own little cabin to ourselves. It barely fit two full-sized beds, a bunk-bed, and a table and chairs. There was a shower house in the middle of the campground. The people who were staying there were so nice! And they all had the most adorable dogs!

The campground was right across from the Itchetucknee Springs. The springs were absolutely stunning! The waters were perfectly clear. You could see all the way to the bottom, all the fish and everything! The springs are 72 degrees year round so it was a little chilly when we swam in them, but totally worth it!

We swam in the Head Spring and Blue Hole. It was an amazing experience. We had goggles and snorkels and just had a blast!

On Saturday we headed to Matthew’s late uncle Duane’s house, which is where the service was held. I had never been to a celebration of life service, but this one was so beautiful! It was amazing to see how much love everyone has for Duane Thomas. I am so glad I was able to meet him before he passed. I didn’t know him very well, but based on the stories and how much he touched the hearts of others, I could tell he was a wonderful man.

The house where the service was held was one of the most beautiful homes and properties I have been to. The front yard had one of the largest trees I have ever seen in person. I took pictures, but they do not capture the pure beauty of this oak tree that was covered in spanish moss. The property also had orange trees and grapefruit trees. It was all so breathtaking.

After the service we hung out with the family for awhile and drove down to a creek that sits behind the property that the service was at. Again, everything was gorgeous.

Sunday, we drove back home. It was a very short trip, but seriously so much fun. I am so thankful I got to have that experience! The most crazy part about the whole trip was that my anxiety was barely there. When we went to the celebration of life, surrounded by all those people, most of which I didn’t know, I felt calm. I just felt all the love that was there and it made me feel at ease.

Overall, it was a wonderful time. I highly recommend visiting Gainesville and swimming in the springs. I want to go back!!

Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

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