Day 213 – 3/31/21 Rock Springs at Kelly Park

We had a nice day at Kelly Park floating around Rock Springs.

I woke up at my usual time, but didn’t have a lot of time to get stuff done as we wanted to leave a bit early to get to Kelly Park.  We had read that they get packed early and you cannot get in, so we wanted to try.  They open at 8am, but I said we could leave at 8 and get there by 9 and we should be ok.  I just wrote down a few things from the day before, and then started packing things for our day there.  I got started first, then Carol was up and worked on packing, then we got the girls up around 7:30.  We packed apples, strawberries, bread and water and juices.  We packed our water stuff, towels, change of clothes, bodyboards and all.  Lulu was coming with us too, so we got her stuff.  We were able to leave at 8:15, and as I drove off I realized or remembered we were low on gas.  The truck had a 90 mile range left of fuel, and we had 60 miles to go.  A bit too close to try, so I had to stop at a gas station on the way.  The drive was easy, mostly easy highways, but had some neighborhood driving too.  We made it to the park by 9:15, and were able to get in.  As a matter of fact, we were within the first 50 cars.  Heather was able to get in later around 11, and Flavia came much later around noon and got in.  Flavia was told they were letting 6 more cars in after her, so she just made the cut.  It was worth it that we all tried, because we all got in.  

The park is awesome, it is pretty big, with a few picnic and bbq areas spread out.  There is camping too and lots of parking.  They had a concession stand there too.  But, the magic of the place is Rock Springs.   This is a water spring that shoots 2600 gallons of water per hour, out of an underwater cave which starts at Kelly Park.  It is like the Cenotes in Mexico, and reminded us a lot of Xel-Ha.  The water from the spring is super clear and flows down forming a nice lazy river area, where you can start floating from the spring cave, then float all the way to a bridge.  You float for about 10-15 minutes, and in the meantime you can see lots of fish, birds, you can see turtles, maybe snakes, and crystal clear water.  We didn’t see any alligators, but signs said they could be present.  I didn’t see a snake myself, but some guy next to us at one time said he had just seen a small one.  We did see fish, lots of small fish, some medium and a few times, especially later in the day, some pretty big ones were just swimming around right where we were. 

It is a pretty cool place, beautiful, and amazing to swim in that water.  The kids had a great time and loved it.  The water temperature was perfect.  It started a tad cold, but once you were in it it was great.  The kids played non stop, either floating time in the tubes we all got, or playing in the water near our stuff, or even swimming down the stream.  I think we all went down over 10 times, it was fun.  

I got some cheeseburgers from the concession stand mid afternoon.  I got 5 cheeseburgers and 1 veggie burger for Carol.  The stand there is a bit disorganized, but they grilled the burgers to order so they were fresh and actually pretty good.  We had each kid eat at least half a burger.

We kept going down the stream and the kids were trying different configurations of how they sat on the tubes.  The last big run we were almost all in the water, maybe Heather and Todd, Bella and Henrique were not, everyone else was and we went all together.  It was great.  Then the kids wanted to hang out by the spot at the end by the bridge, where there’s a nice pool area and the current feels strong.  It’s a nice spot to enjoy the water. 

I was there for a bit, then headed back, and when I went back to our spot, I could not find my phone.  We looked everywhere, but nothing.  We tried calling it, it went to voicemail.  I tried to locate it, but it showed offline.  I just remember leaving it by our area, either in a bag or on the mat on the floor, but it was gone.  I asked around, I swam down the river with goggles, nothing.  It’s gone.  Damm it.  Second time in ever, second time in FL that my phone is taken.

After everyone was back from the last run, we decided it was time to go.  We packed everything, and as we all did, everyone helped look for my phone, but it was gone.  From there, we went to Calina’s for dinner. 

Ricardo had planned a surprise for the kids, but we needed to wait for all the kids to be there, and since Bia Bellodi was not there yet, we funneled all the kids to the shower in his room.  Once Leo arrived, and all the kids were done with showers, Flavia called them and said she had found a letter by the door, and had all the kids round up so Bella could read the letter.  The letter was from the Easter Bunny, and said there was an Easter egg hunt he setup, and he had names in all the eggs, so if you found someone else’s egg, to not remove it and instead call that person to get it.  As soon as the kids realized what was going on, they were screaming with excitement, it was pretty cool.  They ran around immediately looking for the prizes, without knowing exactly what they were looking for.  When they found the first one, and saw it was big chocolate Easter eggs (from Brazil) they were even more excited.  They ran around for a good 10 minutes looking for all the eggs.  Cam was a bit worried as his egg was the last one found.  Heather said at one point he looked at her with a worried face, as if he was pondering about the decisions he had made that day and how they were impacting him then, and maybe he didn’t get one.  hahahahah. Poor kid, but good lesson.  After all the kids found the eggs, they were reminded that the easter bunny had told them to thank all the parents and hug all their friends, so most of them did.  I saw Bia going around hugging the parents and saying thanks first, then I saw Bella doing it right behind.  I didn’t see the other kids doing it, but was happy that Bia and Bella did.

Pizza arrived right after the egg hunt.  Ricardo ordered some Brazilian pizza, so we had that for dinner and then hung out chatting for a while.

Continuing on the phone situation…. After I arrived at Ricardo’s house, I used his computer to file a lost\stolen phone claims.  I have AppleCare+, which protects against lost or stolen phones.  First I marked the phone as lost \ stolen, then continued to file the claim.  I kept getting a grey screen in one of the claim screens, and could not move forward.  Bottomline, I spent more than an hour with apple support, they sent me to Assurant who processes the claim, who sent me back to apple.  I gave up for that time and just sat with the group for dinner and decided to go back to it later when we got back home.  I did so after we got back, and spent another hour with Apple support, was escalated twice, and eventually told they needed to escalate to someone else and have them call me in the morning.  Yikes!  That’s just to file the claim to get the new phone.  I have a call with Apple tomorrow at 8am, so hopefully we’ll get this resolved so I can get a new phone ASAP.

After we got back from Calinas I showered right away, right after we unloaded the truck.  The girls came in and got ready for bed, everyone was pretty tired.  I worked with apple on the phone situation.  Carol helped unload the truck, took care of a few things outside, the garbage and tent, then came inside and got ready for bed.  She was in bed before I finished dealing with Apple.  By time I was all done and heading to bed it was 11:30.

We had an awesome day at Kelly Park, floating down Rock Springs, and the kids loved the Easter Bunny surprise.

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