Hey neighbor! Well, old neighbors! You’re the bomb dot com!
(oh and you two are gorgeous people)
So with the whole rise of the Hammock Club at the University of Florida, it has been a whirlwind of excitement over the past few years seeing the wave of popularity sweep across the Gator Nation.
But where do I fit in all of this? Let me tell y’all a lil bit about myself!
Academic Year: 1st Year Pharmacy Student at the University of Florida, Gainesville Campus. (Yes, that’s Grad School)
Residence: Gainesville, FL
Hobbies: Trying out new instruments, Photography, Playing Piano, Playing Ultimate, Playing Trashcan, Netflix, Playing with Puppies (most definitely).
When did you first get involved in hammocking and why do you love it?
When I first got introduced to portable hammocks at a camping trip at Paynes Prairie about 2 years ago, I was immediately hooked! By Winter Break that year, I put my order in for a hammock and in a week or so, I was the proud owner of a Grand Trunk Double Hammock!
Going back to campus with my newfound love for hammocking and as a new owner, I noticed the lack of hammocks at UF. Walking through the Plaza of the Americas (a main plaza outside one of the main libraries), I would remember seeing 1, maybe 2 hammocks strung up between trees. Now, it’s easy to find 5 or 6 hammocks spread all over the Plaza.
As I started to hammock with some close friends on campus each week, I absolutely loved seeing the attention that the hammocks brought. I loved showing others about the comfort and portability of the relaxing commodities! Overall, what was most surprising to me was the hammock community itself.
Just by hanging out (in the most literal sense) with my friends, I’ve had multiple opportunities to meet other wonderful people, whether they were students passing by, hikers on trails in the mountains, to slackliners or reporters from the local press!
What do you have to say about the recent tensions involving banning hammocks on College campuses?
With such an easy going and close-knit hammock community, it’s a shame to anyone who isn’t able to join in on the fun! In the midst of the recent backlash from various colleges about banning hammocks on campus, it is truly upsetting to see that the opportunities for communities and outdoor encouragement are being suppressed.
Sure, people can meet up and still go outside and hike and all, but for others, the allure of convenient relaxation might be the encouragement that many millennials of today need to get out! In this time and age of ‘fast paced’ lifestyles, we all need time to step back and relax. One of the best ways to recharge is to unplug and disconnect for a little.
I hope you all can hop on this train with me! Hammock away, my friends!
Ginnie Springs is one of those places you just have to visit with some friends. From clear blue waters, to small underwater caves, and open hangout areas, it’s a full day family event kind of place.
Cost: $14 entrance.
Snorkel Mask Rental: $5
Upon entering the springs, there are actually 7 different springs to visit. By floating along the Santa Fe River, you’d be able to visit all the springs.
Although it was Summer, the springs were definitely chilly. Maintaining water temperatures around 72 degrees, the springs offered a refreshing dip in clear blue waters.
At Devil’s Springs (right of Ginnie Springs), there is an underwater cave that is set for scuba divers. You can actually snorkel down to the bottom but entering the cave is for divers only. Near the entrance of the spring is a sign warning about the cave. Divers have died down in the cave. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful spring.
At Ginnie Springs, there is a large open cave indentation present. It’s the perfect hole to check out at first!
Dogwood Springs offers a narrow hole that’s goes deep into the earth. The springs area is a little more shady there, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
Other springs included Twin and Deer Springs but they’re not quite as memorable. If you wished to be further away from the crowds and the parking lot, those springs are perfect but otherwise, the springs themselves aren’t quite as beautiful.
In general, for the price of $14, if you spend a whole day there with friends and family, it’s definitely worth it. The various springs offers many different sights to see while swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Besides the natural springs, there are various volleyball courts at each spring. Restroom facilities aren’t the best but they are presentable and clean enough for most people. Connecting all the springs is also a path marked for tubers to walk back to the main parking lot at Ginnie Springs.
The Springs also offers camping accommodation. While camping is considerably pricier, the though of Summer camping next to a natural springs is still inviting right?
Ginnie Springs. Check it out.
4 out of 5 stars.
It’s always an interesting time of year, when friends, especially close friends, make their official debut as a graduate in College. It’s exciting. It’s slightly saddening to accept change. It’s sometimes awkward. It’s exhilarating and crazy. Simply put, graduating is a pivotal time in life, and with such events, we usually look to get photos taken to sum up our times. Our experiences. Our memories.
While I’m not actually graduating, helping friends take photos for their graduation can make me introspective at times. It also helps me explore new beautiful places on campus. It’s pretty fun! Some days, it’ll be perfect. Not too hot. Breezy. Cloudy. And some days it might be less than ideal. Rainy. Windy. Or just plain sunny. Humid. Or even all of the above. It’s Florida weather. Who knows what we’ll get?
No matter, I had a great time taking pictures with my friends, some new, and some that I’ve known for years. Here are some of my favourites! Congrats class of 2015. Ya done well.