No, I'm not writing about Orlando! Ocala, on the other hand, I have sentimental ties to, the strongest of which is that my father was born there. Actually born in the house they lived in at the time, not at the hospital, which was perfectly normal back in 1926!
I grew up visiting my grandmother at her home on the shores of Lake Kerr right outside of Ocala, and marvel at the things my sister and I were allowed to do without adults around. My grandmother owned over fifty acres with a lovely house facing the lake. She had a guest house where we stayed, a double detached garage, citrus orchard, grapes, bees (my dad kept them), and a large Camellia garden right next to the house. The dock was located down by the “hunting” cabin, the first house she and my grandfather built there.
Anyway, I could go on and on about memories, fishing, swimming, exploring. My sister and I were so lucky! When “Mama Ruth” as we called her, decided it was time to sell up, she sold most of it to a family who raised thoroughbred horses. This was during the beginning of the influx of horse breeders/trainers who have now basically taken over the landscape around Ocala and made it second only to Kentucky.
|A horse "farm"
These horse “farms” are beautiful. I have visited a few and some offer tours that are full of interesting facts and information.
There are other things to see in the area, Silver Springs (my dad’s first job), Salt Springs (where my Dad used to catch blue shell crab in his youth), and LOTS of better than average fishing "holes." Come on, send the kids to the springs, bring a rod and settle in. The weather is just fine...