Today was supposed to be my mom and I only, but Ashley works tomorrow (Sunday) and she will not be able to make it to the family outing, so I told her she could join us today. We woke early and had breakfast at Grannie’s. My mom loves diner food. I have wanted to take her to eat breakfast here for the longest time and never got the chance. As we were going to be in the area, I thought it would be the perfect place to have breakfast. We all had cheese omelettes with home fries and toast, I added bacon and Ashley added pancakes. My mother had her usual coffee while we had our orange juices.
I was glad to be able to use my Florida State Parks annual pass again for the Crystal River State Archeological Site, a sacred ceremonial mound complex. The state park features three kinds of mounds on their grounds. There were the purposefully built mounds that were structures made of sand, soil, shell, or midden material. They pretty much looked like small hills in the landscape, regular hills covered in grass. There were the midden mounds which were made out of the remains of everyday life that had been discarded and built up over time. These midden mounds were made up of artifacts such as food remains like oyster shells, animal bones, and broken pieces of pottery. You could see the shells sticking out in several locations and many artifacts found in or around the mounds have been put on display inside the museum at the entrance to the park. The Burial mounds of course contain human remains or burials. The remains have not been removed or sold off to be displayed. They remain in their resting place.
One of the mounds bigger mounds had a staircase, which we climbed and found the most incredible view of the Crystal River. We sat up there a while enjoying the breeze and watching the boats on the river. It is scallop season so boat traffic was heavy with people combing the waters for their treasures. Other than the views, my favorite part of the park was a Stela, where a pretty clear image of a face could be seen on the side of the stone slab.
The heat of the day was starting to get to us, we wanted out of the park, but we weren’t yet hungry. I very much wanted to take my mother for lunch at Tea House 650. She really loves to eat there and we are not in the area often, so I did not want to leave before we got a chance to do so. I decided to kill some time, work up an appetite, and cool off in some Air Conditioning to take them to the creepy Crystal River Mall. It actually wasn’t half bad this time around. I was very excited about our decision to go in there actually.
A few weeks back, while at the airport flea market, I found four beautiful white and gold tea cups and saucers for $2. I have been in search for a matching tea pot ever since, but the ones I found were all $200-300. As we walked through the mall we came across a store called RSVP Market. It was full of random objects, and at the entrance stood a tea party display that had the white and gold teapot I had been searching for. I ran inside and asked the lady behind the counter if it was for sale, she said it was and at only $20! I was not planning on buying anything for myself, but I had to. I knew I wouldn’t find it anywhere else at such an amazing price. I’m extremely happy to finally have a tea set. I had one many years ago, that my grandmother gave me. She absolutely loved tea. I would sit with her and drink tea while she gossiped and told stories about our family. Unfortunately, I lived with barbaric cousins who ended up slaughtering my set. I never bothered to get nice things again after that. Everything I ever had in that apartment was always destroyed. Now that I have my own place and can feel at peace for once in my life, I can finally allow myself to have the nice things I have always wanted and could never have. It feels really good to be able to do that.
By the time we walked the entire mall (it’s not that big), we were feeling the hunger so as planned we had lunch at Tea House. I decided to be adventurous and try new things on the menu. This time I got the chicken salad with a Matcha Martini. No alcohol involved with that one. It is pretty much matcha green tea and lemonade shaken martini style with ice. It was delicious.
From the tea house, we took a drive out to see the old Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park in Homosassa. “This site was once part of a thriving sugar plantation owned by David Levy Yulee. Yulee was a member of the Territorial Legislative Council, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate after Florida statehood. The park contains the remnants of the once-thriving 5,100-acre sugar plantation: a forty-foot limestone masonry chimney, iron gears, and a cane press. The steam-driven mill operated from 1851 to 1864 and served as a supplier of sugar products for southern troops during the Civil War.” Next door, The Old Mill Tavern was playing live music, which we enjoyed, singing and dancing to, while we walked around the mill.
Back at home, I put my new tea set to use by having a mad hatter tea part with Ashley. It did not start off that way, but that’s definitely how it ended.