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Like I mentioned on Monday, my mom and I took a quick trip down south this weekend. While spending time with family was at the top of the list of “things to do”, #2 was go to Weeki Wachee to see the mermaids. Even though I lived in central Florida until I was 18, I didn’t know anything about “The City of Mermaids.” It wasn’t until I came to college and spent some time learning about what there was to do in the sunshine state that I discovered I had grown up a mere 2.5 hours away from mythological creatures. It took another 10ish years for me to finally make the trip, and I wish I had done it a lot sooner.
Even though I was completely in the dark, it turns out my mom and her siblings went to Weeki Wachee a number of times in the 60’s and 70’s. Heck, there are even stories about my grandparents losing my Uncle Brian at one of the swimming spots and my Uncle Larry skipping school with his friend to go hang out with the mermaids.
The park has changed a bit since then – the impressive shell has been removed from the springs and the mermaids do a lot more of their tricks in fins -, but walking around you get the sense that the history of the place is being honored, while modernizing some of their practices to make sure the park maintained for future generations.
Now I am completely aware that these aren’t “real” mermaids, but the little girl in me was completely dazzled by these amazing underwater acrobats. I gave my mom such a hard time because now I am old, married, and live far far away, but a younger more athletic me could have perhaps joined these ladies and worn fins of my very own. If only I’d known! I clapped and cheered my heart out for these ladies (because they can actually hear you through the glass), and I only hope that I have the chance to make a return trip very, very soon.
If you’re interested in learning more about the mermaids, you can check out the park’s website, and if you keep a close eye on their camp schedule, you can even book a spot in their weekend “Siren’s of the Deep” class and learn what it’s like to be one of the Weeki Wachee mermaids.