First – you must go to YouTube and search Christmas in Ocala by Truckstop Honeymoon. It’s impossible to spend time here and not have that song in mind. Did I ever think that I would actually be in Ocala? Never. We enjoyed the historic downtown area. Several restaurants, bars, and a beautifully decorated central square.

Lots of people spending time here, enjoying the sights and the live music.

We got a late start to the day on Sunday, sleeping in after a Saturday evening in downtown Ocala. After dinner at Bank Street, and a few drinks, we happened upon a speakeasy. Above the door it said Shhhh… But its real name is The Thirsty Cobbler. Password: Last Call. Small, evocative space with interesting drinks.

Once finally out the door, we headed to Salt Springs Recreational Area. We walked the Bear Swamp Trail through dense forest, with warnings of bear. We saw squirrels.

The salt springs was fab! A constant 72 degrees of 52 million gallons of water pulsing up from the earth. But shallow, so pretty warm. Easy to get into and swim around. Just grand. In one area with rocky ledges there were lots of fish and beautiful blue crabs

Sunday night many restaurants were closed. Long wait times at others. We found a spot that only locals go to: The Black Sheep. Good menu. I appreciated this banner. Full disclosure – i have a crush on DeSantis.

We stayed at a small historic inn that a friend recommended, The Shamrock Inn. Each room is decorated with different locales in mind. We were in the New England room. The owner has spent an inordinate number of hours collecting decor and filling the rooms and outside with comfort inducing pieces. And the plants! She also supplies coffee, fresh baked breakfast pastry, fruit, and a variety of snacks. Really a fun place to stay. And walking distance to the historic square!

Tonight we are in a spacious Inn\apartment, almost beach side, with an outdoor balcony in Treasure Island, on the Gulf. So nice after small rooms. More tomorrow! Well, i will post this photo of the very hazy day here. Quite lovely, really.

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