So, my magical weekend really started on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. That was when my boyfriend Jerome came over to have a pre-holiday dinner with my family. Actually, not only did he come, but my sister's boyfriend and my brother's girlfriend came over too. It was a great big party, and my mom made the most delicious vegetarian foods! Salad and steamed veggies, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, lots of dishes. One of my favorites was the bean meatloaf, which was our main course in place of a turkey. ^,^
After dinner, my parents, siblings and all our significant others went on a walk around the neighborhood, which was a little bit chilly, but nice. (I can't complain about cold though, not when it's snowing where some of my good friends are. ^,~) Later Annette and her boyfriend Aaron left to go to his place, and Jerome got to spend the night with me, which was good because we'd be doing a lot of traveling in the morning... We were spending the weekend with Jerome and his family at Fish Eating Creek, which is a cool campground just couple of hours from my home in Weston. I was so excited to check it out! His mom, Chantal, had already gone there that very day and set up the tents and everything for us. His dad, brother and we would all meet up with her by noon on Thursday
Thanksgiving morning we woke up at 8 and were out of there by 9 with everything packed. Clothes, shoes, toothbrush, and plenty of food. (I was sure Chantal had brought enough food, but just in case there weren't many vegetarian options... It's best to come prepared).
It was a great, easy drive. Jerome and I stopped at a nearby Walmart and got ingredients for s'mores (graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows), just in case no one had thought to bring them. We arrived at the campsite around 11 and were very surprised to see his father Alan and younger brother Julian (or Jules) were already there. Jules works at Uhaul and had driven down from Gainesville in a discounted truck, which he also slept in that weekend. Alan had set off from Miami at about 5:30 in the morning, so he got there long before us. XD
The first thing we did upon arriving at Fish Eating Creek (after Jerome and I put our stuff away in our tent and settled down), was go kayaking / canoeing with the family. Alan and Jules got the 2 kayaks and I rowed with Jerome, with his mom in the middle. Rowing on the creek was so beautiful!
Jerome took this for me.
Julian took this picture of Jerome and me together
We stopped at a couple of beaches, climbed trees, waded in the cold water. We even saw a cool little floating island of red ants! (I wish I'd gotten a picture of that!) The only downsides of the boating trip was that we hadn't brought any sandwiches or snacks with us, so we were really hungry. Also we'd been rowing downstream before, so we had to row upstream going back, and the wind was blowing against us! As you can imagine, it was quite tiring. But hey, great opportunity for exercise. ^,^
We got back to the campsite around 2 or 3, and Jerome and Julian's parents got the turkey started cooking, along with the other foods too. Meanwhile, I went with the 2 brothers on a long walk on one of the trails they'd explored countless times as kids. We were back well before dark.
Thanksgiving with the Ginori family was a lot tastier than I'd expected it to be. Mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, green beans, cornbread. I was quite satisfied with the meal, as a vegetarian. I had a teensy bite of turkey from Jerome's plate, because I've never tasted it before. It was really chewy. I couldn't imagine eating any more.
Jerome and I washed the pans and utensils at one of facilities, and it got dark and cold quickly. After sitting around the fire for a while, we all decided to go on another walk in the night, this time including mother Chantal. Alan stayed behind to guard the fire. We saw so many stars as we walked! It was so beautiful. We came back and had key lime pie for dessert.
Jerome and I were really tired from our long and exciting day, so we announced that we were going to bed. The others teased us, since it was barely 8 o'clock. That's a lot earlier than I normally sleep, but hey, your sleeping schedules changes drastically when you go camping! It's a lot easier to get tired when it's been dark for a while.
Day 1 of camping complete! I'll post my stories about the next day tomorrow. ^_~