Week 11: The River Rats

Week 11: The River Rats

The smell of sweat, river water and camp fire encompasses our tent. It’s 8am and I’m laughing out loud like a loony because I can’t quite grasp what went on yesterday. We’ve been camping on the Chassahowitzka River and as we’re about to start packing up I want to first make sure that I recall every fantastic moment of yesterday. Ryan and I have a quick debate over what the best part was. He verbally accosts me for sucking at rowing; we definitely had a good lesson in teamwork this weekend.  We rented a two person kayak to go explore the springs and wildlife and I was in the back, not strong enough to steer his heavy man ass in the front. Truth be told, I shouldn’t have been in the back to begin with, but something was telling me to stay put since we were exploring uncharted waters. My love for him runs deep but if we do after all encounter something, my life is a bit more valuable. He’s older than me and I haven’t lived long enough just yet. It’s only fair that he enters the mouth of river monster. So yes, the constant fighting and crashing into logs and/or patches of grass was hilarious. For me.

While exploring some underwater caves Ryan was bit on the finger while pointing at a fish. A fish that was about 3 inches long. That as well, was hilarious. He screamed so loud hillbillies for miles could hear. He wasn’t the only one embarrassed that day because hours prior to that I had fallen in a sink hole up to my thighs. The grand highlight however was our encounter with some locals. While kayaking our way back to the campground we passed a boat with what I can only describe as an entire escaped ward from a mental hospital. It was like a bad scary movie that we were about to become the cast of.

The passengers consisted of two old trailer park princesses, a large dog, a middle-aged Gilligan who was stoned off his ass and a flaming young boy with Beiber blonde hair, a full body wet suit and white Tommy Hilfiger loafers. They were hand rolling cigarettes and invited us on their boat for a drink. The flaming young boy would not take no for an answer and with our lack of common sense and thrill seeking attitudes, we boarded their boat. Although I was intoxicated, it was impossible to get on their level. The young boy referred to the middle-aged Gilligan as “THE DOCTOR.” One of the women somehow sliced her hand and without hesitation a cooler of aloe stalks were whipped out, broken, and wrapped around her hand to “cure her.”  We wanted to document this moment and asked the flaming Beiber to take a picture of us. Upon giving him our camera he took approximately 12 pictures of us while we were not looking and then went on to photograph a 10 year old boy who was fishing across the spring. It wasn’t until he mentioned loving little boys that I decided to ask for my camera back.  The other woman appeared after being gone on land for quite some time and returned in a panic saying “it’s time to go.” Within about 30 seconds we were kicked off their boat, back into our kayak, and they were gone. I’m still not convinced that we weren’t somehow drugged because the entire scenario was puzzling.

Shit. I forgot that I am supposed to be writing about brunch. SO, after we reminisced, packed everything up and left camp, we went on to find a local gem: The Breakfast Club of Spring Hill. I was starving because our cookout on the camp fire last night had a few accidents which resulted in sacrificing some chicken to the soot.

Again, to our disbelief, this raved about breakfast joint is in a strip mall. Two weeks in a row and we can’t seem to shake off this retail atmosphere. As we sit at our table waiting to be served I look out the window only to see a greyhound adoption table in the parking lot. Skinny dogs everywhere.  I envision my head on their long slender bodies and then realize that the reality of it all is actually heading down a path which involves my head being put on a moose. Thanks to these Sunday Brunch Adventures the greyhound factor may never be achievable. The menu looks great. We ended up ordering: biscuits and gravy, chicken fried steak, home fries, hash browns, a side of bacon and an Italian sausage omelette.

As we waited for our food I took my mind off the greyhounds and decided to take in our immediate surroundings. What a divided crowd. Ryan and I don’t fit in on either side. The Breakfast Club is full of elderly couples. Retired and adorable elderly couples and friends. Every old woman in there has a manicure and pedicure which makes me think that somewhere down the road is a nice little misplaced community. There is no way in hell they came from Chassahowitzka.  The other half of The Breakfast Club is complete white trash. Between the facial piercings, tattoos, muffin tops, t-backs, mullets, camouflage attire, jean shorts and hairspray, I just can’t take it. I begin to think that we are fortunate our camping reservation was in between a college class of marine biology losers who were still playing truth or dare years beyond the acceptable age and a couple who snored loud enough to drown out all wildlife. We should be grateful–it could have been worse.

Our food arrived and there was silence for a good 20 minutes as we stuffed our faces. Everything was good but I have to admit that Ryan out-ordered me. His meal was fantastic. For someone who rarely eats country fried steak, I loved it. I wanted to eat the entire thing but after he let me know that he didn’t care for my sausage omelette I realized there was no trade to me made. His sausage gravy was delicious and I did manage to steal more than half of it for my biscuit. Amazing. Also, our side of bacon was cooked exactly how I like it- long and crispy. That always makes me a happy gal.

All in all though, despite pure happiness and satisfaction, it’s safe to say we’ll never be back. We were satisfied with the meal, but we’ll probably never be in Chassahowitzka again and The Breakfast Club is not worth a long drive. In all fairness though, I can’t imagine driving more than an hour anywhere for the sole purpose of food. Moving on kids! More places to be.

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