Just another Poirier adventure.
Let's wake up super early,
[okay - fine - we woke up at 10, but it's winter break for some of us - and all I want to do is sleep]
pack some snacks,
get in the boat,
and go explore the way to Lake Okeechobee.
and we're bringing Bentley.
[kind of a bad decision]
Yes, it was quite the adventure.
Bentley started the voyage excited and happy.
He just couldn't sit still.
He had to be everywhere, looking at everything.
He almost jumped out of the boat at least twice.
He just couldn't absorb it all.
Just your normal Florida alligator.
We knew it was going to get chilly at night - so we were kind of prepared
[but not to our mother's standard]
[but not to our mother's standard]
We packed towels, jackets, and even a blanket.
To get to Okeechobee we had to go through two locks: St. Lucie and Mayaca.
We got to the St. Lucie one around 12:15 and had to wait until 1:00 for it to open.
Aleksi and Cassie took advantage of the sun and "tanned"
It was already a little cold - which kind of scared me - because if it was cold then - how cold was it going to be at night?
St. Lucie Lock.
Before this I had never been inside a lock.
I had a simple understanding of how they worked, but it was cool to actually be inside it.
We went in - they locked the doors - and slowly - very slowly - opened the other doors to let the water in and fill up that tank.
The people at the lock said the last time they would be filling the lock was at 7p.m.
So we had to be back by then or we'd be stranded.
My mom kept track of how long everything took us from this point forward to be sure
we left the lake with enough time.
While we were waiting - it was breezy and cold - but comfortable.
However, when we starting moving - like going fast - it got bad.
Like jackets on - wrap yourself in a towel - why didn't you bring sweat pants - cold.
and Bentley was not happy.
Of course, I missed the announcement to bring sweat pants and warm clothes.
Luckily I brought my jacket - yes to please my mom - but thank goodness I did.
I mean, it felt good - and it was a gorgeous, clear day - but man it was cold.
We all just kind of curled up together while we drove.
and Bentley was everywhere - cuddling with Cassie for one second - sitting on Aleksi the next.
"Bentley, sit still!" was said more times than I can count.
About 45 minutes later we reached the Mayaca Lock and Dam.
We didn't have to wait - they let us right in.
and lucky for us - this lock didn't have to fill up -
they just shut us in and it opened right into the big O.
The lake was HUGE.
I mean - I didn't expect to be able to see land - come on now, it's lake Okeechobee - but it was just big.
It was super choppy and even more windy - if that's possible.
We thought it was funny that the people at the lock station referred to my dad as "Captain"
and how my dad referred to the people working at the lock station as "Lock Master"
"Safe to enter, Captain"
"Affirmative Lock Master"
10 guesses what the shadow above is.
Girl's got a donk.
The plan was to go to the only Marina on the lake - eat lunch - and then make the return trip.
If we ate at 4 - and left soon afterward - we'd be cutting it really close to make it back to the 7 o'clock
lock closing time.
Please notice how nicely my mom's boat dock knot was.
That boat isn't going anywhere.
We were so happy to be off the boat.
But at this point - we were just permanently cold.
It was windy and starting to get really chilly.
The Marina was surprisingly really nice.
We ate at Big Bertha's.
The food was really good.
I don't know if it was because I had only eaten one doughnut at this point and was starving
or if it was actually good.
Aleksi said the bacon tasted like toilet paper - but I didn't notice.
Time to disembark.
Time to freeze.
Time to suffer.
We got all bundled and ready to go.
The return trip was more awful than I could ever have imagined.
We were just going so fast - and the wind was blowing so hard - and it got so cold.
No amount of towels or blankets would have been good enough.
No matter which way I laid, some part of my body was exposed to the fierce wind.
and the sun hadn't even set yet.
Our laughter quickly turned to sighs of disbelief.
and the "I told you to bring warm clothes" from my mom didn't help much either.
and to think, Aleksi said not to bring the blanket.
We would have died.
Bentley was so mad - you could just tell he did not want to be with us anymore.
When the sun set - we just curled up together on the front of the boat.
Cassie got to be in the middle of me and Aleksi - which was so unfair - because she was twice as warm.
We tried to keep Bentley with us - partly because he kept us warm - but also to keep him warm.
"I feel like my body has stopped producing heat and is beginning to shut down"
and then the sun set.
dun. dun. dun.
We got to the St Lucie Lock at around 6:00 and had to wait an entire hour to go in.
in the cold.
It was close to miserable.
After we left the lock we were back at the dock in no time.
It was a great moment.
Everyone basically ran to the car and turned the heat up.
We pulled in the boat and enjoyed the warm ride home.
This definitely will be a Christmas Eve Eve to remember.
What an adventure.
Besides the cold and wind
it was a lot of fun.
I would just wait until the heart of summer to make the trip again.
After a long, warm - defrosting - shower I went to the Logan's -
we talked about the next 10 years, and how much our lives are going to change.
It really is a major 10 years.
Kind of scary.
And because the conversation freaked us out - and tomorrow is Christmas - we decided to watch
"The Others" - a psych thriller.
It was good.
Favorite part - grandma under the blanket - "but I am your daughter"
I'm sorry - that part wasn't scary - I laughed.
Gotta love it.