Two weekends ago was -as the title implies- our 3rd Annual Fly Girl Camp Out.
Well for the last 3 years, my dear friend & buddy bidder Karren has hosted a camp out at Wekiva Falls outside of Sanford. Her parents take their RV out for months at a time & are kind enough to let a bunch of flight attendants take over it for a weekend or so at a time!
Wekiva is about an hour from our house & is considered an RV park but they have a beautiful (albeit, sulphur – you get used to the faint smell quickly!) spring that opens out into a river. There’s quite a bit else to do as well (you can rent canoes & kayaks, there’s a tiki bar, water slide, pool, etc) & lots of animals around. I look forward to our camping trip every year – we always have such a good time!
I thought I’d revisit some of our good times & tell you about our most recent trip!
2020 – The 1st Fly Girl Camp Out aka “The One With Brody”
In 2020, it was just Karren, Sandy, & I. The 2nd day in, we rented a canoe for 2 hours to take out onto the river. I had not been in a canoe since I was in elementary school when my class went to a sleep away camp for a weekend & quite frankly, I don’t have much of a desire to do it again! However, Karren tells me it’s perfectly safe & she wants to work with me solo in one of those bad boys & I do trust her so who knows? Anyways. We go to get in the canoe & shit starts off rocky because I put the wrong foot forward and I slid in the mud & the canoe pushed away from me. I should have walked the hell away right then. But no. I went ahead and got in. It was much more wobbly than I expected! And we were practically sitting ,like, IN the water! I thought we would sit ON the water and just kind of smoothly bob…but we just weren’t. Sandy sat in the front, I was in the middle since I didn’t know anything about canoeing, & Karren sat in the back to be our driver since she was the most experienced. I really wanted to take some photos while out on the river but the damn canoe was just so wobbly I didn’t want to move anymore than I had to so we could keep it steady. I am alllll about nature…in theory. I love the idea of being in nature – hiking, kayaking, etc – but it all comes down to…I do it for the ‘gram. It’s all for the pictures. I just LOVE taking pictures! However, I shoved my phone in a plastic bag to keep it safe and I sat totally still in that canoe. As the water drifted from clear to brown & we went ’round the bend to the wide open river Karren told me “if you want out, speak now or forever hold your peace because once we go around this corner there’s nowhere for you to get out” and I responded with “nah I’m good let’s go” even though I was so uncomfortable. Sandy told me to sit still but I swear to God I wasn’t moving! I was too scared to! I’m not scared of the water – I’m scared of the alligators. Even though they’re actually one of my favorite things about Wekiva! I love going to shine for gators at night! And that same year, there was a cute baby alligator that was hanging around down by the tiki bar. However, I don’t want to be so up close & personal with them. I like observing from a distance…not exposed in a wobbly canoe. I like a barrier between me & the killer ya know?
Anyways, we round the corner & we’re out in the wide open river. Deep, dark water all around. The girls are gently paddling us out & it took no time before we heard it – a growl. A very aggressive growl. And we just paddled closer to it. I think to myself “Oh Karren was raised on this river! She’ll know exactly what to do! We’ll just paddle on past it & continue on our journey! Good thing we have Swamp Queen Karren back there!” – I was so cavalier about it! It growled again. Long and hard. Karren doesn’t keep paddling like I thought she would. Instead she says “Girls we gotta turn around” and my soul left my body. I went from a nervous shake to a full on body vibration. I was shaking so hard that later, Sandy told me she could feel my legs shaking the front of the canoe. They started to paddle at the same time causing the canoe to wobble and shake hard back & forth. At this, I realized I’m probably going to die. The canoe is going to flip, the gator is going to plop it’s big ass out into the water & check out the buffet of bitches it now had to choose from for lunch. “Who is going to tell my mother?” was my number one thought. My mom didn’t know I was camping! How awful would it be for Clinton to have to call my mom (and my dad! He didn’t know either!) & tell them that I had been death rolled by a 12 foot long alligator named Brody? They know I’m not outdoorsy, they’d never believe it! I snap back to reality a bit & think “all I have to do is out swim the other 2” (I love you both, if you’re reading this!) But instead, Karren remained calm like an absolute goddess & simply said “Sandy. I need you to put your paddle down & let me get us out of here” – and after a minute, the canoe stopped wobbling. We glided back into the narrows where the water gets far more shallow & we slowly got back to the canoe drop off point – right across from the tiki bar. I shouted out “HALLELUJAH THERE’S THE BAR!” & demanded we go for a drink. It was 10 AM. We had canoed for about 20 minutes. I took 1 photo & that was only because the girls convinced me it was safe enough to stop gripping my seat & use my phone. I have not got into a canoe since.
2021 – The 2nd Fly Girl Camp Out aka “The One With The Ghost”
2021 brought out myself, Karren, Wendy, & Jade. Overall it was a pretty normal camping trip but the first night we were wandering around the club house area when someone -I believe it was Jade- pointed out that someone was inside playing piano. We all crowded around the window to see why someone would be out at night playing piano in an otherwise closed clubhouse. We watched as someone did the same repetitive moves over and over. There’s no way this person is real. Clearly it’s a ghost. Our minds were made up. The clubhouse was haunted. There’s a piano playing ghost on the loose! There is simply no other reason behind this. We walked all around to different windows, plastering our faces up to the glass to watch this musical spirit do her thing. We’re all totally baffled that we can’t hear any music yet she’s just peckin’ away at the keys but it still looks like she’s overall doing the exact same thing over and over. Apparently the ghost sensed us staring at some point because she looked up and waved at us, got up to unlock the door, & was going to let us in. That didn’t help matters – she still wasn’t a person to us. Now this ghost was playing with our minds! What a sneaky spook! We told Karren about the ghost & when she saw her she blurts out “Girls that is a HOLOGRAM!” – no Karren, clearly that is a ghost. Turns out we were all wrong when Karren met the actual person the next day. She is real. Or so she would like us to think…
2022 – The 3rd Annual Fly Girl Camp Out aka “The One With The Karaoke”
2022 brought me, Karren, Wendy, Jade, Sandy, & Stephanie. We weren’t all there at the same time. I was only there for one night this time because I had a trip starting on the 15th so I went home a day early to prep & Sandy and Stephanie were only there on night 2. One thing you need to know about these camp outs is there is A LOT of food & alcohol involved. Karren soaks our fruit in tequila for God’s sake. One thing you need to know about me is in my day to day life, I don’t really drink. I keep some seltzers in the fridge & have a decently stocked little liquor selection but I do not typically sit around & drink. I do my most drinking with Karren and Wendy. Another one of my favorite things about the camp outs is that I get to let loose & I don’t have to be the mom friend (I’m always the mom friend, even though I’m not a mom). So on night one after faaaar too much to drink we made our way to the tiki bar to watch karaoke (& have more to drink). Jade went to buy us all green tea shots and ended up coming back with 4 tiny bottles of Fireball. As folks say – everyone has a Fireball story. Wendy broke her ankle on Fireball. Karren rolled down a hill on Fireball. Now see though, I didn’t have a Fireball story. But I guess I do now. Next thing I know Karren is signing us up to sing “Country Roads” & I realize I’m gonna have to do this! Yet another thing you should know about me – karaoke & me don’t mix. It’s my definition of pure hell butttt when you’re with your girls & you’re practically pickled suddenly it seems like the best time ever – AND IT WAS. Even if they only let us sing the one song & told us “no mo'” We still made our presence known by joining in everyone else’s songs – “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes & “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. Or as Jade preferred to sing…”Under Pressure” by David Bowie & Queen. We may have joined in a bit louder than they would have preferred. After karaoke Jade, Wendy, & I somehow got locked in the bathroom. Memories are going a bit hazy here but I’m pretty sure the golf cart died on the way back to camp & Jade and I sang “Friends in Low Places” from the back of the golf cart as it was dying. I vaguely remember this because the next day my Spotify opened up to “The Best of Garth Brooks” and I was confused. So that is my official Fireball story & alls I’m gonna say is – thank God I didn’t break my ankle.
“We weren’t in tune, we weren’t in key, & we weren’t together but I think they really liked us!” – Jade
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*I have left out all photos & videos from karaoke night because let’s just say…it’s for the best.
Cover photo was found on Pinterest with no link to where it originally came from…I’m sorry. If I find it, I will link. I promise!