Last weekend, my husband, my mother-in-law and my husband's stepfather and I took a 6 hour car ride up to Ponce De Leon and Bonifay Florida for a family reunion. The reunion was for The Crawford's who are my husband's mother's side of the family. They are very southern and also very polite and sweet. The reunion took place at Ponce De Leon Springs State Park which is in the Panhandle (we were practically in Alabama and in a different time zone!). The park has beautiful cold springs with clean clear water. I had never been to a spring before and was surprised to see how crystal clear the water was. The picnic area was filled with families occupying pavilions and picnic tables, but there was so much shade over the area, you almost forgot how hot it was. The water was very refreshing and cold. People were even keeping whole watermelons cold in part of the spring!! There were two basic parts of the spring; a deep area where many kids and teenagers were splashing around, swimming and jumping, and then a shallow stream where you could walk around. We didn't bring our bathing suits so we just waded around the stream where the water only went up to our shins. Still very refreshing from the heat. The park was overall very beautiful. Here are some photos of our adventure at the park.
There was a big tree growing right up out of the swimming area, it was amazing. There were broken logs and plants growing right out of the spring, so beautiful.
The water was so clear and blue, like a swimming pool!Rey and I decided to have fun and pose for a few shots. He wanted to take a picture of me on this spot of greenery growing right next to the spring.
Here is a photo of us with Rey's sister Mikki and her boyfriend Dan.
As far as food goes, I knew there would not be many (or any) vegan options, so I brought along a package of my favorite Amy's California Veggie Burger's from home. They were super yummy cooked on the grill and a bit of ketchup and mustard on the bun. I also ate some potato chips and a pickle. Not the healthiest meal but at least it was vegan and I was full! I was planning on saving a burger or two for dinner, but there were so many coolers going around they somehow got misplaced in all the shuffle.
We stayed the night at Rey's Grandmother's house in nearby Bonifay. On the way there we stopped at a Piggly Wiggly (it's a grocery store, a very southern backwoods grocery store) in hopes to find some sort of vegan food I could eat, knowing there wouldn't be anything at the house. It was a complete fail. No vegan yummies at all, not even a Morning Star Farms or Boca item. At least they had produce, which I suppose is better anyway. So I picked up a bag of lettuce, a vidalia onion and some light Italian dressing to munch on for dinner, and a box of Kashi cereal for breakfast the next morning. When we arrived at my Grandmother-in-law's I also discovered a can of crescent rolls (Vegan!) in the fridge, so a bunch of us split those as well.
Rey's Grandmother lives in a nice quaint house that had a few rooms built on to it and it has two huge storage closets. She lives there with her sister and they are both very sweet and accommodating. The live there with a cute Yorkie terrier named Honey and two Cows and other animals! The cows have a wide area to roam around in behind the house. Here are some photos.
The white one is the female and black one is the bull. The female is named Ginger. She was pregnant and past due while we were there. She had her calf a few days after we left and they named him Brown Sugar.
Here Rey is feeding the bull. He was so cute! Who could eat such a gentle creature?
I know they used the cow's milk but at least I knew they were being humanely treated, cared for and loved. The only cow's I have ever been that close to were the one's they keep chained up at the South Florida Fair and those poor things are always so depressed.
The weekend was a fun time spent with family. We played cards (BS!), talked, joked around and told stories and my husband was happy to spend time with people he doesn't get to see too often.