Sunrise and Spaghetti

The past two mornings we’ve been getting up at 4:45am PST so we could try and book Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key Florida. Campsites are available for reservation at 8am EST, 11 months prior to the day of arrival. Last year I learned there’s some fierce competition to get a spot.

I asked my parents to try and help us make a reservation from their 2 computers while we did the same on our 3. A couple of us tried hitting submit a second before, and while the other two tried hitting precisely at 8am EST/ 5am PST. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. At 8:00:01 all previously available spots were booked.

We tried again today, but again no luck. I guess I’m going to have to check back daily for cancellations.

Dinner Last Night:
I’ve made my own spaghetti sauce (from jarred tomatoes) before but never has it been anything to go crazy over. I modified the sauce from this recipe and want to save what I did because it was really good.

Really Awesome Red Sauce

1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
26 oz chopped tomatoes (I used Pomi boxed)
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp basil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (This was surprisingly awesome)
1/8 cup EVOO (I used Tuscan Herb flavor from Verde Valley Olive Oil)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1-2 Tbsp agave syrup
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 heaping Tbsp Earth Balance

The original recipe said to just dump all the ingredients together and simmer for 20 minutes, but I sautéed the onions until they softened then added the garlic until it was fragrant. THEN I added everything else with the above modified portions.

I did serve it as suggested with the mushrooms, spinach and olives minus the tempeh. It was so so good.

2014 Cost of Camping:
0 nights paid camping
20 nights free camping
20 days this year
Total spent on camping this year: $0
Daily average cost of camping: $0

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  • Reply Jim and Gayle January 21, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Sounds like our experience trying to get reservations in Yosemite Valley. Tried three times and within a minute all sites were booked. Decided it wasn’t worth it. We don’t want to stay anywhere that crowded, anyway!

    • Reply Leigh January 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      That’s how we feel about the crowds, but the alternative is $175 a night in an RV park due to the holidays!

  • Reply Rob Bryant January 21, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Hi guys love your blog. Was shocked to see agave on the ingredient list.
    Please for your health avoid all agave it is a total scam. We have gone to using coconut palm sugar-honey- maple syrup as sweeteners.
    Here’s to your good health
    Cheers rob and lyn
    Vernon BC

    • Reply Leigh January 22, 2014 at 8:08 am

      Ooh that’s the first I’m hearing about agave! I use it as a honey interchangeably with maple syrup. I’ll have to do some research to learn more about it. Thanks for commenting.

    • Reply Leigh January 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Hey Rob, I did some research and agave is off of my ingredient list now. Thank you so much for commenting.

  • Reply Rich January 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    stunning photo!

  • Reply Santa Barbara Mary and David January 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    The group might have ideas on getting a “key” camping spot.

    And yes, gorgeous photo!

  • Reply terrie February 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    love this photo…glad you had to be up early!

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