This weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving but because I go to school across the country, I couldn’t go home. So, I got to have my second Friendsgiving and I have to say, they’re quickly becoming my favourite way to spend the holiday.
Typically, Friendsgiving for me involves some kind of activity with your friends and then a meal. Last year, I cooked a lot of sweet potatoes and then our meal was various sweet potato dishes (not very different dishes mind you, mostly just sweet potatoes with like green onion or cranberry sauce). This year I got to do something a little more fun.
One of my close friends has a car this year and I’d heard of this thing called the Pumpkin Regatta. Basically, the Regatta is a race where people carve out giant pumpkins and after decorating them, they paddle across a lake. It’s really cool and I convinced her to take me.
Something I really wanted to do this year was explore more of the province I’m currently living in. For the most part I just know my town, and I really only know the areas around campus. I figured if I’m living here for at least four years I should probably get to know the place.
Which brings us back to the Regatta. This thing was so cool. I Snapchatted the whole event (making my story obnoxiously long) and have so many videos of different pumpkins that were entered into the race. Since I Snapchatted it all, I don’t have amazing photos to show you but I’m trying my best to take screenshots from the best videos of the bunch.
I’m not really sure if the race has a point, but if it does the point is highlighting specific charities. Each racer had a specific charity that they were either raising money for or just racing for, I couldn’t really tell (which maybe doesn’t make it very helpful for the charities, but still cool).
We got into town around noon, just in time to watch the parade of pumpkins. It was a chance to see all of the hard work people had put into decorating their pumpkins, and this is where you saw most of the charities or sponsors who were involved in the event. After the parade we had about an hour and a half until the pumpkin races started.
To fill this hour, we walked around their little market area and tried to find some food or some cute little things to purchase (you know how you can always find the cutest, most original things at markets?).
Once our bellies were filled, we climbed through some prickly bushes and found a seat along the rocks. This was the best plan of the day. While everyone else was trying to see over the bushes, we were right near the water so got the best view of the pumpkins I think. Shout out to my best friend for being the brave one and making us power through the thorns.
Watching these pumpkins race was the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done, but also the most tedious. Some of these pumpkins moved fast. You could tell whoever was paddling had some good upper arm strength (or whatever strength it takes to paddle). A lot of pumpkins were either too far into the lake to see, or they went so slowly. I’m proud that everyone finished the race, but there were some serious stragglers.
All in all though, watching people sitting in giant pumpkins decorated like peacocks, or Pokémon, or whatever they were was so much fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year. My friends and I are actually considering entering a pumpkin into the races next Thanksgiving. We’ll see.
The plan was to go home after this to have Thanksgiving dinner at one of the frat houses, but then we saw an apple orchard and like any girl had to go in.
We only spent like half an hour picking apples, but we spent most of that time taking as many cute photos as we could squeeze in. Looking up, we were sure a storm was coming (and it did) so we tried our best to get in, take our photos, and get out.
When we started I realized I’d totally romanticized apple picking. Don’t get me wrong, I had so much fun (and now I have so many apples) but it’s a pretty low-key activity. Maybe if we’d gone slower, really taking the time to pick the best of the bunch it could have been more entertaining. What saved it, and maybe what the fun of apple picking is, was being there with some great people.
I’d convinced my best friend with a car to drive me out and our other good friend came along with her out-of-town best friend, so we were a good bunch. We made each other laugh and used each other as a ladder when we couldn’t find any to get the best apples the highest up. We were ridiculous, but that’s what made it fun.
So, why did I write this other than to make you all jealous of my getting to see giant pumpkins racing? I want to encourage you all to go out and explore wherever you’re going to school – especially if you’ve moved to a new city to go to school. I’ve only recently started exploring more of the province I moved to, but I’ve never once regretted a decision to explore.
Become a tourist in your own city. I promise you won’t regret it.