Florida Trip, part 1

I’ve been back from vacation for less than a week and I’m not adjusting well to real life. Every morning, I wake up anticipating adventure, great food, and the sun beating down while I float on an inner tube in the lazy river. For a few blissful minutes, I stretch out in bed and enjoy the feeling of total peace. Then I remember that my alarm is actually going off because I have a job and responsibilities and stress. Yay!

As an escape, I have been reliving my vacation constantly.

We woke up at 2 AM for the ride down to Florida and were on the road by 2:30. We headed straight to one of my favorite beaches in Florida: Clearwater. I feel like this beach represents everything it means to be on vacation. There’s white sand beaches, a tiki bar by the water, and a nightly festival at the pier.

The next day we went snorkeling in Tierra Verde. When my alarm went off that morning, I regretted booking the trip. I was exhausted from the day before and wasn’t even sure if I would be able to see in the murky water. I quickly turned off my alarm and hoped Kevin would oversleep, but no such luck. It turns out a beautiful day on the water was just what I needed. We were able to see schools of fish and even a few jelly fish. After snorkeling, we went and explored Edgemont Key. With the heat, we cut our exploring short and just bobbed around in the water near our boat. Then it was time to head to Orlando.

I’ll be honest – I’m not a fan of Orlando. If you are going to the parks, it’s great but otherwise it’s overrated and overcrowded. Our hotel had a few pools and a lazy river and that was really all we wanted from the next few days.

We planned on a day trip to St. Augustine in between our Orlando pool days, but we were too tired and knew we wouldn’t enjoy it. Instead, we extended our vacation with a night in St Augustine at the end of our trip and I am so glad we did.

St. Augustine was easily the highlight of our vacation.  There was so much culture and history there and I was immediately charmed. The streets were walk-able and the sites beautiful. My only regret was that we couldn’t stay longer but I foresee another trip to St. Augustine in my future.

I adore the memories we made on this trip and a part of me wishes I was still there. But Kevin and I have two smaller trips planned for the rest of the year and until then, these pictures will just have to do!

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Clearwater Beach – Isn’t it beautiful?
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Where we spent the morning snorkeling
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Edgemont Key
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Exploring Edgemont Key
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Where we planted ourselves for a few straight days in Orlando
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Oldest schoolhouse in America
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We drank from the Fountain of Youth!

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Peacocks
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Castillo De San Marcos

 

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Wanderlust

Seven years ago when my husband and I took our first vacation, we fell in love with traveling, with getting lost in a new place together. And so our bucket list began. For every trip we take, it seems we add 10 more destinations.

We typically migrate to cities: Washington D.C., San Francisco, LA, Portland, Charleston, etc. We wake up early, charge up with coffee and then go all day until we fall, exhausted and sore, into bed every night. And we love it. We created our own historical bar hop in DC, went brewery to brewery in Portland, and spent hours playing tourist in San Francisco. (If you’ve never been to San Francisco, please go. I would live there if I could). We’ve logged more miles walking through side streets trying to find local hole in the wall places than I can count. We’ve visited Hogwarts, tried and failed to fit in with the college crowd on Bourbon Street, and stuck our feet in the freezing Pacific Ocean. My heart holds some of my very favorite memories with my husband from these trips.

But this year, I just don’t have it in me. We started planning our vacation and we began with a combo trip to Boston and Maine, but my heart wasn’t in it.  That was my first sign. I’ve been dreaming of Boston for the past decade and have been looking forward to my first visit but this year it held no excitement for me. We started talking about other adventures and cities we could travel to, and still, I didn’t feel the thrill I usually do. And that’s when it hit me – I’m exhausted.

This summer my soul craves a slower pace and my body needs rest. I want a salty sea breeze. Cold drinks beside the pool with a book and my favorite travel partner. Snorkeling. Walks on the beach. Seafood.

So we changed our plans. I’m so incredibly thankful for a husband who always seems to be on the same page. Boston can wait until we are ready for it. In just over two weeks, we are headed to Florida for a week of relaxation and I honestly can’t wait. Apart from one day trip to explore every possible inch we can of St. Augustine, it will be just us, the sun, and a few books.

15 days and counting!

Simple Loves, Volume 1

Have you ever watched a child play? Like really play? It’s such an innocent and pure display of happiness. Their giggles shake their whole body and the laugh is always infectious. (If you’re ever having a rough day, Youtube baby giggles. You won’t be in a bad mood for long.) They can be entertained for hours from the simplest thing. It makes me envious. How many times have I let myself appreciate life like a kid? 

Today, I write this post aggravated. I’m annoyed at nothing in particular and just downright grumpy. I could sit here and complain about all the menial things that don’t really matter or I can act like a kid in the best possible sense. 

I choose to let the simple things I love in life make my day. Instead of complaining about work/men/life/insert-any-mundane-thing-here, I will focus on the simple loves that keep me going. So here we go; some of the summer things that I’m currently enjoying. 

Lake Days: Pontoons. Tubing. Floating. Beer. Friends. It really doesn’t need any more explanation. 

Pool Days: I’ve always been a little insecure at the pool. Mostly because of bathing suits. But this year I decided to embrace my body as it is and enjoy myself. And I realized reading at the edge of the pool will always beat reading in the house on a hot summer afternoon. This past weekend we went swimming with my nephews and I realized that the smallest things can create the biggest memories. Also – this face: 

Summer Salad: Is there really anything better than fresh vegetables in the summer? The one I currently can’t get enough of is from Shauna Niequist in the Magnolia Journal magazine. It has fresh cucumbers, raw corn, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, feta, dill and basil and if this salad doesn’t define summer, I don’t know what will. 


Grilling out with a house full of friends
: I’m an introvert. I’m happiest sitting in my home, braless and in yoga pants. But lately, I’ve been gathering family and friends around the table and couldn’t be happier. Especially since the gathering is usually around the said summer salad.


Puppy Snuggles
: I’m a cat person but we got an adorable puppy back in April and there is much to be said about coming home to a snuggly puppy after a long day of work. Also, my phone storage is gone because puppy pictures. 


Memoirs
: This year I made a resolution to read more nonfiction. Some of it is historical, some medical, but mostly I have been enjoying memoirs. The last one I read was “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah. If you are ever looking for a book to put your problems into perspective, this is it. 

So that’s all for now, but I’ll leave you with one of my favorite videos of a laughing baby. Hopefully this will inspire you to laugh and enjoy the little things a little more today. 

Baby Laughing over Ripped Paper