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love is love is love is love is love...

I need to start this post out on a very serious note. Orlando has been struck by tragedy. While I am safe, I have been sitting on edge waiting to hear the names of the victims as they have been announced slowly one by one. Seeing everyones Facebook posts about people they have lost or those fighting for their lives is absolutely devastating. Orlando has really come together to show we are stronger than this, and I am so proud to be apart of this great city. Keep fighting, Orlando. 

Something I have been wanting to do for a while now is cut my hair (since it has been about 2 years of growing it). I chopped off 12 inches to donate to Wigs for Kids and I am loving my new summer look. It was terrifying, but later satisfying, especially in the Florida heat. 

So anyone who knows me, knows that camping is just not my favorite thing in the world, however, Mike loves it, and when we got some extra time off at work, we decided we should try to go on a mini stay-cation before we leave Orlando.

We ended up driving toward Eastern Florida near Clearwater and St. Pete area.The day before we left, Tropical Storm Collin decided to make an appearance, leaving not too much damage, but some closed roads and flooded areas (including some of the campsites near us).  

We stayed at Fort Desoto near the water, where once we arrived, we fought through the bugs and humidity to pitch our tent. 

 Fort Desoto is really nice because it has its camping area, but it also has a few beaches and fishing piers nearby. We went to North Beach, since that was what we read as the suggested best beach. High tide was just starting to go back out, and since it had been storming, there were some neat sea creatures hanging out on the shore (don't worry we put them back in the water).

Next we headed to the actual Fort built within Fort Desoto. Honestly, I don't know much about it because there weren't too many signs explaining the area, however, it was fun to see the history.

For dinner that night, we had read about a place called the Taco Bus which featured on "Drive in's, Diners, and Dives". The place was actually a bus, sort of like a food truck atmosphere. It was super delicious and had a really fun vibe to it.

Of course, stopping for gelato after (I had strawberry cheesecake gelato and Mike had pistachio and creme brûlée gelato). 

After dinner and treats, we went to another beach to watch the sunset. We went to Sunset beach, since we figured it was only fitting. There was some intense flooding in this area and we basically had to swim through the rain water to even get to the beach coastline. 

Again, because of the tropical storm, there was some amazing sea life on the coast. There were a ton of starfish everywhere, which was awesome, because I love starfish. It was neat to see how many people in this area were collecting the starfish and throwing them back into the ocean to prevent them from drying out.

Sleeping in our tent this night was less than ideal. It was soo incredibly muggy and hot with no breeze at all. Mike also somehow woke up with a million bug bites on his legs, making him pretty uncomfortable this week. We quickly packed up the tent and headed to the fishing pier to try and see some dolphins taking their morning swim. We got lucky and saw one or two. It was such a majestic sight. 

Breakfast was found at a super cute place called Kelly's (highly recommend it!) where the chef was obviously a culinary genius, coming up with fun creations like our peanut butter-raspberry muffin.

Semi last minute, we choose to take a ferry from Honeymoon beach to Caladasi Island State Park. On the ferry ride over we saw another dolphin swimming nearby. The island itself was beautiful and not crowded at all. 

We wanted to have time to go to Honeymoon Island beach as well since we had heard good things about it, and it did not disappoint. The number one recommendation I have for anyone looking for a little get away, they should check out North Beach at Honeymoon Island State Park. It is the most beautifully clear water and white sand you can find. We also had an amazing experience with a dolphin swimming around 100 feet away from us. He was on the chase for a fish, making it look a little more aggressive than usual, and scaring some of the beach goers into thinking it was a shark.

There were lots of little Sebastians running around at this beach too, and it took a lot within me not to take them all home!

It was time to head home and back to reality at this point. We stopped for lunch at Ozana Pig, a very small BBQ joint with amazzzzing flavor! Absolutely worth checking out. On the drive home, we also passed a Culver's and being the Michigan girl I am, we had to stop so Mike could try it.

Finally back home and ready for the next adventure...

The next adventure will be happening a lot sooner than you think though! My last day swimming with Ariel will be June 22, which is also my very last day of college too (finally...). It is scary to think I will no longer be working for Disney like I have for the past 3 years, but I have had some amazing times and even better memories. Mike and I will be leaving Orlando on June 26 and beginning our long roadtrip to NYC. We are hoping to be in NYC by mid July, where we are looking to sublet for the summer in Brooklyn, since Mike already has a teaching job in Bed-Stuy. I am in the process of selling my car here in Orlando (let me know if you know anyone interested!) and wrapping up some loose ends before we go. It is a scary adventure because this is something I have been working toward all my life, and to see that this day is finally here is incredible. 

We have been slowly checking off things on our Orlando to do before we leave list....

Birthday dinner of Ailey's choice 

 Yellow Dog Eats, with our friend, Daniel

 T Rex at Disney Springs
 Sprinkles Key Lime Cupcake at Disney Springs

And a few more items to go. If you think there is anything on our Orlando to do list that we have yet to check out, please let us know!

One of the coolest moments of my Disney career happened the other day as well.When Hilary and Bridge were in Africa, I had the privilege to go visit and spend some time with the kids at the children's home. Today it all came full circle when one of the most energetic little boys from the children's home visited Ariel in her grotto with his new adopted family.

It is magical moments like this that make it all worth it in the end....

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1 comment

Tee Boyich said...

Girl. When you get here let me know. Would love to meet up.

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