Monday, May 1, 2017

Florida Beaches ... 2017

I went to Florida for the very first time in my life, this year of 2017. And such an exciting adventure it was!

Florida just seems like the ideal vacation spot, what with the magnificent ocean shores and overall tropical feel. So when two of my younger sisters and I found cheap tickets there, I was thrilled! A spontaneous sisters trip! ^_^

I'm no fan of flying (in fact, it generally terrifies me), but I mustered up the courage - because one can't have adventures if one doesn't take chances.

I made a big list and started packing here and there a week ahead of time. And I fussed at my sisters quite a bit, haha. We even went to Walmart and Goodwill and I found sunglasses, two summer shirts, a swimming suit, and beaded sandals. I think that's when I really started getting excited for this trip.

The day finally arrived! We made the drive to the airport and checked in our suitcases. Said goodbye to the family. And entered the security check line. Always a bit stressful for me as I frantically try to get everything out and into the bins that needs to be! We got through alright, found our gate, and waited the half hour before we began to board.

Thankfully, the flying was relatively uneventful!

We arrived in Florida at nightfall, and our relatives picked us up from the airport. As we drove to the condo, I surveyed the city life around us, delighting in all the palm trees! *grins*

It was the next day that we went to the beach.

Oh, the ocean. I don't think I could ever get tired of it.

"Foamy waves and endless blue sea. It awakens something in me, like one can catch a glimpse of God, heaven, and perfection in such vastness."
- Florida Journal 2017

I loved the sandy beaches and walking through the shallow water in my red swimming suit cover-up, searching for unique shells. It's so peaceful, somehow.

Back at the condo, I enjoyed journaling on the back patio, where a balmy breeze rustled through the leaves of palm trees. You can't beat the tropical air, my friends!

"Looking forward to more sun and waves. And chatting. And quiet time ..."
- Florida Journal 2017

Squishing in a room with two sisters and two cousins was fun! We shared two closets, a bathroom, and some dresser drawers. It was all cozy and comfortable, in my opinion. ^_^

I was able to visit with my great grandma, whom I only really remember seeing when I was a little girl. She's such a sweet little lady. Spunky and sweet! *grins* And full of giggles. I had such a good time listening to her stories and laughing with her.
She's gone through a whole lot in her life, but she's strong and so sweet to all of us. It was a blessing to see her. <3

As well as my dear cousins and aunt & uncle, and great aunt and her daughter! So many relatives! I loved seeing them all and hope I can see them again soon!

We went to a simple and lovely Good Friday service, as well as Easter Sunday service.

Played quite a few games of Dutch Blitz and Kings & Queens. It's always satisfying to go from slave to king. *grins and winks* Watched "Frozen". Talked ...

And swam! There's a pool right by the condo, which was quite pleasant. Good for cooling down and relaxing, or a nice bit of exercise.

"I'm sitting at the pool in the warm sun. [My cousins] are sunbathing on lounges next to me. A small plane flies overhead. [My sister] is out here also, reading All In Good Time by Maureen Lang."
- Florida Journal 2017

There's also a nice big lake nearby to walk around. But not to swim in! Too many alligators! There are also lots of different birds, big turtles, and iguanas.

Boogie boarding was a new adventure I tried. Catching the ocean waves and riding them to shore! It took me awhile to get the hang of it ... and in that while I got lots of salt water up my nose and whatnot ... but once you ride a few waves, it's so fun!

"It was overcast and a little sprinkly at the beach last night. But the water was quite warm once you got in. The waves were pretty high - it's fun and slightly scary at the same time. I love laying over the boogie board and just floating over the waves. So peaceful yet exciting."
- Florida Journal 2017

President Trump was at his estate in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, so there were lots of policemen and security stuff around. It was all quite interesting, and even a bit exciting, to be honest. I saw the president planes, and coast guard boats with guns guarding the shore side of Mara-a-Lago.

I was able to go on a boat ride through part of the Everglades, a swampy area. It was enjoyable and interesting seeing birds, alligators, and turtles. And learning about the many anacondas and Melaleuca Trees that are around!

We went to a different beach that day. It had more of the "beachy" feel. So lovely. One of my sisters and I did photo shoots of each other while walking along the beach. Just fun. ^_^ A really refreshing day!

And we saw a cute, little crab! It scuttled sideways across the sand, probably just under the size of a quarter.

"Sitting here watching Tangled and sipping cool lemonade. Flynn Ryder and Maximus are hilarious! And Rapunzel is so delightful.
We went to the beach for a short while this morning. It was windy and overcast, with some sprinkles, so we just collected shells for awhile before leaving."
- Florida Journal 2017

We went to a fabulous restaurant where I had broiled fish, fries, and coleslaw. A huge plate of it all. And it was SO good! I'd only eaten homemade chocolate oatmeal that morning, so I was starving, and it certainly filled me up! *smiles*

Swam some more. And laid in the sun for awhile. I'd started getting a little bit of color by then! I don't tan easily, but I was healthy-looking ... sun-kissed! ^_^ Good thing for my mom's homemade sunscreen (made with carrot oil and other things). It felt great on my skin, is good for the skin, and prevented sunburn!

One day we all headed to the Lion Country Safari. That was certainly a neat experience! Lots to do, and lots of interesting and amazing animals to see! I think the baby monkeys were my favorite.
Can't you all just see me, dressed up in a woman pirate's garb with a cute monkey on my shoulder, sailing the ocean waves? Yeah ... well it's a fun daydream when you see those lively little monkeys. *grins*

"I've decided that I love giraffes. They look very gentle and pretty with big eyes, long necks and legs, and unique heads."
- Florida Journal 2017

"We pet goats and fed pretty, bright, little birds. Had some fun in the pedal boats. Stood under the misters a lot to cool off. And went down a big slide. The giant turtles were really cool. And zebras are just great."
- Florida Journal 2017

Another fun thing I did was dress up and toured this part of Florida's town/city life. It was delightful! Not only do I like dressing up, but I also enjoy being around all the people, seeing the sights and sounds.
We stopped for ice-cream. I got cherry and mango Italian Ice ... no diary. It tasted a lot like a slushie, but at least it had fruit chunks. Still, the thought of so much sugar and food coloring started to bother me. Haha!

"It was so fun walking in town yesterday! So many unique shops and interesting people. And lots of palm trees. The evening was perfect! Balmy and warm, but a nice breeze and no sun scorching your face."
- Florida Journal 2017

I visited with my great grandma and great aunt more. It's so pleasant to just sit and listen to them talk and tell stories.

"We visited for quite awhile, having chocolate cake and lots of laughter."
- Florida Journal 2017

Of course, being me, I started putting my things together a day or two before we were supposed to leave. It helps me enjoy myself more on my last days of vacation, and not stress!

"This morning I ate breakfast outside. Chex cereal and homemade granola. I like the look of the yellow condo walls around the patio. Also, all the palm trees and other unique trees outside the white fence are lovely. Greenery climbs up the fence, some flowers blooming. This morning, I saw two lizards scurrying around on the fence. Anyway, it was nice and cool, with a breeze. And quiet. So peaceful. I could get used to tropical mornings."
- Florida Journal 2017

Went to the ocean again and found a lot of pieces of pretty shells. There was a threat of sea lice, so I just waded a little, but mostly walked up and down the seashore in my swimming suit and cover-up, singing and thinking.

"It's so easy to feel quiet belief and awe and peace by the ocean."
- Florida Journal 2017

I did end up being quite burnt after that day at the ocean and swimming at the pool. But it only lasted a few days, before the painfulness went away. The redness is mostly gone too, in exchange for some nice color. *smiles* I did lots of lavender spray, used the gel from an aloe vera plant my aunt bought, and even plastered on apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.

And I took a sauna (which is supposed to be helpful with sunburn) and had a late night swim. That was actually quite a fun night, despite being burnt and slightly stressed about other things. I do really enjoy saunas. Something about it ...

"A few of us stayed out until about 10:40-ish. Then we rinsed off with the outside shower by the pool and went inside. Ate some grapefruit and cereal, and went to bed."
- Florida Journal 2017

I went to see the sunrise! And then out to that same restaurant for breakfast, this time getting an omelette filled with chunks of ham, green pepper, and onion, hash browns, a slice of cantaloupe and grapefruit, as well as an additional bowl of fruit. So yummy!

Then ... I took a two-hour nap. Sunrise mornings are too much for me, haha. That rest was blissful.

"Now I'm sitting here in my polka-dot, black and red dancing dress (*winks*) and yes, journaling. Perhaps I should go inside and eat lunch."
- Florida Journal 2017

We went walking around again. Oh, did I mention the beautiful houses? So many different styles! It was neat to see it all, and I kept wondering what it would be like to live in them! With their immaculate courtyards, high balconies, and many rooms.
I also wondered time and again what people thought of me, prancing around their part of town in my $3 Goodwill dress (embellished with red yarn) ... Haha! Oh well, it's a nice dress and I love it and I got a good deal, which is always a nice thing in my book. ^_^

"In the wealthy part of town, the houses are wondrously glamorous and the shops are well beyond my price range."
- Florida Journal 2017

Despite the prices that seemed outrageous to me, the stores were intriguing, and the fashion was fun to look at! There was also a beautiful, little courtyard tucked in there, with blooming roses twining up a white staircase afar off! It was amazing!

We laughed and joked with our relatives on our last day in Florida. Ate a yummy meal. Went out to ice-cream and shopping. I picked up veggie chips and fruit snacks for the trip home.

At the airport, one of the security people, a young lady, asked my two younger sisters and I if we were all thirteen. I have to admit, I was a little insulted. That's a little off, you know! I'm an adult now! Haha. Well, I've gotten it more than once. May as well get used to it. *winks*

"We are on the plane, flying through the air. Definitely not my favorite thing to do, but at least I have my anti-nausea wristbands and some veggie chips!" 

- Florida Journal 2017

But yes. It was a lovely time, and my sisters and I were sooo blessed to have gotten in such a special vacation! I loved Florida. I loved the beaches. I loved the ocean waves and the sandy shores and the balmy air. It was absolutely beautiful.

"We're descending. Gone are the amazing tropics. It's much cooler here. And windy, perhaps? The ride is getting a little bumpy. Home sweet home. It's good to be back, but I will miss the slightly exotic, summer-ness of [the beach life].
So long, Florida. It's been fabulous! <3" 
- Florida Journal 2017


  1. OKAY SO YEP THIS POST WAS AMAZING. YOUR BLOG IS AMAZING. YOU ARE AMAZING (and real pretty, too! Who took those pictures of you? If it was Natasha I need to go give her my greatest compliments because those pictures are INSANELY EPIC <3) Your Florida trip sounds amazing, girl!!

  2. OH YEAH I basically cannot get over that last picture. <3 Just the composition of the picture, the beautiful colors...I JUST CAN'T EVEN. <333

    1. EEEEPPP! your whole trip sounds absolutely AH-MAY-ZING girl!! all the pictures of you were so very pretty!! ;) And, I REALLY WANT ALL YOUR CUTE OUTFITS, OMW!!!! =DD LOVED them!! =)
      Jaidyn Elise
      BTW, your not the only one who doesn't fancy the idea of going on an airplane. ;)

      Just saying. =) 'cuz it's true. =)
      Jaidyn Elise

    3. Why thank you, Ariel! I'm so honored you think so! ^_^ The trip was so much fun, yes!!

      And you are correct, Natasha did take those pictures. She's amazing, isn't she? <3 <3 I agree about the last picture too! The colors are vivid!!

      Thanks again, dear! I'm glad to know you visit and enjoy my blog! *hugs*

    4. My trip was amazing, indeed, Jaidyn! I had such a lovely time! And THANK YOU! Natasha said she had an awesome time doing the photo shoot of me, and I really liked how they turned out! :)

      I was so pleased with my outfits too! I got to do some last minute thrift shopping for the trip, and found some really cute items. Yay! ^_^

      Glad to know someone understands! Airplanes rides aren't the best ... but when you have family or friends with you, it isn't too bad. :)

      You girls are so sweet! *hugs* ^_^ I'm honored!!

    5. (sorry it took me so long to reply!! =/)
      I'm glad!! You're welcome! =D Aww, I'm glad you both had a wonderful time. ;)

      That's great!! Aren't thrift shops so FUN!? =)

      You understand me exactly!! =DD That totally helps. ;)

      AWWW!!!! THANK YOU!! You are too. =)

      Jaidyn Elise

    6. (No problem! As you can see, I tend to do the same thing!)

      Thrift shops are, indeed! You can find so many great deals and things! =D

      Yep, hold on tight and face your fears! ;) Family helps! ^_^

      Thanks!! <333

  3. That polka-dot dress!!!! <33333 IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!
    I'm in love with the last picture!!! You're so beautiful! And the ocean in the background! <33333

    1. I KNOW, Daminika!!!! My mom found it and once I tried it on I just couldn't pass it up! ^_^ So fun to wear! :D

      Natasha is an amazing photographer! <3333 And yes, the ocean!!! *more heart eyes* THANK YOU!

  4. That sounds like a super nice vacation!
    I will be boarding a place to NH in just six days. Reading your description made me a little nervous remembering it all! There will be five of us total. I think we shall be ok? *wink*
    I have never been a huge fan of the beach. I hate sand in my toes *hides eyes*
    Though I have always lived by the Pacific (which is big and very cold) and have only been to the Atlantic once. Which did not impress me. Far too many people. It was shoulder to shoulder! I'm just not a people person. *shrugs*
    BUT the way you described it, made me wish I was there! It sounded quite relaxing and romantic *winks*
    Especially the sunrise. Early morning is my favorite time of day and sunrises never cease to awe me!
    I am glad you had a nice time!

    1. Oh, it was, Felicity! :) It was relaxing and adventurous!

      You'll definitely be okay!! *hugs* It can be nerve-wracking, I know! But with all five of you, I'm sure it'll go by quickly and smoothly. I hope you all have so much fun on your vacation! <3

      Eeek, you don't like sand?? Well, I suppose that's okay. *winks* Hey, you might not mind the sand if it's all warm and you're ready to swim! ^_^
      But yes, it definitely was relaxing and even a bit romantic! *winks* There weren't too many people at all! I feel like the couple times I've been to the Atlantic in SC, it was more crowded and not as peaceful.
      I did enjoy the time I went to the Pacific last year, even though it was pretty cold. No swimming, of course. But something about those ocean waves! I love it! <333

      The sunrise was a bit cloudy, but still beautiful! ^_^

      Thank you! God bless and keep you girls as you travel soon! <3

    2. I have been safely here for over a week now! The flights all went well. Now to just survive the flights home *wink*

      No, I don't! It's weird I know. Lol. I can enjoy the beach but I don't long for it as some people seem to. I'm more of a mountain girl I suppose. *smiles*

    3. Good! Glad you all are there and enjoying yourselves! Don't worry about the flight home - it'll be fine! :) Might even be easier this time!

      Being a mountain girl is good too. ^_^ I enjoy the mountains myself. So beautiful and majestic!

  5. Had so much fun with ya'll:) Love the pics of beautiful!!~Moriah

    1. I had so much fun too, Moriah!! It was absolutely wonderful to get to see you all again! <3333

      Aww, thank you!! ^_^

  6. It was so much fun reading about your trip and I loved seeing all the pictures! The beach is one of my most favorite places to go!! :D

    1. So happy you enjoyed this post, Rebekah! Aw, mine too! Isn't it just so lovely? ^_^