Great Britain Adventure | 2016

I’ve wanted to travel to Europe forever.

I’ve dreamed of visiting England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany. Backpacking. Exploring. I’d hoped to study abroad in college, or find a summer job overseas, but that didn’t happen.

There’s always been an obstacle: lack of money or lack of vacation days. But in January, when Bret and I talked through some our hopes for 2016, we returned to our Europe dream and asked ourselves IF NOT NOW, WHEN?! So I did some research, found a reasonable tour, and booked it.


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Why did I want to move to Tallahassee? Two reasons.

1. Bretski
2. Manatees

I love manatees more than your average vegetarian hippie animal lover. I LOVE them. And I never miss a chance to see them in captivity, but my dreamiest dream has been to visit them in the wild. As soon as I heard that you could get a glimpse of one of these babies down here near the gulf, I have been researching boat cruises like it’s my job.

In all my searching, I found the most perfect little piece of real life jungle cruise heaven: Wakula Springs. I love everything about this place beginning with the name, including the old time ice cream soda refreshment shoppe, and ending with this little token of hope:

So we signed up for this boat tour and I tried NOT to get my I’m-going-to-see-a-Manatee-today hopes up. I was content with the little turtles and gators and serene wildlife as pictured below:

But then.

It happened.

Manatee!…and…baby manatee!

Of all places, they were snuggled up next to my side of the boat and these perfect uninjured babies living safely and happily ever after in this majestic state park brought tears to my eyes. Literally.

Dream come true. I think I’m going to like living here.

The Natural Bridge Rocks

When I was a prospective JMU student back in 2004, I remember driving by The Natural Bridge and thinking, “that sounds like an enjoyable day trip.”

In 2005, as a JMU freshmen, I expressed this desire to my family. My parents frequently drove my sister and me to Skyline Drive, so they said that The Natural Bridge would be a good trip for us to take in the near future. I knew I would be at JMU for a few years so “the near future” was a good enough answer for me.

Over the course of the next few years, whenever I passed signs for The Natural Bridge, I anticipated this trip. I didn’t know how many times I would have to pass advertisements before I actually got to visit, but I continued to look forward to my impending visit to the Natural Bridge: Continue reading