Author Archives: Chelsea

Notes on Moving Across the Country (Again)

Florida has been where I’ve wanted to lay my roots since I interned here 10 years ago. Even though I believe that if you work hard, you can get whatever you want, I didn’t think it would work out for me to live in Florida. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that I could do it, but the timing was never right; plus, how could I live so far from my family and my friends permanently?

I know it’s a blurry picture, but this was our last South Dakota sunrise taken on the morning we left for Florida

While I ruminated on this, Mitchell’s family moved to Florida, and so did several of our friends. And around the time I would have been able to make a career move to Florida, I got a job in South Dakota – a competitive one that I’d worked really hard for. Even though I never could get Florida off of my mind (binge watching Beachfront Bargain Hunt certainly didn’t help that), I started trying to accept that we would probably have to settle for visiting Florida a few times a year over living there. Notice the key word here being “try”, because living at the beach and visiting the beach are two completely different things!

But then there was a job opening for me in Florida! At the time, we had only been in South Dakota for 3 months, but knowing how rare these openings are, I applied anyways. Three months later I got the call for an interview, and it’s been a roller coaster ride since then.

I feel like I have whiplash. I am still coming down from the high of getting the job in South Dakota last July yet here I am, 8 months later, across the country again. And living in the state I’ve dreamed of for 10 years. This move has been our easiest one yet and although that may be a direct result of having done it 3 times now, I also believe it’s because there’s a certain sense of peace when you realize you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

I admit I didn’t try hard enough in South Dakota; after living on the coast in North Carolina, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the Midwest again despite the beauty that South Dakota offered. While I regret that in hindsight, I find comfort in knowing without a doubt that I’m meant to live on the coast and that after all of this time and effort – I’ve made it. I couldn’t feel more happy or proud.

Florida, it’s good to be home!

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Five on Friday

It has been a crazy whirlwind week over here, and I’m happier than usual that today is Friday. With that, I bring you this week’s Five on Friday.

-ONE-

Facebook informed me this week that it’s Friendship Week, or Day, or something like that. Anyway, I have really been thinking about how lucky I am to have so many different friends in so many different places that I can call whenever I need to. I’m especially excited to see my North Carolinian friend for her wedding in one short month.

-TWO-

Even though I’m bummed about the Super Bowl since my Cowboys didn’t make it, I’m excited to have an excuse to make food and relax. The Super Bowl always makes me a little bit sad because I love football season and I hate to see it end. We have exciting things to look forward to, though, so I’m sure we won’t miss it over the next 6 months as much as usual.

-THREE-

Last weekend, Mitchell and I went on our first hike here in South Dakota. I don’t know what took us so long to do it, but I’m glad we did. I never thought I’d be someone who enjoys hiking but now that I’m in better shape, I definitely do. It made me want to go to Colorado and try out some bigger, more intense hikes!

-FOUR-

We have gotten around 8 inches of snow in the last three days where I work in South Dakota, and although a few of my morning commutes were a little bit scary to drive in, there is no denying the beauty. Pictures do not come close to showing how stunning it has been in the hills the past couple of days, and I think it’s fair to say that the scary commute has been well worth the views. I can’t wait to be a beach bum again, but I will miss the snow something fierce.

-FIVE-

Yep, I said I’m going to be a beach bum again! I am excited to announce that we are moving to Florida! This is kind of why our week has been such a whirlwind – I had a tentative date, but no firm offer set in place when President Trump put the ban on federal hiring. I had to wait to see if my position was exempt before I could get an official date. Luckily, everything went through but now we have to get everything ready for our (hopefully last) cross country move. We are headed out on Valentine’s Day – I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it, maybe we will get a heart shaped pizza when we stop at our hotel 😉 I cannot wait to blog about everything Florida (and eat all of the seafood)!

 

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Devil’s Tower in Wyoming

Mitchell and I had a four day weekend together for Christmas. A big blizzard was in the forecast for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we anticipated getting stuck at home (not that I was upset about that!) and decided to get out of the house while we could on Friday.

Mitchell had never been to Wyoming, and I wanted to check out Devil’s Tower, so with it being only a 2 hour drive away, it seemed like the perfect destination. Last month, I was honored to attend a 3-day training on Native American culture and tradition where I learned a little about Devil’s Tower, making me appreciate it all the more. Lakota Native Americans have their own name for the tower called Mato Tipila, which means “Bear Lodge”, and other tribes have different names for the tower as well.

I love the story of the tower, which is that there were two Native American children who had gotten lost. They were chased by a giant bear, and could not find a place to hide. The kids began praying; the earth shook and rose where the children were standing; it rose so much that the bear could no longer reach the children, though he tried. It is said that the ridges are on the side of the tower are from the bear trying to climb the tower to reach the children.

Before moving to South Dakota, I read a blog on Devil’s Tower. In that blog, the writer mentioned that if you are in the area, chances are that the only reason you’d be visiting is to specifically visit Devil’s Tower. Although I don’t know that there is anything else to see in the area, simply driving around was absolutely beautiful, especially with the snow. It was a beautiful drive from every angle, and I highly recommend going not only for the views but for the scenery on the way as well!

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Five on Friday

When we moved to South Dakota, one of the things that I missed most about North Carolina was simply my day-to-day life. Those were things I didn’t document because I didn’t even realize at the time that they were “things”. So I’m bringing back Five on Friday, because I’ve enjoyed looking back at them, and I’m sure that one day I will also miss my stage of life, and day-to-day life in this moment, too.

-ONE-

I feel like I have been doing nothing except traveling since October. I had a work trip to Minneapolis at the end of October, we have made several trips to Iowa, one weekend trip to our beloved Deadwood, and I went back to North Carolina for a dear friend’s wedding. While I’m feeling inspired by all of the traveling that I’ve been doing, I’m also exhausted, and I’m really looking forward to a laid back 4-day weekend for Christmas. We are planning lots of food, football, and kitty cuddles. My mom might even make the trip to spend Christmas with us this year. Next weekend it’s back to Iowa again for Mitchell’s family Christmas.

The picture quality is poor, but it resembles all of the different weather conditions I’ve had while traveling in the past few months!

-TWO

It’s no secret to those who are close to me that our transition to South Dakota was a rough one for me. I picked up the book This is Where You Belong and it has honestly been life changing. It has taken me several months to read because I have to keep putting it down to process the information because I relate so completely to everything she talks about.

-THREE-

It has been about 2 years since I’ve seen real, legit, full-on snow, and I was so excited to experience a real Midwest winter again. That excitement didn’t last long after driving 8 hours in bad road conditions, though! We are expecting a blizzard Christmas Day, though, and with no plans I am so excited to drink hot tea (or maybe some wine) and enjoy it from my couch.

-FOUR-

One of my best friends from North Carolina got married last month, and I was so honored to be a part of her big day. I love getting to go to the rehearsal, get your hair and makeup done, and be a part of something so special – it’s like being behind the scenes of something most people don’t get to experience. And being back in North Carolina felt so comforting to me; when I was flying into Raleigh, it felt like I was just flying back home from visiting. It fills my heart to have so many places to call “home”, and so many special people in each of those places.

-FIVE-

Mitchell and I have planned our first (hopefully of many) trips to Europe together! We will be traveling to Barcelona in April as we discovered a good deal on flights that we just couldn’t pass up (I mean, literally my flight to North Carolina for the wedding was more expensive than the ones we found to Barcelona – how could we say no?!). I have been planning and pinterest-ing and dreaming of Barcelona – I am so excited! Have you been to Barcelona? What would you recommend?

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Charleston, South Carolina: Fort Sumter

While my mom and I were in Charleston, one of my favorite activities was seeing Fort Sumter, which is where the Civil War began in 1861. I think that it was extra special for me after our trip to Gettysburg a few months prior.

Charleston, South Carolina: Fort Sumter

The only way to get to Fort Sumter is by ferry. It was a smooth ride, and we even saw quite a few dolphins on the way back! Another favorite was the skyline of Charleston, which consists of churches instead of tall buildings.

Charleston, South Carolina: Fort Sumter

That's the fort!

That’s the fort!

And that skyline!

And that skyline!

Charleston, South Carolina: Fort Sumter

Charleston, South Carolina: Fort SumterCharleston, South Carolina: Fort Sumter

We explored Charleston late at night our first night, did everything we could fit in during the one full day we had, then we went to Fort Sumter on our final day. It is a pretty quick trip, so it was perfect to wake up and check out the Fort, then leave for Myrtle Beach (our next destination) with plenty of daylight left to explore our area there! Keep in mind that Fort Sumter ferries only go out a certain number of times a day. The gentleman who sold us our tickets told me they only sell out on busy weekends (like Labor Day), but it’s good to know time-wise that you might have to plan around what time the ferry leaves.

Charleston, South Carolina: Fort Sumter

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