Author Archives: Chelsea

Our Biggest Adventure

If you travel with someone, you’ll learn a lot about them. Among other things (because, you know, there’s so many things), you’ll see first-hand how they react to un-planned changes, how they pack, and how they treat other people. It can be a big deal – in my case, if we don’t mesh together well when we travel, it’s just not going to work. Luckily for me, we travel great together, and over the last four and a half years, Mitchell and I have had a lot of adventures.

Two months into our relationship, in 2012, we went to San Francisco.

We’ve seen Vegas.

Ok… we’ve seen Vegas twice.

We’ve watched our Cowboys play in Kansas City…

and in Chicago (it was freezing in Chicago)!

We’ve cruised…

And moved to North Carolina, where we fell in love with a lot of things…

like the Smokies..

and Gatlinburg.

We got to travel North a lot to explore more new places, like Gettysburg..

Washington, D.C..

and Nashville

Then, we moved across the country again, this time to South Dakota.

We checked Wyoming off the list.

Then we moved across the country a third time to our forever home in Florida.

And most recently, we finally crossed the pond together to go to Spain!

I wouldn’t trade these memories for the world, but I’m so excited to say that we’re about to embark on our greatest adventure:

WE’RE ENGAGED! 

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Five on Friday

-ONE-

I have been following Jessica at Garvin & Co for about 4 years now, and when she posted how easy it is to grow a few plants without a garden, I knew I had to try it for myself. Mitchell and I went to Home Depot on Monday and bought some cilantro and basil to start with. If this goes well, I would love to expand – I’ve always wanted to be able to have a big garden! How cute are these little pots from Target’s dollar section?

-TWO-

My work schedule has changed from a traditional Monday through Friday to a Tuesday through Saturday. I am actually really excited for this, though, because my Saturday shift is only four hours. This means I get off at noon on Saturday and don’t have to go back to work until Tuesday morning! It feels like a 3-day weekend every week, and I am most excited for the extra beach time this will create for me.

-THREE-

When we got back from Barcelona, the last leg of our flight with United was delayed over 12 hours. After way too many calls and emails, we finally got some flight vouchers awarded to us. The vouchers weren’t much, especially in comparison to flight vouchers I’ve received from other airlines, without having to ask, for delays that were even less; but rant aside, we are planning to use them to go to Key West! We are about 9 hours away by car, and I hate to waste up a full day driving when I could be spending that time in a place I’ve been dying to get back to. I already know all of the ins and outs of Key West, but I’ve been spending my free time researching anyways.

Not Key West, but still pretty 😉

-FOUR-

I have had about ten sand dollars just kind of laying around for over a month now, and I have no idea what to do with them. I would like to think that I used to be a creative person, but that was before Pinterest would do all of the thinking for me (ha). Of course, I’ve already scoured Pinterest, but I haven’t found anything that really catches my eye. What have you done with your sand dollars? I expect that this will be a growing collection!

-FIVE-

I started working out more consistently last August (probably 3-4 times a week) and got really into it around Christmas (5-6 times a week). I promised myself that I wouldn’t let moving across the country impact all the progress I’d made and worked so hard for. I definitely broke that promise, and have probably only worked out maybe once a week since we got here. Now that we are back from Barcelona and Mitchell has started working, life is finally back to “normal” – meaning I can get back on a regular schedule involving consistent exercise. Getting back into it can be a little discouraging – workouts that used to be so easy for me left me sore for four days this week but I’m excited to be back in it! Now if I could just get my nutrition on point – I really like donuts!

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Five on Friday

The last couple of months have been somewhat of a whirlwind. Just as soon as we got to Florida (ok, what feels like it anyways) we left again for a week-long trip to Barcelona. We just got back, and I feel ready to conquer life in Florida. I am working on a Florida “Bucket List” and today’s Five on Friday is going to consist of the things we’ve already explored since moving here two months ago.

-ONE-

The Tampa Bay Riverwalk! We woke up one morning not really sure what to do; it was a little chilly for the beach, but still a beautiful day outside that we didn’t want to waste. So what better way to spend it than going to the Riverwalk! It truly was beautiful, and I’m glad we did it back in February before it gets too hot to want to leave the house. If you’re not familiar with the Riverwalk, it is exactly what it sounds like – a walking (or running, I suppose) path along the river. Of course, there are parks (including a dog park!), restaurants, hotels, and so much more along the way; you can even hop on the water taxi if you’d like!

I admit, I’m a sucker for a good Snapchat filter!

-TWO-

The day we explored the Riverwalk, we ate lunch right on the river, where we had a couple of day drinks. I was enjoying myself so much that I wanted to continue, so I suggested to Mitchell that we go check out some breweries in the area. We spent the rest of the day brewery-hopping and it was so much fun. I swear that the days you have no plans end up being the most fun, and that certainly was our experience on this day. One of our favorites, 3 Daughters Brewing, had a live band and a lot of indoor and outdoor games. I also thought it was cool that you could watch the beer being packaged right in front of you.

It’s not the most creative picture, but after a few great beers I just wasn’t thinking about pictures!

-THREE-

Clearwater Beach was the first beach day we had. It was fun, but it was packed! We haven’t spent much time exploring the area around Clearwater yet; the day we went to the beach there was shortly after we’d moved so we were tired and it was a quick trip. I am excited to get back to explore more of the town, and go to the Pierce Street Market one Saturday. Plus, it will be nice to return when the water is a little warmer – it was pretty cold in February, but we were rewarded with some dolphins playing not too far from where we were swimming!

Do not let this picture fool you, it was packed at the beach that day!

-FOUR-

We got season passes to Busch Gardens because they were having a special making them almost the same price as a one-day pass. Turns out, I don’t like roller coasters anymore (seriously – I hated every single second on the one ride I took) which is surprising, and pretty disappointing, since they were my favorite thing ever in high school. Luckily, Busch Gardens had me covered – there was a lot to do besides rides as they have animals, festivals, shows, and concerts; most importantly, they have $30 wristbands that will get you BOGO drinks which I really enjoyed. I can’t wait to go back this summer when they open the water park; I think we’ll get our money out of our passes more there.

-FIVE-

We drove about an hour away to explore Siesta Key Beach. At one time, it was rated best beach in America; I’m not sure if it still is, or who even gets to decide what the best beach in America is (I feel like I’d be really good at that job), but you can’t miss the signs reminding you. I was a little hesitant about this beach; I thought it would be overrated, as most “best” things are. My concerns were initially validated as it took over an hour to find a parking spot. I’m not exaggerating, over an hour after already driving an hour to get there. To clarify, they have a lot of parking (and bonus: it’s free unlike many other beaches), but there’s just that many people there! I was really irritated and I wanted to give up and go back home, I genuinely thought we’d never find a spot. Obviously, since you’re reading this, we eventually did find parking, and I’m excited to say that it was so worth it; Siesta Key is genuinely one of my favorite beaches in the world. The water was beautiful, there was a little sand bar in middle of the water, we found sand dollars (only took the dead ones), the sand was so soft, and the sun was so bright. I swear I could have stayed forever (until I looked at the real estate prices). I feel it is also worth mentioning that when we left the beach (probably around 6:00 pm), the parking lot was still completely full with people still circling all around trying to find parking.

See the water on both sides of the sandbar? On one side, there are waves and the other is so smooth!

 

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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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