Garden of Eden Trail, Florida

It’s been just beautiful here in Florida. Warm days and cool nights make for some great hiking weather. Today my family and I hiked through the Garden of Eden Trail in the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve. It was an amazing hike but not for the faint of heart.


3.75 miles round trip showcasing some of Florida’s natural foliage and wildlife. This hike is strenuous and I would not recommend for small children. 

*This novice hiker nearly puked on some of the inclines but I pushed through and feel amazing for it. And the River Loop is definitely worth it.


Check out the National Conservancy website for more information on Florida hikes. 

While I miss the mountains, this was an excellent hike and worth the trip. 

Garden of Eden is north of Bristol, Florida (one hour west of Tallahassee)

For more Florida travels and recipes, please click the follow button! 

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Lake Seminole Family Trip

Growing up in Missouri and Wyoming, my family spent most long weekends and summer breaks at the lake. We are carrying on that tradition with my kids. Our family, all 12 of us, loaded up two campers, two jet skis and two kayaks and spent the weekend playing at Lake Seminole. 

Now while I love the beach, the lake was the perfect spot to take out the jet skis. The water was smooth and the weather was perfect. Only and hour and half from Panama City, FL, it was the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. 

I think we have found our next great camping spot. Where’s yours?

Spontaneous Roadtrips and Indiana


I try to hold true to this statement and once a year take my kids on a trip. This summer, however, we did not plan any vacations or trips. We were just going to be homebodies and enjoy what our town had to offer. 

Life had other plans. The boyfriend has family in Indiana and decided last minute we were going to take a roadtrip and spend the week in the Midwest. 

12 hour drive later, the kids and I woke up to the sun rising over the corn fields and windmills greeting us a good morning. 


We spent the week exploring the bfs hometown. From eating pizza in a double decker bus to venturing out to see waterfalls, we had a blast. 

Stops included the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Swimming in the river in Liberty, IN. And a bonfire watching the sunset over the farmlands. 


The trip home included a stop at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY and a tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN. 

While a trip to farm country may not seem exciting, it’s all about who you travel with. My kids got to experience another state and I got to learn more about what makes my man tick. 

No trip is ever boring when it’s with the ones you love. So get out and explore. You never know what you might learn. 

Staycation Time

Spring Break is next week here in Panama City. Usually we are off on an adventure during Spring Break, but this year we have company so we are doing a staycation while my friend gets to experience a new adventure.

I think one of the best things about having someone visit us is being able to show them all the cool spots and beaches like a tour guide. I get to relive the excitement all over again.

Three days packed with different beach spots, restaurants and of course shopping. I love a good adventure, but I also love sleeping in my own bed. I get the best of both this next week.

Anyone else enjoying a little Staycation this Spring Break?IMG_1066

Giving Back

I have always been close to my family. My parents instilled in us the importance of family and having a relationship with my grandparents. I was able to spend the week of Thanksgiving in my Colorado with my grandparents.

While I loved spending the week with them, it was an eye-opening experience. I spent the week taking care of two old people. Cooking for them, running errands and helping my grandma when she shook so bad her pills would dump on the floor. Family is important. I got to give back to two people who always had my back growing up. 

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for them. Their first home cooked holiday meal in about 4 years. It broke me heart to leave them. 

On a positive note; Colorado is gorgeous. Here’s a few pics of my trip. 

The Mountains Are Calling

travelblog

 

I am a mountain girl at the very core of my being. While I do claim land mermaid status, my soul longs for the mountains. Seeing the mountains out of my parent’s mini van windshield meant we were almost to my grandmother’s house. As I had gotten older, and we had moved to Wyoming, seeing the mountains was an every day occurrence. We traveled those Rocky Mountain ranges every year, at least twice a year to see my grandparents. My life has always been in the mountains. My soul is happy in the valley of those towering, snow-capped ranges.

The mountains are calling, and I must go.

In two weeks my feet will touch Colorado soil after close to 5 years. Far too long. I will get to spend a brief, but wonderful week of Thanksgiving with my grandparents, in the valley of the San Juan Mountains. My soul will find it’s rest. It is weary.

There are never enough words to express my love for the mountains. The crisp breeze of fall, the rustling of the leaves as they flitter off the Aspen trees. The snowy hills and the creatures that roam free and quiet in the stillness. There is a quiet unlike any other, one that refreshes and restores.

I belong in the mountains. It is calling me home. 2 weeks to go. My heart is about to burst at the thought. Adventure awaits. Take me home.

 

 

Fall in the South

It seems like it has been forever since we have been camping anywhere. And even longer since I have put any travel anything on this blog. So I am going to combine two wonderful trips into one post! Our first trip was in September and we went to Ichetucknee Springs State Park near Lake City, FL and a few weeks ago we went to Cape San Blas State Park in Cape San Blas, FL.


Ichetucknee Springs was a wonderful weekend full of floating lazily down a very cold, clear spring then swimming in the crystal clear waters of one their natural springs. Let me tell you, they are cold! 72 degree temperature, but hey when it’s hot and humid, those are amazing. We rented tubes and floated down the river for a few hours. It was the most relaxing trip. Well, besides one of the boys losing his flip flops because he didn’t listen when told to put on boat shoes, or when the other boy nearly tipped me off my float because he had to pee….yes that is life with boys.

Our other camping trip was to Cape San Blas State Park. We spent a three day weekend just laying on the beach, enjoying the waves, the sun, and the ability to walk to back to camper anytime we wanted. My boys were in heaven because they got to fish all day long. And they did. It was marvelous.

We didn’t do much. I sat in a beach chair and read Harry Potter. I watched my boys knee deep in the water fishing. I watched my daughter and my four year old niece play in the sand. I watched my Mom and Dad enjoy being able to relax. I watched the sunset and my loves sitting by the fire roasting marshmallows.

It was a weekend I needed in the midst of the chaos of school, work, and raising kids. It was good to get away, even for a short while.

 

Banishing the Winter Blues

Adventure

The month of January is usually a hard month for me. While it’s gives me the opportunity to start a new year fresh, there is still residual insecurities from the year that has past. The colder weather and cloudy days certainly don’t help any. Even here in Northern Florida, we have cold mornings and lots of rain. With that being said, as I begin to shake off what was and let go of the expectations that did not come through, I plan for this year. New adventures, new trips, new relationships. Not really a new me, I am pretty content with what and who I am at the moment, but perhaps working towards a slightly better me.

Each year I am lucky enough to take my three kids on a trip. One year was to Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL and that fall a cruise to the Grand Cayman’s and Cozumel. The next year was to Universal Studios and mini weekend vacations. This year holds some big adventures.

First, my youngest daughter has hit double digits. It’s a big deal in our house. And my oldest is hitting the teenage years this summer. Another really big deal. But, the biggest adventure we have planned, and this is HUGE for us, is our very first trip to Disney World. While I know this is not a big deal to a lot of people, but for this single mom struggling to make it each month, this is GIGANTIC! Spring Break is going to be great adventure.

While personal things are also making life a little more of an adventure, I am ecstatic to give my kids this opportunity. Adventure is out there. Stop waiting for the next best thing, and make your life the best that there is. Start small with little weekend getaways. Save every last penny in a jar designed for your trips. Make a plan and stick to it. Research and look for ways to explore your destination without costing you a fortune.

It is possible to have amazing vacations without breaking the bank. Some of our favorite trips where little camping trips we took. Even a few nights away from the daily grind can refresh your soul. Take some “you” time. If you have the ability to travel, why aren’t you? What is holding you back?

Throw your hands up in the air, and let adventure take control. Shake off the winter blues, get that calendar out, and start planning!

Grayton Beach, FL

Fall days in Florida are typically spent at the beach. Our Saturday was spent at one of America’s most beautiful beach, Grayton Beach State Park, FL. 

  
Sand dunes cover most of the state park, providing a barrier to the beach. Hidden in the dunes are birds and other creatures who call this place home.  

   
We started our trek along a one mile walking path that took us through Sand oaks, magnolia trees and pines. 

   
    
    
   
It was a gorgeous day once we hit the beach. The breeze had stopped and red tide hadn’t touched this portion of sugar sand.

Beach goers were sunbathing or walking along the crystal waters. The few brave ones ventured out into the cool waters to play along the waves or  walk the sand bar.

 

   
The afternoon was spent at Western Lake, kayaking in the brakish water. For kids never been on kayaks, they did a great job.

  

   
And we learned not to molest any alligators.

   
 
We finished our fall day with a perfect fall evening activity. 

 
A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Fall Festival Fun

I love fall. I love the crisp, cool weather, fall festivals, and pumpkin patches. We headed out to Milton, FL for a camping trip this weekend and had a great time at Holland Farms Pumpkin Patch.

One of my favorite things about Farmer’s Markets and little general stores is the ability to get homegrown veggies, fruits, honey, and in our area; peanuts. This beautiful jar of honey was my favorite purchase, fresh honey and honeycomb!

As a kid my grandparents had bee hives, and I loved being able to have the honey comb after my grandma got the honey. I am excited to pass that experience on to my kids. 

This was such a neat little farm. Sunflowers in rows, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, watermelon plants, and fresh peanuts.

A southern staple is Boiled Peanuts. While I am not a fan, my kids and parents are. So one of these little beauties came home with us to be boiled.

There’s nothing better than homegrown, fresh from the farm produce. This gorgeous watermelon will soon be cut up and devoured!  

Rows of pumpkins ripe for the picking! We had fun scouring for the perfect pumpkin to carve! The kids carefully inspected each one to find the one for their Jack-O-Lanterns.

The corn maze was a blast as well. Not quite like the corn from Nebraska, but still we had fun trying to maneuver our way through the maze, searching for clues to the Maze Murder Mystery.

Our spoils from the patch!

There is something special about hitting a local farm, supporting local growers, and sharing that experience with your friends and family. So get out there and support your farmers! They are what keeps this country going!