Wednesday, June 29, 2016

96 Hours in Florida: Day 4 & Video Diary

Our final day in Florida was definitely the most relaxing. We had about half a day to kill before we had to board a flight back home so we decided to take advantage of our hotel amenities and do a nice spa day. We didn't actually book any treatments; we just used the sauna, steam room, whirlpool, and private saltwater pool and tried to get as chilled out as possible before heading to an airport full of chaos and crying babies.
For whatever reason, we were lucky enough that the spa day was totally complimentary. Normally it's $30 per person but the spa attendant had us sign in and then told us that entry was free for us that morning. That really put us in a great mood.

Monday, June 27, 2016

96 Hours in Florida: Day 3

We had booked in to snorkel again at John Pennekamp, but unfortunately by that time, the storm had made its way far enough north that the winds were too strong for safe snorkeling. So, we again had to maneuver our day and make another Plan B. We decided we would still go to the park but we would pick a new activity.
The weather was actually kind of perfect. Even though the current was strong, we were glad that the sun wasn't beating down on us.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

96 Hours in Florida: Day 2

Day 2 started out with a bit of a disappointment. I had booked a ferry to the Dry Tortugas but thanks to a tropical storm that was making its way around, waves were 6 to 7 feet high and snorkeling visibility was going to be non-existent. We got a refund and then sat in our car for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do. We had even taken Dramamine in anticipation of the 2+ hour ferry ride so we knew we needed to do something equally exciting.

We decided we would just make our way north (since that night we were staying in Key Largo anyway) and try our bet snorkeling either at Bahia Honda or John Pennekamp. We made some phone calls during our drive and found out that Bahia Honda was still too close to the storm so they canceled all of their tours but we managed to book in for John Pennekamp.
We made our way north at a pretty leisurely pace (we had time since we'd gotten up so early to check in for the Dry Tortugas) and ended up having a really fun day, despite the hiccup.

Monday, June 20, 2016

96 Hours in Florida: Day 1

My long weekend in Florida was something I really, really needed. I think the necessity was due to the fact that I spent a solid six weeks studying for an exam earlier this year and it burnt me out. I really hate studying. Okay, I know everyone hates studying, but I really hate it. In junior high, in high school, while I was at university, I didn't really study. I went to classes and did the homework and that was enough to get me through any testing and midterms. But, in this particular case, I was taking an exam encompassing a plethora of topics, 90% of which I hadn't even thought about since my days as an undergrad so studying was a necessity. Well, thank goodness I put in some effort because I passed! But, the stress of studying, the stress of an 8-hour long test, and the stress of waiting a month to find out the results took a toll on my already aging body. Plus, add in my 45+ hour week, going on random business trips (one of which required me to show up at the airport at 5AM and got me back at the airport at 10PM), while still trying to maintain some semblance of a social life and you see, I really, really needed this trip.
It was a deliciously relaxing trip for several reasons. For one, looking at palm trees is like taking a Valium; it automatically puts me in a relaxed and happy mood. Secondly, we got a rental car which meant we could mosey along at our own pace. We gave ourselves a v. loosely defined itinerary - I say loosely because we booked a different hotel each night so we just had to make our way to our beds by the evening with no other true set plans in between. Basically, we went into relaxed-holiday-mode as soon as we touched down in Fort Lauderdale.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

48 hours in PA: Day 2

We got home pretty late after star gazing so Day 2 started out a little later so we could sleep in a little. By "a little" I really mean "a little" because we were up and at 'em by 8. We had plans to visit some more waterfalls so we ate a hearty breakfast to fuel up.
It was another hot day so we filled a cooler with ice, packed a bunch of water bottles, and also packed a little picnic lunch.

Monday, June 13, 2016

48 Hours in PA: Day 1

Over Memorial Day Weekend, my family and I drove a few hours into Pennsylvania so we could have a quaint weekend away and do some hiking with the dog. I'd read about one of the best star gazing spots in the world, at Cherry Springs State Park, so I booked a hotel in the most convenient nearby town, Williamsport, which was actually an hour and a half away. But, it was the only town with a pet-friendly hotel and enough of a bustling civilization to prevent us from feeling like we were in the boondocks.

Leading up to the weekend, the weather was questionable - the forecast said thunderstorms possible - so we were hesitant to even go in the first place. But, I wanted to get away and I wanted to go on a little mini break with George Michael again so we just went for it.
It was a great decision because the weather was sublime (albeit, a bit humid) and we had an amazing time. We did a couple of hikes and ate lots of watermelon and burned hundreds, maybe thousands of calories climbing and sweating in the heat.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Ramapo Reservation

I'm so happy it's summer! So currently, I'm in Florida for a long weekend just to enjoy the beach and snorkel and relax. My last holiday was a long weekend in Arizona, which was similar in that it was a pretty active trip but pretty different in terms of climate and the specific activities we enjoyed.

The trip was somewhat impromptu in that we booked it on a whim and only three weeks out. I guess I didn't really give much thought to the fact that I'd have to be parading around in a swimsuit without any prep time. So, I decided I needed to hurry up and at least try to get somewhat in shape and that our usual weekend hikes just wouldn't cut it.

So, we filled a backpack with water bottles and some snacks and made the drive out to the Ramapo Reservation. I'd read about how extensive the trails were and how dog-friendly it was and I was immediately sold.
Even though it's a 20 minute drive (compared to our usual hike which is just 5 minutes away), it turned out to be completely worthwhile. We all had a blast.
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