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Lifestyle,Tampa Life,Travel

Some People Travel By Plane, I Took a Blimp Ride

blimp ride

I’ve been fascinated with blimps since I was a little girl. I used to get so excited when I spotted the Goodyear or the Metlife blimp fly over. By a fortunate stroke of favor from the universe I was granted the opportunity to take a blimp ride with members of the media, checking off a bucket list adventure I never dreamed I would actually get the chance to do. It’s not like you can just book a blimp ride as you would a plane flight so this is indeed an elite mile high club that not many will never get a chance to say they are apart of. Read More »


Adventure and Travel Goals for 2017 and a Look Back at the Best Adventures of 2016

adventure and travel goals 2017

I know many people are so looking forward to saying goodbye to 2016. There were certainly some dark moments collectively as a nation and for many people close to me in their individual lives. However, I’m happy to share with you my adventure and travel goals for 2017 and take a look back at all that I’ve been blessed to see and do and experience and smile with gratitude.

Adventure and Travel Goals Recap of 2016

  1. Get scuba certified – Fail
  2. Visit Discovery Cove – Fail
  3. Stay in a houseboat – Fail
  4. Visit 3 national parks I’ve never visited before – Pass. This was ambitious and I knew that.  I did visit 2 new national parks and 1 that was sorta kinda new.  My son and I went to Cache National Forest in Utah/Idaho. We visited Fort Pulaski National Monument in Georgia, a first for my son but a repeat visit for me.  We also went to Cumberland Island National Seashore.
  5. Travel to Key West by boat – Fail
  6. Stay in a treehouse – Fail but not for lack of trying.
  7. Plan another solo international trip – Pass….I planned one. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take that trip and had to cancel it. I was all booked to fly to Paris and Germany to visit the Christmas Markets. Real tears over that one.
  8. Visit the UK – Pass. I went to London and Wales and added Ireland to that itinerary. It was an epic trip and I still have so much content to share with you from that trip.
  9. Stay in a castle – Pass. I stayed in the Chateau Rhianfa in northern Wales. Definitely a highlight of the year!
  10. Swim with manatees – Pass. My son and I were able to do this in January and I’m hoping we will be able to squeeze in another one in 2017.
  11. Visit Devil’s Den Prehistoric Underwater Spring – Pass. I checked off this one on New Years Day!
  12. Go Luxury Glamping – Pass. Not once but 3 times! I did luxury glamping at a dude ranch, in Utah at Conestoga Ranch, and in Texas hill country.
  13. Visit at least one other European country on the UK trip – Pass. I went to Ireland
  14. See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Pass. It glorious and a must do for any true Harry Potter fan
  15. Zip Line at a new location – Pass. My son and I zip lined in Texas hill country over springbreak.
  16. Explore at least 6 new local parks – Fail.
  17. Visit more Florida beaches I haven’t visited before – Pass. I went to Anna Maria Island
  18. Tent Camping trip – Pass. We camped in Cumberland Island Georgia with Outdoor Afro
  19. Visit California again – Fail.
  20. Travel internationally with my son – Fail. But….it will definitely happen in 2017.

I also had quite a few adventures I didn’t plan.

  • paddle boarding for the first time
  • eating ostrich for the first time
  • playing with baby kangaroos and baby lemurs
  • doing an overnight backpacking trip
  • watching a sea turtle necropsy
  • clay shooting
  • watching a rodeo
  • riding a horse through a field of rodeo bulls
  • visiting a nudist resort
  • seeing the bog bodies of Ireland
  • seeing the Rosetta Stone
  • visiting a Texas vineyard and winery
  • Doing a rib ride in Wales
  • Rode a jet ski for the first time
  • Won best local blogger in Tampa
  • Went to Mall of America
  • Visited a 2  new waterfalls
  • Did my first Dapper Day at Disney

Not bad, not bad. 60% of the adventures I set out to have I was actually able to accomplish. I work 40+ hours a week and I’m a mom to a high school football player that keeps me pretty busy so being able to get that many adventure and travel goals completed is doing pretty darn good. I get emails and messages all the time from people who are baffled that I’m able to do this. Many say they want to but they just don’t have the time.

My advice is that you have to be intentional. I made a very intentional list of things I wanted to see and do for the year and I planned to do them. There are only 2 things on my list that I planned but wasn’t able to execute due to circumstances I couldn’t control.  As opportunities were presented, I also looked at how they fit in with my goals. Is it something I really want to do? Is it worth my time and energy because doing this may take time and money away from my ability to do something else that was on my list.

Choose your where you place your money and energy wisely. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of spending energy doing things that honestly don’t add any value to our lives. If you don’t plan you can guarantee that you won’t do any of the things you say you have the desire to do. So, if your goal is to have a family trip next year start planning now!  Whatever your goals for next year, your first step is a plan of action.

Adventure and Travel Goals for 2017

  1. Get scuba certified
  2. Visit Discovery Cove
  3. Visit Dry Tortugas National Park
  4. Visit 3 national parks I’ve never visited before
  5. Take a cruise
  6. Stay in a treehouse or a houseboat
  7. Plan another solo international trip
  8. Visit Maine
  9. Swim in a cenote
  10. Visit a new Florida spring
  11. Visit 3 new Florida State Parks
  12. Glamping Trip
  13. Take a cooking class in Paris
  14. Ride the London Eye with my son
  15. Zip Line at a new location
  16. Explore at least 3 new local parks
  17. At least one tent camping trip
  18. Go on college visits with my son
  19. Travel internationally with my son

Ain’t nothing to it but to do it!! I’m entering 2017 with an open heart and an open mind. I’m ready for the adventures and travels that lie ahead for me this year.  It’s going to be bitter-sweet because this year will also bring about the beginning of my son’s senior year of high school so in a way it’s the beginning of the end of his childhood. I’m not sure how prepared I am for that, but I’m determined to make the most of the time we have left together.

I wish you and your families a prosperous and adventure filled new year! Now go and be great.

Happy Adventure Year!

Beaches,Domestic,Family Travel,Food Trippin',Foodie Adventures,Travel,Water Adventures

An Underrated Paradise in the South – Exploring the Alabama Gulf Coast

orange beach

Orange Beach

Last month I traveled to an underrated paradise in the south with 32 miles of white soft sandy beaches, clear waters, a booming foodie scene, and no shortage of entertainment and fun things to do. Where was this stateside gem? It was the Alabama Gulf Coast. I spent 3 days and 3 nights exploring the Alabama Gulf Coast and I’m so excited to share with you how this region won me over. It has its own personality completely different from the rest of the state. I found the beach towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to be progressive, inclusive, welcoming and just down right charming. Read More »


Fan Guided Adventure Visiting Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Alabama

gulf shores and orange beach

Last month I was invited to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Alabama to experience a fan guided adventure in the area. This was unlike any adventure I had ever had to date. What exactly do I mean by fan guided? Well, GSOB Tourism invited me and another blogger, Karen of Family Travels on a Budget, to come to the area for 3 days and allow our entire itinerary to be dictated by fan votes on social media! Sounds awesome and just a little bit nuts right?  Show up and let our readers and complete strangers decide what we do and what we eat? This was definitely an adventure I couldn’t refuse so I was happy to accept the challenge. Read More »

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