A week and a half of travelling and crazy adventures later, it’s nice to be back home – where it’s suddenly autumn. South Florida was incredible with all it’s heat and humidity; I definitely got out all my end-of-summer blues with that intense weather experience. But I was so grateful to come home to the cool, dry mountains.
There are so many highlights from this birthday trip that started with the NorCal Renaissance Faire and continued on to Florida with camping, birding, and canoeing in the Everglades and dining, roaming, and drinking in Key West and snorkeling, sunning, and exploring at Dry Tortugas and ended with a solo late night drive home from the Fresno airport. This was the trip that Paul and I have been planning for months and everything came together perfectly. We spent most of the trip adventuring together, though we did incorporate a fair amount of solo time into our itinerary too. As always, he was a great travel companion and we each had a fun and memorable time.
The brightest highlights include:
- Walking up on my first-ever alligator!
- Watching beautiful birds. The roseated spoonbill and white ibis were among my top Everglades sightings. At Dry Tortugas, the peregrine falcons and magnificent frigatebirds stole the show.
- Learning how to canoe. And getting to canoe amongst manatees, crocodiles, and bull sharks!
- Eating freshly caught seafood to my heart’s content.
- Drinking Cuban coffee. Yum!
- Going to my first-ever drag show. I was blown away!
- Taking a ferry from Key West to Dry Tortugas (70 miles away in the middle of ocean nowhere).
- Getting to climb to the top of the condemned (for good reason!) lighthouse at Loggerhead Key.
- Going snorkeling for the first time. It’s like swimming in an aquarium!
- Seeing a stingray while snorkeling!
- Being almost completely unplugged for over a week – No emails and no phone calls = key to relaxing.
- Taking time for naps and cloud-staring and ice cream-savoring while still packing in all the adventure a girl could ask for.
Did I mention that it’s nice to be back home even with all the whirlwind of vacation fun? There are some things that you just can’t help but miss when you’re on the road. Mountains, beds, showers, friends, etc. Most importantly though, the number one thing I missed most while gone on vacation: our delicious alpine drinking water.
I forget how spoiled we are here! And it’s always nice to be reminded how great of a place here is to be.