One of my favorite places on Earth, Auburn, AL. We were there a few weeks ago for the Ole Miss game and to do some networking for GameDay Sitters. B and I left that Friday morning before the game and just had the sweetest time together walking downtown and talking to Auburn fans and local shop owners. I can’t begin to describe the happiness that fills my heart being back in the South and sharing childhood places and memories with my B…hint: it’s a lot.
Here’s a little peek into fun weekend on The Plains with family and friends! War Eagle, y’all! OH, and I put together a little video too…it’s been forever since I’ve done one and felt it was about time I did. 😉 And with this weekend being Veterans today and the Ole Miss game being Military Appreciation it’s the least I can do to honor those who’ve bravely fought for our country.
Have a great y’all! Thanks for reading! War Eagle, beat GA!
Some of y’all may have seen my new business venture, GameDay Sitters, on Facebook or Instagram. 😄 Some of y’all may also know our love of Auburnand how deep the orange and blue runs in my family. A few weekends ago we took an overnight family trip to Auburn for a perfect mix of business and pleasure. But before I share with y’all my new ‘baby’ let me back in up to where it all began.
About this time last year as Geoff and I were driving home from our usual weekend hike in the PNWand we started talking about our soon-to-be days back in the South — which meant soon-to-be days back on The Plains! …And that got me thinking ‘if my family (aka babysitters) are going to be at the game, who’s gonna be our babysitter??’ 🤷🏼♀️😅 Ha! And then I thought ‘well wouldn’t it be nice if there was a service who connected families with sitters for game days?’ After some unsuccessful (or was it) 😉 research I came up empty on such service…and so I thought ‘well why can’t I be that service for the Auburn community??!’ And GameDay Sitters was born.
Since being back in the South I’ve felt a more tangible reality of this dream coming to life. With the help and support of Geoff, my family and friends to help spread the word through social media we’ve had some success leading into the 2017 football season! War Eagle #amiright Going to Auburn a few weeks ago made me feel at home, at peace, alive and beyond excited to continue pounding the pavement (both metaphorically and physically) to spread the word around Auburn and combine both my professional and educational experiences with my genuine love for Auburn. I love meeting new people and making connections, so why not do that as part of my business (bonus!).
It’s been a dream of mine to one day take Brooks to Auburn and show him a place that his daddy and I love so much. That combined with my dream of one day owning my own business (if you’ve been following me since the beginning you’ve seen a number of my small business ideas flop and stay as a fun personal hobby😉), working from home, and making Brooks proud of his momma are slowly coming to light. This is just the beginning of something special, even if that just means sharing a place I love with those I love most.
Our trip to Auburn was just the momentum I needed to get the ball rolling for the 2017 Auburn football season. I loved being able to share new memories with my family and add another (working) dynamic into my marriage. From the people that I met and the new connections I get to make, I’m so thankful I get to stretch myself more out of my comfort zone and take a chance on the unknown. I’ve placed this all in God’s hands and am excited to see what is in store for the future!
For as long as I lived in Florida (hint: it’s long enough) I never even knew there were caverns to explore! And to paint more of a picture, I’ve passed them every summer since I was a little girl (no need to do the math😉) and never blinked an eye — here’s where having little ones makes life a little sweeter. 💜 Exploring has been something I’ve always loved, my mom calls it ‘plundering’, I like to call it ‘intentional exploring’. 😉 It’s like letting my ADD roam free without a care in the world…*something shiny✨
Living out in the PNW, Brooks allowed for my exploration bug to be set free! We loved all our familyhikes, waterfall visits, and panoramicmountain views! Being back in the South we’ve found new places to visit and BONUS – with family and friends! The Florida Caverns were no different. 😊
Disclaimer: These aren’t my best quality pics I’ve ever posted…wouldn’t you know it, the lighting isn’t great in caverns?! 🤷🏼♀️
That’s all for now! Just a small travel tip if you ever plan to visit the caverns: get there as early as you can, and expect to wait. The tickets for a guided tour are first come first serve, so bring some snacks and water while you wait for the tour to start. Their gift shop is cute with a fun little museum and trails to walk in the meantime!
One of the main things I wanted to do during my short-term stay here in Jacksonville was explore the more obvious scenic spots that we ‘locals’ become blind to on a day-to-day basis. I’m a firm believer in doing the touristy stuff in every city I live in…I mean there’s a reason why out-of-towners go visit these monuments, hotspots, or viewpoints – because it offers something special to the location. So, I want to capture those special spots throughout my hometown and see it with a fresh perspective, as a ‘visitor’.
Recently my mom, B and I went to the Treaty Oak and Friendship Fountain in downtown Jax. The weather was perfect and these were just the short morning outings we needed to feel accomplished for the day before naptime commenced. 😉
They really are such beautiful spots to visit. They’re the perfect places to escape from your office, take your lunch, or just enjoy the views of the river while watching the Main Street bridge rise to allow boats to pass, and of course, people watch. Not to mention, it’s a great area to let your toddler run free to stretch their little growing legs. B especially loved the fountain! He loved splashing in the puddles and watching the water jump out into the sky. Next time I need to take a little picnic and just camp out for a late morning outing.
Thanks so much for reading! Our time here is nearing an end in Jax. I’ll be flying out to WA soon to meet Geoff as we hit the road for our cross-country trek back to the South! I can’t wait to document that trip! 🙊 I’m so looking forward to some adventures with my main squeeze! Stay tuned for that! 🚙🗺
Day 2, y’all!! As if Day 1 on my Alaskan getaway wasn’t already fillin’ my camera lens with lots of photo goodness, wait until you get a load of these…
Even though day 1 was filled with some sort of magic in the air …or maybe that was the glacier-iced Rita?? 🙂 Probably both. Either way, it was so pretty and spiritual and I wasn’t even mad I didn’t see a whale (well, mostly;) — but Day 2 y’all, Day 2! I think this was my favorite. We started off the morning with a group walk which turned into a run by some, not me, along the mud flats. It was such a refreshing way to start off the day with a light 4 mile jaunt and being one with nature. ** We came back to our ‘Erich B&B’ to shower, change, and be off to our next adventure stop of the day; a (self guided) tour through the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood (reservation for 2, please) and found our way up to the start of the Winner Creek Trail. We made it down to this hand tram where you manually crossed over the a creek over hundred feet below with a pulley system whilst *safely standing in a metal cage. *NOPE* I was going to peer-pressure myself into crossing, only for the pure satisfaction of that selfie!!..but ‘sadly’ we were on a time crunch to make it back to the wildlife conservation. We huffed it back on the trail another 2.5 miles and carried on to the 3rd and final stop of the day, the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation.
This place was so incredible to me. It was so beautiful, peaceful, serene. Something about being surrounded by miles of mountain peaks and monstrous-sized animals was so amazing. I could’ve easily spent hours there, in the quiet moments of watching these beastly creatures meandering through the fields. There was this one moment, however, where one of the bison wasn’t really feeling my #natgeo moment of trying to get close and personal, as she huffed and slightly charged toward me. To throw her a bone though, she was a fairly new mama just protecting her babe. I feel you mama, I feel you…
Ending the weekend on such a high note, with a food gift from some sweet friend’s of Erich’s. The husband is an Alaskan native and was able to provide some fresh-caught salmon from that morning, bring it over, some with different smokes on them…I mean #heaven. We made drinks, salad, smoked salmon dip, and baked the rest. We sat around the kitchen table, talking, laughing and sharing stories. For 5 (mostly) strangers to come together and be able to spend pretty much 4 straight days together without any drama is just short of a miracle in my book – and the fact that it was genuinely enjoyable is beyond words. I’m so incredibly grateful to have been a part of the weekend, making memories, and be welcomed with such genuine hospitality really leaves me with such gratitude. Thank you Erich, for welcoming, planning, and being the best Alaskan unicorn a girl could ask for. If you’re ever in Florida #2017, you have a place to stay with Geoff and me. ❤
Thank you to everyone for the memories!! You are all so wonderful and dear to me.
❤ ❤ ❤
Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and check out the Alaskan montage below!
Where do I even begin, y’all?? I guess first, I’ll start with THANK YOU to the gracious host, Geoff for pulling great dad-duty, and the friends who invited me on this trip. I mean, Alaska is so beautiful all on it’s own…but the perfect mix of good company just gave me all the feels coming home from this getaway.
Right when we arrived we headed to grab a bite (and adult bev, obviously #vacay) at this cool local spot. Most of us didn’t know each other, but night one at dinner quickly changed that as we all seemed to genuinely dig one another and be IN for an adventurous weekend touring Alaska. So, if y’all have been following me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me overgramming A LOT of the pictures from Alaska. #cantstopwontstop But I’ve finally finished editing the 1,000+ and tried to narrow them down to a few of my favorites…but don’t think that will keep me from continuing to post them on social media. 😉
Our first day out we headed straight to Whittier for our Alaskan whale watching, glacier-guided cruise. The crew was fabulous, the all you can eat salmon had me at Alaskan salmon, and the fresh glacier-iced Rita’s were flowing like Alaskan wine…if Alaskan wine were made of tequila. We didn’t see any whales *sigh* but, we saw lots of cute otters and seals doin’ their cute thang in the frigid icy waters….and then, just when you thought you’d seen all the pretty glaciers you could see, Surprise Glacier appeared in all her glory. One of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen. It was so incredible at one moment; everyone on the cruise stopped talking simultaneously and just soaked in the awe-inspiring creations of God. The silence was something spiritual. Pictures can never do justice of the panoramic views we saw that day, but I hope I do them some kind respect with what I’ve captured below…
Thanks so much for reading y’all!! This is only day 1 of my Alaskan trip, stay tuned for more next week!
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