“The sun rises, the sun falls, the wind blows and the birds sing no matter where you are. These are experiences that unite us all… something we can all enjoy together.” ~Melanie Charlene
I grew up loving the outdoors. Growing up in New Mexico we enjoyed all four seasons. The autumn brought in the most beautiful landscape of red and yellow leaves marking the beginning of the Balloon Fiesta, which is a pretty incredible event if you’ve never been. In the winter the mountains would be blanketed in white powder. Winter was always my absolute favorite time. I went snowboarding, camping in the snow and enjoyed my mama’s homemade atole. Come springtime, the leaves and flowers would begin to bloom and sometimes I still went snowboarding :) In the summer, I indulged in hiking, bike riding, camping, picnicking, you name it! I’m so happy that my parents let us play in the mud and build forts outside. I believe that because of all the opportunities my parents gave me as a child, I became the person I am today, the “world traveler” and “adventurer” as my family calls me. I cherish my childhood memories.
When I moved to Florida, seven years ago, I quickly realized how much I would miss the mountains and the desert. I still do. But now, I was surrounded by water and other activities to take advantage of: surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, and making sand castles. If I’m being honest here, I’m a bit terrified of the ocean. I have not and probably will never try surfing. Don’t get me wrong, I think the ocean is beautiful and full of life, but it’s been several years and I still only walk into the ocean until the water hits my knees and hurry back to land. Some things may never change.
We recently purchased a canoe, and although I love it and the great workout I get when paddling, I still get a bit nervous being in the open water like that. Perhaps the more often we go, the less anxious I will feel. I’ll let you know how that works out :)
About a week ago, we went camping at our usual and favorite spot, Paynes Prairie. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was about 80 degrees with a low of 69. The mosquitoes weren’t out in full swing, which was great for my arms and legs. And the best part of it all, was that we visited new trails and canoed the huge Lake Wauburg. We saw bald eagles, armadillos, fish, deer, and of course alligators. YES! It was my first time seeing an alligator with my own two eyes. I was totally scared and excited. I’ve lived in Florida for seven years and I still had not had the pleasure of meeting an alligator in the wild. I guess I’m just happy we didn’t bump into it while canoeing.
We camped for three days and thoroughly enjoyed the springtime weather and all of the little critters that came out to play. Camping is quite possibly my most favorite pastime. I’m glad my beau enjoys it as much as I do. We are researching new parks to visit and I am so thankful Florida is full of beautiful places! Being outdoors is what makes me happy and what makes me feel at peace. I’m so grateful for the opportunities to travel and explore new and exciting places.