As you may have noticed (or maybe you haven’t…), I’ve been a bit absent from the ol’ bloggy, and it’s because I’ve spent the last two weeks on vacation in Florida. Many of my dedicated blog readers probably know why I make semi-frequent trips to the sunny south. But for those of you who are just stopping by for the first time (HI!), I go to visit my long-distance boyfriend, Sam, who resides in Gainesville, FL. Sam and I spent the two weeks enjoying each other’s company and taking two weekend trips to Cedar Key and then to Orlando after he surprised me with tickets to Universal and a 2-night resort stay for Christmas. I got him 2 sweaters and a pair of flip flops… I’m also the #worstgirlfriendever. I promise I’ll make up for it somewhere along the way!
So, what do I mean by I am the worst blogger ever? Well, my one year blogiversary was earlier this month, and I didn’t do a dang thing about it. You heard that right – no magnificent gold “1” shaped balloon, no new party dress, no glass of champagne, nothing. I didn’t even post on my blogiversary! I was well aware of the date as it marched by, but I was more concerned with enjoying my vacation than I was with crafting a blog post. While I wouldn’t have it any other way, I do wish I had planned more blog posts to publish throughout my trip. So, as a blogger, that has become a resolution of mine. I don’t expect the change to happen immediately, but gradually throughout the year I hope to be more prepared when I have to go on a planned hiatus of any kind (i.e. finals week, moving to Florida, etc).
So even though I missed my blogiversary, I have some spectacular pictures of my spectacular vacation to share!
My plane landed in Orlando late on December 29. So by the time we got back to Gainesville, it was bedtime and boy was I ready for it. We spent the next day relaxing and preparing for the New Year’s Eve party we were hosting, and on New Year’s Eve, I slipped into my sequined leggings for some errands. The party was a blast!
On New Year’s Day, we drove to Cedar Key to spend the weekend in a house Sam’s grandma owns. We brought a bunch of movies with us and enjoyed time by the water and exploring the quaint little town. Sam modeled for and with me on the beach. He thinks I’m crazy for taking pictures of palm trees, but their novelty hasn’t worn off for me just yet. Lemme tell ya, I could surely get used to the beach in January.
We bought two pounds of shrimp from a man with a stand by the side of the road. Cedar Key is a big fisherman’s town, so of course it was delicious! Deshelling the shrimp wasn’t my favorite, but it was an experience, and I made it out alive. I cooked the shrimp and pasta while Sam worked on his famous homemade sauce. It turned out great! We had a good amount of everything left over, so we had the pasta for lunch and got some cocktail sauce to finish off the shrimp.
The sunsets were beautiful! After we got back from Cedar Key, it was time for Sam to start up his new semester. I had a great book to keep me busy and he was only gone for about an hour at a time. We spent our days getting lunch or hanging out between his classes, and I really enjoyed the normalcy of it. When you’re in a long distance relationship, you try to pack so many special, fun things into a trip that sometimes you forget to just enjoy each other’s company as a “regular” couple.
We took a bike ride out to the prairie on a chilly day and took pictures with our bikes before we left. I think I’ll be a more pleasant bike ride partner when I have my own bike down there. 😉 I took two pictures of Sam, and he was blinking in the first, but the sideways glance is pretty cute.
I have quite possibly the largest sweet tooth ever, so after discovering Midnight Cookies on my last trip, I made Sam take me/order them with me like, three times. Oops. Calories don’t count on vacay, right? And then again with the sweet tooth. Sam and I didn’t want to eat a big lunch one night when we had plans to go out for dinner with his mom, grandma, brother, and his brother’s girlfriend, so we got ice cream instead. How cute are their ice cream cone-shaped tables?! After ice cream, we headed to the football stadium on campus. They keep it open so people can run stadiums – absolutely crazy, but #respect.
As I mentioned, Sam got me tickets to Universal for Christmas, and we chose to go to the Islands of Adventure half of it. I had a hard time getting excited for this trip, because even though I wanted to go so badly, it meant that the end of my trip was fast approaching. But Hogsmeade was absolutely magical, as expected. We loved taking the time to look in all the windows, admiring the great attention to detail paid to each shop window. Needless to say, the place was packed! I can only imagine how much worse it is in the warmer months. We were pleasantly surprised by the short-ish waits for the rides.Sam (reluctantly?) posed with our pumpkin juice in front of Honeyduke’s. It was just too cute inside!One of the parts I appreciated most about the park was that even while you were waiting in line for the rides, there were things to keep you interested.
We drank WAY too much butterbeer, but you know, when in Harry Potter World, do as the wizards do. We had lunch in the Three Broomsticks and Sam tried some pumpkin fizz and shepherd’s pie. I had the fish and chips and- yup, you guessed it- more butterbeer. The castle was just incredible. The 3D ride inside was impressive – one of our favorites! And of course we had to divulge in a chocolate frog! I brought one home to share with my family as well. Sam took home some fizzing whizbees. After a long day at the park, we spent the next day relaxing at the resort. To our delight, it was significantly warmer than the day before, and we enjoyed time lounging in and by the pool.
It’s weird/scary/exciting to think that the next time I’ll be in Gainesville will most likely be when I am moving there. Life has thrown me some crazy curveballs, but meeting Sam was the best one so far. I can’t wait to get our life together started.