Coffee Breaks Make Great Dates

Lately, I’ve been on the go a lot. Between weddings, anniversaries, family visits, it’s been awhile since I’ve had a quiet weekend at home. It was nice to not have any sort of plans or schedule this weekend and just play it by ear, exploring our own back yard.

First up, Greenwood Urban Wetland Park.

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This beautiful oasis is plop in the middle of Downtown Orlando, but surprisingly quiet and peaceful.

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No water under this bridge

Thanks to the recent drought, water levels were surprisingly low, but it was still beautiful and quite scenic. I can’t wait to go back after a nice long rainstorm.

We continued relaxing over some cold brews from Foxtail Coffee Co. I’d consider this another first for me since my first visit to Foxtail wasn’t as pleasant. I was suffering from appendicitis and didn’t know it. This time was far more enjoyable.

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We sat in the grass, beneath the palm trees, people watching for the next few hours. It was absolutely perfect.

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And to round out the day of firsts, we had dinner at Reyes Mezcaleria, a brand new Mexican restaurant in Downtown Orlando.

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Exploring Northwest Florida

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost

Steinhatchee, Florida could be described as the road less traveled by, unless it’s scalloping season. This quaint fishing town is definitely for those looking for a place to relax, unwind and explore natural Florida. Ideal for a weekend getaway.

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Although I am a native Floridian, the Northwest Gulf Coast of Florida is an area I was pretty unfamiliar with. It’s not your typical Florida, and I loved it. Making our way up from Orlando, we took the backroads, passing through various small towns and marshlands. The further north we got, the less tropical it began to feel.

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Our home for this weekend getaway was Steinhatchee Landing Resort. Our private cottage was extremely spacious and cozy. For fun, we even left the fireplace going in the evenings; it reminded me of being in the mountains. It’s Florida though, and early May, so it wasn’t an actual fire. The resort had a quiet, old Florida feel that was just as beautiful as it was romantic; the perfect place to rest our heads between our adventures.

Coming from a somewhat big city, it was amazing to actually sleep through the night without the sounds of sirens, traffic, and airplanes flying above. Just the chirping birds as a morning wake up call.

As I mentioned before, Steinhatchee Landing was our home base between adventures.

These adventures included:

Steinhatchee Falls

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When I read waterfall, I was thinking actual water falling from a mountaintop, cascading over rocks and flowing down a stream, but this is Florida…no mountaintop here. Still, Steinhatchee Falls was quite peaceful and definitely off the beaten path.

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Surely more peaceful today than it was hundreds of years ago when settler’s cut through these waters in their horse-pulled wagons. You can still see the wagon ruts in the limestone rock.

Suwannee River State Park

We began this adventure with a picnic along the banks of the Suwannee River before we began our hike along the bluffs overlooking the water below.  There are a series of trails to choose from, ranging from a quarter mile to 18 miles. We veered in and out of various trails, following sights that interested us.

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Florida Caverns State Park (this one is a little further north, but if you are coming from South Florida, it’s worth a visit)

Caves in Florida!? Yes, it’s true, and it was completely unexpected. This is the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours.

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So next time you are looking for a little off the beaten path adventure, head to Northwest Florida. You won’t be disappointed.

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Better bedhead than dead 

*Disclaimer: This blog post was written under the influence of pain mediciation, so I am not responsible for any grammatical or spelling errors. 

 

Last week at this time I was living life and now my claim to fame is getting out of bed on my own.

May not seem like the biggest feat, but after the week I’ve had, it’s progress.

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This past week has taught me a lot of life lessons.

  • When your body is in pain, listen to it.

I can’t begin to tell you how many doctors stressed this one to me. Last Saturday, following lunch, I started feeling pretty sick. Thinking it was something I ate, I went home to rest, hoping it would pass. As the night progressed, the pain in my abdomen became so severe, all I could do was cry out in pain. I searched the medicine cabinet for anything that might take the stomach pain away, but those efforts were wasted when I spent the next hour throwing up everything in my system (apologies, that’s graphic). My husband begged to take me to the hospital but I refused. I have a fear of doctors, and even more of the ER. Finally, out of pure exhaustion, I fell asleep.

I awoke the next day, feeling slightly better. My entire abdomen was no longer in pain, just my right side, like a bad, bad, bad, bad cramp. The overall pain did return later in the evening, but again, I decided to wait it out and hope I would feel better the next day.

When I woke up on Monday morning, still in discomfort, I knew I should probably call the doctor. Okay, fine, I did not want to call the doctor but my husband and parents pretty much made me.

After a 10 minute examination, my doctor uttered the words I had been hoping not to hear, “I think you have appendicitis.” He then proceeded to send me to ER and put me in touch with a surgeon.

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This can’t be good.

Fast forward to Monday night, they are prepping me for surgery to remove my appendix. My first surgery ever.

  • The appendix is a hollow organ about the size of your little finger and serves no use, but to cause you pain. 

Good riddance pesky appendix, see you never.

  • It’s okay to take a break sometimes.

This week has forced me to lay low and not do more than read, watch TV and nap. I’ll get to napping in a bit. Normally, I do whatever I can to keep busy, but when not able, I was actually forced to relax. Aside from the stabbing pain every time I move, it’s nice to just do nothing for a change.

  • Finally, naps are good.

Generally, I don’t sleep much, but the combination of pain meds, lack of ability to move and healing from surgery means 2-3 naps a day. The doctors said, “whenever you feel tired, sleep, it will help the healing process.” I’m only following doctors orders.


“Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.”

P.S. I have to thank my husband and parents for taking such good care of me this week.  

And special thanks to my dad for really capturing the moment.

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