Tag Archives: Off the Beaten Path

Ridin’ Dirty in Mexico

Now when I say dirty, I mean dirty. Covered in mud, dust, sweat, sunscreen, bug spray and a wonderful fragrance of rotten eggs. Does that begin to paint a lovely picture for you?

While this might sound horrible, it was actually a pretty exciting day.

During our recent trip to Cozumel, Mexico aboard Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas, we booked an ATV Excursion to Jade Caverns. It was a whole new side of Mexico I had not seen before.

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We sped through a Mayan Village to get to the caverns.

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Once we arrived at the caverns, our guides shared some ancient Mayan folklore with us, and then it was time to descend into the cave. The temperature dropped with each step, and the smell of rotten eggs (sulfur) began to get stronger.

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Then it was time to jump. I gladly let my husband go first so that I could get photos of course.

It was then my turn. It was only 25-feet which doesn’t sound so bad, but when you are standing on the rock looking down into darkness, it’s kind of terrifying.

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Those were once black converse

I took a deep breath and leaped off the rock. Wow, what a rush!

I need to go back to get some better pictures. The jump made me a little shaky.

On the return trip we caught a glimpse of the sunset, and all of a sudden I wasn’t concerned with being dirty or smelly anymore.

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Another great adventure for the book, or blog.

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Hats off to Paris, Texas!

It’s been a whirlwind summer, jetting from one destination to the next. I can finally say all the laundry is done and the suitcases have been unpacked—at least for a little while. The next adventure isn’t too far away.

Between birthday celebrations, anniversaries, a wedding and just some good old R&R, I feel like I’ve been on the go more this summer and any summer prior. And I’m definitely not complaining about that. Travel is my passion.

One of a unique places I visited this summer—Paris, Texas.  It’s a small town in Northeast Texas, about 2 hours from Dallas.

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Hats off to you Paris, Texas for building a replica of the Eiffel Tower to draw crazy tourists like myself.

I had heard of the city before, but never really thought I would have a chance to visit. It wasn’t until we picked up our rental car and I opened the navigation that I noticed how close we were. So, I did a little research (aka stalked the city on Instagram) and found the Eiffel Tower, complete with a red cowboy hat. A must-see, obviously.

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Traveling is all about discovering something new, finding something that makes you smile and making memories. While the 3-hour detour to Paris was a little out of the way, it is a memory I will cherish forever. Plus, I can always say I had my first Whataburger in Paris.

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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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