-Camping Trip of Our Nightmare: Part Two-

I remember everyone joking about whose idea it was to go camping. (Sarah was kind of quiet throughout the exchange. I’ll tell you why later in the story.) We were bonding over our mutual hatred of camping. One by one, we started to drift off.

Around 3, I felt stirring next to me. I opened my eye lids and saw Gabby grabbing her bag. She saw me shifting and asked if I wanted to go to the bathroom to put on extra layers of clothing with her. I shot up so fast I’m the surprise the tent didn’t collapse. I grab my bag and we walked towards the bathroom.

We put on about 4 layers each from top to bottom. Threw on some socks. That was the best idea we ever had. Sleep was an improvement after that.

By daybreak, everyone was slowly waking up. I felt everyone around me wake up but I didn’t officially open my eyes till around 8. Nick was the last of the clan to wake up. We discussed how “wonderful” it was sleeping on the cold hard ground. Then Sarah told us she was not quite that cold. She was uncomfortable but apparently she had her own furry cocoon at the edge of the tent.

We ate hot dogs for breakfast since it was the fastest to heat up. We also heated up bananas covered in Nutella by wrapping it with foil. After we finished eating, packed everything up, and put out the fire, we headed off the springs. Our last mistake on the trip. We thought we knew where the springs were so we didn’t ask for directions and just headed off. About fifteen minutes into the walk, we were seriously doubting our knowledge of where the spring was.

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Photo taken by Sarah B.

Then, we saw the sign that said North Entrance. We cheered for joy. We went down to the spring and notice that there was no one there. The springs are usually crowded and even on slow days there would still be quite a few people. (We later found out that the north zone of the spring is closed down during the cold months.) We explored the springs for a little bit then decided we should just bailed on the second night of camping and head home even though we already paid. We all started heading back when Nick suggested that he run and get the car because it would just be faster and man was he right. It took him less time to run to the car and back then it did just for the gang of us to walk to the springs.

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Photo taken by Sarah B.

Home we went. Forever the camping trip will be engraved in our memories.

Camping,

Jennie N.

-Fun In The Sun-

College is great. They offer some many fun activities either for free or discounted prices. At UF, there’s this lake where they offer all these outdoor activities for free as long as you’re a student or have a Gator ID.

Lake Walburg is one of my favorite hangout place in Gainesville. Definitely would recommend. The lake is pretty big so they have a north and south entrance. Different things are offered at each entrance so be sure to check the website before you head out. They offer many things like kayaking, canoeing, and rock climbing. DSCN0185

I often go with my friends there to chill out. We would have picnics out there when the weather was nice, not too hot, not too cold. The lot of us would play volleyball until we get too sweaty and then dive into the lake where it’s roped off for summer.  <— The lake is not always fun to swim in. Sometime the water level is too low or there’s so much plant life growing in that area.

Not to mention the alligators. They’re pretty harmless. At least the ones we’ve encountered. If you want to see one for yourself, check out a canoe/kayak and row yourself out towards the grassy edges on the sides of the lake. There’s a 78% (not accurate) chance you’ll see ’em. IMG_6434

Point Is:  Take a day off from studying/working and enjoy life.

Have Fun,

Jennie N.

Favorite Sound

Favorite Sound

Favorite Sound


When I have a bad day or feeling down,
just the sound of your voice makes everything better.
I don’t ask for much.  I only ask for your time.
That is the most precious thing you can give me,
your time and your love.


Loan N.

-Camping Trip of Our Nightmares: Part One-

Some of my friends decided they wanted to go on a trip together for spring break. Gabby, Seth, Sarah, Nick, Gloria, and I decided that a camping trip would be fun and adventurous. Yay, my first camping trip!

Gabby and I were in charge of planning the trip. We decided to have the trip towards the last weekend of spring break since we had to be back in Gainesville for school and/or work. I booked the weekend at Ichetucknee Springs’ campgrounds. Sarah was in charge of bringing the tents. She had one at home and borrowed the other one from the Kolbs’.

Everyone was in charge of finding their way back to Gainesville. Seth and Gloria met up with Gabby and I in Orlando. We spent the night at Eddy’s and then headed off to Gainesville. We got back a day earlier than the planned trip. Gabby and I planned out our meals. We bought every food possible that we thought could be cooked over an open fire. Sarah and Nick came back to Gainesville the night before the trip. We made sure everything was up to speed before we headed for the trip. We were very excited for our first trip together as a whole gang.

The six of us stuffed ourselves in my car and headed to off to a weekend we’ll never forget. The drive to Ichetucknee Springs is about half an hour from where we lived. We jammed out to music. Talked about life. When we finally got to the entrance of the campground, we parked by the restroom; I went to inquire where our site was located and pay for it. The front office is a comfy little trailer near the entrance. The couple was nice and told us the rules and regulations of the park.

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Photo taken by Sarah B.

I went back to the car and drove the gang to the campsite. We took about half an hour exploring the site. Then, back to business we went. A group went to grab wood for the fire, a group built the tents, and a group unpacked the car. We made a game out of everything. We had a slight race building the tents but gave up after a couple of us never have even built a tent before. Then, we went and explored the campgrounds.

This is when the thrill of camping turned into our worst nightmare.

Nighttime was catching up to us so we decided it was best to start the fire before it got dark. That was an interesting experience. We use the metal insert of a tire to make the outer ring of the pit.

That was our first mistake. We should have dug a pit. Since we just the tire ring, the fire was too deep in it and the metal got to hot to touch. When we tried to cook out food, it took forever to finish.

After about twenty minutes of trying to cook our meal way above the fire, Sarah got a little impatient. She tried to get as close to the fire as possible which means she put her hand inside the inner ring. She swayed a little and burnt her hand on it. Not badly but it did sting. But in the end, her meal was done before all of ours. It took so long we debated going to McDonald’s to buy food.

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Photo taken by Sarah B.

Ichetucknee Springs campground had wifi. It was spotty; laptops had better signal than phones/tablets. We talked for awhile, played games, and/or explored in the woodsy areas for a bit. We packed up food back into the car.

The tents were pretty spacious. It said it could fit up to eight people. We tested that theory that night.

We had two tents to divide the boys from the girls. This was a good plan until 8 or 9 o’clock. The wind started picking up. The fire was no longer keeping us warm. None of us brought enough blankets. Gabby and I decided that it was best if we all shared a tent for extra body heat. Seth and Gloria went to put out the fire as the rest of us made up the sleeping area. As we laid there all cuddled up, the wind and cold air picked up. It was a losing battle from the started.

To Be Continued,

Jennie N.

-Baking Like A Pro-

So. Baking from scratch is a challenge. Fun. But a challenge. I took a trip up to Tallahassee to visit my best friend, Katelynn. She moved up there after she married A.J. who attends FSU.

We decided we wanted to bake a carrot cake from scratch. She told her dad and he thought we were crazy. He said it’d be cheaper if we just bought a cake. True. But it’s not as fun and there’s no bonding aspect in buying a cake. The recipe was pretty simple but I think the two of us made it harder than necessary.

I blame Katelynn and A.J. for not having a proper grater. It took us forever to shred the carrots into fine enough strips. I think that was part of the fun. Let’s say normally it would take us five minutes to grate some carrots. It took us twenty.

Photo on 2013-01-12 at 19.56After we got all the carrots we needed grated, it was pretty simple from there on out. Basically, the ingredients were eggs, flour, oil, sugar, carrots, vanilla extract, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. You may add other things to it if you want but that’s personal preference. By the end of it, the kitchen was a terrible mess, but the cake turned out delicious. I wish I had a photo of the final product, but sadly, I don’t.

Moral of the story: own a professional grater, not one from the dollar section.

Baking with love,

Jennie N.

Constant War

My mind is telling me to let you go and set myself free.
But my heart is too stubborn to listen.
For I have fallen for you too deeply to just let you go.
I want to hold onto you
And love you more each and everyday
But the more I love you, the more pain it causes me
For you won’t take this chance on us
Because you are afraid to get hurt
And every night, I am in a constant war
With my heart and mind


Constant War || © Loan N.


And I don’t know what I should do anymore.
I feel so conflicted about us.
My heart feels heavy.  

-Geocaching Fail!-

A few friends came over to my place to hang out. The thing about Gainesville is that it’s mainly a college town so there’s not much to do. After the first year, you’ve basically did everything there is to do in Gville. The five of us were lounging around at my apartment when Seth had the big idea to go geocaching.

I had heard of it before but never in great detail. So we looked it up. Geocaching is basically the modern age treasure hunting. GPS coordinates tell you where a box is hidden. People will go find it, take something out of it, and/or put something of theirs in. We downloaded an app for our phones and found out there was one nearby so we all headed out on foot.

We exited the apartment complex and entered the main road. The map from the app told us it should be a block to our left and across the main road so we went ahead and crossed the street. Jaywalking is not recommended. Anyways, so we continued on our journey. We passed one traffic light and then the app told us to turn right. But you see, if we were to turn right we’d be heading into a foresty (doesn’t the word forest look weird?) area. Mind you, none of us were wearing proper attire except for the boys. But onward we went.

Seth and I took the lead and climbed over a fence (is that trespassing if there’s not a “no trespassing” sign?). We went ahead of the others because Sarah was wearing flimsy flip flops and there were quite a few broken branches on the ground. As we turned a corner, we saw old rags hangin’ from tree lines. Teepees built like a little community. A couple fire pits. What had we gotten ourselves into? We checked the map again and it told us we were a few steps away from the treasure. Seth and I debated going further when we heard a faint barking. Then, it grew louder and more vicious. So we made a break for it, bumped into the others along the way, and practically dragged them with us.

We explained to them later why we frantically left and they all agreed it was for the best. Moral of the story: don’t go geocaching if it leads you into a woodsy area off the side of the road because you might get killed. Just stay home and read a book or something.

Side Story

As we headed back to my apartment complex, Gloria and Seth wanted to stop by the little pond in front of the complex. They caught a baby frog. Adorable but scary. I dislike anything that hops, flies, and crawls. So I kind of dislike everything.IMG_4369

Stay home,

Jennie N.

-New Orleans, LA-

I got a phone call from my friend, Gloria, and she asked what my plans are for the summer and I told her that all I had plan at the time was the cruise with my grandparents. “Good,” she replied. She told me how her and her friend, Tori, were planning a trip to New Orleans and would love if I could join them. Honestly, I think they just wanted another person to come so they could split the cost three ways, but I was excited nevertheless <— I think that’s a real word.

So we started planning the trip. We booked a place through airbnb. I suggest other travelers to book places through that site. They also have an app. We planned out gas by going to http://then.gasbuddy.com/Trip_Calculator.aspx. It was pretty accurate.

The night before the trip I drove to Gainesville to meet up with them. We decided to leave at 8 o’clock in the morning so we could do a pit stop in Panama City Beach. We went for a swim and then got lunch at this little dinner nearby.IMG_1253We made another pit stop at another city but for the life of me I can’t remember what city it was. We got a couple of bottle of wine and then we were on our way again. We got to New Orleans around 8 p.m. The place we booked looked sketchy from the outside but the inside looked decent. The owners stocked the shelves in the kitchen and fridge and told us to help ourselves. The bedroom had two queen sized beds and was also stocked with food and drinks.

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We went exploring all over town. We went to the French Quarter and tried all sorts of food. Everyone we bumped into was nice and recommended places for us to go and places we should avoid. There were quite a few people asking for money but they were interesting to talk to. I suggest you not travel alone to New Orleans.

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Tomb where Nicolas Cage paid to be buried

We wanted to go visit the cemetery because we heard that it’s one of the places where the dead gets buried above ground because the water lever is high there. They would dig a hole for the casket but the soggy soil would just keep filling the hole back up. Or if they successfully place the casket in the water level would rise and force the casket upwards.

But you can’t go into the cemetery until you have an official tour guide with you. Apparently, people went there to vandalize the tombs a lot. Luckily for us, there was a tour guide in training and they couldn’t get in unless the had six people. So we got a tour for free. Not the best tour but we still got a pretty decent one.

The bus system was pretty simple to navigate. We used google maps to figure out what bus stops we should use. At each stop, there is a phone number you can text and see how long you have to wait until the next bus comes.

The air there is pretty dry and humid during the summer months so pack accordingly.

IMG_1367Get a fun souvenir while you are there.

Enjoy,

Jennie N.

-Canada Day!-

IMG_1491I was minding my own business when I get a text from my aunt asking me if I was going to Canada. And that’s how my summer plans came about.

IMG_3157I asked my grandparents why they were going to Canada and if I could come too. They said they were going for my grandpa’s sister second vow into the nunnery and would love for me to come to represent for my family (mom and dad). After I checked my bank account and made sure I had enough funds to go, I called my aunt and told her I was going. She helped my find the best deals. I flew on airlines I have never heard of before that trip but totally worth it for how cheap it was. It turned out cheaper than my grandparents and cousins flights.

All our flights were at 7:55 a.m. so we all left to go to the airport at 4 a.m. Nhi and I slept at Victoria’s house because her mom (our aunt) was taking us to the airport. We arrive with plenty of time to spare so we ate breakfast and played a game called whocan’tdraw. It was fun and found out we all suck at drawing. We all fell asleep after take off.

Canada Day is on July 1st. The same day we arrived in Canada. Pure coincidence. We got mini Canadian flags as we went through check point. Everyone we encounter was so nice and that made our day brighter.

Our Canadian family was very welcoming. They made sure we felt homey and welcomed when we were there. They took us to Niagara Falls the first day we were there.

Since it was Canada Day, the place was packed like a can of sardines. So it was no surprise that Nhi, Victoria, and I lost the rest of our family. We were slightly worried because we didn’t have anyone’s number or a way to contact them. After 20 minutes of searching, we were all reunited again. We decided it was time to find a place to watch the firework show. The firework show felt like it lasted forever, but it was very enjoyable.

IMG_1566I recommend if you ever plan to go to Niagara falls, you should either do the excursions or see if from Canada’s side because you can enjoy more of the falls that way.

Happy Canada Day,

Jennie N.

When I say


When I tell you I miss you, I mean every word.
I don’t want anything from you. I just want to let you know you mean a lot to me.
You’re one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to me.
And people come and go, but with you,
honestly want you to stay in my life,
never wanting to lose you.

And I am never the type of person to take the words “I love you” lightly.
When tell you that I love you, I mean it in every bonefiber, and flesh in my body.
It means my heart and soul burns for you.
Your life is essential. And when I say I love you,
it means I am willing to die for you.
And in my mind, I have already died for you,
countless times. Multiple times.

© Loan N.