First Time Kayaking

WOW. It’s was my first time going kayaking. As you can tell from the title. Right afterwards I wanted to go out and buy a kayak. If only I had a car where I can easily transport it. img_9785

My roommate and I were one of the only ones in town during the break so we decided we should do something fun. So I was browsing on Groupon. While cruising through the pages, I saw there was a kayaking trip for only $25 for two people. A half a day kayaking trip. (4 hours) I texted her and she was super excited so I went ahead and booked the trip.
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The trip was along the Santa Fe River. There were two different route. We decided to take the route with the most springs because we could hit the springs on the way down the river. (Do you think I said springs enough? No? Me either.)

img_9839We picked one of the hottest days to go (personal opinion). The sun was so bright over our heads but the scenery was beautiful. We took breaks every so often and just floated down the river. I wished I had brought a book along because it was so peaceful.

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I would 100% recommend it to anyone who enjoys being outdoors and active. Active being a key factor because the days after we were super sore. But it was also our first time so muscles haven’t built up there yet.

Definitely would recommend,

Jennie N.

| HAWAII

IMG_20160706_222234.jpg Hawaii is truly beautiful.  The sunsets are breathtaking.  People are friendly and kind. The poke bowls are deliciously made, and the beach is just lovely.

I am utterly in love with this place ❤

– Loan N.

-Traveling on a Boat-

Cruises. One price for food, living situation, and so much entertainment. Traveling with family can be stressful, but not this time. We hit so many different destination. We escaped for a whole week. 7 days absent from work. 7 days of fun in the sun.

The first port we stopped at was St. Thomas.

The Waterfront was beautiful. But a storm was fast approaching.

Second stop was San Juan. The streets were so narrow and hilly. Most people only traveled by cars. We were going to rent mopeds but they told us it wasn’t really safe to travel by those two wheel transportation. San Juan was colorful.

Streets of San Juan.

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Last stop was the Bahamas. We decided to take a tour around the town.

Safe Travels,

Jennie N.

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-Summer Of ’69-

No. Summer of ’16. The weather is so unpredictable here in good ol’ Florida. One day it’s filled with sunshine and butterflies, the next, with rain and thunder. But I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Here I am surrounded by beaches, theme parks, springs, nature trails, and so much more.

Pining for more days like this. 🍍📸:SB

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 Every year, start of summer, we hit the springs. My friends and I gathered at Ichetucknee Springs this year.

Tubing like a bunch of lazy homo sapiens we are. The water was just right at it’s 72°F. Coolin’ us from the 80° and climbing weather.

Enjoy life while you can,

Jennie N.

| Skydiving

Went skydiving for the very first time today and it felt amazing!! 🙂 __

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“When was the last time you did something for the very first time?”

On June 5th, I went skydiving for the very first time.  At first I was hesitant and scared, but when it  was time to jump off the plane, I was excited to go.  The feeling when you first jump off the plane was amazing.  As you begin to free fall, you feel as though you are on top of the world.   The view looks beautiful from where you are and the air is refreshing.  You just relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.   It’s one of the best feeling, as if you are flying.

We are all alive, but many of us do not live.  Sometimes in life you just have to take chances, take risks, and conquer.   Do what makes you happy and forget what others say.  Your live, your choices.  Your mistakes, your lessons, your experiences.

| SOLO TRAVELING

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Photocredit:  TwoTwentyPhotos


All my life I have wanted to wanderlust and travel the world.  I wanted to see and experience new things but never got the chance to do it.  It was either my friends couldn’t make it or my parents were against it.  As I grew older, my desire to travel grew and last year, I took a leap of courage and booked a flight to Hawaii without my parents knowing.  It was one of the most spontaneous thing I have ever done in my life; and I have no regrets.

When it was close to my departure, I told my parents and they were very against it.  However, I had everything planned and told them what I was going to do, and I was capable of taking care of myself.  They were very worried when I left for Hawaii by myself but I showed them I was independent and responsible.  Traveling to Hawaii was one of the most memorable and unforgettable trip.

Never be afraid to try new things and do what you love.  Don’t just be alive, live your life and enjoy every minute of it.  Learn and grow from your experiences and make it count.


Loan N.

-Jamaican Me Crazy-

My aunt and her family invited me to go on a Carnival cruise with them to Jamaica a couple of years back. I was thankful for this opportunity. I’m pretty sure the cruise was a 7 day cruise but I can’t recall that for sure. The ship docked at the Keys, Cayman Islands, and Jamaica.

IMG_3530At the Keys, we booked a snorkeling excursion. It was about an forty minute boat ride out to sea to the coral reef. The captain of the boat notified us the waves were a bit more intense that day than usual. Therefore, the ride was going to be a lot bumpier than normal. When we got to the location, everyone put on life jackets and snorkeling gear. You had the option to jump or walk in. I chose to jump. As I was midair from the jump, the instructor yelled at me to put on my mask and breathing tube. A little too late, I might add. Salt water had already entered my lungs by the time I heard him. Nhi and I went up after about 20 minutes while Minh decided to stay and dive to the bottom (I think about 12 feet). On the trip back, a few people, including me, got a little sea sick cause of the rocking of the boat.

IMG_3646 2We went horseback riding at Cayman Islands. Luckily I packed tennis shoes before the trip because they require that you wear long pants and close toed shoes. The horses are suppose to go in a single file along the beach but my uncles horse kept trying to surpass mine. Luckily I was on the equestrian team in college and they thought me how to calm horses because my horse was getting jumpy when that happened. I rubbed the side of his neck as a pulled on the reigns to slow him down. After that it was smooth sailing.

The ocean water in Jamaica is beautiful. IMG_3637 IMG_3645

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In Jamaica there really isn’t a dock. The ship just anchored out at sea and ferry boats took us to and back from the island. Everyone we met was really friendly. People were playing music off of their boats, dancing, and waving. We had our hands full that day. We were going to zip-line down a “mountain” over the forest and then tube down the river.

The drive up the mountain was crazy. The roads were really narrow and when two cars were along side each other one car was riding the edge, which had the railing. These drivers were pro because I would not ever a million years drive on that road. Zip-lining was thrilling and terrifying. Tubing was interesting. They put wooden planks at the bottom of the tubes because the river was really rocky. We had a few interesting incidents on the way to the bottom but we managed to pull through.IMG_3799Adventuring,

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.

-Birmingham Zoo, AL-

I love animals. I try to hit an aquarium, zoo, or wild life preserve in every city I travel to. I just have to convince my companions to go with me. Lucky me. My friend, Eddy, loves me.

Birmingham Zoo was everything I expected it to be. It was huge and small at the same time. It was small because I wanted more! I wanted to be entrapped in there forever, but no such luck. But on the other hand, expect a lot of walking because it is pretty big. Zoo-Map-2015

Official Map from their website

DSC_0140I love tigers. Did you know that the roar of a Bengal tiger can carry for over 2km at night? We heard this big fella all through the zoo.

DSC_0226_2There were so many interesting animals in their exhibits. I can’t even remember half their names. I wish I had photographic memory. Goals. I do remember they had a sloth though. Go check that out.

DSC_0618_3Slightly horrifying and amazing. We came at owl feeding hour. They swallow small prey whole but if they have a larger prey they tear ’em into smaller pieces before swallowing. They regurgitate pellets of bone, feathers, and/or fur later. Could be hours, could be days before they upchuck.

DSC_0998I don’t know if you guys read/watch Harry Potter, but in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone there was a part in the book where Harry used his magic, made the glass disappear from the snake enclosure, and let the boa constrictor out. (Fun fact: In the film, they used a python.) Every time I encounter snakes in their glass enclosure, I picture that scene and get pretty freaked out.

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Peacocks are pretty. Pretty scary. For some odd reason, this particular peacock felt threaten by us and started to flutter its feather and fan ’em out. While unbeknownst to me, he jumped over the 7ft enclosure and was slowly creeping up on us. Seven feet! I was busy trying to capture pictures of another animal; I can’t recall the animal for the life of me. Eddy told me to back away slowly. I was suspicious but decided it was best to listen to him, so I did. While I was backing up, I looked at him and he nodded his head at the peacock; I turned my head and saw the peacock coming closer to my face. The peacock then jumped down. In that moment, Eddy and I hightailed it out of there. We had a laugh about it later, but pretty soon after this we decided it was time to leave the zoo and get food.

Speaking for both of us, the zoo was entertaining. If you ever stop in Birmingham, AL, and love animals, you should stop on by. Go during the week days, it’ll be less crowded and more interactive. There was even a children’s area which had a food court, carousel, and other stuff that we decided not to check out because there was a school field trip happening.

Wild Encounter With,

Jennie N.