Florida Part IV

 Our last day in Florida was honestly one of the most entertaining experiences I’ve ever had. All of us went on a 20 person charter to try our hand at deep sea fishing.  I was so hesitant at first because I was intimidated by going out onto the ocean.  I grew up on boats but only ever went to our local lakes.  Lately in my life, I’ve learned to embrace the thrill of doing things that frighten me a little.

We climbed onto the boat and cruised down the windy channels that brought us out to sea. The skies were heavy and grey, which is actually perfect for fishing. The crew gave us instructions whilst slicing up bait for the chum buckets.  It was shocking in the way that I really wasn’t prepared for what I saw. We each learned how to bait our hooks and drop our lines.  I jumped right in.

Boom. After minutes of having our lines dropped, swaying in the waves a few miles away from the shore we started catching fish! They were bright and colorful, not what I expected at all.  It was a whirlwind to see what we caught. The build up of feeling something grab at your line, then having to reel it in with all your might was exhilarating.

With plenty of help from each other and the crew, our group caught a total of 21 fish.  We released most of them back to the ocean due to size and species restrictions.  Megan caught a puffer fish, which is pretty rare to pull out of the water like that. The crew member sat down and let us take a closer look before releasing him back to the sea.

Tony was one of the crew members, he helped unhook our catch and measure to see if they met the specs.

We got to take home 5 of our fish after they prepped them for us.  We marinated and grilled them for dinner that night, and it was honestly so delicious and fresh. Even if we hadn’t caught anything, and our intention wasn’t to bring something home.  The experience of being out on the water, all of us laughing and squealing with excitement was worth it. I was sad our week was coming to a close, this time away from everything familiar to me helped me expand my mind and learn to love and accept the place i am in in my life.  I could have shared so much more, and I’m sure I will as time goes on, but I hold onto all of the new memories I created, whether or not a camera was present.

Florida Part III Miami

Oh my goodness have you ever been to a place where the water is so blue you couldn’t believe it was real?! The only beaches I have been to were deep blue and chilly, absolutely nothing like South Beach, Miami.  My dad told us we had to take a day to see Miami and I am so happy we went.  One day wasn’t nearly enough though. We all stayed in the water the entire day, floating in the shallow waves, catching little sand crabs and filming fish on our fake-pro (a generic goPro). The city towered over the coast majestically and eventually we had to regain our land legs to go get something to eat.

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After we were forced to leave the water by our sun-burned skin and need for food we ventured into Miami Beach and went down to Lincoln Lane where there were lots of restaurants and shopping.  It reminded me of how New York City closes down parts of Broadway in Herald Square for outdoor dining and temporary pop-up restaurants from around the 5 boroughs.  The vibe was very Miami Vice though, I loved the stucco buildings, archways and palm tree lined sidewalks. We ate at Havana 1957 and had an amazing Cuban dinner outside on the sidewalk under umbrellas and huge fans.

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The family branched off and we all went our own ways to do some exploring.  Megan and I found a shaved ice cream shop through an alley way of palms and an outdoor coffee shop. It had a private little courtyard where we got to eat our sundaes together and watched green parrots flit and fly around.

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Wearing BCBGeneration shorts and top, H&M hat

After  dinner and shopping we walked the ocean path back to our car and enjoyed the full moon casting its light through the Miami skies.

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It really wasn’t enough time. I want to make it a point to go back to Miami and take it all in. The perfectly turquoise waters and the vibe of the bustling city beyond its calming waves was mind altering and honestly took me away from everything that I’ve been carrying with me these last few months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Part II

Like I was saying in my previous post, Florida has been a really positive place for me. Since we were so close to the beach there was not a single day we didn’t spend some time there.  The water is so warm and the sand so soft. Nothing like what I’m used to with beaches in the northeast.  Usually getting into that water you have to go numb before you can get all the way in because the water is freezing. The craziest part about the water in Florida both in Hollywood and Miami, were the little fish that would swim around our feet. It tickled and scared the shit out of me because I don’t like not knowing what is touching me and have an irrational fear of a shark attack (not to mention it was shark week last week, so that was heavily on my brain).

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Megan and I made the effort to wake up early enough to watch the sun rise over the ocean, neither of us had ever experienced it before and was totally worth the lack of sleep.

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Since we were up so early we watched the restaurant, Broadwalk, next to our house open up for breakfast and got outdoor seating over-looking the ocean. We started out having breakfast with my sister and her boyfriend and the rest of my family members trickled into the restaurant as they woke up.

 

Mimosas on the beach were essential.

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Then we hit the beach.

Wearing H&M hat and Bikini…found this cute mandala blanket on Amazon for $19.99!

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Wearing an Ella Moss one piece.

So just before this trip I was desperate to find a one piece that was trendy and youthful, but also made me feel feminine. Days before we had to leave I stopped into Marshall’s and took a peak in their clearance section, they were almost sold out of all of their swimwear and this one jumped out at me. The only one piece in my size and with all the flattering cut outs…done! It was only $30 too.

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We ate some amazing meals most of which were Mexican or Cuban my absolute favorite. I did some research one day and found a really great taco place just off the boardwalk in Hollywood called Taco Beach Shack.  They had the coolest outdoor dining area with tons of string lights, fans and Mexican decor. The food was out of this world especially the  grilled corn, I hope I can recreate it.

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My Dad and I…see the resemblance?

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After dinner they started setting up a live band which we sat and listened to for a while having lots of margs and dancing along. The atmosphere was everything you could want from a traditional Mexican restaurant, the vibe and the people had an amazing energy.

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Wearing BCBGeneration pants, F21 tank

One of my favorite things to do was to relax on our balcony.  We had views of the city and the ocean, almost a whole 360 degrees.  I’d watch thunderstorms roll in, and a few really incredible sunsets.

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It literally took my breath away…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Part I

On the mend from a severe sinus infection and bronchitis, I am finally getting around to putting together a post about my week in Florida with some of my family. I’m going to break it up into parts because there is so much to take in. Florida has only given me good experiences such as, going to Disney World with my mom and my sister in 2013. It was so much fun especially as adults plus, it was my first time on a plane (so crazy I know). Then in 2014 I was invited to a round of interviews in Miami for the Macy’s Executive Development Program and ended up being offered a job prior to my college graduation (a major milestone in my life, my dad also came with).

The last several years have been a constant transition in my life and the lives of my family members as well. It has been a dream of my dad’s to take his kids on vacation with our blended family. It took us a long time to get to this place but I feel that I am so blessed to see my family on both sides in a much better place than where we were in the past. Anyway, I also got to share this trip with my girlfriend, we had an amazing time with so many new memories to cherish. She is an official survivor of a Portuguese Man O’ War sting and I got to ring the siren in the ambulance (not as funny at the time).

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My Dad rented the most adorable house literally on the ocean.  It was so quaint, clean and beachy. Megan and I got the best room in the house too, we had a private upstairs suite with a balcony and ocean views.

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The first morning we had our coffee on the balcony taking in all the beauty around us. I’ve never had the experience of almost feeling like I lived somewhere so tropical. Having our own little sanctuary was exactly what we needed to break away from the grind and monotony of everyday back home.  Not that it’s a bad thing but it is so refreshing to be around something new and beautiful.

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The backyard was so sanctimonious. The palms, aloe plants, and wild flowers were all the things I could fantasize about when I think of anywhere tropical. And of course I needed an impromptu photoshoot with the local flora. All these pics were surprisingly taken on an iphone X via Megan.

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wearing Ella Moss one piece swimsuit, BCBGeneration duster, H&M hat and sunnies

Getaway

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IMG_2090On my day off I had this desire to go to the beach. It was incredibly impulsive but I just wanted to do it, so I grabbed a towel, threw on my bikini and drove three hours to the jersey shore.  The car ride may seem long to most people but, for me, I love being alone with my thoughts and listening to some good music.  It was exactly what I needed and in a time where I have been constantly searching for answers I am beginning to realize the search is pointless and I just need to live my life.  The ocean is peaceful yet so intense with the way the waves pound onto the earth. It’s actually quite ironic and that is what I love about it. The sound of the waves, the seagulls calling and the sand beneath my feet brought me back down to earth again.  I loved every second and I would do it again.