My Journey Journal

  • New Red Heels (Uck, Heels,).  Check
  • Fancy Dresses for Wedding and Reception. Check
  • Bathing Suit for Kayaking. Check
  • School Stuff. Check
  • Some Magical Healing Salve from Mom. Check

Yep, I went on a trip! I took to the air, and went 3000 miles (from Sacramento to Florida), for a Wedding, manatees, kayaking, and the Everglades!

The flights took around seven hours from Sacramento to Orlando. It was my first red-eye flight, I didn’t get any sleep. And now, I know why it’s called a red-eye. When we got off the airplane it was 5:00 am Eastern Time, and we picked up our rental car and headed off somewhere into Florida. From that point on, I don’t remember much, because I was sleeping.

My parents woke me up at a drive-thru safari. No, we didn’t order any ostriches at the first window, sadly.  We drove through herds of different types of antelope, lions, zebras, herons, monkeys, and other exotic animals. My dad was driving, my mom was taking pictures and I was reading the guide and telling them all about the animals.  When we left, we continued heading south towards Everglades National Park. Our goal was to find a place relatively close to the Everglades, as our plans were to go there the next day.

We found a hotel that was within minutes of the park entrance, got a room, and quickly settled down to sleep; thinking that we were going to explore the Everglades the next day. (Totally wrong.) In the morning, an email order reminded me that I run a business. That set our plans off a bit, as we needed to head to the condo to get the order taken care of, instead of to the Everglades. The national park would have to wait for another day.

We arrived at the condo in Key Largo, opened the gate, and let ourselves inside (using the code, of course, not through a window or something,) and unpacked our stuff.  I took care of the business order (thank you workers, aka grandparents) and we were able to explore the beach and see some manatees all before heading to dinner.

The following day we had nothing scheduled, so we decided to head to the Everglades. Once inside the park, we saw plenty of wild animals before we even set foot onto a trail. (I really need to research these animals more closely, they seem to be transported by big yellow vehicles.) Just kidding, there were plenty of wild animals in addition to the school kids. 😉 Along the walking trail we saw wild gar, carp, snapping turtles, cormorants, snake birds, and of course alligators. I didn’t realize how fast alligators could move, until I witnessed one swimming towards a group of loud school kids. The kids that were leaning over the fence and motioning with their arms probably looked quite tasty to the alligator. My parents and I just watched the scene unfold, took our pictures and went on our way. It really was an interesting trip.

Later that night, my brother and my sister and her husband all joined us at the condo. We would all be attending the wedding later in the week.

Friday was a day of rest, and kayaking. Those that kayaked obviously did not rest, and those that rested obviously did not kayak.  Later in the evening, we got all dressed up and headed out to the welcome reception on the beach.  We played games, ate, and met the other wedding guests.  It was a beautiful night, and I came away happy and with many new blisters on my feet. (new shoes…argh)

The next day (two full days of wearing heels?!) we set out for the wedding on the beach. The ceremony took place right before sunset, and it was beautiful. I was happy to be there to witness the start of a new journey for two amazing people.

Sunday was a day of rest, and boy did we all need it after the amazing wedding. My sister and brother in law had taken off for home, and my brother was heading back early the next morning.

Monday, my parents and I, along with family friends (parents of the groom), got into the car and drove for 3 hours to Key West, the southernmost point of the continental U.S, and the location of an amazing bakery called Key West Cakes!




(Plus a Key Lime Pie Cupcake too. Made from Key Limes and Pie! Who knew?)

We gathered at the town square for the nightly sunset celebration. We watched the  beautiful sunset as it dipped into the ocean. Another 3+ hour drive back to Key Largo, and we were singing all the way.

The next day (our last full day in Florida), we drove to Miami to a friend’s restaurant, MC Kitchen, and ate an amazing last dinner in Florida (at least for that trip!).

I made the decision that we’re going back to Florida, and I’m sure my parents agree. We left very early Wednesday morning, for a seven-hour flight back to California. I’m talking wake-up at 2am early!

Back in Sacramento, my grandpa picked us up at the airport, and within 2 hours, my parents and I were back home. We had a pizza baking in the oven, and freshly bathed dogs who were overjoyed that we were back from a ten-day vacation.

What a journey!



Breathing. Well… it gained me sleep. During the Florida vacation, I was often so excited by what we had planned for the next day, I couldn’t get to sleep. Oftentimes, I just read until I’m tired.  But, all the books I had with me, I had already read recently.  So to calm my excitement, I took long, deep breaths, closing my eyes. It worked. Every night, it worked. I fell asleep.


Looking Back

Well, “looking back” on the vacation, I realize that there’s not one thing I would change if I could. It was perfect, even with the long drives, long 7-hour flights, and doing homework along the way. All of this is the kind of stuff that homeschooling lets you do. Everglades. Manatees. Kayaking. Pelicans going crazy in the Atlantic Ocean. Family. Friends. Amazing Food. School. Work.  Everything was happening while I was there, yet I wasn’t home.  I did Math Class in a condo, and in an airport!  What do I feel after a trip like that?  Thankful!

My Most Listened to Song of the Week

I See Fire (Originally by – Ed Sheeran) – Jasmine Thompson