Tagged with " experiences"
Chris and I decided to enjoy the wonderful weather this afternoon by taking the puppies on a hike. We normally trek out to the beach or hit a regional park, but today’s we decided to head out toward Fort Caroline to find an old favorite of mine that I used to hike during my childhood – the Willie Browne trail.
It took a little bit of patience, as the Fort Caroline area looks a little different after fifteen years – but we eventually found the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt area of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, and from there, finding the Willie Browne trail head was easy. Once Jackie and Aries realized we weren’t going to the vet, it’s was pretty difficult to contain their excitement as we unloaded them from the car.
The views we had on the trail today didn’t disappoint – the sun was shining, the wind was gentle and the pups were appreciative of the chance to romp and stretch their legs.
Aries couldn’t decide what excited her most about the trail – the smells, the people or all the creatures that kept out of sight, but made soft rustlings through the underbrush.
When we hit a break in the tree line, Jackie ran out with me onto the salt marshes, not realizing in her exuberance that low tide meant that the “ground” was really soft mud. She was halfway across one of the flats, when she sunk in deeper than she wanted to and made a mad scramble to get back to packed earth. It was ridiculously awkward and adorable.
One of the coolest parts of the Willie Browne trail (in addition to the diversity of the landscape and the historic foundations of Willie Browne’s cabin and his family cemetery) is the observation deck the looks out over the salt marshes. It ended up being a great place to take a break, grab some water and just take in the natural beauty that north Florida has to offer.
All said and done, we wandered about 2.5 miles (or roughly an hour) through the trails – and the puppies were pooped by the time we made it back to the car. Chris and I are planning another trip soon, just the two of us, so we can make it through the connecting trail that crosses over the Spanish Pond and Fort Caroline. Definitely couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Have any hiking spots in North Florida you’d recommend us checking out for our next outdoor adventure? Leave your recommendations in the comments below!
2012 was a pretty amazing year, so I’ve captured twelve of my favorite moments to share with you all. Because each of these could probably be a blog post in and of themselves (and some are), I’ll keep it simple with a list and pictures.
If you make it through all the photos (sometimes it was hard to settle on just one), I’d love to hear what you loved most about 2012 in the comments! ^_^
1. Atlanta Vacation with Chris: Early in 2012, Chris and I decided to do a little exploring in Atlanta, and used the City Pass to check out the Atlanta Zoo, the Georgia Aquarium, the Coca-Cola Factory along with some sights off the beaten path like Stone Mountain. We also took advantage of our proximity to my Aunt Susan and my cousins and spent some time with them too!
2. Being a Foster Mom for Katniss & Sandy: So it seems every year that I end up fostering at least one lost soul, and this year was no exception. When my coworker Tim rescued a little kitten (later dubbed “Sandy”) by the side of the road, I nursed her back to health and then his sister adopted her. Later this year, while Chris and I were out jogging, we came across another poor stray, helped her get back on her feet, and then my aunt fell in love with her and brought her home.
3. Father’s Day in Savannah: To celebrate Father’s Day this year, we took dad up to Savannah for a day trip. After brunch at the Pirate’s House, and checking out one of the walking Civil War tours, we explored on our own. Hard to believe that this year was the first time I’d ever made it up to Savannah. It’s an amazing town!
4. Director of Social Media: In 2011, I became a Daltonite and never looked back! 2012 proved to be another exciting year, and I was honored to be named the Director of Social Media in August.
5. Sean & Bianca are expecting! I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was so excited I was brought to tears when Sean called to tell me the news. I’m going to be an aunt in 2013!!!
6. AAF Jax Board Retreat: I’ve met some INCREDIBLE people this year through the American Advertising Federation, and one of my favorite moments with them was when we were planning the 2012-2013 year during our board retreat. Kayaking, a low country boil, and a meeting of the minds with some of the best folks in the advertising/marketing field that Jacksonville has to offer!
7. Girls’ Weekend in Savannah: In September, my friends Katie and Steph, road tripped with me to Savannah. While there, we put together a list of things we’d like to tackle in the new year, starting with a craft night. Details on what we make, when it happens!
8. Uncle David Comes to Visit: I don’t get a chance to see my Uncle David very often, so when he came down to Jacksonville for a week, it was great to take advantage of the opportunity to get caught up.
9. Meeting Ryan Penagos: If you’re not a comic book geek or Marvel fan, you may have no idea who I’m talking about…but if you’re someone who does meet the previous qualifications, you’ll recognize Ryan as the Agent M!!! He spoke at one of AAF Jacksonville’s programs this fall, and some of the board (as well as a couple of Daltonites) got a chance to have dinner with him beforehand. So AWESOME!
10. New York City Trip: Had a great in New York City with my Mom. We explored Central Park, the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, caught BIGBANG’s concert in New Jersey, hung out at the Top of the Rock and several museums. It was a blast!
11. Dalton Agency Holiday Party: This year I was part of the holiday planning committee and had a blast! The theme this year was to dress up as anything or anyone that starts with, “D.” I went as a Dalek and Chris went as Doctor Who. (We’re a match made in heaven!)
12. Seattle Trip: Highlights included Snoqualmie Falls, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, hanging out with family, exploring Anacortes Island and the Seattle Aquarium.
In keeping with the theme of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I’d share a short list of some of the things I’ve been especially grateful for this year.
- My husband. So I’m sure many of you might write this one off as a given, but I think that our relationships with our loved ones are often some of the more obvious and thus overlooked blessings we have. One of the things that I’ve really come to appreciate about my relationship with the Chris is the fact that he encourages me to embrace my inner child. As a self-diagnosed workaholic, I’m often absorbed in my projects of the moment. Thankfully, I have a friend and partner who understands my special brand of OCD, supports my neuroses, but also finds playful ways to level the playing field on that elusive state known as work/life balance.
- My siblings. 2012 has been a VERY exciting year filled with special milestones for each of my siblings. Rhiannon turned 16, can drive and started her first job (at Moe’s Southwest Grill, in case you were wondering). David turned 21 (hooray beer!), is enjoying college life and has a better idea of what he’d like to do with the rest of his life. Sean has probably the most exciting news of all – he and Bianca are expecting! He’ll be the first of us to have a little one. Current anticipated due date is late March/early April. I CAN’T WAIT to be an aunt!
- My job & my coworkers. Remember how I mentioned I’m a workaholic? That’s only the case because I happen to LOVE what I do. I’ve been with the Dalton Agency for nearly two years, and the time has flown by incredibly fast. (Our agency mantra, “Work Hard. Play Hard.” isn’t just lip service.) Our social media department has grown tremendously this year, and I feel blessed by the fact that I’m surrounding by such a talented team.
- New friends. This year, I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people on the board of the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Advertising Federation. We’ve had some pretty incredible adventures this year. In addition to our monthly meetings, we’ve traveled to district conferences, gone kayaking, enjoyed a low country boil, participated in the Color Me Rad 5K, celebrated house warmings, socials and more. What started out as an opportunity to network with like-minded professionals has really blossomed into priceless friendships with passionate, creative people that I have the privilege of calling my friends.
- Good stories. As a child, someone told me that the only things that really change a person from year-to-year are the people they meet and the books they read. For some reason, that statement has always resonated with me, perhaps because those are probably my two favorite things in life – meeting new people and discovering new stories. While I love to read, I have to expand that statement to include compelling story lines in general in order to encompass my other passions: movies, music, comics, manga, anime and video games. ^_^ There’s nothing quite like the relationship between a storyteller and their audience; that meeting of minds, where imaginations collide.
What are some of the things you’re especially grateful for this year?
Chris, Rhiannon, Mom and I woke up around 6 a.m. for our departure from Jacksonville to Denver this morning. Before boarding the plane for Charlotte (the first leg of our journey), we spotted a rather odd advertisement in the window at the airport. Still haven’t figured out what the gigantic, headless woman was trying to sell me.
Chris and I have never ridden in first class before, so it was a real treat to have ample leg room and personal space. Armed with snacks and drinks aplenty, Chris dug into the second book of the Sparhawk (Elenium) Trilogy and I began writing in the pages of a new journal.
We had a three hour layover in Charlotte, which resulted in a trip to Starbucks (Skinny vanilla latte, anyone?) and lunch at a place called Salsaritas, a Moe’s Southwest Grill-esque restaurant in the main concourse.
As we were boarding the flight from Charlotte to Denver, I sat back and observed my fellow passengers. The last man to board was a pretty harried looking individual who seemed hell bent on picking a fight with the flight attendants. From what I overheard, it sounded as though he’d had to go through security four times before he was finally allowed through and he was terrified he’d miss the flight. The flight was pretty important from the sounds of it because he was going to visit his dad in the hospital (he’d had a heart attack late last night).
I got restless about an hour and a half from our destination, so Rhiannon and I passed the time staring at the crop circles and mountains we could see from our windows. When the plane touched down, the excitement of being near our final destination was palpable (or maybe we were all just really excited to be allowed to get up and move around again). ^_^
From the Denver airport, it’s about an hour and a half shuttle ride to Keystone. We were fortunate to have a pretty interesting crew aboard the bus with us. One of the passengers was a starter for the different ski & snowboarding events and was on her way to Copper Mountain for the U.S. Nationals. One of the men on board was on his way to support his 15 year old son who was competing in the snowboarding half pipe competition at said nationals.
When we finally arrived at Montezuma condos, our home away from home for the next week, we were delighted by all the amenities, the décor and promise of a jacuzzi & sauna next door. After unpacking our gear, we headed over to Bighorn Steak House (located in the Keystone Lodge) for a fabulous dinner. Rhiannon and I ended up with the “Tenderfoot” Prime Rib (to die for), Chris had a New York Strip and Mom ended up having lamb loin. The food was AMAZING!
After that, we headed back to the condo to get some shut-eye before hitting the slopes.
“It’s income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.”
Not sure that I necessarily agree with the whole stab-yourself-in-the-aorta aspect of the quote I’ve posted above, although there are times when it does feel pretty close to the truth.
Read more »
Sean was able to call my parents from his patrol post in Afghanistan to give them an update yesterday afternoon. It looks like he’s been getting our packages faster if we have the post office mark them “perishable.”
With the two boxes he just got from Mom and Dad, he was able to have the first good meals he’s had in awhile: beef tacos (complete w/ mushrooms and real Babybel cheese) and Cap’n Crunch. Read more »
This week has flown by in a flurry of activity, but I really wanted to sit down and write about Shen Yun, the show that Rhiannon, Mom and I saw last Saturday night.
The evening started with an amazing dinner at Bistro Aix. Mom had some scallops “aixoise”, Rhiannon devoured their duck breast and I had the roasted chicken or coq au vin if you prefer. ^_^ (Dessert was a decadent apple cobbler a lá mode.) Yum!
From there, we headed to the Times-Union Center for Performing Arts. As we made our way to our seats in the balcony, we were stopped by an usher who informed us that we wouldn’t be able to sit in the seats we’d purchased (which were, for the record, front & center of the balcony). Apparently, the show would be utilizing projectors and the staff handled all of that manually to ensure timing was absolutely perfect. We made our way down to the box office to figure out where we’d actually be able to sit and were upgraded to seats on the main level in the front middle section. Score! Read more »
After years of frustration living in a house she’s never really liked, my mom made the command decision to get the heck out of dodge. Which translated into Chris, myself, David, Inho and Blake spending half the weekend getting all their stuff moved in the new place.
I’m really digging the new digs. ^_^ I think it’s a lot more functional, and I’m (dare I say it?) jealous. I’d definitely be okay with our first house having a similar floor plan.
It all flows together really well (of course, we worked hard rearranging the furniture until it did).
I felt very Riker on Saturday. She was all like, “Make it so, Number One.” And I did.
Chris and I spent a pretty relaxing weekend in St. Augustine for once, with just one event that brought us up to Jacksonville. I’d like to say that I was productive in doing some stuff around the house something, but I spent a good portion of the weekend camped out on the couch with Chris and the fur kids enjoying a Fushigi Yugi marathon instead.
The series was one of my first forays into manga back in high school and I’m still really fond of the series (both manga and anime). Yu Watase is a skilled artist/storyteller and I can’t help but relate to the characters in each of her series.
Last night was the final Bon Voyage Bash for Lara and Jason and everyone had a fabulous time. Between repurposing the décor from our office party, sumo suits brought in by Lara & Jason and a great mix of people from all over Jacksonville, I definitely feel like they’re ready to begin this next adventure, knowing they have the love and support of their friends and family. (Apparently they’re also taking wagers on who’s going to show up to visit them in New Zealand.) Let’s see if I can twist Chris’s arm in the months ahead. ^_~
Don’t have time for a proper update right now, but wanted to post some of my favorite pics from the bash at our office yesterday: