I couldn’t put up a post today without acknowledging shortly the madness going on in our world right now. This month, which should be filled with happiness and holiday cheer, has been far too filled with tragedy. First, my hometown was rocked by a devastating and senseless accident that killed two high school seniors and left their two partners in critical condition. Then, the entire country was shocked by one of the most horrific tragedies I have seen in my lifetime. My thoughts are forever with the victims and the families and the communities affected. I vacillated so much on whether or not to delay my travels for the holidays, but I know now with every ounce of myself that I am where I am supposed to be — never have I wanted to be close to friends and family more.
I’ve spent the past week in Florida, where warm and sunny weather and time spent with my Tampa-based family has been like a tonic to my mind. When I got on the plane from New York I wondered what the heck I was doing, taking on a trip right in the midst of the holidays and preparations for my big adventure and a busy period of work. Well, I couldn’t be happier I came. The most notable moment from the week? I ran my first 5k! Not too long ago I couldn’t run half a mile without collapsing into a wheezing heap on the ground, so this was an exciting milestone in what I hope will be a lifetime of finding joy in fitness.
But of course, I crammed a lot more than just that into seven days! Onto our Photo of the Week candidates —
I went swimming with manatees! This was hands down one of the most amazing animal encounter experiences of my life, and I’ve had quite a few.
I actually think I shot better video than photos on this trip with Viator, but I did get a few good snaps.
Oh yes — The Color Run! This 5K was actually what got my entire trip to Florida started, as I was absolutely obsessed with getting to one of these colorful races.
I guess I need good photo opportunities to motivate me to move — and this was a great one!
I hope they do The Color Run again next year. I’ll do it annually in whatever cities I can catch up with it in!
This art lover always makes time to visit museums. I adored the architecture and the quirky collection at The Dali. (And let’s be real. I also went to not one but two aquariums!)
Okay, clearly I didn’t snap this photo… that’s me up there on the board! But I couldn’t conclude this photographic round up of my week without representing my fantastic day out on the water taking a Stand Up Paddling 101 class and a Stand Up Yoga class with Urban Kai!
Let me know which photo is your favorite in the comments section… and tell someone you love them today.
Happy Holidays, everyone.
Now, onto a few notes from around the interwebs…
Update: Travel Blog Success was merged with Superstar Blogging by Nomadic Matt. It’s an equally impressive course that I plan to take and review eventually — click here to take it yourself!
• First things first, Travel Blog Success, is hosting ANOTHER fabulous sale! This is the online course that helped me make Meihoukai in Wanderland what it is today, and the first thing I recommend to those who write to me for advice. It changed the way I looked at travel blogging and helped me move it from a hobby to a business. The member’s group gives me daily inspiration, feedback, and assistance. This is truly the warmest community in travel blogging. Click here and use the code “tbs35” to get a premium membership at 35% off, nearly a $50 savings! Sale ends at 11pm EST on Friday, December 21.
• It seems to be Volcano Week around here! Here on Meihoukai in Wanderland I wrote about Volcano National Park in Hawaii, and over at Eagle Creek I wrote about Volcano Tourism around the world.
• A reader nominated me for Almost Fearless’ annual Best of the Year travel blogs list. I’m so touched to know that of all the fantastic blogs out there, this is the first one that comes to mind for some of my readers. Not to mention, they saved me from nominating myself.