Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2 weeks (+ still counting!) in the Sunshine State

Greetings! As most of you know, I've been traveling around Florida for the past 2 weeks and I'll be here for another 7 days. I wanted to share a few pictures and experiences from my trip so far. I left Austin, Tx on May 15 and headed to Destin, Florida with 8 other girls for a 4 day bachelorette party. This sign greeted us as we entered the state. The weekend in Destin was perfect. We had a fun group of girls and we definitely brought the party to rosemary beach! A few of my favorite moments (that i can share) were the golf cart rides, every moment on the beach, jello shots, the mustaches we found hidden with the tupperware in the house (picture below of Cara, the bachelorette and myself), and "Snack Jesus" we spotted airbrushed on a building. My mom picked me up from there on Monday, the 19th, and we drove over to Panama City for a night. The next morning, we drove across the upper handle of the state and around the curve all the way down to St. Petersburg for the night. There wasn't much to mention about that part of Florida, but we did see a wild boar run across the road which was unexpected. We made one stop along the way in Tarpon Springs, a small Greek fishing village with historic sponge-diving boats and authentic restaurants. We thought about buying a sea sponge, until we watched the video and learned that the sponges are actually skeletons of a living creature. I'm really not sure what I thought they were before, I guess I have never thought about it. Needless to say, after the video, we didn't purchase a sponge but we did leave the city with a piece of bahklava and the most delectable cannoli I've ever tasted! We had time for some beach time the next day. I thought this cute little birdie was going to join me on my blanket! I spotted this sign in Sarasota where we stopped for a bite to eat. My last name is Briggs so we had to go back so I could take a picture. I loved that it was paired with Fruitville Rd. Thursday morning, May 22, we awoke at 5:30am to drive to Sanibel + Captiva Islands 30 mins from our hotel. Sanibel island is the 3rd best place in the world for finding shells, behind Australia and the Phillipines, and we wanted to make sure we were on the beach when the sun was rising! I'll take a picture of all of my finds to show you later, but here is just a little of what we had to search through. We spent 3 hours searching and then had to drive on. My mom and I being the dorks we are took this picture with a couple of our shells. Thursday night we drove over to West Palm Beach where my little brother and his wife live. They are expecting a baby girl in August, so we helped throw them a baby shower on Saturday. Below is a picture of the cutest (and tastiest) baby shower cake I've ever seen and my brother and his wife, Melissa. Memorial day Monday, my mom, step dad and me made our way down to the Keys. We've been staying in Islamorada for the past 3 nights. The water is so nice to look out into, this was a view walking out onto the fishing pier at our hotel. I had to include a palm tree. It's been windy here if you can't tell. It has been blowing at us from the northeast at almost 20 mph! I've enjoyed having the constant breeze while laying out in the hot sun. Yesterday we went to feed the tarpon. They were all next to a dock, waiting to be fed and were enormous fish each weighing about 30-50 lbs. There were some feisty pelicans hanging out on the dock too. One almost ran off with my sunglasses I had down by my side. I'll post another update soon. We'll be leaving here tomorrow and mom and I plan to start heading up the eastern coast of Florida on friday. We're planning on being in Titusville saturday night to be directly across the water for the shuttle launch which would certainly be a wonderous site to see.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good Ol' Texas

Texas o Texas! It's always nice to come back for a visit. I'm on day 7 of a month long vacation away from home and away from brian. It's all been a beautiful time so far. I was in dallas celebrating mother's day, my aunt's birthday and catching up friends that we've missed seeing as often now since we moved away. I have been hanging out in Austin for the past few days. Austin is where I spent most of my days in college. South Austin folks in particular live by the motto "Keep Austin Weird" and yesterday was no exception for one man that I saw strolling down the sidewalk in nothing but a little white thong! Portland lives by the same motto, but I've yet to see a man walking down the street like that! I love it! I didn't get a picture of him, I'm sorry, but here's a lovely picture of lots of boots that I saw at New Bohemia while shopping on South Congress. Tonight at 3am, I'll be departing Austin with 8 other girls for a road trip down to Destin, Florida for my friend Cara's bachelorette party! Super excited! After the bachelorette party, my mom will be picking me up in Florida and we'll be doing some traveling in Florida for awhile ;) I am so ready for the beach, sun, sand, and sunsets!