Life Lately : Volume I

As promised, here I am with a little update on what has been going on in my personal life lately. My mind has been all over the place in the new year, and I’ve been finding it really difficult to really sit down and focus on sharing my travels and stories…probably because I haven’t left Florida since December. It’s hard to be a travel blogger with no immediate plans to actually go out and travel, you know? That’s why I decided to start this little series, called Life Lately (very original, I know). I’m hoping it will get me through this creative funk I’ve been in. Plus, it’s a fun way for me to get out of my little writer box and share a bit more about myself that would otherwise get lost in editing.

So, what has been keeping me so busy that I went three months without publishing a single new blog post?

Number one, of course, is wedding planning. Wonderful, sometime frustrating, time-consuming wedding planning. From venue hunting to researching and contacting vendors, trying on wedding dresses to shopping for reception decor, this whole process has been simultaneously thrilling and completely exhausting. Now that we’ve lined up all of our major vendors, I feel like I can finally take a moment to breathe, collect my thoughts, and get back to doing what I love most: going on adventures and sharing them with you!

Now, just because I’ve been buried in wedding plans doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped traveling altogether. Dan and I chose a gorgeous wedding venue up in North Florida, about two hours away from our home in Orlando, which means that any important in-person wedding appointments have automatically turned into little weekend getaways. Hooray for mini destination weddings! When we first visited the venue back in February, we got to stay in a gorgeous room overlooking the St. John’s River, and enjoyed a relaxing weekend escape complete with a visit to a cozy little wine bar nearby. We are so excited to return soon and scope the area out a bit more, and to explore some of the neighboring cities.

A sneak peek of our beautiful venue! I don’t feel comfortable sharing the location, but pictures? I’m all over it. I just love the European feel of this place. It reminded Dan and I of being back in France and Italy all over again.

Our next visit will be in August, when we finally get to attend a tasting event at the venue! We are so looking forward to trying all those tasty bites, having a drink or two, and seeing the reception area all dressed up in sample linens and floral arrangements! While we are in town, we also get to meet our florist in person for the first time, and best of all, it’s cake tasting time! And once all the wedding fun has wrapped up for the weekend, we’re hoping to spend a few hours in historic Saint Augustine before making our way back home. Yep, August is shaping up to be an exciting month!

In other exciting news, I finally have my next trip booked! I can’t tell you where I’m going just yet, but keep an eye on my Instagram over the next month or two and you’ll see soon enough! I’ll give you a hint: it’s one of my favorite places in the world, and my only plans while I’m away are to eat, drink, and enjoy plenty of time outside!

Can you guess where I’m headed this summer?

I’m really looking forward to getting away from the hot, humid Florida climate and relaxing someplace a bit milder. This summer marks the ten-year anniversary of my crazy cross-country move to Orlando, and I still am not quite used to this muggy weather. I foresee a lot of time spent indoors over the next couple of months – a good thing, actually, since it means I’ll have more time to catch up on blogging! And since virtually all of my travel funds are being funneled into our wedding savings at the moment, I’ll get to spend a lot of time exploring my adopted hometown, trying out new restaurants and maybe squeezing in a beach trip or two. Dan and I are hoping to move out of the state in the next couple of years, so we are really trying to take advantage of the many benefits of living in Florida while we still can.

One such perk is getting to visit the beautiful Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida! I loved it so much the first time around, Dan and I came back to take our engagement photos in the same place!
Looking cute! Photo by Jesse Giles Photography
And looking like our true goofy selves. Photo by Jesse Giles Photography.

Of course, the first perk that comes to mind is getting to hang out at the theme parks whenever we want! Living so close to Walt Disney World is one of the big reasons I moved to Florida in the first place, and you can usually find me there at least once every week or so. Even better than visiting the parks for the hundredth time, however, is visiting with someone who has never stepped foot in the Florida theme parks. Case in point: my mom flew down in April for a fun week of wedding dress shopping and theme park hopping, and seeing how much she enjoyed herself made me feel weirdly proud to live in this weird, hot, perpetually-under-construction state.

Mom looking super cute and happy with her first ever Butterbeer!

We started our trip out with a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, squeezed in some wedding dress shopping, and spent three days exploring all that Walt Disney World has to offer. Each day was seriously better than the last, and by the end, I think Mom left determined to convince my Dad to come and visit sometime as well.

Meeting THE Buzz Lightyear at Magic Kingdom!

I loved showing my Mom around my adopted home state, and will most definitely be sharing a ton of vacation photos in an upcoming post. Dress shopping was one of the highlights, despite my severe anxiety leading up to the first appointment. I worried that i would be too fat, too poor, too…I don’t even know. I just didn’t think I would find a dress that would suit me. Happily, I did buy my wedding dress from Alfred Angelo while Mom was here, and it is due to arrive sometime next month. Or itΒ was due to arrive, before the company unexpectedly declared bankruptcy and shuttered its doors forever. Now I’m in the process of finding out if I’ll get my dress, or even a refund, before the big day. I’d be okay with either option, but in the meantime, I have no idea what will happen. Here’s hoping I’m not out all that money!

In the meantime, I’ve thrown myself back into blogging as often as possible, and let me tell you, it feels good to be back in the ring. I’ve had several posts in various states of production for months now, and every time I tried to get to work, I just felt like…what’s the point? Blogging takes so much time and thoughtful dedication, and I just haven’t been able to give it the time it needs. I’m not one to dash out pointless mini posts every other day, and it took a lot of time to get back in the right mindset and really devote myself to writing posts that I am proud of. In case you missed it, I recently published my first new post in months, all about the gorgeous Sapphire Falls Resort here in Orlando.

Exterior of the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort in Orlando, Seen From the Waterway

Doesn’t the name just sound pretty? Be sure to check that post out if you haven’t already, and stay tuned! I’m back at last, and can’t wait to share all the details of my latest travels with you soon.

As always, thank you for reading! Talk to you soon!

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