Before Perú

The Sunshine State 16.0

January 26, 2015

I’m not sure how it has happened, but I’ve been to Florida a tremendous amount of times for growing up in the Midwest. It’s not until I look back on it that I realize how richly blessed I was growing up.

When I was in the womb, I visited there… with my mom =P

When I was 10 I believe my dad and I had a layover in Miami on our way to Puerto Rico (but I think we stayed the night so it counts)… at least I think we stayed the night?

When I was 12 my grandma took me on a road trip and northern Florida was part of it.

When I was 16 I went on my first missions trip to the Dominican Republic. It was only a layover in Miami.

At another point when I was 16 I went to Florida with a boyfriend of mine at the time and his family. Good times! I remember us listening to this album that had just come out on repeat, literally every time we were in the car. I want to say it was the Mute Math album of that year, but I think I might be wrong. (Update: It was definitely the Mute Math album of that year. I just listened to it!) We were high from sunshine. Had a great time! Back in the days when my skin was invincible, and I left Florida looking slightly Hispanic.

When I was 17 I went to the Dominican Republic again on a missions trip. I flew down to Miami a week early before the rest of my team to spend some time with my mom’s biological mom.

Again during my 17th year I went to Florida with my same boyfriend-at-the-time’s family. Not so great of times. Haha.

When I was 22(?) I took a road trip with a roommate to visit her brother who was in the Navy. He took us into Florida one of the days to eat and to go shooting at a range.

When I was 24 Bear and I had a layover in Florida on the way to the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon.

One of the last times I went to Florida was when I was 25. About halfway through my 24th year Bear and I hosted two exchange students – Tricci and SiPeck – who would forever change our existence as we knew it. At the end of their exchange year, the girls and I flew to Florida to meet Tricci’s parents. Her parents and sister came all the way from Sao Paulo, Brazil. We spent the week at all four Disney Parks and lounging at the beach. It was a great trip getting to know the family that Tricci came from. I have so much love for that Brazilian family – especially Tricci. I can’t describe. (Bear and I can’t wait to head to Germany and meet SiPeck’s family soon!) Side note: I left this trip with 2nd degree burns on my hip – of all places! Proof I have aged ten years since the days where I left looking slightly Hispanic.

Tricci & SiPeck entering Disney World

Here we have Tricci & SiPeck entering Disney World. They’re stoked!


Tricci and I getting soaked by the water coming up from the ground.


Hello Disney!


Here we have a minion crossing sign.


SiPeck. Me. Tricci. Tricci’s older sister, mom and dad.


Yup. This happened. This had to happen.


The girls and I after the beach one day.

SiPeck and I being ridiculous at the pool.

SiPeck and I being ridiculous at the pool.


The typical: Tricci and I being weird.

After dinner one night...

After dinner one night…


When Tricci grabbed her dad’s cans of beer and held them up like she was a lush. These girls have so much personality!

Then there was last year when I was 26. My dear friend, Lemon, and her husband flew to me out to Florida to take a retreat from pain and sadness. Bear wasn’t with me this year because it was meant to be girl time, girls & Jesus time; and it was great. It was a much-needed, very refreshing time for my heart and my mind. Oddly enough Lemon and I took only one picture, and if she sees that I posted it, there is a good chance she will wonder why I ever decided to post this because we both look ridiculous. But! This is the one photo:


So, here’s the beauty shot!



This is me feeling very satisfied after drinking some locally grown, fresh pressed juice. Mm.

So, that’s the history of my relationship with the Sunshine State. This year Bear and I are excited to be headed on a trip together (for the first official time) to Florida, and the best news is the airfare was paid with points from our credit card. Granted, we’re not glad to still be paying off our credit cards, but they’re no longer an option as we rid our lives of them about six months after our kitchen remodel. If you look on the bright side, you could say this is a random perk from the heartache that comes with debt. We’re currently working on becoming completely debt-free, but I can talk about that another day.

We head to visit Lemon and her husband this year over the weekend of my birthday (and her birthday.) We’re staying for a relaxing amount of time, so we’re glad  to have that to look forward to. It’s always nice to know that while we’re gone our home is being taken care of Mama and Papa Bear and my sissy. =)

I don’t know if I’m looking more forward to seeing Lemon, or if I’m more excited for Bear to meet Mr. Lemon. I think it will be a fine bromance. How do I know this? Please, allow me to read to you their text conversation from the other day:

Bear: It’s official! Tickets are booked. Can’t wait to lay out on the beach with you.

Mr. Lemon: Can we cuddle?

The end.

16 days!







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1 Comment

  • Reply Jenn February 9, 2015 at 1:11 am

    LOL about Mr Lemon and (might I call him) Mr Bear who will have at the very least, some photo proof that they not only met one another, but also perhaps, shared a hug or a moment of “bromance” while they punch one another in the gut and make good with a cuddle on the beach. Either story ends with a new friend and a great photo or three to share. Looking forward to that post. Have fun!

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