First and Foremost – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
This is one of my favorite holidays, mainly because it reminds me of my grandpa – a true Irishman. We still have his green suit (as in, emerald green) that he wore to work every year on St. Patrick’s Day.
Now on to what’s new…
In case you didn’t realize, having a week with absolutely nothing to do but travel, relax, and spend time with loved ones…it’s the ticket kids. I came into this week feeling refreshed and reenergized…productive and on point.
Now don’t get me wrong. When I say relax…I rarely mean sit on the couch watching Oprah (which I did yesterday for the first time in years…that’s nice too actually!). My husband and I were on the go almost the entire week. First, we went to Jacksonville to meet his mom and sister for dinner. They were in from out of state, but we had to head back that night. However, we then went back to Jacksonville two days later for an interview I had. From Jacksonville, we went to Orlando, where we had dinner on our anniversary at the restaurant where we had our wedding reception. Our table was literally in the spot of our first dance! It was possibly the best meal I have ever had. The next night we saw Wicked (p.s. if the tour comes anywhere near you, do go! I have no words) and the following day we came home. I put my husband on a plane for Houston and he was back 24 later. The next morning…back to Orlando for my friend’s birthday. I know it seems like a lot, but traveling IS my prime form of relaxation. I am constantly the “anywhere but here” girl and luckily, I am married to a similarly minded man.
My husband and I like to find ways to keep that sense of adventure going even when we can’t travel. Lately, our way of doing that has been to go biking on Saturday mornings and a couple nights a week. We are enjoying the weather now, before those wicked Florida summers set in.
On our nighttime rides, we usually just go exploring nearby neighborhoods and it’s a much more leisurely ride. It usually ends up being about half an hour after dinner (which equates to 5-6 miles at our pork chop filled pace).
Much preferred though, are our Saturday morning rides. We have found a good list of nearby paved and unpaved trails, and we have just been trying them out. We usually go out to breakfast first, and then head out. I try to remember to take pictures, but I haven’t been very good about it. I use the Runkeeper app on my phone to track our average pace, average speed, distance, and duration (though I tend to want to stop anytime I see something I deem interesting) – and we just explore until we are ready to head back. It usually ends up being a much longer ride than those on weekdays.
Here are some pictures I took during some of our Saturday rides:
A picture of the view from part of the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail
My husband on one of the trails
While on a trail in Micanopy, Florida, we came across this cool old house.
The stairs inside the house were still intact
We did an unpaved trail to Paynes Prairie.
To get out onto the prairie, our bikes either had to go over the fence or through this gate. My husband was in charge of handling that.
I wanted to see some bison. Alas, birds, cows, and horses only.
A picture of me at the base of the lookout tower.
Yes, I stopped to take a picture of an armadillo.
I'm always on the lookout for animals!
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