Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pre-Honduras Bucket List

So with things getting closer and closer to when I leave (less than 3 months!), I have been working on a list of things that I want to do before I leave for Honduras.
  • Run a Half-Marathon
This has been a goal of mine for some time. It's perfect - I have 12 weeks to train, which is the amount of time recommended to get up to the mileage, and there is a half-marathon in Gainesville the weekend before I leave
  • Go skydiving
Another thing that I have been wanting to do for a while. Hoping to find someone to go with me!
  • Get an additional Scuba certification
I currently have my Open Water Certification, but I would like my Advanced Open Water or a NITROX certification.
  • Trip to NYC
Some of my family and my best friends are still in the city, and it's also one of my favorite places in the world! This one is already in the works, and plans should be finalized soon
  • Go to "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and I still haven't made it to the theme park! Since it's only 2 hours from my house, it's a must do before I leave
  • Family vacation
My family is very important to me, and we are currently working on planning one last trip, just me and my parents, before I go. Since I won't get to see them for at least 6-9 months once I leave for Peace Corps. We're figuring out exactly where and hopefully will be booking everything soon!
  • Getting through most of Rosetta Stone
I got Rosetta Stone Spanish to better structure my Spanish studying for Honduras (which was basically non-existent before). It's not really challenging me yet, but I hope to get through most of the 5 Levels to get me comfortable again with speaking as well as to improve my vocabulary. I'll have to work on the grammar separately, but it's helping so far!

So that's about it for now - I'm sure I will add to the list as I continue to think about things. It's nice to have these goals, and I hope to accomplish some of them with my wonderful family and friends!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


SO after my major vacation to Hawaii, I recently had 2 "mini vacations." It's tough living back in my hometown with my parents, so it's nice to occasionally get out of Gainesville! I love my hometown, but after a few months, it's a little dull.

My first vacation was to Jacksonville for the Florida/Georgia football game. Living in Gainesville, college football is life. And one of the biggest games of the year is always the Florida/Georgia game. It's held in Jacksonville, at a neutral site, and there are always tons of people tailgating and drinking and having a great time. We went over to Jacksonville for the game and stayed for 2 days with family friends. It was pretty funny, because their fun is also an Ivy League graduate, and we were joking about how its been so long since we hung out with other Ivy Leaguers. The gators didn't win, but it was a fun game to go to!

My second trip was again with my family, and it was to go to Saint Augustine, where my sister and her boyfriend were visiting his family. I had met his parents several times, but it was the first time that I got to meet his sister, her husband, and their baby. Me and Tanner (the baby) became best friends. It was good to see my sister, since it had been a while and will be a while before I see her again. Probably won't be until Christmas that I get to see her again! It was a little chilly out at the beach, but it was a lot of fun for a short, one night trip.

On the Peace Corps front, I found great polo shirts on sale on and bought several. I'm still waiting for them to arrive to see how they fit, but I am feeling pretty good about it. I've gotten shirts from Old Navy before, and they usually fit me fairly well! I've also slowly been discovering more people going to Honduras - I think online I've met about 4-5 now, so there's a bit of a group forming! I can't wait until I start getting more real information about staging!

That's all for now - will update whenever I have anything interesting to talk about!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


This post is a bit overdue, but in October I headed to Hawaii for a little relaxation trip. One of my best friends, Amanda, lives out there for grad school, and she and her fiance were so accommodating and put me up for a whole week. Without the cost of a hotel, the trip was able to be really affordable.

I was able to do some really awesome things while out there. One of the number one things would be that I was able to go Scuba Diving! It's been a while since I had been able to go diving, and it was so cool to go. It was my first time diving out in the ocean rather than a spring or lake, so ti was a whole different feel. I saw about 15 sea turtles, an eagle ray, several eels, and tons of tropical fish and coral! I had a great time, and it was great that one of my dives was led by an amazing divemaster, Amanda!
We also did a really cool hike in O'ahu called Koko Head. The hike was about an hour long, and it was RIDICULOUS. Imagine an hour on a stairmaster in the heat and sun. THe views were totally worth it though. Plus the breeze at the top was really nice. I was so glad I did it, even though my thighs definitely weren't the next day!
Of course, since I was in Honolulu, I had to visit Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. It was really sad, but also really powerful. I think sometimes the war in the Pacific is overshadowed by the war in Europe, so it was really interesting to learn more about what happened leading up to and after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

We did several other fun things. We went boogie boarding, which was really awesome! The waves were huge! I visited the International Market, which reminded me a lot of shopping in Ghana, which was pretty funny. We did a drive around the city, where we checked out the Blowhole, the Byodo-In temple, a shrimp shack (yum!), and Sunset Beach, where we watched a beautiful sunset. And we spent a fun night dancing at an underground rave.
All in all it was an amazing trip, and it was so nice to get away for a while. I think I really needed a break!