5 Fun Ways to Spend your Summer in Louisiana

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Summer time is right around the corner. If you are in Louisiana, you may be dreaming of a beach somewhere or hiking with a beautiful view. Sadly, all of the places that first come to mind for those activities are so far away that you have to make a big trip out of it. Most families take one big trip over the summer. I think we can all agree that Louisiana is not the first place on peoples mind when they think “vacation”. Here are 5 things you can do and places you can go in Louisiana this summer!

1.Fontainebleau State Park

This state park is one of our favorite places to visit in Louisiana. If you are from out of town or out of state and want to spend more than one day at the park, they have tent an RV spots and cabins you can rent out. Living in Tangipahoa parish, we spent most of our summers here. There is a beach along Lake Pontchatrain that is the perfect place to hangout and get that beach experience without having to drive all the way there. There are also walking trails and playgrounds if you are looking for multiple ways to have fun during your time here.

If you get hungry, there are tons of great restaurants nearby. You can grab breakfast or a snack at Cafe Du Monde or you can grab a burger from Steak N’ Shake. One of our favorite things to do if we stay here for the weekend is visiting the town of Abita Springs. On Saturdays you can tour the Abita Brewery and grab a bite to eat at one of Abita’s local restaurants and on Sundays you can stroll through the Farmers market.

2.New Orleans

Everyone thinks of New Orleans when they think of Louisiana. Surprisingly New Orleans isn’t my favorite place to be, but it still has some pretty great things to do during the summer and if you are from out of town, it is a pretty great town to go see. The culture here is amazing, but (probably because it’s a big city) it is smelly and crowded.

Some things you can do with the whole family in New Orleans this summer are: visit the Audubon zoo, stroll through the French market, or go check out the Aquarium. There are also plenty of things to do in New Orleans if you are looking for more of an adult trip. You can go to a cooking class, spend the evening on a dinner cruise, or go check out some of New Orleans’ nicest wine bars.

3.Cypremort Point State Park

Beaches in Louisiana aren’t really a thing. Cypermort Point is one of Louisiana’s only beaches. Don’t expect clean water, but the sand and area around is is beautiful. It’s the perfect place to do an evening picnic, let the kids dig up sea shells, and even take some beach scene photos without driving all the way to an actual beach. It costs $3 a person to get it, but if you are from nearby and just want some pretty scenery for a day or 2, this is a great place to visit.

4.Tunica Hills/Clark Creek

Tunica Hills is one of the best places to hike in the summer. If you live in the south, you know that hiking is pretty much impossible with our summer heat. Luckily Tunica has a trail that goes straight through some streams and water falls. This keeps you nice and cool while you endure the Louisiana Summer Heat. There are also multiple swimming holes along the way to stop and take a refreshing dip in the water.

5.Louisiana Watermelon Festival

Watermelons are so refreshing in the summer time, which makes this festival so perfect. The festival is held in Farmville, Louisiana and is the perfect activity to fill your hot summer day. You can fill your day with fun for the whole family. The watermelon festival in packed with activities such as: watermelon eating contest, tennis tournament, arm wrestling matches, bike racing, seed spitting, and so much more. Get a hotel or Air BNB and make a family weekend out of it. The festival is held annually the last weekend of July, but be sure to check in online incase the date gets moved due to restrictions.

Though it can sometimes be hard to see past the Louisiana summer heat and humidity, Louisiana is packed with fun stuff to do over the summer. There are so many more activities than the ones I listed, but I hope this list pulls you out of your funk and helps you find a fun adventure this summer.

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2020 Wasn’t That Bad

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The new year is here and in full force. 2020 was labeled a horrible year for most. Alot of people suffered losses of loved ones and their dreams were crushed with the mandate to quarantine, but others found 2020 to be great. They found out that they were capable of so much more than they thought and they found creative ways to see family, maintain businesses, and build relationships. I fall in the 2020 was good category.

I have always been a positive person, so I’m not really sure I would have ever seen this year as “the worst year ever” even if I had accomplished nothing. That isn’t the case for me, though. I accomplished alot and plan on accomplishing even more during 2021. (I am not saying that to be cliche. I truly mean it. I have big things planned for this year.)

This post is just going to be a small review of 2020… so, LET’S GET GOIN’!

2020 started off great we headed out to Banff within the 1st 2 weeks. It was my first trip that I planned all on my own and it was Cody’s Christmas gift. It was a learning process, but you can read all about it, because that was my first ever blog post!

Outside of the hot springs in Banff.

Canada kicked off my blog which was a long time dream of mine. I have always loved writing. (I even used to write chapter books back in grade school) I knew I wanted a way to share our adventures with our friends and family and I finally got up the courage to start the blog in 2020.

When school started in January, I decided to take all online classes so I could make more time to work, make money for summer road trips, and save for a house. God switched that plan up a little bit, but I fully believe that He already had this year planned for me when I was picking my schedule for the semester. Because of the school schedule I had lined up, I was able to continue school with no interruptions when we shut down for quarantine.

Since I had a ton of free time because work was closed, I had more time to focus on school and to pour into the blog and my soul. I spent hours a day going on walks, reading on the balcony, having dance parties, and writing blog posts while binge watching my favorite shows.

Once numbers began going down and places started opening back up, Cody and I had had enough and started going on trips. We spent nearly the whole month of May at the beach catching up with our friends and family. We also took a 1 week trip to Chattanooga and another month long trip across Colorado.

Gulf shores, AL
Foster Falls , TN
Alamosa, CO

When we returned home at the end of August, we had tons of wedding festivities lined up for 2 of our good friends that were getting married in early October. So September revolved around celebrating them & I am not even mad about it. Celebrating people always brings me joy and I always wish I could do more for them … so when it’s 2 people I care this deeply for, I will happily go all in !

In October, we decided to start saving up for our camper. We finally got our stimulus checks and used them to pay off most of our debt and worked our butts off to get the rest paid, so we could work towards our dream life.

We spent pretty much the rest of 2020 doing this and enjoying the time we had with friends and family.

I know everyone’s 2020 story looks different. Some are filled with sadness, some are filled with pure joy, others are just boring, and a few are similar to mine… good, full of accomplishment, but still weird. Now, 2020 has passed and we have a new year to make memories for. Take this time to think of how you want your 2021 summary to look. Don’t let society label how your year will look. If things get messed up, look at it as a blessing and see how it helps you… not how it hurts you. You got this!

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5 Easy and Popular Party Foods

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I know I have been talking a lot about food lately, but it IS the holidays and good food is everywhere ! I just can’t help myself. I won’t be sharing any recipes today but I will be sharing some easy, fun foods that I love enjoying at any holiday party! I always have great ideas for parties and party foods, but when it comes down to it, I just procrastinate a little too long. These are some party foods that I can always turn to if I am running behind and looking for a treat that will be loved.

1.Pepper Jelly Dip.

My first pick is so easy, yet so good. Pepper Jelly Dip is perfect for when you are throwing together a quick party or forgot to make a dish for tonight’s Christmas party. All you need is a block of cream cheese, a jar of pepper jelly, and some crackers to dip in it. Go ahead and bring a serving knife or butter knife because cheap plastic knives and a cracker won’t cut through the cream cheese easily.

2. Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Need I say more? So easy & you can find the recipe online for cooking instructions. These take a little more time to prepare, but they don’t require a lot of ingredients and they are a crowd favorite at every party we serve them at. You just need bacon, a pack of smokey sausages, brown sugar, and tooth picks.

3. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Cody’s mom always makes these around the holidays. They are great if you have a sweet tooth . I have made them for teachers as Christmas gifts and we have served them at parties. You just use chocolate chip cookie dough and a peanut butter cup and place them in a mini muffin pan & POOF!! You have a perfect sweet treat for any holiday event.

4. Deviled Eggs

Okay, so these are kind of hit or miss but my family and I love them. They are a staple at any family gathering. Once the eggs are boiled and peeled, the prepping process is so easy. They are a great finger food to have at any party.

5. Cake Balls

Homemade cakeballs are always a hit. Never fails. You almost can’t mess this one up. They have to be baked and frozen, but they are so simple. The hardest part is the chocolate coating, but even if they look bad they are still usually a hit because they taste so good.

I hope some of these holiday food ideas save you at this year’s holiday parties. We love these items at almost every party and they are usually the things that people gather around and clear out before the party ends. If something caught your eye and you do want me to make a recipe post, leave a comment. Happy holidays !

How to Throw a ‘Killer’ Murder Mystery Party

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As you know, murder mystery parties are a favorite of ours. We love to throw them, but they take a ton of work & involvement. A murder mystery is not a party you want to throw last minute.

You’re first step when throwing a murder mystery is to make a guest list. Figure out how many people you are wanting to invite, because each murder mystery package is made to accommodate different numbers of characters. You don’t need to buy a 50+ person package if you are only going to have 10 guests.

Once you know how many people you want to invite, visit any murder mystery website. (My go-to is mymurdermysteryparty.com) Here you can skim through several different packages and you can filter the packages based on difficulty, occasion, and guest number. There are even packages themed for certain holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, valentines day, and so many more)

Now that you have your guest list & your party package, figure out a date & either text or mail out an invite .( I always text, but I still make a cute invitation by using the evite app) As people respond, send them a photo with the description of their character. When you assign characters make sure that you only assign the required characters to your most reliable guests. If you have a guest that is always late or cancels last minute, give them an optional part. (This ensures that all of the important people for the night to carry on will be there and things won’t fall apart if someone doesn’t show up.) Don’t forget to assign yourself a part!

If you are having a large party and run out of characters, don’t worry! You can buy extension packages with extra guests on the website, or if you are a creative with a tight budget like me, you can create your own character and character descriptions. I did this for my first murder mystery party. I typed the character descriptions up to look like the original characters so people wouldn’t know that they were made up by me. (If no one knows that you made them up, they can still qualify as the murderer. If you tell them that their part was made up, they are basically disqualified from being the murderer, so keep it fun for everyone) Only a few people found out that I had written their part… and I wrote over 15 parts, so I would say it was a success. (I also only went off of the characters descriptions and first round when writing, so i wouldn’t ruin the party for myself.) Writing your own parts is a lot of work, so if you opt for it, keep that in mind.

Once everyone has RSVPed and knows their character, all you have to do until the party date is plan. Make sure you know what you want to eat, what you are going to wear, and how you want to decorate (if that’s your thing) We usually go all out for our murder mystery parties. We try to decorate our house to look like the setting in our murder mystery package, we dress for the part that we assign ourselves the best that we can, and we usually have a home cooked meal, wine tasting bar, and dessert. Make sure that you have everyone’s envelopes and name tags ready ahead of time. There is typically one envelope per guest for each round. The envelopes have each person clues for each round. (Don’t forget to label what character the envelope is for and what round it is for…this is super important!)

You made it through planning. That’s the hardest part! The day of the party can be stressful if you procrastinate like I do. But if you followed my advise,(Do as I say, not as I do. I am trying to let you learn from my mistakes) your day will go smoothly. You should only have to worry about getting dressed, having the envelopes and name tags set up, and setting up the food now.

During the party, make sure that you have an order you want to do things in, but don’t stress too much about it. Read the room, talk to your friends, and try to relax. When guests first arrive, direct them to the name tags and let them find their character. (Having a list of everyone’s name and character is a great hack because some people might not remember the name of their character.) Let everyone hangout and snack on some appatizers and finger foods while you wait for the rest of your guests. Once everyone has made it, allow everyone to introduce their character, explain how the party works, and pass out the round one envelopes.

Once round one is over, we usually have a break where everyone gets to eat dinner. At dinner, we pass out the round 2 envelopes and get started with round two once everyone is finished eating. During the rounds you and your guests will have certain conversations and clues that you will have to share with certain characters. For the most part, everyone will be mingling and joking around, just make sure that everyone has done everything on their card before wrapping up each round.

After round two, have one more little break between. We usually let everyone get refreshments and serve dessert before round 3 starts. Round 3 will start with someone finding the victim. During this round, everyone will take time to fill out a card with who they think is the killer and why based off of the information that they gathered throughout the night. Give everyone the chance to read their card before continuing round three. Once everyone read their card and get to say who they think the killer was, allow everyone to read their statements. (The card will tell each person who goes next) At the end, the killer will be revealed. Have fun with it and see how many people guessed right, you can even do a little prize for the people that guessed correctly.

Once the mystery has been solved, you are done. Feel free to get out of character and hangout with your friends for the rest of the night. A lot of time and money goes into these parties, but we have never had anyone say anything but positive things about it. We have also been to other friend’s murder mystery parties and had just as much fun. Just remember that even if you mess something up, most of your friends only came to spend time and celebrate with you, so don’t stress too much!

A Week in Puerto Vallarta

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I really wanted to share more travel stories lately. So, today I am going to be sharing our honeymoon destination. I’ll be going over what we did , where we ate, and how we afforded it.

We knew that we wanted to go to Mexico for our honeymoon. We just had to choose between Puerto Vallarta and Tulum. Honestly either option was golden. We ended up choosing Puerto Vallarta because we wanted to visit Playa del Amor. It had been on our bucketlist for years and this was our chance to make that a reality. Sadly, it was not open when we went. We were twenty and this was our first real trip that we booked ourselves. We should’ve looked into it. So, Playa del Amor is still on our bucketlist, but I promise to share when we actually make it.

Playa Del Amor (not my photo)

We did get to go on three excursions. Our hotel had a deal for buy two get one free. We had so many to choose from, but we chose to go on a day trip on a private island, a dinner show on a private island, and go zip lining. All of our packages were through vallarta adventures.

The day trip on the private island was a blast. We took a boat ride to the island where we were greeted with breakfast tacos. They had an itinerary of different things going on through the day. We did a mezcal tasting, went snorkeling, and after lunch, we hung out in our own little spot on the beach. It was perfect for a romantic honeymoon experience.

Next, we visited the same island for a dinner show. We got a dinner buffet on the beach and a tribal show after dinner. I had never seen anything like it, so it was so fun! This is a really cool experience for families or couples .

Our zip line experience was unlike any other zip line I have ever been on. It was such a fun time. They joked with us the whole time and took so many photos of us. It wasn’t just zip lining either. We scaled a tree, bungee jumped, zip lined on our stomachs (superman style), and went down a water slide. Whether you are traveling in a group, as a family, or on a romantic trip, this experience is a blast!

The rest of our trip was really chill. We just took the time to relax after months of wedding planning and actually feel like adults on a vacation without our parents. (LOL) We stayed in a marriot hotel that Cody ended up finding on Groupon for a great price. This hotel was more of a resort and had so many things to do. (Which is why most of our chill days were spent here) The day we arrived, we went to the spa to get a massage. It was a full blow spa too. There were packages you could buy, hot tubs, saunas, and tranquil music playing. After our massage, they gave us a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. (Talk about knowing the way to my heart!) We spent another chill day at the pool where we were served sushi by a chef in the pool and got to watch a scuba class take place. Our last chill day, we walked around the market and gift shops.

Most of our meals were eaten at the hotel. There were a number of restaurants to eat at and room service. But on occasion, we would go out on the town away from all the tourist places and checkout the local restaurants. There were two restaurants that we ate at and both were amazing. Our favorite of the two was Pipi’s. They made guacamole fresh at the table and one day they even had a mariachi band come play for us. The food was amazing.(This was where Cody determined that he actually liked mexican food) The other restaurant that we ate at was Casa Tradicional Cocina Mexicana. This restaurant was a little more touristy than Pipi’s, but the food was just as good. The service at both restaurant’s was remarkable. I highly recommend that if you take a trip to Puerto Vallarta, step outside of the resort and tourist driven parts of the city and come visit one of these restaurants. You will not be disappointed.

Getting guacamole at Pipi’s

So we did a few things to pay for this trip. Obviously alot of the money came from our wedding day, so we didn’t have to budget too much. We also were still learning how to travel on a budget, so when we came home times were really tough… like ramen noodles for a month tough. We did, however, find ways to cut corners when we could. Like I said, Cody found our hotel/resort on groupon. He also used one of the cheaper airlines (Southwest). Normally we would not use Southwest because we don’t like how they do their seating, but if you are only looking at prices, they have some pretty great ones. The only other thing that we really did to save money was use coupons. The woman at the help desk helped us out with this. She gave us a coupon for Pipi’s and gave us the package deal for our excursions.

This was by far one of my favorite places that I have visited. Maybe it was because it was my honeymoon or maybe it was just that good. One thing is for sure, I cannot wait to visit again… I’m thinking five year anniversary? (LOL) Anyways, thanks for reading along and, once travel is back on the board, I hope you feel inspired to visit this beautiful destination that holds such a special place in my heart!

Louisiana Wedding? Here’s My Vendors!

It’s still wedding month, so I thought that this week I would share my wedding vendors. All of my vendors were so great and my wedding day wouldn’t have been complete without them …and my family. If you are planning a wedding in Louisiana, please check these people out and support them !

Hair and makeup: My hair and makeup was done by Jessica Bergeron St.Angelo & she did a great job! She did take a while, but it was worth sitting there for that long. She was so nice and my hair and makeup turned out so great! I didn’t give her alot of direction for what I wanted, she just worked her magic and it turned out so good! You can find her on instagram @makemeprettyjess . My bridesmaids got their hair done by Brittany McCaa. She was so patient & authentic around everyone. And she did such great work! She can be found on instagram @locksbybritt



FLOWERS: We went to ‘Pretty-N-Pink’ florists for our flowers. It was all the way in Watson, but so worth it. Our florist was so kind. She helped me find flowers that looked similar to what I wanted but were within outer budget. & she helped Cody and I find cheaper solutions to things to help us make it affordable. The only flaw in this was that it was an hour away from our venue and they don’t deliver on Sundays. So, we had to get someone who lived near them to pick the flowers up.



Dresses: My dress was from David’s Bridal & I found it for under $500. All of my bridesmaids had different dresses & different shades of pink. They got their dresses from David’s Bridal, Lulu’s, and so many other odds and end places. I LOVED how it looked with all the different shades.



Suits: Cody’s suit came from Men’s Warehouse. His groomsmen found similar pants from Dillard’s for alot cheaper. Most of the groomsmen’s look was from Dillards. My brother, the ring bearer, got his suit from Amazon. It came with a blue plaid shirt, but we bought him a cheap white shirt to wear. We didn’t want to spend a tone of money on it, knowing that he was eight and would be growing out of it soon.

Photography: My engagement and wedding photography was done by Alyssa Fisher Photography. I met Ali at my job before the flood and she was actually the one that got me my job during my engagement. She is such a genuine person and does amazing photography. I am a super awkward person, but both Cody and I were so comfortable during our photoshoots. During our wedding, she was so understanding and worked around all of the obstacles that the day threw at us. She even offered to let me do another family portrait session for the wedding on a new day since our portraits were cut short after my sister’s seizure. I never took her up on this due to my busy schedule. But if you are in the Louisiana area, contact Ali for all of your photography needs. Check out her work on her Instagram @alyssafisherphotography

Videography: Our wedding video was done by one of our close friends, Andrew Benton. You can find him at Elevation Films. He had just graduated college about a month before our wedding, so he gave us the best pricing and we got the full package. We were pretty much his guinea pigs, but I didn’t mind. It was a great way to help a friend and to save money. He is now super popular in the area and usually spends every weekend at a wedding. He was so flexible with us the whole time and was so great to work with. (If I can, I will try to post part of our video on here soon.) He got it to us fast and it was so great! Check him out on instagram @elevation_films .

Catering and Wedding Cake: We got our food made by one of the amazing people at our church. We had jambalaya, salad, rolls, and a few other small items. We had an open bar that was catered by Buddy’s Bar and Grill. Our cake was made by the bakery at Carter’s supermarket. All of our food and service was so good. The one thing I did learn (at my own fault) is to have the cake cutter ready! And make sure your husband gets a slice of his groom’s cake! (LOL)

The Venue: We got married at The Berry Barn. The venue was absolutely stunning and spacious. They provided space for everyone to get ready and had a bed and breakfast nearby for our family to stay at. We also got to take our engagement photos here as well. The owner was so kind. My only real complaint is about the service of the wedding coordinators. You can read about this experience in my previous wedding post. On the other hand, I have heard a lot of great reviews about the service and the venue. Maybe it was because of the day I chose? I’m not sure. They can be found on instagram @theberrybarnla .

Music: we hired DJ Parish. He was super helpful. He sent me lists of song suggestions and asked me to send him a list of songs and a schedule. He picked some great songs and as far as I’ve heard, everyone loved the music. Check him out on instagram @dj_parish .

I think that completes my list of vendors. I hope this helped if you are planning your special day. Thanks for reading along!

Highs and Lows of My Wedding Day

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I have typed, deleted, and re-typed this post so many times trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go with it. So many details go into a wedding and mine was no exception. I am going to split my wedding day post into 3 posts. Anyway, today I am going to be writing about my favorite and least favorite parts about my wedding. So, let’s get started!

HIGHS :

I really had to think about what I wanted to say my favorite parts of my wedding were. I decided to give it a number. So, these are my top three favorite parts of my wedding day.

1) THE NIGHT BEFORE & GETTING READY. I put these two things as one detail because they were pretty similar. The night be fore my wedding, my bridesmaids joined me for dinner where I gave them their gifts. It was a ton of fun and all of my favorite girls were together at one time. The night didn’t end there. We were having a giant sleep over at my townhome afterward. I gave one bridesmaid my key while another bridesmaid came to my dad’s house to help me finish packing. We headed to the townhome after and I did not believe what was waiting for me. ( I really wish I had the video) The five bridesmaids that had been waiting at my house had turned out the lights, lit my feaux centerpiece candles and had them positioned through the house , and threw clothes throughout my house , and were playing **sensual** music. It was honostly hilarious! We stayed up nearly all night finishing some DIY wedding decor & then all 8 of us passed out throughout my 600 square foot house. The next day, we headed to PJ’S Coffee before heading to the venue. Getting ready was just as much of a party. We had mimosas, coffee, mockmosas, cheese trays, veggie trays, yogurt, breakfast bars, and donuts. We turned some music on blaring and got the party started !

2) THE RECEPTION. What I mean by this is the part of the reception where the lights turn off and everyone is dancing. I used to not be a dancer, but at my wedding I danced. All of my closest friends were there and this time was honostly just filled with joy and laughter. It is by far the purest amount of joy I have ever had. (Laughing and dancing with my best friends and family)

3)THE REHEARSAL DINNER. I’m not even sure if this should count, but it’s my post, so it counts. The reason this made my list is because it was basically a small wedding with all of my favorite people. We did the normal walk through of the ceremony, talked about how we wanted to decorate, and then headed to Tope la for the dinner. We had our very own building complete with toasts and champagne . It was a small party. Like a wedding pre-party!

LOWS:

I feel like so many things went wrong with my wedding . I could name way more negative aspects than positive and I hate that. But I have to pick three.

1) MY SISTER. During family portraits, my sister was inside and had a seizure. She was 12 and had never had a seizure before. (She was diagnosed with epilepsy later on that summer) It was pretty much the scariest thing I have ever been through. It was 30 minutes before the ceremony and my sister couldn’t remember where she was or what was going on. I cried so much. I honostly wanted to call off the wedding, sign the marriage certificate, and head to the hospital. But, everyone was there and I couldn’t leave. The ambulance took her and my grandmother away and I dried my eyes, finished photos, and got ready to head down the aisle.

2)THE WEDDING COORDINATORS. First, I had a wedding coordinator that I disliked from the day I met her. She had a negative energy that I didn’t want to be a part of my big day. But she was there. The same lady pushed me out of the way while my makeup was being done so she could hang colorful flags from the balcony. When I asked what those were for, she said they had a summer camp coming tomorrow and were going ahead and setting up for it . Later, during our couple portraits, our photographer asked us to walk for the type of picture she wanted to take. As soon as we walked off of our portrait spot, they put up an inflateable water slide where we had been taking photos. The coordinator also yelled at me for saying that I didn’t care if I was rained on a little during my ceremony and told me I HAD to have the ceremony inside. Finally, she told me that I was cutting my wedding cake wrong. All of it was annoying.

3)THE RECEPTION. Before the dancing began. During this time, I had numerous people coming up to me asking when certain things were going to happen. Someone even told me that we were running out of food. (Later, I found out that we had PLENTY of left overs.) It was the most stressful thing that I have ever lived through. I was trying to be happy, but was torn between aggravation because of people micro-managing and wanting to break down in tears because of my sister.

My wedding may not have been the happiest day of my life. But there are plenty of memories that I will cherish forever. This is right before life got chaotic and we stopped seeing a lot of our friends. We saw family that we rarely see. We had so many people there to celebrate us. As stressful as it was, it’s a great thing to look back on. Thanks for reading. I can’t wait to share more about this day later on!

Our First Trip after Three Months of Isolation: Pensacola, Florida

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Things are finally starting to get somewhat normal after being inside for three months. My favorite part of everything opening back up is that I get to travel again. Last weekend we took advantage of the beaches opening and went on a small weekend trip with another couple to Pensacola. That trip is what this post is going to be about.

I am not sure why, but somehow none of our trips ever go as planned. We always have at least one ridiculous story to tell. This weekend was no exception. We left late at night because our friend wasn’t getting off of work until around 5. We loaded the car and headed off to our Airbnb. We got our first taste of fast food on our way to the beach. We stopped at Raising Canes and it was like eating gold…minus the burnt toast and burnt french fries. The rest of our trip went pretty smooth…until we got to Florida. As soon as we crossed the state line. We got warnings that there was a traffic stop ahead.(keep in mind that we are still under a stay at home order in Louisiana and it is 1:30 a.m…we were freaking out.) we cruised up to a group of about 10 police units . They stopped us and asked us a bunch of questions. They were not wanting people coming from the states with high rates. Somehow, we made it through this checkpoint and sped down the interstate before they saw our Louisiana plates.

It was 2 a.m. when we arrived at our Airbnb. We always check the inside of the house out before unloading our stuff. (Just to make sure everything is safe and looks good) We typed in the code for the door, tried the knob, and it did not open. We looked at the check in details once more and saw nothing about the lockbox on the doorknob. We called our host constantly for about 30 minutes. We spent a while trying to pick the lock and open the door with a credit card with no luck. Finally, Cody tried the window and it was open. He crawled through the window of our Airbnb at 2:30 a.m. and opened it up for us. (I’m sure if anyone else saw us they would have called the police.) Once we were all in the house, we noticed that it had not been cleaned. There were hairs in the beds, a dirty towel in the room, dirt all over the floor, and dirty clothes in the tub. I was disgusted.

We took a few pictures for our host and tried to call around to find a hotel to sleep in. It was 3 a.m. and we were all exhausted. Nearly every hotel was booked up due to a swamp fire that had happened earlier that day in the area. We finally found a holiday Inn that had 1 room left and we took it! We rushed over there and by the time we settled in, it was 4 a.m.

The next morning, our host refunded us and apologized for the unclean house. He told us that the cleaners got confused, but he would have everything sorted out before we returned for the night. We packed up our things, loaded the car and went to checkout. The hotel manager even gave us breakfast to-go bags since we had slept through the free breakfast.  We had to make a quick stop at the store to get our groceries and sunscreen, then off we went!

We drove all the way to the end of the road where the dog beach was since we had my dog with us. We unloaded and set up our spot. The rest of the day was pretty normal. We swam, napped, and played fetch. The entire beach was social distanced. It was honestly kind of nice to not have another family sitting right next to us.

When we were done at the beach, we made our way to the gift shops. There was someone sitting at the door telling people to put their masks on before entering, but the rest of the shopping experience was no different. They still let us try stuff on and look around. The store also wasn’t pack, but I don’t know if that was their rules or just the fact that not a lot of people wanted to go in the stores.

After shopping, we made a reservation at Red Fish Blue Fish. We saw the restaurants were open and we couldn’t resist. It had been nearly three months without eating in a restaurant. When our reservation time came, we called to tell them we were on the way and they informed us that they ran out of food and had to close early. We still went to the beach in hopes that there would be another restaurant open. After driving around for a while, we decided to try Crabs. We were in luck! Crabs was open and still had food left. We opted to eat inside. Every other table was opened, and we got sat in the back corner away from everyone. The menu was limited, but still had some amazing food on it. I cannot explain how great it felt to sit inside of a restaurant and eat fried seafood!

That was pretty much the extent of our short celebration trip. We left and our bodies were fried … as they are after any good beach trip. As fun as it was, the screening scared us, and we will not be coming back to Florida until everything opens back up completely. Thanks for reading! I am happy to say that I am already planning our next trip and I cannot wait to tell you about it!