Summer Excursions

The end of summer is near, fortunately and unfortunately. I am excited to get back into my routine, be on my own schedule, see my friends up in Orlando, and meet my new roommates. but I am sad leave my friends and family from back home. Looking back on my summer memories, there are a few in particular that stand out. I call them my “excursions” and I would like to elaborate:

Excursions

  1. Atlanta- Beth and I have a close, close friend who lives in Atlanta. We went to visit her and her mom for a long weekend and we had the most amazing time. It was so wonderful to spend time with people who seem like family. I have only been privileged to have friends like Shira and her mom, Debra for about 5 years, but it feel s as if I have known them a lifetime. To view more about my experience, click here
  2. Miami- Jill is one of those kind of friends who you know now will be in your bridal party—a true friend. We met in college, but she has since transferred to a different school, much to my dismay. She now lives and studies far away, but we are so lucky we had this time during the summer to spend together. We have discussed a day trip to Miami for at least a year and we finally had our day this summer! It was so much fun, enjoying a delicious meal at a café called Aroma, which made us all reminisce about trips that we’ve all taken to Israel (both together and separately). After a scrumptious meal, we walked around Lincoln Road and went into some of the shops. We all indulged in some freshly squeezed juices that were out of this world and visited a “Chabad on Wheels.” This experience was so meaningful to us because we originally met in our campus Chabad.
  3. Orlando/Gainesville- With Ashley, our confidante since Parkland Kids Camp when we were about 8 or 9, we went to visit our schools and apartments for about 5 days—mine and Beth’s being in Orlando, and Ashley’s being in Gainesville. In Orlando, we visited with some of our friends from school and spent time both shopping in the wonderful outlet malls and being big kids in Disney—Epcot, to be specific. We then drove up to Gainesville where we saw what Ashley’s school life is like. We met some of her dearest friends and devoured a home-cooked Shabbat meal at her school’s Hillel.
  4. Naples- This was my last “excursion” of the summer with my grandparents, parents, sister, cousin, aunt, and uncle. Every summer, we all drive over to the west coast of Florida for a few days. This year, our trip entailed yummy meals, shopping, tanning on a beautiful beach, swimming in a brand new pool, and being with loved ones.

These are all experiences that I will never forget with people I will never forget. Reflecting on this summer, seemed a tad disappointing (I think in comparison to last summer when I went to both New York and Israel, it looks kind of dinky) and not all that I had planned for it to be. BUT, I have accomplished so much this summer—growth as a person and growth in my knowledge and my abilities. So, how could I be disappointed in that? It turns out that I really enjoyed myself and my quality time with family and friends this summer and I have absolutely no regrets—wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Maybe it wasn’t as exciting as last summer, but fond experiences and memories will always be present.

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Where in the World?

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Would it be Italy? Greece? Ireland? Israel? Australia? England? France? Madagascar? Or maybe even Alaska? I want to go to all of these places some day! It is one of my life goals to travel the world (or at least most of the world). But what a lot of us don’t realize is how diverse our country is–America has oceans and mountains, hot weather and cold weather, you name it, we have it. And I am certainly not an avid traveler or anything (I’ve been to a few Caribbean islands on a cruise, the Bahamas, Israel, and only about 6 of our 50 states). The beauty of traveling is at our fingertips–sure, it would be amazing to travel to other countries, but I bet there is so much you haven’t seen in America.

Have you seen the beaches of Florida or California or Rhode Island, namely? Or the mountains of Colorado, Utah, upstate New York? Have you gone skiing in Vermont? I challenge you to all of these adventures in our diverse country. And the list is endless from there–I only scraped the surface. I absolutely would love to travel all around the world, but my point is there is so much that we’re (or at least just me) missing out on right in our backyards! Go explore our beautiful country and let me know of your experiences.

P.S. I bet you’re wondering why I am writing this post. I guess there is no reason in particular (sorry if you were looking for one). Walking into the den in my house, I saw globe tucked away on the floor and realized I don’t remember the last time I looked at one. Nowadays, with GPSs and the Internet, globes are passe. Well, I started looking at the it and spinning it around and just thought it was so cool. It made me think of how much I have yet to see and explore in this world. I can’t wait to see what (traveling) is in store for me in the future!