Texas Travel Diary 2017: Week 1

     Each summer, my immediate family travels back to Texas for a week or so to visit the extended family that my we left behind when we made the move to the Carolinas a little over ten years ago.  I absolutely adore the state of Texas and am always thrilled to fly back and explore!  This year my younger sister and I had the privilege of flying independently and spending two weeks in Texas; one mostly in Bandera with my father’s parents and one mostly in San Antonio with my mother’s mom.  Today I’m so excited to be sharing the happenings of our first week in Texas with our father’s side of the family!  I have recapped each day, inserted highlight pictures, and created a video which you can watch below.  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  I also linked some of the locations mentioned so you can check them out for yourself if you’re planning trip to Texas.  This week was a blast and I hope you can feel that in today’s post!  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the underwater/pool clips were taken with a FujiFilm FinePix XP120 and all the rest of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a EF-S 18-55mm lens.  The background song is “Love on Me” by Galantis & Hook N Sling.

Tuesday

     My dad drove my sister (Channing) and I to the Charlotte airport 12:45 p.m. for our 2:54 p.m. flight into San Antonio.  After seeing that Channing and I made it safely through security, my dad waved goodbye and drove home.  Given that we fly at least once a year,  Channing and I are fairly accustomed to airports and flew independently without much stress.  This was actually really fun for us!  When we arrived in San Antonio, our grandparents surprised us at baggage claim by bringing our cousins, Frances and Reagan (both a year or two younger than me) to the airport to pick us up.  Channing and I were super happy to see everyone.  After getting our luggage, our grandparents surprised us again by taking us to the JW Marriot San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa instead of straight to Bandera as we’d expected.  After checking in, we went to our rooms.  The four of us, Reagan, Frances, Channing, and I, shared a room with two queen sized beds that connected to our grandparents’.  We had so much fun in this room (lots of girl talk and watching The Office) and found that it (along with the bathroom) was definitely spacious enough for four teenage girls to share.  Once we were settled into our room, we went out to eat at Cibolo Moon.  There we caught up while eating a delicious buffet of classic southern food.  On the way back to our rooms after dinner we had a brief exploration of the resort’s water park.  We found a s’more table and fire pit in an area behind one of the slides and gladly took advantage of the opportunity to make one.  We became super excited for the day ahead then went back to our rooms and showered before going to bed.

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Wednesday

     We woke up around 10:00 a.m. to our grandmother bringing in some muffins she bought at a nearby Target for breakfast.  After scarfing down the muffins, we quickly changed into bathing suits and coverups before heading to the resort’s water park around 11:00 a.m.  The water park is home to a few slides, which my cousins and I had a blast riding.  One slide enclosed you in a metal tube before the floor dropped out from under you and you were suddenly riding a plastic slide.  Another slide had a super steep drop.  Another slide allowed you to ride in two person tubes.  When we got hungry around noon, we ordered lunch in our pool chairs.  I then had an amazing grilled chicken sandwich with french fries and a virgin piña colada.  Around 3:00 p.m., after tanning, swimming in the pool, riding all the slides, and taking a trip around the lazy river, my cousins, sister, and I decided to head back to the room to watch some television and get ready for a fairly nice dinner.  The four of us had fun giving each other fashion advice, sharing jewelry, and doing each other’s hair and makeup before heading off to dinner at Cibolo Moon again.  After dinner, my cousins, sister, and I walked onto the golf course to take some pictures as the sun set.  I even shot an outfit post, be on the lookout for that in the near future!  Once we felt we all had adequate pictures together and individually, we headed back to our room to put on comfortable clothes and hang out before going to bed.

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Thursday

     Thursday morning we woke up around 8:00 a.m. and quickly packed our bags and got ready before walking over to the Starbucks in the resort with our grandmother.  After we finished enjoying our favorite sugary coffee drinks, we walked back to the room to double check that we hadn’t left anything before loading the car.  From the resort, we went to La Cantera.  La Cantera is a huge outdoor shopping center in San Antonio packed with tons of popular stores including Kendra Scott, Nordstrom, J.Crew, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Forever 21, and more.  We window shopped for a while then satisfied our hunger around noon with pasta at the Cheesecake Factory.  After lunch, we left for our grandparents’ house in Bandera.  We made a couple stops along the way to visit Reagan’s horse at the stables and pick up our grandmother’s dogs from where they were being boarded during our little resort vacation.  When we got to our grandparents’ house, we spent a couple hours settling in, hanging out, and taking pictures (including some for a blog post!) before dinner.  After dinner, my cousins taught my sister and I how to play Uno (I know, it’s crazy I never knew how to play before!) and we played a three hour game (yes, you read that right, a three hour round).  When we finally finished the Uno game, we showered and went to bed.

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Friday

     Friday morning my sister and Reagan woke Frances and I up around 10:00 a.m.  We ate some amazing homemade banana bread made by my grandmother for breakfast then played a couple rounds of Uno (both games took small fractions of the time the previous night’s game consumed) before going swimming in our grandparents’ pool.  Around 1:00 p.m. our grandmother brought out some spaghetti and we took a pool break to eat.  We continued to swim until around 4:00 p.m. when we got out to shower and get ready for a casual dinner at our Aunt Megan’s house.  When we got to her house around 6:00 p.m. we reconnected with her sons (our younger boy cousins) Campbell, Keller, and McCrae.  An hour or so after we arrived our Uncle Chip brought our other cousin, Madelyn (about my age), home from cheer camp.  We were all super excited to see her!  We had delicious tacos for dinner then went outside and explored our aunt and uncle’s little ranch.  Around 8:00 p.m. we went back to our grandparents’ house.  When we got home we showered and got ready for bed.

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Saturday

     Saturday morning I was the last one awake at 11:00 a.m. (oops) and quickly had some banana bread before we all started tidying up our rooms and packing our suitcases.  Around 1:00 p.m. my cousins, sister, and I loaded into our grandmother’s car and we drove to Dairy Queen where we met Madelyn and Aunt Megan for lunch.  I ate a grilled chicken sandwich and a Reese’s Cup Blizzard.  After lunch, Madelyn joined us in our grandmother’s car and we stopped by the nearest Redbox on the way home to pick out a couple movies.  After deciding on Split and Nerve, we got back in the car and rode back to our grandparents’ house.  There my cousins, sister, and I all piled on the couch and watched Split together.  I’d already seen the movie, so it was funny to see my cousins’ initial reactions to it!  After the movie ended, we gathered our nightly essentials and favorite outfits into duffel bags and headed to Reagan’s family’s renovated old fashioned school house in Hondo.  The school house has been turned into the cutest little guest house and it was so much fun to sleep over in!  When we got to the house we had a pizza dinner with Reagan’s parents, Aunt Brooke and Uncle Miles, and our grandparents before changing into our cutest outfits and hopping on Reagan’s golf cart.  We rode Reagan’s golf cart to a beautiful field on their property where a couple of her older horses roamed.  There we took a few cute pictures as the sun set before getting back on the golf cart and going for a faster ride over the property.  Once we rode back to the old school house, a few of us took quick showers and changed into comfortable clothes before we all sat down to watch Nerve together (side note; I loved this movie).  Shortly after the movie ended we all went to sleep.

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Sunday

     Sunday morning my cousins and sister woke me up around 10:45 a.m. to join them in the school house kitchen and eat some cinnamon rolls that Aunt Brooke had come in and made.  After breakfast, we just hung out and watched television then packed up our stuff and rode back to our grandparents’ house.  We spent a couple hours having sandwich lunches, packing up our stuff, and cleaning up our rooms at our grandparents’ house before heading to Aunt Megan’s house for a sleepover.  We swam in the pool for a couple hours before coming in for a taco dinner.  After dinner we showered and watched Hot Pursuit together then went to bed.

Monday

     We woke up around 8:00 a.m. to quickly get ready and eat some cinnamon rolls for breakfast before heading to La Cantera.  We got to La Cantera around 10:00 a.m. and looked around until we met up with most of our aunts, uncles, and boy cousins at Whiskey Cake for lunch.  Whiskey Cake honestly has a really odd menu but the chicken sandwich I got was really good!  After lunch we shopped around a little more before we met up with my grandmother on my mother’s side in the parking lot and moved all of Channing and I’s luggage to her car.  This is what I consider the separation of my two weeks in Texas, so I’m going to stop this recap here!

Thanks for reading!  Make sure you’re following me on Instagram, @apocketfuloffaith, and checking my travel hashtag, #farawaywithfaith, to keep up with my travels in real time!  Be on the lookout for my Texas week two travel diary which should be on the blog in the next week or so!

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Frontier Ranch Travel Diary 2017

     This past Sunday afternoon I returned from what is constantly referred to as “the best week of your life”; YoungLife summer camp.  I was beyond excited to be going to Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado, but I had no idea just how much the week would surpass my expectations.  I did crazy things I never thought I’d get the chance (or have the guts) to do while learning tons about myself, my friends, and God’s love.  Today I’m thrilled to finally share this week with you all.  Enjoy!

     I was originally planning on going into detail on each day at Frontier Ranch, but if you’ve ever been to YoungLife camp, even for just a weekend, you know it’s always full of surprises.  I obviously don’t want to ruin any surprises for my readers who might be going to Frontier Ranch this summer or in the future, so instead I’m sharing a video I made along with some of my favorite pictures!  The important things for you to know about my time at Frontier Ranch are that the food was delicious, the activities were fun, the skits were hilarious, the people were nice, the work crew was awesome, the speaker was incredible, and God’s creation surrounding the camp was absolutely breathtaking.  I recommend you watch the video below in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the underwater/pool clips were taken with a FujiFilm FinePix XP120 and all the rest of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a EF-S 18-55mm lens.  The background song is “Line of Sight” by ODESZA featuring WYNNE & Mansionair.

     I’m sure you noticed the change in audio in the last thirty seconds or so of the video.  You were listening to my favorite part of the message that our wonderful speaker, Andy, gave on top of the mountain that we hiked (the quality of the audio sounds weird because it was recorded on top of a windy mountain plus Andy was talking with a megaphone).  He told us about how God views us as His most beautiful creation, and that statement was so powerful for me as we were staring in awe at the gorgeous Rocky Mountains that God created.  Out of everything we heard last week, the overall message that stuck out to me is that my purpose is to be loved by God.  God loves us despite our mistakes and sins.  He gave us this incredible, beautiful world to enjoy and we turned our backs to Him.  To break the barrier that our sin created between Him and us, He sent Jesus to pay the ultimate cost for our sin, death.  Even after that huge sacrifice that He made, we continue to turn away from the best relationship we could ever be a part of.  Not only does God still want a relationship with us despite that, but He is willing to meet us in the middle.  Andy simplified this concept and told us that forming a relationship with God is as easy as the ABCs.  A is for admitting that we are imperfect sinners.  B is for believing that God loves us and through that sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins and break the barrier between us and Him.  C is for coming home to God, because a relationship with Him is where we belong.  We were made for this.

Here are some of my favorite photos of the week!

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     If you ever get the opportunity to go to YoungLife camp, whether it’s for Work Crew, a week in the summer, or fall weekend, you really should go.  YoungLife has been so incredibly beneficial for me in my faith and nothing opens my eyes to God’s love more than time at camp.  This week at Frontier Ranch was my fourth time on a YoungLife property and I have yet to have an experience that was anything less than wonderful.  This was seriously the best week of my life.

Thanks for reading!  If you’d be interested in more YoungLife camp themed posts, such as “Things I Wish I Knew Before YoungLife Camp” or “Ten Things You Should Bring to YoungLife Camp,” please comment below, shoot me a direct message on Instagram (@apocketfuloffaith), or email me at apocketfuloffaithblog@gmail.com.  I love nothing more than talking about YoungLife, especially YoungLife camp, so I’d be more than happy to do more posts about it!  Another quick reminder, all of my pictures posted during/of my travels on my Instagram are under my hashtag, #farawaywithfaith, so be sure to check that out throughout the summer to keep track of my adventures!

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Atlantis Travel Diary

     This past Tuesday I returned from my family’s four day spring break trip to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.  This trip was a big Christmas gift this past year from my grandparents, so they came with us.  We had an absolute blast and I’m so excited to share our adventures with you today!  I have recapped each day, inserted highlight pictures, and created a video which you can watch below.  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  I also linked many of the restaurants we ate at and activities we did, so you can read more about them on Atlantis’ website or consider them if you’re booking your own trip!  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the underwater clips were taken with a FujiFilm FinePix XP120 and all the rest of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a EF-S 18-55mm lens.  The background song is “Stay” by Chet Porter featuring Chelsea Cutler.

Saturday

     We left the house for the airport around 10:30 a.m. and stopped at Chick-fil-A on the way to the airport to get lunch for my family and my grandparents.  As you’ll see in a picture below, I wore one of my favorite of Jadelynn Brooke’s new tee shirt releases, their “Beach Bound” tee.  I love the beachy details and bright seafoam color, plus it’s so soft.  Purchase your own here 15% off with my code “FLSHS16”!  We arrived at the airport around 11:00 a.m. and my grandparents’ flight came in from Texas around 11:45 a.m.  We all ate together, then our flight to the Bahamas left around 12:30 p.m.  I realized upon boarding that this was my first international flight and my first that would go over an ocean.  The flight was absolutely gorgeous because we flew over so many stunning islands and the color of the water was constantly changing.  We touched down in Nassau around 2:00 p.m., then took a taxi to Atlantis.  It was around 3:00 p.m. by the time we checked into our rooms in the Coral Towers.  I shared a room with my little sister.  Our rooms were so nice, but my favorite part wasn’t the king size bed or the huge TV, it was the view.  You could see a little shark filled lagoon, a ton of palm trees, and the ocean from our balcony – talk about breathtaking.  We changed into swimsuits and coverups before meeting up with the rest of the family and going to explore the resort.  We located the closest beach entrance to our rooms, the Predator Lagoon tunnel, some gorgeous details of the resort’s interior, a ton of animal enclosures including stingrays, sharks, and sea turtles, and a few restaurants.  We ended up eating at this restaurant on the marina called Bimini Road which was really good and had a ton of options.  My little sister and I shared their loaded nachos (although we asked for half of the things that make them “loaded” to be left off) and a side of baked macaroni and cheese.  After dinner, we wandered around the marina area some more and I bought a tee shirt from one of the carts.  We walked back to the beach and walked around and took pictures for about half an hour.  After the beach we went back to our rooms, showered, and went to bed to prepare for the long days ahead of us.

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The pictures above and below this caption are of our room’s view, I’m still obsessed.

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Sunday

     Sunday morning my little sister and I woke up around 8:00 a.m., quickly got ready, then met the rest of our family in the hall at 8:30 a.m. to walk down to the marina for breakfast.  We ate breakfast at Murray’s Deli.  I ordered the french toast and it was such a large, delicious serving.  After finishing breakfast, we walked back to our rooms to make sure we had sunscreen, sunglasses, room keys, and other necessities before hitting the water park.  We spent the majority of our first full day at the Mayan Tower section of the waterpark.  This contains the famous Leap of Faith as well as the Serpent Slide, the Challenger Slide, and the Jungle Slide (read about all of Atlantis’ water slides here).  My little sister and I rode all of them and they were a ton of fun.  My favorite of these slides was the Leap of Faith.  Let me tell you, the slide is basically a wall, the drop is that vertical.  The Serpent Slide was cool because you get to take a longer look at the sharks in the tank surrounding the Leap of Faith and Serpent Slide, but it wasn’t really fast enough for my taste.  While in the pool/waterpark area, we ate a lunch of chicken nuggets and fries that we bought from a little food stand in the area.  I also ordered a virgin piña colada which totally hit the spot, especially in the Bahamian heat.  In the afternoon we went to a smaller kiddie pool and lazy river since my younger brother wasn’t tall enough to ride any of the main slides in the waterpark.  After a couple hours we returned to our hotel rooms to clean up for dinner.  We ate dinner at Virgil’s Real BBQ where I ordered a kids grilled cheese.  While waiting for our food, my little sister and I took some pictures in front of a lagoon (you’ll see them in a blog post later!).  After dinner, we went to Ben & Jerry’s for some quick ice cream, then went back to our rooms and went to bed.

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I adore this bikini that I wore on Sunday (pictured above), especially because of the straps in the back.  Shop the bikini top here and the matching bottoms here.

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Monday

     My little sister and I woke up at 7:00 a.m. to get ready and head to the beach before meeting our family for breakfast at 8:30 a.m.  We had a little photoshoot on the beach (you’ll see some pictures in a blog post later!) then returned to the room to pack our backpacks for the day before leaving for breakfast.  We used our Jadelynn Brooke backpacks as carryons and beach bags for this trip and they were perfect; super cute, super convenient, and super durable!  I know you probably think I’m just saying that as a rep, but in all honesty Jadelynn Brooke backpacks have become my travel necessity, especially for the beach.  We ate breakfast at Murray’s Deli again and this time I ordered scrambled eggs and toast.  After breakfast we went to a little cove area that was connected to the ocean (basically a beach without the waves because my little brother was scared of the tall waves).  Here, my little sister and I went snorkeling.  Even though we weren’t in the real ocean, we saw a ton of fish and it was super fun (plus it was only $12 an hour to rent the snorkel mask, life jacket, and flippers).  After we finished snorkeling, we met my grandparents by a pool near the Mayan Tower.  A couple animal trainers brought a parrot to the poolside, so my sister and I went to go see and take pictures with it.  After eating another poolside lunch (this time I ordered pizza, really nothing spectacular) my grandparents went back to their room to relax and my family went to the Power Tower.  The Power Tower is the second slide location and it contains The Abyss, The Surge, The Drop, and The Fall.  In my opinion, the must-rides out of these are The Abyss and The Surge.  Be warned that The Abyss gets a ton of water up your nose (I rode it twice and got a nose full of water both times, even though I held my nose the second time), but I really liked The Surge.  The Surge, The Drop, and The Fall all lead into The Current, which is a super fun lazy river with rapids.  After riding all the slides and The Current a couple times, we headed back to our rooms to prepare of dinner.  We ate dinner at Bimini Road again and this time I had the shell pasta with cheese sauce and peas.  After dinner, we walked to Virgil’s Real BBQ for dessert.  I had the apple pie and it was so good.  After dessert we walked back to our rooms and packed to leave the next morning before going to bed.

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Tuesday

     Tuesday morning my little sister and I woke up around 7:00 a.m., got ready, finished packing, then went down to breakfast at Starbucks.  After we ate our croissants, we went back to our rooms to make sure we had everything and grab our bags.  We headed down to the lobby, checked out, and got in a taxi to go back to the airport.

Thanks for reading about my adventures at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas!  I had a great time and I loved making the video as well!  If you’re interested in seeing more pictures from the trip (yes I took even more than what you’ve already seen, believe it or not), feel free to view my Atlantis VSCO journal here.  Also, to see my travel pictures before they make it to the blog, be sure to follow my Instagram here and check out my travel hashtag, #farawaywithfaith.

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Universal Orlando Travel Diary

     If you follow my Instagram, @apocketfuloffaith, you might have noticed that I spent a long weekend in Orlando last week.  I flew to Orlando for a school trip to Universal Studios last Thursday night with my choir!  The trip was only a few days long, scheduled over a weekend to maximize time in Orlando while missing the least possible amount of school.  One of my best friends, Maddie, is in choir with me so we went together and it was so much fun!  (In case you were wondering, we didn’t go to perform.  My school’s choir takes a “just for fun” trip every year, usually to a theme park in Orlando or a big city, last year I went with the choir to Chicago!)  I take my camera with me practically everywhere so it obviously followed me into the parks.  While I was there I took a ton of little clips to piece together into a video!  Today I’m sharing my Universal video as well as daily recaps and a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.  I recommend watching the video in HD (enable by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner).  I hope you enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie and all of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a EF-S 18-55mm lens.  The background song is “All Night” by The Vamps & Matoma.

Thursday

     Thursday evening my choir group met up in the school parking lot at 6:00PM to load a bus and drive to the nearest airport.  We were required to get to the airport a couple hours early, since we were a group of approximately fifty, so once we got there we all talked, played cards, FaceTimed, etc.  Finally, we boarded our flight around 8:30PM and landed in Orlando around 11:00 p.m.  The flight was the first for many of our choir members, so it was fun to see their reactions and how the flight actually compared to their frightened expectations.  Once we claimed our baggage we loaded onto a charter bus.  Before getting to the hotel, we stopped by Walmart to buy forgotten toiletries, snacks for the long park days ahead, sunscreen, etc.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites – Waterpark, and in comparison to the ordinary, average rooms we stayed in when we visited Chicago last year, the suites were incredible.  Quickly upon getting into our hotel rooms around 12:00 a.m., we showered and went to sleep.

Friday

     We woke up to get ready for the day ahead around 8:00 a.m., then we met our group for breakfast at the hotel’s buffet at 9:00 a.m.  The hotel’s buffet was so good.  At 9:45 a.m., we all loaded onto the charter bus and headed to Universal.  We arrived around 10:00 a.m., then we were told where to meet with our chaperones at 4:00 p.m. before they set us loose.  When we split up, Maddie and I chose to go alone together, because we knew we wanted to do all the same things.  The first thing we did upon entrance was purchase Thing 1 and Thing 2 tee shirts in the first gift shop we saw because we had been talking about buying them together in Universal for months.  I wish I could tell you that we went to one section to ride all the rides, then the next, then the next, you know, in a logical manner, but we honestly just hopped from area to area depending on what sounded fun or what snack we wanted to try.  On Friday we tried the famous frozen butter beer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which tasted like a Starbucks drink (I’m super picky and I was scared I wouldn’t like it, but I absolutely loved it!), met Scooby Doo and the gang (minus Daphne, she unfortunately wasn’t there), met Spongebob and Patrick, and rode about five rollercoasters including a couple in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Rip Ride Rockit, and the Hulk to name a few.  Meeting these characters was so fun, Patrick gave the best hugs!  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was so cool, all of the employees seemed so in character and the area was so incredibly detailed, it wouldn’t be hard to convince me I was in one of the books.  We ate dinner at Mel’s Drive-In, which offered chicken tenders (or a cheeseburger for a slightly higher price), fries, and a shake for $13.99 (if my memory is correct), which is not a terrible deal for theme park food.  We loaded the bus to return to the hotel around 9:00 p.m. and we fell asleep quickly after showering upon our return to our suites.

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Saturday

     Saturday morning we woke up a little late and joined our group for an earlier breakfast around 8:00 a.m.  We loaded the bus at 9:00 a.m. and got to Universal around 9:30 a.m.  The same discussion of when and where to meet the chaperones took place before we separated again. As soon as we got into the park, Maddie and I got in line for the Despicable Me ride, Minion Mayhem.  The ride’s line is set up to go through a room that looks identical to Gru’s home in the movies, which we thought was so cool!  The ride is really just a 3D simulator, but we still found it to be really fun because we love Despicable Me so much.  After you exit the simulator room, we were presented with the opportunity to meet/take pictures with a couple minions.  Maddie and I got in the line as soon as we saw it and after meeting them we continued into the Despicable Me gift shop where we purchased our “it’s so fluffy” scene inspired unicorns.  Once we payed for the unicorns, we decided that since it was short we’d go through the minion meeting line again to meet them with unicorns in hand.  Yes, I know it seems silly, but it was totally worth it.  After we left the gift shop, we tracked down the Despicable Me parade and met and got pictures with the girls (Agnes, Edith, and Margot), Gru, and Vector when their dance routine was over.  I just want to mention that if you’re looking to meet characters in Universal Studios, the employees in the green polos are in charge of the character meet and greets and are definitely the best people to ask about when and where!  After the parade we pretty much just randomly walked from section to section like we did on Friday.  We also met the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1, and Thing 2 that afternoon.  Maddie and I agreed that Suess Landing, the Dr. Suess based section, was our favorite.  The rides were all pastel and the area had a few adorable little book and souvenir shops that looked like they were straight out of one of Suess’ picture books.  We went back to the “Spongebob Storepants” store when we saw through the window that Patrick was in the store again.  That night we ate at Mel’s Drive-In again just because it was such a good deal.  We loaded the bus and left around 9:45 p.m. and again, we showered and fell asleep almost immediately upon our return to the hotel.

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Sunday

     Sunday was our last day in Orlando.  We ate breakfast around 9:00 a.m. again and then hung around the hotel for a few hours, enjoying the mini golf and packing.  We left the hotel around 12:00 p.m. and went to I-Drive 360.  I-Drive 360 is a small shopping center that consist of a few tourist shops, restaurants, the Orlando Eye, a Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and a Sea Life Aquarium.  Maddie and I went on the Orlando Eye, got Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, walked through the wax museum and took pictures with our favorite celebrities, and looked through the aquarium before we left around 4:00 p.m.  We arrived at the airport around 5:00 p.m. then bought food and worked on our make up work while we waited to board the plane.  We got back home around 9:30 p.m.

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I had a great time in Orlando last weekend with my friends.  I hope you enjoyed this little recap of my trip, thank you for reading!  Be sure to check out my Instagram hashtag, #farawaywithfaith, for more pictures from my travels!

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Savannah, GA Travel Diary

     If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen a few posts about my trip to Savannah, Georgia this week.  Savannah is such a pretty city and I had a great time there with my family and grandparents.  Today I’m sharing a recap of my trip!  While I was there I did some shopping, ate amazing food, and saw a few landmarks as well.  To view my past travels and keep track of my travels in the future be sure to check my travel hashtag #farawaywithfaith.  I linked all of the restaurants/shops mentioned if they have a website, so you can virtually check them out for yourself!  This is the first travel diary I have done since my Windy Gap trip back in 2015, so I’m super excited to finally be sharing another one.  Enjoy!

Tuesday

     We decided to fly to Savannah to avoid a long car trip so we could maximize our time.  For the plane ride, I wore my super soft new Jadelynn Brooke sweatshirt and used my Jadelynn Brooke backpack as the perfect carry on (the backpack isn’t available online right now but if you’d like to purchase this sweatshirt or anything else from Jadelynn Brooke you can use my code FLHS for 15% off!)  The flight was only about half an hour long, and once we arrived we checked into our hotel before walking to Moon River Brewing Company Restaurant for lunch.  There I had amazing sausage ravioli with a few shrimp on top!  After lunch, my parents took my siblings and I on a walk down River Street because our hotel was located right in the middle so we had super easy access!  River Street faces the river and is lined with tons of shops and restaurants.  After a short walk we returned to the hotel to freshen up for dinner.  We met a few of my grandparents’ friends at a restaurant called B. Matthew’s Eatery.  The atmosphere of the restaurant was wonderful and there I had a delicious chicken sandwich and a snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich for dessert.  After dinner we walked back to the hotel and went to bed to rest up for the next day.

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Wednesday

     Wednesday morning we walked to the Andaz Hotel to take advantage of their amazing brunch options, and boy was it a good brunch!  I had waffles with a side of scrambled eggs and they were delicious!  After brunch we walked to Broughton Street to do some shopping.  While there I picked up a few things from GAP and Banana Republic.  When we finished shopping we went into Savannah Seafood Shack to get some ice cream in the little section of the restaurant called Below Zero (read their article on the Foodie Feature here!)  The ice cream there was rolled, yes, rolled, and it was soo good.  I split the s’mores ice cream with my little brother and it was incredible, incomparable to any other ice cream I’ve ever had, really.  After ice cream we walked to Chippewa Square, the park where the bench scenes of Forrest Gump were filmed!  Sadly, the bench Tom Hanks actually sat on was just a prop and is now in a museum, but my sister and I got a picture where the bench was (I made a collage of one of the bench scenes in the movie and our picture below).  Once we got our picture and walked around Chippewa Square a bit we headed back to the hotel to rest a bit for dinner.  My parents went out on a date so my grandparents took my siblings and I to dinner on River Street.  On the way to dinner I convinced them to stop in front of the river with a perfect view of the bridge in the background for a few pictures (I even took some shots for an outfit post, be on the look out for it in the next couple weeks!).  We ended up eating great pizza at a place called Spanky’s.  On the walk back to the hotel we stopped in a t-shirt shop (because I always purchase a tee with the destination on it while traveling) and an ice cream shop for dessert.  When we got back to the hotel we just showered and went to bed.

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Thursday

     We began Thursday by walking to a breakfast diner called Goose Feathers Cafe, where we waited in line for about twenty minutes before ordering and finally sitting down at a table. There I had an apple filled croissant and it was delicious!  When we left the cafe we walked back to the hotel to grab jackets and retrieve the car to drive to Forsyth Park.  I have to say, Forsyth Park is absolutely gorgeous.  There are a few wide open fields, a playground for children, a big statue (I didn’t actually read the plaque, oops, but I assume it was some kind of monument), tons of gorgeous trees, and a pretty white fountain.  After my little brother got his fair amount of play time, I got more than enough of pictures, and my grandparents read a couple chapters of their books on a park bench, we left for the Georgia State Railroad Museum that was joint with the Savannah Children’s Museum.  My siblings and parents visited the children’s museum and my grandparents and I visited the railroad museum.  After the museum we drove to Betty Bombers, a WWII inspired diner, for lunch.  There I ate a cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake (I know what you’re thinking by now… I eat a lot of sweets.  Trust me, I know).  After lunch we drove back to the hotel and my stepmother took my sister and I on a walk to The Coffee Fox on Broughton Street to get some mochas and do a little more shopping.  I then bought a couple sweaters at H&M and we looked in a few other stores.  We walked back to the hotel around 5:00 p.m. to freshen up for my little brother’s birthday dinner at The Pirates’ House.  The Pirates’ House had a ton of great seafood options and the house itself holds a ton of history regarding pirates.  I got a shrimp pasta with a nice lemony sauce.  My little brother loved it and the waiters brought him strawberry shortcake to help him celebrate his birthday!  Once he finished his shortcake we walked back to the hotel to pack to leave Friday morning.

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I took a picture of this sign outside of the dressing rooms at H&M, don’t you just love this phrase?

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That’s it!  If you’re interested in seeing more pictures I take while traveling (or just in general), I’d love it if you checked out my VSCO (linked here) where I post a ton of pictures of food, tourist attractions, and random pretty things.  I hope you enjoyed this recap, thanks for reading!

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Windy Gap Travel Diary 2015

     First of all, I would really like to apologize for my extreme lack in posts lately.  I’ve had a ton of tests and extracurricular activities.  I’ve spent the past week working on my grade’s homecoming float from 3:30 to 5:30 everyday and I went to Windy Gap with my YoungLife group last weekend, so today I thought I would tell you all about that!

     Last Friday, September 18th, we all piled onto a bus and drove to Windy Gap for fall weekend.  If you don’t know what/where Windy Gap is, it’s a YoungLife camp located in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.  Windy Gap is absolutely gorgeous; it has a small lake and is encircled in mountains.  When we were about fifteen minutes from Windy Gap, our cell phones were taken up, so all of the pictures/videos you’re about to see were either taken on my friend’s GoPro or by the camp photographer.  I had the best weekend of my life, and now, I’ll tell you why.

Friday

     When we got to Windy Gap late Friday night, it was absolutely stunning.  Even in the dark, you could see the outline of all the mountains among the stars.  The buildings’ lights reflected on the lake and it was just gorgeous.  After exploring the area and settling into our cabin, we went to club.  Club at camp is a lot like our weekly YoungLife club at home, only ten times more fun and exciting.  In club, we sing and dance to lots of songs (both Christian and current), watch skits performed by YoungLife leaders from the different groups that attended, play games, and listen to a talk.  After club, we went back to our cabin and had cabin time, a time that the girls in our cabin talked about what we got out of the talk and what it meant to us.  After cabin time, we showered and went to bed.

Saturday

     Saturday morning, we got up early, took a few pictures and went to breakfast in the dining hall with the rest of the camp.  The food at Windy Gap is amazing.  During breakfast, we watched more skits and played double tap at our table.  After breakfast, we had cabin competition.  We were given a small slip of paper that had a list of things to do, like sliding into the lake or burying our cabin leader in the sand on the volleyball court, and their point values, then we had to go do as many as we could in a set amount of time!  Once time was called on the cabin competition, we went to club again.  As always, after club we walked back to our cabin and had cabin time.

     When the bell rang, we all ran down to the dining hall excitedly for lunch.  After lunch, we had about six hours of free time.  Windy Gap has so much to do, including a zip line, giant metal slide that goes into the lake, volleyball court, pool, basketball court, and a giant swing that goes through the forest that I just don’t know how to explain without showing you (watch the video below).  Closer to the end of our free time, we went into the Windy Gap store to pick up a few tee shirts and stickers before taking a shower and getting ready for dinner.  Shortly after we finished cleaning up from our adventures, the dinner bell rang.  While we were waiting to get into the dining hall, we took a few more pictures on Scout’s GoPro.  After dinner, we ran to the club room where we had club again.

     All of the messages over the weekend were so good, but this one was special.  The preacher described all of the things that Christ endured for us all during the crucifixion in such great detail, I was close to tears.  At the end of the message, everybody at Windy Gap walked outside and found a place to sit and pray.  As soon as everyone found a spot, all of the electricity in Windy Gap was turned off.  It was so nice to have that time to just look up at all of the beautiful stars with no distractions and talk to God.  At the end of this time to pray, a bell rang and we all walked back to our cabins for cabin time.  During this particular cabin time, we talked not only about what we got from the message, but what we prayed about as well.

     A bell rang at the end of cabin time and we walked back to the club room where we played a ton of games before we were directed to the gym.  Once we walked into the gym, we were handed glow sticks and directed into a giant tarp tunnel.  Inside the tunnel, loud dance music was played and black light shined.  Up until this moment, we had no idea we had walked into a YoungLife rave.  This tunnel put all of those elementary P.E. class parachute games to shame, it was so much fun.  After the rave, we went back to our cabins and went to bed.

Sunday

     Sunday morning, we got up early again to attend breakfast.  Before we left for breakfast, we were given our group shirts (hence everyone in the picture below matching).  After breakfast, we went to one last club.  At the end of club, we went back to our cabins to have cabin time and finish packing to leave.  Once we finished packing, we took a few more pictures in Windy Gap before packing the bus and leaving.

     Windy Gap was without a doubt one of the best weekends of my life.  I feel so much closer to God and all of the girls in my cabin!  I am so glad I went and I would highly suggest going too if you ever get the chance.  YoungLife is the most fun Christian youth program I have ever been a part of.  I can’t wait for my next YoungLife fall weekend!

Thank you so much for reading!  I hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventures in Windy Gap!

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