When life gives you lemons, put them in a fruit basket and go get some coffee… lemons don’t have caffeine. With the way things have been going in my crazy hectic rollercoaster of a dramatic life the past few months, I’ve gotten extra familiar with Orlando’s independent coffee shops. From working or studying to caffeinating with a cocktail, Orlando’s best are all here.
It’s old news that I hate “touristy stuff,” but usually those attractions become so popular because there’s something great to see. Instead of completely avoiding them, I try to “game” the traps and am careful from diving in blindly to every up-sell or tour. Oahu is known for being a vacation destination, so there are a few must-see spots if you vacation.
While a Hawaiian vacation brings beaches and surfing to mind, I was pleasantly surprised to find endless trails to hike and explore on my trip. The island of Oahu is incredibly lush, with everything from fir trees to palms lining the trails. The trails themselves are diverse, ranging from steep abandoned-railroad “stairways” up mountains, to ridge hikes, shaded forested paths, and rocky beach paths.
Here are my three favorite hikes, as well as links to extensive information about each.
The best way to avoid the Sunday Scaries is to get your bottomless brunch on. The second best way is to be unemployed and not have to face the real world on Monday. Not one to take the easy way out, I made sure I met both criteria and headed to Stubborn Mule downtown. If we just get right to it, it’s by far my favorite overall brunch in Orlando, and surpassed expectations for food, drinks, and service.
I’ve already mentioned how my month-long vacation in Oahu wasn’t the stereotypical umbrella-drinks-in-Waikiki. While bikinis and sundresses were definitely packed, here’s what I got the most use out of during my time hiking, beaching, and relaxing on the North Shore.
Some people make New Year Resolutions; I make New Year Reservations. On one way flights. To Oahu. I was sulking into an Oreo milkshake, as is common after a breakup, when a friend invited me to fly out to Hawaii and live with her and her family for a few weeks. Within 15 minutes, I had my flight booked. I figured if I’m going to sulk about my 2017 starting off in the dumpster, I might as well do it from Hawaii.
I’ve officially visited the West Coast (best coast)! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore more than just the airport on my layover to my Hawaiian Hiatus, so I headed out of SeaTac Airport to the waterfront and Pikes Place.
When a friend of mine dared me to play hooky with her last Tuesday – Thursday and jet off to Nashville for no other reason than the fact that flights were cheap, I jumped at the chance. Neither of us had any desire to see the Country Music Hall of Fame or catch a show… you’ll have to read another blog for that info. Our goals were simple: 48 hours of beer, dive bars, and biscuits. I also mandated lots of coffee and at least two Instagram photo ops.
Part of this whole freelancer, design-my-own-life, make-my-own-schedule thing I’m embracing (despite occasional crippling anxiety that I’m ruining my life) is that I am able to travel. When a friend of mine who works an unconventional schedule in hospitality mentioned she had Wednesday and Thursday of next week off from work, I immediately took to Google Flights to see what the least expensive flights from Orlando to, well, anywhere, would be for those two days. Our luck landed us with 48 hours in Nashville, Tennessee. Since our flight is on the budget airline Frontier, I’m taking on one of my most ambitious packing attempts yet – 48 hours in just a large purse.
I’m currently sitting in my office for the morning – a local coffee shop, where I’ve claimed a small table and spread my iced latte and ultra-fine-point Sharpie pens and textbook on. I debated writing about my most recent life change because most of the I-quit-my-job-and-never-looked-back-and-am-living-my-dream-life articles I read are from exactly that perfect, ideal perspective. The author reflects back on a moment where they stood up for their self worth and look-how-well-it-turned-out-for-me!