As my days in Tampa dwindled to a close, I scrambled to do everything I never found time to do before. As a resident of the Tampa Bay area for six years, I had certainly had my fair share of Tampa adventures, but now time was running out. I remembered hearing whispers of a market at a temple. After finding a magnificent Chinese temple outside of Melbourne, Australia, I was excited to find this Buddhist temple in Tampa. My last Sunday in the Bay area, I finally made it to the Wat Thai Temple in Tampa.
Wat Thai Temple Sunday Food Market
On Sundays the temple features a popular food market (cash only) open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. My boyfriend and I came around noon for lunch. The market itself features a variety of food stands with everything from delicious Thai entrees to traditional desserts. We browsed all of the stands under the pavilion before making our choices. Continue reading “Thai Temple in Tampa”
I watch the landscape fly before me as the sun dips down below lighting its way. The hills rise and fall as my train remain the same, steadfast. Trees by the tracks fly by in a blur creating a moving picture of the background behind it, like an old film movie that crackles in its yellow hue. Hay bails line the yellow fields like pulleys from a worn wool blanket dotting the ground. I hear just the humming of the train, a rhythmic whoosh, and the subtle scratching on the rail keeping cadence. Perhaps a rattle breaks now and then breaks the mostly silent routine. The others don’t speak a word until we reach a station.
I watch as the houses pass by too. Little towns with houses that all look the same from a distance but yet, Continue reading “On the Train”
Chicago! This year I was finally able to check the Windy City off of my bucket list. I spent three and a half days exploring the city sometimes by myself and sometimes with a friend. There is a good public transportation system, so I suggest you use it in order to save money. Check out my itinerary for a long weekend in Chicago.
Day 1- Lincoln Park & Old Town
Start your day at the Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s free! I walked in at the start of the sea lion show. I spent a good bit of the morning wandering around seeing all of the different animals. As you exit the zoo near the kangaroos, you will come across a bridge with a great view of the city. From there, you can walk through Lincoln Park toward Lake Michigan.
North Avenue Beach–
The weather was hot, so I enjoyed my time ambling along the water and checking out the view of the city and the sailboats. At this point, I was getting hungry. There are a couple of places along the water, but one man informed me that most of them close after Labor Day. They “reopened” that weekend in September because it was so nice out but had a limited menu. In the prime summer time, this would be a good spot to grab a drink and perhaps a small lunch.
Chicago History Museum– From the beach, I walked back into the city. I crossed by the Chicago History Museum at the edge of Lincoln Park. If you are into history, this could be a good place to explore. I did not go in but history buffs would enjoy.
Old Town Chicago
I quickly found myself in Old Town Chicago. It was an enjoyable neighborhood for an afternoon stroll that I would frequent if I lived in Chicago.
North Wells Street- I happened to stumble upon this street in Old Town and immediately liked it. There are lots of cute shops and restaurants. The chocoholic that I am, I made sure to stop by Cocoa + Co and work my way down to The Fudge Pot that displays a variety of chocolate in all different shapes and designs. This would be a good place to grab dinner or drinks from the various restaurants lining the street. The road also features places that stood out to me like The Spice House, Broken English Taco Pub, and the famous Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Personally, I found the iconic ice cream shop to be underwhelming, but the long lines seems to suggest that I am in the minority.
Day 2- Museum Campus, Millennium Park, & Skydeck
Day 2 will be a day of walking and sightseeing. Continue reading “3 Days in Chicago- What to Do, See, & Eat”
Empty. Empty. Empty. She grasped her stomach with both arms and hugged the space that was now desolate. A barren hole that she could never escape. Years from now she would look down and remember that awful day- the day she learned she would never be a mother.
My back was facing her. She didn’t deserve to see my face and the effect her news had on it. The helpless look of defeat. The smile shattered and the fallen cheeks. Her pointed words were carved between my shoulder blades and left a jagged scar that would take all too long to heal. Never before had I understood the phrase “stabbed in the back” like I did now.
The wind lapped the side of the house and the shutters rattled in response. A long whistle followed as the wind pleaded with the shutters, with the house, for a way in. Anything to escape the harsh world. But the house would not help. It was only an illusion of safety like childhood. A little boy had just drowned. A young girl was abducted and raped. But the wind still persisted and blew across the earth in search of a brighter horizon.
25! How fast 24 went by. My 24th year on this earth was 365 days filled with adventure and more traveling than ever before.
In the past year, I have ventured around Scotland; spent a day frozen in Philadelphia; lived in Australia; visited San Francisco and the neighboring vineyards; hiked Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon; finally explored Tampa as a tourist, cheered in Nashville for a bachelorette party, and will spend my birthday weekend wandering around Chicago. Not to mention, I still have a move to Fort Lauderdale in October, a wedding to celebrate in Cancun in November; and Christmas carols to sing in the Virgin Islands in December.
It has been a nonstop whirlwind of adventures that will last until 2018 comes to an end.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go
In Scotland I spent 10 days exploring the country. I was able to see the cultural centers of Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as travel through the beautiful countryside with a Scotland native as my tour guide. I felt like I had fallen into Hogwarts at Glasgow University. I watched rivals England and Scotland face off in a rowdy bar. I walked the Royal Mile and climbed Carlton Hill in Edinburgh in the rain. I saw two castles and searched (without luck) for Nessie.
I spent a single-digit winter day in Philadelphia. My boyfriend and I froze as we waiting to see the Liberty Bell and wandered around Independence Hall. We had some killer food at Reading Terminal Market and numbly walked around the city center.
I fell in love with the land down under. I got to live half way across the globe in Melbourne, Australia even if it was just for two short months. I spent some time in Geelong with a long-lost cousin. I walked across the bridge and touched the Sydney Opera House. I saw kangaroos and famous surf beaches along the Great Ocean Road. I made friends from around the world. I got to live and fall in love with the Most Livable City in The Word, but I wasn’t done. Continue reading “A Year of Wandering in Review”