The Close of 2013 Part I

2 Jan

I’m not going to write a 2013 recap post like all the other bloggers because 1) I’m not a real blogger and 2) I’m so bad of a non-real blogger that I haven’t written posts for all the fun stuff I’ve done.

But I have done some awesome stuff that I haven’t written about yet and I’m making it a priority to recap the most important adventures.

As I type this my eyes are trying to stay open because I got in from an epic trip to Orlando at 2:00 this morning. My flight, which was supposed to arrive at 9:00 pm, was delayed two hours in Orlando and an additional two hours once we landed in Chicago due to some crazy, snowy weather. So let’s back it up to the reason I was in Orlando: the Canes were in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Saturday, December 28. I woke up at 3:45 to catch a 6:00 flight from Chicago to Orlando (thank Loredana for the ride!) and my friend Keli picked me up. Keli and I have had some random vacation adventures so when the trip started with a trip to Target stocking up on Cool Ranch Doritos and Chex puppy chow, I knew we were in for a treat.

We headed to the parking lot to take the shuttle to the Citrus Bowl at 2:00 and found some of my friends from college that I haven’t seen in a while. It was great catching up, drinking beer, and playing bags for a few hours before the torture that was about to become the football game. Long story short, the Canes started with a 2-point safety and didn’t score again until the fourth quarter (I’m convinced Louisville’s second stringers were in). It was the same feeling as watching Notre Dame stomp all over us in 2011 at Soldier Field. I wish I could demand my money back for that ticket, because I did not see a game.

On Sunday Keli was nice enough to drive me to some friends’ from Bubbafest (recap  to come) house. There my two other friends Mitch and Melissa were waiting for me for what was originally supposed to be a 50 mile bike ride. Mother Nature had other plans so we enjoyed a tasty breakfast instead. When we were done the weather looked calmer and we ventured out on a 30 mile bike ride around some of Orlando’s well-connected trails. We are so lucky because after we pulled in and started to shower and get ready for the rest of the day it started down pouring. After we thanked the rain gods for holding out we headed over to a local sports bar and watched football and drank a lot of beer.

On Monday morning Keli had a great idea to visit Wekiwa Springs State Park just a few miles away from Orlando. The weather was overcast and chilly but after about an hour the sun came out and it was the perfect day. We hiked the nature trail to Sand lake and then took the East-West trail back to the Nature trail and completed about a 10 mile loop (estimate). Then, we rented paddleboards and paddled up the river for an hour and a half and saw turtles, deer, birds, and a gator! Luckily neither of us fell off our paddle boards into the alligator-dense water but this gator was sunning itself on a log, too. After we hustled upstream to get our boards back on time, we rinsed our feet in the natural spring water that stays a cool 72 degrees year round. We were completely exhausted after our nature-filled day. Plus, we had to prepare for what we knew would be the craziest New Year’s Eve in Orlando… Disney World… stay tuned!

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