When I sit down to write a blog post, it helps me to reign in the chaos of my experiences, thoughts, photos, and many, many facets of life by remembering why I created this blog in the first place. Looking back to my first post, I said it would be a "modern scrapbook, a prayer journal, a writer's notebook, a folder for notes & quotes, a message in a bottle, a blog."
For me, our Florida vacation pictures and stories are for the "modern scrapbook" part of this blog. Instead of buying albums, printed papers, and scalloped scissors, I go here.
If you'd like to take a peek, read on!
While I am utterly captivated by the beach and have to be practically bribed away come evening by a good dinner or the promise to return for sunset, the pool was one of my favorites this trip.
Every day but one or two, Neal and I had the pool completely to ourselves. And, on occasion when Neal stayed inside to get a bit of extra studying in, I was alone with the 5-star pool. Me and 5-star pools get along extremely well. We have, you could say, good chemistry.
Other fave spots on vacation: the screened-in porch. Or as they call it in Florida, the lanai. But it feels just silly for two Chicagoans to call it that.
The screened-in porch was home to Neal studying every morning before I got up (I'm telling you, allllmost finished with that Masters!), my time in the Word in the morning, the both of us reading during afternoon rain storms, and relaxing after a day at the beach. Because you usually do need to relax after a day at the beach, haha.
Neal and I kind of have a thing for screened-in porches. His family had a wonderful one in their previous house, and I like to say we fell in love on that porch.
Chili's. Chili's could have whole pages to itself in the "Me + Neal So Far" scrapbook. It all started during grad school when we constantly needed a place to process with one another all that was going through our heads during grad school. We started getting Chili's gift cards as rewards from our credit card.
It was the perfect collision of supply (rewards gift cards) and demand (our need to get away together to mentally dump), and our relationship with Chili's was born and has been maintained to this day. Oh the dreams, secrets, and thoughts of the Andersons that the walls of Chilis' hold. It seemed only fitting that we visit the Naples one a couple of times!
Since this post has morphed into taking us through places special to Neal and I in Florida and otherwise, why not close with one of the most special places of all. Here's a glimpse of the Sandpiper, the beach restaurant where we got engaged.
Sunning, isn't it? It was the most beautiful place to say, "Yes!" and is such a gorgeous place to revisit.
So, those are some of my faves! The pool, the screened-in porch, Chili's in Naples, and the Sandpiper engagement spot.
Goodnight, friends. I hope you enjoyed some of these scrapbook pages. Have sweet dreams tonight of the places you love, with, more importantly, the people you love.