We are back home in Utah and jumping back into real life again.

We are so thankful we were able to go on this trip.  I thought I would share all of the things that we did in case any of you are planning on going to Grand Cayman in the future.   We stayed at our friend’s house there that was UNREAL (they do not rent it out) along with 3 other families.  The kids had a blast having so many little friends to play with the whole time.  I’m pretty sure the kids would have been happy if we stayed at the house with the pool and beach right there the entire time without leaving.   They had everything you could need there including boats, paddle boards, canoes etc.

I felt very safe in the area that we were staying.  I ran only when it was light outside and on streets that had other people on them (I found another runner on my run the 1st day that lived there and asked her where I should run:).  If I could have found a treadmill I would have been on that the whole time with a huge fan next to my face because I’m not a heat/humidity runner but I’m happy I could get in my miles there during marathon training.  I did more solo running this last week than I have done in months so I caught up on all of my podcasts too.  There were chickens and crabs along the streets for all of my runs and all of my runs were flat as can be.   It was gorgeous and it definitely built up some mental strength to not quit every run because of the heat!  St. George will feel easy after these hot/humid runs!  Oh and it also felt SO weird to run on the other side of the road there.  It took me a few days to get used to running on the right side of the road since they drive on the opposite side of the road compared to where we are from.

I should have brought some protein powder to add to my slushy that I had after every single run.

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Okay, let’s talk about what we did.

*Stingray City was absolutely incredible.  We went on a day when there weren’t any cruise ships on the island so it wasn’t crowded at all.  Brooke and Knox were a little timid around them at first (those things are huge) but loved them by the end.  Definitely a must-do item if you go to Cayman!  A lot of the stingers have been removed and they’ve been fed here for a very long time by fishermen and tourists so they don’t sting you.

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After the stingrays we went snorkeling at the reef right next to Stingray City which had the best fish and more stingrays to see.

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*The Turtle Farm was awesome.  We just paid for the basic part of going there because it was raining and the other sections were closed down because of the chance of lightening but it was great.   Our kids could have played with the turtles for hours and Skye learned how to say turtle while we were there so it was pretty cool.

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*If you go to Cayman you have to go to Bioluminescence Bay.  It’s one of the few places in the world you can go and see this MAGIC.  Knox said it felt like he was in a virtual reality game and Brooke said it looked like glitter was following her hand everywhere it went.  If you are brave enough to get in, do that too because it looked even cooler underwater.  It has to be extremely dark out but the plankton in this bay emit the coolest light (that seriously looks like magic) when the water is moved around.

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*Andrew LOVED taking us out on the catamaran.  It was so relaxing to just be out on that exploring the area.

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*The snorkeling was by far my favorite part.  It was also Brooke’s favorite.  We had so much fun seeing everything out there.  Brooke is a fish and could live in the water.   Most of our snorkeling was off of Rum Point.

Andrew went scuba diving a few times while we were there and absolutely loved it.  They had a captain for their boat that took them all out and they even went one night for a NIGHT DIVE.  You couldn’t pay me to get in that water to scuba dive when it is dark out but they did it.

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When we snorkeled, Skye insisted on being in the water too (with Andrew).  She didn’t want to miss out on  kicking around in the warm water!

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Knox convinced me to jump off the top of the boat a few times too.  These kids are helping me to be more brave:)

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Outside of those things we spent a lot of time at the house which was perfect.  We could put Skye down for her nap and hang out right there while she slept with the monitor.

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One day she took a 4.5 hour nap so Andrew and I were able to really relax in the pool with Brooke and Knox for a big chunk of the day.

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*We didn’t eat out a ton.  We went to a few restaurants but the food there is SO expensive and while the setting of the restaurants were gorgeous, we didn’t find anything that we really loved.

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EXCEPT FOR brunch at the Marriot Hotel.  It was expensive but so incredibly good.

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What we did for food was pick up a bunch of food right after we got there and bring it back to the house.  Each family bought food to make a few lunches/dinners and we switched off making things.

WE ATE LIKE KINGS at the house because our friends all make the best food (and one of our friends is a chef and owns a bunch of restaurants so that was quite the treat).

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Andrew and I prepared tacos for one of our meals of course:)

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The alarm that I bought for Skye’s ankle was worth every single penny.  It really helped my anxiety.  She never snuck into the pool but just knowing we were doing everything we could to prevent a pool accident really helped me to sleep at night.  She would either wear it on her wrist or her ankle whenever we weren’t in the pool with her and if any water got it, the alarm goes off.  We tested it a few times and the alarm is LOUD.  We put the alarm base next to the house and you could definitely hear it from inside too.

PS there is a key to get the band on and off so she couldn’t have taken it off!

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And because traveling with kids has a bunch of hiccups too, I want to share the real life side too because sometimes that gets lost on social media:

1.  Brooke was bitten by a mosquito on the first night a few times right by her eyes.  We didn’t realize until we were inside again but they swelled up pretty quickly.  She was seen by a doctor and we were told that it would just take a few days to go down (with a few medications), I was very worried.  It started going back down quickly and she was not feeling sick in the slightest and still wanting to be in the pool all day but it really scared me.  Her red lips were from a popsicle.

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2.  Knox and Brooke rocked the airplane trip but Skye pulled an all-nighter on our red-eye and it was nuts.  She did a bit better on our way home (not a red-eye) but Andrew and I were beyond exhausted which led to arguing  that we ended up laughing about 30 minutes later.  Lack of sleep = an even crazier Janae.

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3.  Skye jumped off the couch which resulted in blood and tears (more from Brooke and Knox because they were so worried about her… yet Skye stopped crying quickly because she wanted to get back to playing).  She had a fat lip for a while and kept trying to do the same jump the next morning.

The memories, bonding and experience was absolutely incredible and it’s got Andrew and me thinking about what’s the next place for our little family to explore.  Not sure how the Bucket List Family makes it all look so easy to travel with kids ha but the week together was one that we will never forget.

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Ever had a crazy allergic reaction to anything?

Ever been scuba diving?  Would you dare to do a night dive?

If you could travel anywhere in the world tomorrow—>  Where would you go?

Tell me about your run today!

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37 comments

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Looks like a beautiful trip, I know any trip with kids is hard, so props to you guys! A few random Q, you mentioned you asked someone where to run but did you put it in your watch? I feel like I would still be all turned around running somewhere new 😝 you guys went with friends? Where you able to snorkel with just the big kids?

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Hey Jessica! In most places it would have been trickier and I would have taken pictures of street signs etc (and used my GPS on my phone) to navigate a bit better but in Cayman there really weren’t too many wrong turns I could have made. On the drive there I was paying pretty close attention too because I knew I would need a lot of miles. Andrew and I switched off on snorkeling with the kids. Our friends had young children too so it would have been too much to go out together so we just took turns with Skye. I hope you have a really great Monday Jessica!

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That looks beautiful! I’ve always wanted to visit an island. I’ve actually never been out of the CONUS 48. I have seen both oceans, though. I’m allergic to bee stings, so I’ve had many swell-ups from those. Not fun. Great review on the ankle/wrist alarm for Skye! P.S. slushies after running is genius!

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I hope that you get a slushy after a run soon… it really is the best. STAY AWAY FROM THOSE BEES and I hope you get to go to an island soon! Thanks so much Char and I hope you are having a great morning!

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Looks like you all had a lot of fun! My husband went there when he was a kid, and I would love to take ours.
I am allergic to cats but didn’t realize how bad until I was a teenager. I was babysitting and laid down on a couch the cat had been on. My vision started getting a bit impaired and I went to a mirror an realized my eyes were swelling shut. Luckily I was next door to my house so I called my mom and she brought me some Benedryl and stayed with me till the parents came home.

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Looks like an amazing trip! Good for you for diving in with travel and young kids. It is not always easy but so worth it. Poor Brooke. I have always had allergic reactions to mosquito bites. It can be painful. I worry more about the diseases they carry ( when I am out of the U.S ) than than the bites themselves. I got a horrible case of dengue in Costa Rica !! Not fun !

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YOU HAD DENGUE… I have heard how terrible that is! I can’t imagine. That’s what we were so relieved about, she didn’t feel sick at all because I was very nervous that we were so far away from home. Thanks so much Sarah and I hope your day is a great one!

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I didn’t start showing symptoms until 8 days after the bite and I was already home ( Thank God ) Glad Brooke didn’t get sick. Looks like an amazing trip. Have a great day !

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Oh wow Rachel! That must have been so so scary! Glad your parents were so close and I wonder if you are still as allergic to cats now!? Hope your day has been really great so far!

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What a fabulous family time! Yep, it’s pretty impossible to travel with kids and not have a few “situations” come up. Glad you all had so much fun :)
My eyes swelled from a cheap brand of eyeshadow when I was in high school–not the cute look I wanted ~ha~ My daughter became allergic to amoxicillin after she turned 18, which seemed so strange after having taken it for ear infections several times when she was younger. Even handling the tablets (she works for a vet) causes itching/hives where it contacts her skin.
Scuba diving sounds difficult and scary to me. I’m not sure I would be able to trust the mask and tank. You might want to read a new novel “Never Have I Ever” by Joshilyn Jackson–scuba is a big part of the story line, and there’s a scary incident related to it in the book. Jackson got her certification while writing the book, so she could write authentically about it.
I would love to go to a beach resort if I could go anywhere.
I think I have a 1-mile time trial today ~eek~ I have not been training for speed at all. Oops ;)
Have a great time today reconnecting with your running group!

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EYESHADOW… I had no idea that could happen from eyeshadow! It’s crazy how the allergies can flip later in life too! ehhhh but if I read that book will I worry too much when Andrew goes?! I hope that a beach resort is in your near future and GOOD LUCK today on the mile. I want to to hear about it. I’m cheering for you! Have a fabulous day Corey!

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My son swells up really badly from mosquito bites too! If he gets them anywhere on his face his eyes swell like poor brook’s also. So sad!
If I could go anywhere in the world tomorrow – back to Italy where my husband and I went in April for our anniversary. It was amazing and I miss their coffee SO much!

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It’s so so scary to see! Can Andrew and I join you too on that trip… sounds perfect! I hope your day is a beautiful one Laura!

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Welcome home! So glad you had a happy trip. Hawaii is on my list…

About a year and a half ago I had a crazy reaction to a laundry detergent. I smelled this detergent at the store and thought “ooh that smells great.” Well, after washing/wearing my clothes it was like some crazy beast had rubbed itself on my entire body. The rash wasn’t even that bad but I was SO itchy for weeks. Even after rewashing everything and getting rid of that detergent (obviously). I was surprised at how long the itch lasted even though I had removed the irritant – something about the immune system being on high alert. Sometimes even if a fabric just touched my skin, it would sting and itch immediately.
I finally went to the doctor (after trying over the counter/natural stuff which did NOT help!). I got a steroid cream and got INSTANT relief. It was heaven. Being itchy is NOT fun I realized. Ha.

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You must go to Hawaii soon! And we will join you:) . CRAZY about the laundry detergent… I never would have thought about that! SO glad the steroid cream helped. I bet that was so annoying and uncomfortable. One of my friends gets really itchy when she is pregnant and she says it is miserable. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

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I tried scuba diving once in Cozumel. First in the pool and then in a shallow dive – I had a horrible ear ache in my 20s and I had real problems when I tried to go too deep, even with trying to equalize my ears, so I don’t think real deep diving is in the cards for me but I love the feeling. My son tried it at camp this summer and he thought he was such a neat feeling. But yeah, you couldn’t pay be to go at night either.

But I love snorkeling. My grandfather was from the Bahamas so we would go often as a kid – the fish are so beautiful.

I’ve been to Grand Cayman once, a few years ago on a cruise. In 2004 we were supposed to go on a cruise but a hurricane had made it so the ships couldn’t get into the harbor. When we went 3 years ago we went on an island tour that was supposed to take us to Stingray City but it was too choppy that day. But we did go to the Turtle Farm which the kids loved.
Glad you had such a great vacation!

I don’t think I could think of just 1 place I’d want to go – I want to go back to Hawaii, I want to go to Paris, I want to go back to Wyoming (even though we were just there in July), but of places I’ve never been before, Italy is where I really want to go.

Running in Massachusetts has been wonderful the past week – high 40s, low 50s in the morning, low humidity. Of course that won’t last – It is supposed to be almost 90 on Friday – Not sure what the AM will bring when I am getting in 7 miles so I can enjoy the weekend.

Welcome back!

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That ear ache sounds absolutely miserable. Andrew had that one day after a dive and it hurt him so bad. So cool that your son loves it. What an incredible hobby. I hope that you get to go to all of those places sometime soon! Those temperatures sound PERFECT for running and I sure hope they are off on the Friday predictions. Thanks Jessey and I hope your run on Friday goes really well!

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As a kid mosquito bites were nothing to me, but now when I get one bite, I swell up instantly. I always bring Benadryl itch cream with me whenever I travel. Also I’ve tried store brands of itch cream, but Benadryl just seems to work better for me. That would be tough with the eye bite though. Two weeks ago after a party at our house I was sitting outside and got bit on my neck…that was swollen for a day.
My husband just got his scuba certification. He did his diving on our honeymoon in Aruba which he said was incredible. For now, I stick to snorkeling. I did one dive at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and while I’m a good swimmer, it still freaked me out being underwater that long even though I could breathe fine. I think I need to start in a pool.
I really want to go to Santorini Greece.

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I am DEFINITELY going to copy you now and bring Benadryl itch cream with us everywhere. So scary to swell up like that and so fast for you! Honeymoon in Aruba= sounds perfect! I told Andrew yesterday that is where we want to go next. I’m with you–> I think I’m good with snorkeling at this point! Hope your Wednesday is great so far Alicia!

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What an amazing family vacation! And made so much better and memorable is the fact that both you and Andrew were enjoying all the things TOGETHER with the kids! Our family vacations consist of me+the kids doing out thing while their dad golfs with my brother! Ha!
If I could go anywhere right now it would be Greece. Hands down.
My last allergic reaction was to a bee sting that I got last month. I used to get stung all the time when I was a kid and never had a single reaction. This last sting forced me to take an antihistamine and an anti itch cream for days. It was awful! My oldest had a similar reaction to Brook’s but on his ear. It swelled up and was bright red and so scary. We still don’t know what caused it.
No run today – I use Wednesdays as cross training day. 30 min bike + 30 minutes weights. My legs needed a change of pace since I somehow racked up almost 1000 ft gain Mon & Tues just by running around my neighborhood!
Have a great day!
Oh! By the way, Old Navy has pizza socks (no taco socks that I could find though) and although they’re thin, I was able to run without getting blisters. Score!

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I need those socks asap! Thanks for telling me about them. Haha you are a nicer wife than I am on vacations;) . Oh I am with you on Greece! Okay, that is nuts that your sting as an adult was so much different than when you were a kid. KILLER runs on Monday and Tuesday… you’ve got a lot of hills where you live. Enjoy the rest of your day!

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I have a photo of myself at Brooke’s age with the same swollen eyes. We went camping in FL and I woke up with one eye sealed shut and several other bites. Didn’t slow me down one bit, but scared my Mom. To this day I’m still sensitive to bug bites, not allergic, but definitely swell more than most people.

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NO WAY! Yep, it scared me more than it did her too… just like you and your mom. I hope you have a beautiful day Amy and no more bug bites for a while.

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I love going SCUBA diving!! I’ve been certified since I was 16 and got my husband certified while we were dating and now he’s hooked on beach vacations! We’ve dove to 150′ below in the Great Blue Hole in Belize and for part of our honeymoon we did a 3 day Live-a-board in the Great Barrier Reef and did 11 dives including 2 night dives! The night dive was spooky, but also super fun especially with the plankton!
We are taking our 15 month old to Korea in a week and a half, so I’m praying she takes a nice long nap/sleep during the flight!
If I could travel anywhere, I’d either love to go to Bali or the Galapagos!
Way to still get in those sweaty miles while on vacation!

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Wow. Kathy, your diving is absolutely incredible (and Andrew is so jealous). Two night dives… you are BRAVE. I think you will be good to go with your 15 month old! Have the best time, sounds like the perfect experience and I hope you get to go to Bali or the Galapagos soon. I want to hear all about your trip when you get home. Enjoy your Wednesday!

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Your trip sounds amazing!! You mentioned your friends don’t rent out the house. Do they live there full time, or is it a vacation home? Just curious because we want to have a vacation home someday and Grand Cayman looks like a spectacular place to have one :)

Have a great day!!

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It is their vacation home! Oh that would be the best… I hope you get that vacation home soon! Grand Cayman would be the best place for it. Seriously, it could not be any better than it is!

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I’m so glad you had a good time! Skye looks too cute with her little “ankle monitor” on.
I am ridiculously allergic to black fly bites, and have looked exactly like Brooke a few times in my life. Poor thing.
I have always wanted to go to Greece. It just looks like a magical place filled with hummus and white sand beaches.
What did you end up doing to entertain Skye when she didn’t sleep? Was she disruptive to the other passengers at all? I still cannot imagine taking my PeeWee on a plane for five hours, but my in-laws are begging us. Help!
My brother and sis-in-law are running a “fun-k” (5k) next month, and I’m thinking about joining them. 5ks aren’t really my thing any more, but running is always fun!

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We will join you in Greece… that is one of my dreams too! On the red-eye she was definitely crying a lot (not too loud but probably frustrating to others) but they could see that Andrew and I were literally doing everything we could to make her happy so they told us not to worry. I felt terrible though, so so hard! Yesterday’s flight I don’t think she disturbed anyone and I did see a few people smile and laugh over her antics but she wasn’t hitting into them or anything (we had an extra seat yesterday wahoo). Bandaids, Water WOW and Nesting Dolls were the best for her but really just jumping around did the trick ha. DO THE 5K with them… that will be so fun! I hope you have a great night!

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Welcome home! Sounds like you had an amazing time!

We are actually flying home to California tomorrow and that’s exactly where I want to go. We’ve been on Oahu since August 4th. We’ve had a great time, but I’m ready for my own space – especially my bed and kitchen. My Travel Bucket List has Africa at the top right now. Hoping for our 30th anniversary we’ll get to make that trip.

Today was a recovery walk and yoga. I ran 7 miles on my favorite mountain yesterday – in the rain! The heat and humidity are killer for the first few days, but my body had learned to adapt pretty quickly.

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Janae, your Trip sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing the highs and the lows. xx

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Glad everyone had fun even with a few hiccups! We never have a vacation that’s 100% perfect with a kid now. I would’ve been scared too about Brooke’s eye.

True dream vacation is an African safari!

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One of my daughter’s eyes swell shut when she pets cats and non hypoallergenic dogs, thankfully Benadryl does wonders for this. My youngest daughter (we just found out) is allergic to wheat which has been hard because helping a 3yo understand she can’t eat pizza or crackers everyone else is eating is so hard.

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Thank you for being honest about traveling with kids (and poor Brooke and Mama!! Mosquitoes are scary!). People on social media make it look like a breeze. I’m flying with my very active, crawl every where, ants in the pants baby when she’s 10 months old and am so nervous about the logistics. Especially the sleep part and her sleeping in a pack n’ play in a new environment. I guess keep my expectations low? Glad you had a great time! Love your blog and seeing how gorgeous Utah is in your pictures.

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I’ve been to Grand Caymen twice and loved it!! Did a night dive on one of the trips. When we got in the water and dropped to the floor, you could tell a HUGE shark had been there laying there in the sand at some point that day… which was really kind of trippy since we had done a day dive in the same place earlier that day. Took a minute for the nerves to go away on that night dive after that. But, it was insanely cool! We did all the fun stuff too, Stingray city, turtle farm and Bio Bay. Can’t wait to go back!

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Beautiful pictures ! I would love to visit here one day. Loved you sharing this with us all (the good and bad, ha) These are my absolute most favorite kind of vacations ! Glad you guys had a good relaxing time. But the humidity…oh girl….I am so glad we are past our humidity where you just sweat standing still. Not a fan.

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That place looks amazing! Those are some good friends to have ;). You need to make more friends who live in all the awesome places you want to visit! Ok so was the slushy machine AT THE HOUSE?! I mean do your friends own their own industrial slushy machine?! If so they are my new idols! Also I can’t believe how many miles you got in there! And yes humidity is THE WORST. People who run in it all summer are my heroes. We only get humidity here in Phoenix from mid-July to Early September and it sucks so bad during that time (aka peak fall marathon training)!

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