Category Archives: USA

Road Trippin: A St. Augustine Photo Essay

As a teacher, I plan my entire school year around holidays. Myanmar for October break, Belize for winter vacation, Bali for Chinese New Year. I can’t help it; I’m an eternal wanderlust.

However, something was different at the end of this school year. The thought of traveling exhausted me, and I wanted nothing more than to spend time with family and friends in Florida. Plus, after a year of learning the IB curriculum and navigating my way through Chinese culture, the only plans I wanted to make involved my parents’ pool and a lounge chair.

Continue reading

A Weekend in Miami on a Budget

Sunday afternoon, sitting under large umbrellas on Lincoln Road, my girlfriends and I thought we’d grab a quick bite before saying our goodbyes.

A barefoot man walked by pushing a bicycle. His skin was tan as leather and he braved a metallic bronze Speedo. Not long after came an elderly couple singing show tunes from Cats. Then a parade of leggy women in miniskirts.

Continue reading

A Spooky Sleepover in Cassadaga, Florida

The floorboards creaked beneath our flip-flops and goosebumps rose from my arms.

“Do you feel that?” I asked my friend Carrie.

“The floor is uneven,” she said. “I feel really out of sorts.”

At the end of the hallway, we opened a door to what looked like the room of a 90-year-old woman – dusty, rose-painted walls, a flower-patterned comforter with matching shower curtain, a framed painting of a garden. Sunlight streamed through the weathered windows.

Continue reading

A Day out on Rainbow River

The girlfriends stopped at Rainbow Springs for a picnic lunch an

Nine o’clock, the morning of my 16th birthday, the doorbell rang. “Jenny, your friends are here,” my mom yelled. “Wake up!”

I stumbled out of the room, confused and disoriented. Carrie and Jessica stood in the living room dressed in bathing suits. “Get ready, Jen,” said Carrie. “We’re taking you somewhere special for your big day.”

Ten minutes later we were on our way to Crystal River for a day of tubing. The water was swift and cold. Turtles and snakebirds poked their heads through the surface. Manatees nuzzled against our bodies.

Continue reading