Thursday, June 30, 2016

What I've Been Up To - Hobbies, Distractions, and Camping

   Okay, I should probably start off with why my posts maybe lacking a little as of late. To simplify everything, I'm just going to say that I've been quite distracted and when I'm distracted I read less, which intern means I blog less...That makes sense, yes?
   So I know a lot of people talk about their hobbies on their blogs, eg. movies, graphic design, etc. and I usually don't talk about those kind of things so I wanted to share with you one of my biggest hobbies next to reading; drawing. Specifically, mandalas and such.

And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I;m pretty decent at it.


One of the main reasons I got into doing this was because I found it incredibly relaxing, like one of those stress relieving coloring books.

Another fun fact, just recently I became a a Pura Vida rep! They're one of those companies that when you buy their stuff it helps give full time jobs to Costa Rican artisans, and some of their bracelets are even teamed up with charities to help give back. They recently even released a LGBT Pride Awareness one where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the official GoFundMe page for the Orlando shooting. And if you use my rep code RACHGRAZ20 you can get 20% off all of your orders.


So, on a totally different train of thought, I need to stop letting my friends talk me into things. Don't worry, I'm not talking about anything truly bad. I'm talking about going on one hell of a camping trick. We went to St. Sebastian's River Reserve State Park and I wanted to die about 75% of the time we were there.
Let me start off by saying, for the record, I actually really enjoy camping and going for hikes and being outdoors in general. I've gone camping in places like the Redwoods, Washington State, and South Florida beaches. But this trip was something else. First of all the designated driver for the trip woke up 3 hours late so we didn't get to the park until like 1, which meant that we went on our first hike in the middle of the south Florida...during the summer. You can safely assume that it was freaking hot outside. Plus, it had rained a lot the day before so more than half of the trail was flooded. But did that stop us? No. so my friends decided to drag me on this 10 mile hike that was largely trudging through dirty water that went up to my knees. At this point, I'm wet, it's hot, I'm tired because this is the longest hike I've ever gone on, and the bugs have come out in full force.
Another fun fact about me, bugs, for some unknown reason to me, LOVE me. I'm not just saying that to make myself seem special, trust me, this is not a gift you want. I mean, sure, I may not be getting any affection from human boys, but that doesn't mean I need it from bugs. How do I know bugs are infatuated with me so? For one, every time I have ever gone camping, I always end the trip with the most bug bites out of everyone there. Two, out of the four of us who went on this trip, we all used the same bottle of bug spray (I even sprayed myself twice) and together they probably got like 6 bites.. Me? On my own, I got over 150 bites in two days (yes, I counted). In fact, I'm currently resisting the urge to scratch the hell out of my legs while I am typing this. 
Anyways, day one ends with a 10 miles trudging hike, watching the sunset by the lake, and a crap ton of bug bites. Day two rolls around, I'm the first one up (as always) I pack up all of mystuff, including my tent, and make everybody else up. At this point, I'm so ready to have breakfast and go home, but unknown to me, apparently we're going on a hike that day to. Apparently that was to hard to tell me the night before or basically anytime in the two weeks to plan the trip. So once we've packed up camp, we pile back into the car and drive to the other side of the reserve to hike on another trail. After about 20 minutes of pleading and practically begging, I convince them to go on a 7 mile hike instead of another 10. Luckily this trail was a little more dry, so I was happy that it was going to be a little less trudging through water...but I spoke too soon. Yes, it was drier, BUT there was little to no shade and it was like 95% humidity because it rained earlier that morning. No lie, I walked as fast as I could through that trail, it was almost miserable. 
In the end my total despair came out to 1 sore knee, 2 terrible tan lines (mid calf...yay), 3 blisters, 6 patches of sunburn, and over 150 bug bites. All in all...I can safely say I will try to never go there again. 

* Pictures from my Instagram rachaelgraz
** Picture from Pura Vida's Instagram Pura Vida Bracelets

What about you guys? Do you have any big hobbies or terrible camping stories? Let me know!

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