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Your 20’s are weird fast defining years. These books have helped and guided me, through. Some are books of poems some are stories,  and even a list, but they have been a crutch when I needed, they have served as a friend when lonely, and clarity in crisis. Even if your a little older or younger these books will help you guide you through the trying, happy, and everything in between.

I love the way books smell, I love the way they feel in your hand, I love how intentional someone had to be to make it come to life. I feel like books are dreams you can hold in your hand. So here are some recommendations for people who are just trying to figure it out.

IMG_1130Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur: This book has helped me through so many trying relationship times in my life. I mean every kind of relationship, family, friends, boyfriends. Rupi Kaur’s words are so beautiful. Most of the poems are short, sweet, to the point, and oh so eloquently written. Milk and Honey has brought me to tears in just a few short lines. Its like I can always find clarity in her words, like Rupi knows what I’m feeling and how to say it, when I can’t find the right words. This book is powerful, and also gentle enough to be comforting in a time of need. I’ve said this before, but, in your 20’s when your trying to figure so many things out, and sometimes you can’t quite put your finger on how you feel Rupi Kaur can, and thats why this book is important.

IMG_1108The Opposite of Loneiness, Marina Keegan: The Story of Marina Keegan, the author of this book is a heart wrenching one. She had just graduated STANFORD, with an creative writing degree, I mean freaking STANFORD!!!!!  Marina and her boyfriend were going to visit her family just DAYS after graduation. Driving through the night, and her boyfriend fell asleep at the wheel and she was tragically killed. SO SAD!!!!!! Marina wrote plenty of beautiful imaginative short stories in her short years on earth. This book is a collection of her stories. She lives on through them, and if I ever need a quick but rich story, to get my mind off things this is my go to. As I read, I am also reminded just how beautiful and short life is, and what you can do in just a few short years here, I am also reminded to make them count.IMG_1143

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert: This book is just as the title says magical. The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, among others, she has also written a tiny book you may be familiar with, Eat Pray Love? lol! Seriously though this lady is a genius! You need to hear the words in this book. It is in the self help realm, but this book is not preachy or cheesy. This book is courageous, and honestly gave me the courage, to get over myself and go towards my dreams (example: THIS BLOG) Elizabeth breaks down why you must create and also why it isn’t that big of a deal. Without this book I don’t know if I would be able to unapologetically put myself out there every week with this blog and anything else I do creatively. Even if you are not trying to do something super creative, even if you just want to follow your dreams and stop being a scaredy cat making a big deal over it, READ THIS BOOK! If you read one of these books I believe this one should be it! Also THANK YOU ELIZABETH GILBERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_1126Brave Enough, Cheryl Strayed: This book is FILLED with inspirations, not just inspirations but words of healing, encouragement, and comfort. I’ve turned to this book in moments when I didn’t feel good enough, I’ve turned to this book when I’ve needed the words to press on, in times of difficulty. I know this is a lot to ask of a book, but its almost been like a friend to me. A friend with the best advice, and who is most always a reach away. I feel like the underlined them in this book of poems, is that its okay to be yourself; and when your figuring it out in your 20’s you need that.

FullSizeRender 2Love Listography, Lisa Nola: This is such an awesome thing. No its not like a real book type book, its a journal like list book thingy lol! Okay let me explain! Its a set of list like probably around 150 blank list for you to fill in with prompts like “List all the boys you’ve ever kissed” “List Relationship moments you’d erase” “List all the gifts you’ve received from lovers” “List the details of your first time” Personally I’ve had this book since I was 19! like nine FREAKING teen! In my sorrow of every breakup I have filled out this book! Some of the things I seriously do not even remember happening but it was been such a cool experience to see how my life, mindset, and myself as a person have changed! I recommend starting this ASAP! Your past can be a great tool, and this has become a comforting way to reflect!

I whole heartedly LOVE these books! I hope they might bring you joy and help along the way if you decide to give them a read! Comment below any books that have helped you grow up! I love you, and I hope your day is filled with TONS of sunshine!!IMG_1149

PS I ALSO MADE A YOUTUBE VIDEO ABOUT THESE BOOKS! CHECK IT OUT AND SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE!!!!!!! CLICK HHHEEERRREEE ALSO IM SCARED BE NICE! LOL

 

IMG_0088IMG_0089I LOVE some wine! Like, LOVE IT! I’m going to blame my dad for this one. I would have a glass every night, if I could. What is more fun than relaxing with a nice red, some good music, (I’ve been on an Alabama Shakes kick lately) while you become one with the couch? Since I like to drink it often, that means I want something affordable!! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a nice bottle, but my bank account just can’t seem to keep up! lol! So behold, a solution! Ten $10 bottles of wine that are yyuumm!! I put my own personal thoughts and then tasting notes from their websites. I do love wine, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert, just an admirer, and I could taste them as I was typing this! haha! This list will be easy to drink, nothing too sweet, something you can find in the grocery store, or CVS, and still super yum, I promise!

P.S. PLEASE forgive me for these pictures! I am a grease ball who needs a shower in all of these.  Also, yes I am wearing my sunglasses inside because I was def not putting on mascara that day!

IMG_204110. Mènage à Trois, Red Blend: AHH good ole Menage! This wine is a go to for me, if I want something light, drinkable and easily accessible. It’s EVERYWHERE! This stuff goes down like water for me! lol! This is a blend, which I love. It’s mostly Zinfandel which is something I happen to enjoy!

NOTES: Fresh ripe jam, fruity, silky, and soft.

PRICE: $10.99

9. 14 Hands, Hot to Trot, Red BlendThis is another go to if I want something that goes down easy, but just a little sharper than Menage! Drinkable, affordable and a little bit of spice. What more could you want in a wine!?

NOTES:  Cherry, ripe berries, plum, tea, and baking spice

PRICE: $8.99

8.  Apothic Red, Red Blend: This is another FAVORITE of mine. It’s a little thicker and a little bolder than the previous two but so, so, so yum!

NOTES: Black Cherry, vanilla, mocha

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7. Save Me San Francisco, Drops of Jupiter:  No, I’m not just spouting off random Train lyrics. This is a wine and a yum one! ALMOST as good as the song itself! haha! It’s a Petite Sirah. A little on the sweet side, just barley, but I looovvee this one!

NOTES: Fruit-forward, boysenberry

Price: $9.99

FullSizeRender 26. Butternut, Pinot Noir: Easy to drink, jammy, cute name, super yum. And it has a CUTE label! lol! Not that it matters, but it does if you love aesthetics like me! hehe

NOTES: Vanilla, red, and dark berries

Price: $11.99

IMG_00905. Louis Jadot, Beaujolias-Villages: This is a CLASSIC wine! This type of wine actually has a TON of heritage and history. But I won’t bore you with the details, because they are boring me thinking about them. Blah, blah, blah. Grapes. Soil. France. No one cares! I PROMISE it is YUMMYYY though!

NOTES: Violet, and red fruit syrup, fresh and silky

Price: $8.99

4. Pennywise, Pinot NoirThis was the name of a band I was obsessed with in like 7th grade, and a yummy Pinot! There is sooo much flavor up in this bottle! Lately, I’ve been drifting from Pinot to Cabs, but this one keeps me coming back!

NOTES: Crushed rose petal, fresh baked blueberry pie, wild cherry and hints of toasted cedar, tart cherry, cranberry, wild huckleberry and toasty marshmallow, vanilla, toasted coconut, cinnamon and clove.

Price: $8.99

FUNNY STORY ABOUT THIS NEXT ONE! While writing this blog post, I asked Matt: “What’s the name of that cab we always get?” His reply: “UBER” lolllllll!!! Anyways, on to the yummy cab, and I DON’T mean Uber!!!!!

3.  Gnarly Head, Cabernet SauvignonI LOVE THIS WINE AND IT’S SO CHEAP! I feel like it’s easier to find a good cheap Pinot because they are lighter in flavor, but this Cab is still soooo good. Big, bold and beautiful. All for a super low price point! That’s what you call a WIN-WIN

NOTES:  Black fruit, clove, spice and earth.

PRICE: $10.99

2. Trivento, Malbec ReserveI was lucky enough to stumble upon this gem at The Wine Bar in Pensacola. I was with my friend Camilla who was visiting from Denmark, and we both FELL IN LOVE with this wine! She even bought one for her going away dinner. It’s FULL of flavor! Think heavy and bold!

NOTES: Ripe red fruits, strawberries and cherries, with hints of coffee and chocolate from the oak.

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1. Cupcake, Red Velvet Blend: This is my go to cheap bottle. It’s silky, smooth and such a good time. This one hits all my taste buds! I love how it’s easy to drink but you still get all the complex flavors. I don’t know if this make any sense, but the taste just flows nicely for me, lol. I want a bottle right MEOW!

NOTES: Chocolate, deep dark blackberries, luscious red fruits, a hint of coconut and creamy mocha.

PRICE: $9.99

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I really hope you enjoy these yummy cheap reds! Let me know if you know of a good cheap bottle I didn’t mention, or your thoughts on any of the bottles I did mention! I love to talk wine and act fancy sometimes! lollllll! I say that as I sit here with no pants on and hair so greasy you could fry an egg on it! Shut-up Torri you need to go to sleep.

I love you! CHEERS! Or in this case, CLINK! HAHAH

 

episode-52-1024The first time I ever heard of The Moth was on my favorite show! It’s no secret that the show Girls on HBO is probably one the the things I cherish the most in this whole world! I even embarrassingly created a FB group to connect with other girls who loved the show. lol! I know, I’m lame! (If you want in click > Girls Who Watch Girls…The TV Show) Anyways! I saw this episode where Hannah got on this stage and bared her soul, by telling a true story, in in front of a ton of people at this place called The Moth. It was so beautiful to me. So I did what everyone does when they don’t understand something, I googled it, and I was fascinated by what I found. And I knew right then and there, I HAD to go!

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The Moth has been around since 1997. They have events in bigger cities, held once a month. At these open-mic-style events there is one topic which is announced 3 months in advance. The topics are usually one-to-two words, and sort of up for interpretation. They are all something that humans, by nature, experience in some capacity or another. For example the next upcoming months topics (in most locations) are, “Fresh“, “Karma“, “Cheating“. They call these events “StorySLAMS“. People come prepared with a 5 minute TRUE story on the given topic, and the hopeful story-tellers all place their names in a hat. The Moth draws from those names, and 10 people are chosen. The names drawn are the story-tellers for the night. They each get up, one by one, stand on stage and pour their heart out, with experience and truth. There are also 3 judges in the audience, picked at random. Sometimes in teams of two and sometimes just 3 separate people. Judges simply hold up a number that can be seen from the audience to the stage, and it is recorded on stage the old fashion way, hand to paper.  The judging and winning isn’t important though, it’s the  getting up and sharing. That is the real prize. Everyone in attendance can feel it too. However, after 10 StorySLAMS in a city, they have a GrandSLAM Championship, where each winner steps on a bigger stage and again bares all. The only real prize to win is human connection. It’s beautiful, in every sense of the word.IMG_2046 2-2

If you live in the Panhandle of Florida, like myself, the closest cities with The Moth are New Orleans, (3 hours Pensacola, 5 hours from Panama City Beach) or Atlanta (5 hours from Pensacola or Panama City Beach) On The Moth’s Website, is a full list of cities where you can search for events! As I said before, they are in bigger cities all over the country!IMG_3223-2IMG_4313-2IMG_9719

New Orleans is closest to me! 3 hours, not too bad! The GrandSLAM was the next event The Moth had up, so I just had to go! I bought tickets, booked a room at my favorite hotel in Nola, and convinced my mom to come with! We had a magical experience at The Joy Theater. We drank champagne, and listened to stories from people of all different ethnicities and ages, 21-87. The girl who runs The Moth Nola was soooo freaking funny!!! All the stories were so special! We laughed, teared up, and felt almost every emotion. Leaving the theater, I remember feeling buzzed off human connection. It really says something about humans in general, that although we are all so different, with different families, friends and cultures, we all experience the same range of emotions, and that somehow we are all connected. The Moth is really about The Human Experience.

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The Moth made me grateful to be alive, and I hope you make it a point to experience it. I’m thinking of entering next time! Let me know what you think about The Moth, and if you’ve seen that Girls episode I’m referring to! Or even if you watch Girls at all! I really hope you look into The Moth and if you ever want to go, I AM SO DOWN! Seriously, hit me up! Well, I love you! I’m going to leave you with some super cute New Orleans pictures of my FAVORITE hotel The Catahoula!

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Last, but not least, here’s a super cute pic of my mom!!

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Okay, I love you BBYYYEE!

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I feel like V-Day has grown stale. Which is very sad to me because, little fun fact, IT’S MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY! Kind of strange, I know, but I love showing love! Valentine’s Day isn’t just for people in relationships and that’s where the V-Day haters get it wrong. I think everyone could use more love in their lives. What better of a day can you ask for than to give and receive love from the people you care about? Okay, I will stop being so Hallmark card-ish. You’re probably nauseous by now. Since everyone normally just goes to dinner, and restaurants have totally capitalized on this, with “A Special Valentine’s Menu”,  THAT’S usually about $75 a person! I’ve taken it upon myself to give you some awesome ideas. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE going out to dinner. I LOVE everything about it, the ambiance, good company, the options, and not having to cook! But, I mean you can go to dinner any night of the week. Why go on the most crowed AND expensive night of the whole year? No thanks! I love planning “fun days” it’s one of my specialties. If you know me, then you know I’m always on the hunt for something fun to do! So I think I got you covered!

 

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ARCADE: What is more fun than an arcade!? Its also romantic, and playful. Dates like these are just the BEST kind, filled with innocence, and laughter. Personally, I strive to do things that I don’t do on the regular, like all the time! It keeps life interesting! It’s easy to spend all day in an arcade. Picture it, corn dogs, ice-cream, air hockey, skee ball, cheap beer, and shooting hoops! Life simplifies, it’s easy to feel in a different world in places like that. That kind of environment makes for a perfect date and makes for an unforgettable time!IMG_1242.jpgIMG_1249.jpgIMG_1211.jpg

Roll your own sushi: I’ve personally never done this before, but I’ve always wanted to! A night in trying to do a new activity together, especially making a meal, is such a bonding experience. No phones, no TV, just a really awesome playlist! Don’t forget wine, and a pallet on the floor, or a blanket fort! Matt and I used to do this all the time, only we bought the sushi! Sometimes we would play “Heads up” too. Highly recommend “Heads up” ESPECIALLY after wine! But any game will do! Now that sounds like a perfect night to me!

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Bike Ride: This is most definitely one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE THINGS! We normally take our bikes to the beach, with some beer or wine, and stop at little spots on the water, or a bar for a drink. Being outside like that, makes me feel so carefree! This is what you call some QT with your QT! (Haha! OMGosh I need to go to sleep) You just kind of go where ever the ride takes you! It’s very romatical and make sure to get the sunset in.

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Picnic: I know this is not an original idea, but I have to mention it because even though it’s simple, it can be so thoughtful. Bring mimosas! Matt surprised me one time on our anniversary with a picnic and it always makes me smile when I think about that day. I want everyone to feel like that. Here’s a pic from that day!IMG_1256

 

A whole day: Start the day together. Go get coffee and order for each other. Go to your FAVORITE coffee shop. Everyone has one. Next, go to a record store, spend about 30 minutes browsing and listening to music. Then take turns buying a record for each other, but don’t let the other see. Then do a reveal at the same time! Repeat at your favorite book store. This is such an intimate way to explore each others interests. Ideal! This date, in my opinion, is ideal!mattbodo!.jpg

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Okay I’m done being super cheese pizza! I really do hope that Valentine’s Day is a happy one for you. Make your best friend your Valentine. Go see 50 Shades of Grey and get wine drunk! Have fun and celebrate the love you have in your life, at whatever capacity that may be. Be thankful for the ones who love you! JUST HAVE AN AWESOME DAY AND GO HUG SOMEONE!!!

(I’m going to leave you with the first picture Matt and I ever took together!)

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Remember I love you! Okay bye!!!!

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The Sundance was something I have always, always, always wanted to do! And thought, “Ah, I’ll probably never, ever get to do that.” I’ve wondered, “How do you even get tickets? How much are tickets? What all do you do there?” But this had been something on my bucket list for years! Then, I got an opportunity at work to win a trip. And guess what? I WON! It was this time last year, and it’s one of my most favorite things I’ve EVER done in my entire life; and as a FUN connoisseur that is saying something! I’m so sad I’m not there right now… ah, I will be back though, I promise! Anyways, I’m going to explain what Sundance is and what it’s like to actually go!

****** 90 PERCENT OF THESE PHOTOS ARE SCREEN GRABS FROM VIDEOS!!! PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR THE QUALITY, THIS IS NOT MY NORM! I JUST WANTED TO INCLUDE SOME FOR REFERENCE! SORRY AGAIN!******

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TICKETS: Since I’ve been eyeballing tickets for years, on top of talking to other people at the festival, I know how this works. We were lucky and had tickets for 6 different movies waiting for us in our hotel! However, if you don’t win a contest and just want to go on your own free will, you will need to make an account at: http://www.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival/get-tickets                             Once you have made an account, they will send you a link with a time and date you are available to log on and order tickets. Tickets to the big, good movies, and most of the movies in general, sell out FAST. Like a few hours FAST! Tickets are not expensive which is nice, because they totally could be! Only $20-$25 dollars! The Sundance encourages people to give their tickets away if they are not able to attend. NO resale! I just think that’s so cool because it makes it about the art instead of money!

STANDBY TICKETS: They also sell Standby Tickets for the same price, once the regular tickets sell out, online or at the box office in Park City, UT. These ticket get you into the show if someone doesn’t show up on time for a movie; which with all the action, does happen.

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THE LINES: Now for the kicker, just because you have tickets does not mean you are guaranteed a seat! I know that sounds crazy! Since the tickets are in such high demand, and so hard to get, they sell the Standby Tickets, like I mentioned earlier. When you arrive at the theater there are two different lines: Ticket Holders and Standby Tickets. If you are a “Ticket Holder” (meaning you have a Regular Ticket, not a Standby Ticket) you absolutely HAVE to arrive at least one hour ahead of time! If not, your spot will most likely go to a Standby! Be prepared to stand there for an hour. In most of the venues, you wait in long lines under these white tents. Also, if you have someone with you, have one of you hold your spot while the other goes and grabs snacks! Yes, they sell popcorn and candy in most venues and sometimes beer and wine too! Here is a picture of Matt with popcorn while we were waiting in line! It’s awesome too, because most of the time you’re in line with great people who love movies too. You never know who you could be standing next to and most everyone is excited and friendly!

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The Theaters: Park City, UT is probably one of the cutest towns in America! It literally looked and felt like we were inside a snow globe! It’s a quaint little town. The theaters are spread all over town and some showing just outside of town. We went to three different theaters while we were there, some we went to more than once. One was in a school Library, another was at the high school’s Performing Arts Center, (Sundance donated TONS of $$$, so this one was new and HUGE!) and luckily, THE FAMOUS EGYPTIAN THEATER! I was kind of surprised with how small the screens were in all of these!  The Library was super cool, just snacks and absolutely NO alcohol. The high school’s Performing Arts Center had sandwiches and hot chocolate, but no booze (it was YUM and hit the spot!) The Egyptian was so iconic! ALSO, snacks and WINE!

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Premiers: Premiers are kind of what they sound like. The stars of the movies are there, most of the time; definitely the writers and directors. The coolest part of the Sundance, in my opinion, is after the movie, the cast and directors stand on stage and take questions from the audience. You can ask them ANYTHING! Like, “What were you thinking when you were writing this character? How did you prepare for the role?” etc. etc. ANYTHING! It was so cool to be in that position but of course when SELENA FREAKING GOMEZ walked by me I completely froze and missed my chance to convince her that we are BFFs! I also froze when I had the opportunity to ask Paul Rudd a question, and definitely when it came time to make John Krasinski fall in love with me. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

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BARS/NIGHT LIFE: So a BIG misconception when you hear the word FESTIVAL, is that it’s sort of a roped off, exclusive thing. At the Sundance it’s not like that! Yes, the movies are roped off and you better have a ticket, but other than that, ANYONE can go to the scene down there. At certain places there are parties that are exclusive, but that’s it. Main Street is where all the action is! The street is lined with the amazing bars, cafe’s, and upscale dinning. The thing is, since it is Sundance time, every bar charges a $20 cover. Not too bad, unless you bar hop like we did, lol. I had two favorite places. Funny story, I could NOT remember the name of one of my faves! I google researched and finally found it! Just GUESS what the name is? It’s “No Name” NO WONDER!!!! (But I have no excuse, bc a bar in my hometown is called that too!)  No Name had a super cool cabin feel, with huge antler chandeliers, and white Christmas lights everywhere. Their upstairs bar and balcony was a dream!! It over looked all of Main Street. My second favorite was Flanagan’s downstairs bar. It was sssooooo cozy and they had the most talented girl playing live! Wish I could remember her name! Anyway, it was perfect! BTW, we’re not really club people!

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PRO TIP: DO NOT DRIVE! There is NOOOO parking anywhere! Just Uber into town everyday, eat and play around there! If your theater is not near Main Street, just Uber to it! You will thank me later!

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SKIING/SNOWBOARDING: I’ve heard Utah has the best snow! Being from Florida, I don’t have much experience in this, lol. It was super fluffy and softer than any snow I’ve seen. SO, we went skiing/snowboarding one of the days. I mentioned I’m from Florida right? Well I was sssooo good…JK they had to completely STOP the magic carpet when I fell on it, and my ego only got slightly crushed as the 6 year olds whizzed by me. HAHAHA  It was a blast though, you have GOT to go ski there, it’s just completely breath taking! After you’re fed up, you can make your way on over to the Chateau, take those HORRIBLE contraptions known as ski boots off, and order yourself a stiff one! You deserve it! In all seriousness, it was one of the prettiest mountains I’ve seen. Highly recommend, even if you’re not the pro skier you’d thought you’d be.

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FESTIVAL FESTIVITIES: I know I have mentioned Main Street a lot. That’s where EVERYONE goes in-between movies! At any given time you’re stand next to writers, producers, directors, actors, etc. Also, it is a festival, so they have lounges all over Main Street that are free to enter and all have cool actives inside. They also have panels that are free to attend, with writers and directors or shows you know and love. Like I mentioned before, you don’t even need tickets!

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Seriously, this trip was a DREAM experience! I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend putting it on your bucket list! I’m just going to put it out there and say I am going next year for sure! I hope you got the feel for what it’s like to go and how it works! I wanted to provide some insight, because I was so curious for so many years!

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I can’t end this post without telling you my favorite movie we saw though! “The Fundamentals Of Caring” you will laugh, cry, and feel all the feels. Its a true story! We got to see the real people, along with the cast, and its SUCH a good movie! It’s on NETFLIX!!! YOU’RE WELCOME!!! I’m a TOTALLLLL movie buff!! ESPECIALLY Indie movies! Please leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite movie is so I can go watch it!!!!

k LOVE YOU BYE!!