Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : The Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, Kissimmee Florida

Tinsel and I (not so much my husband) love to hike and we are always looking for new adventures to go on. This weekend we finally had perfect weather and hit up the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek > Kissimmee, Florida! This place has been on my bucket list for a while and I was so excited to finally get to check it out!

Just a 30 minute drive from the heart of Orlando, with minimum time on dirt roads this short weekend adventure was well worth the trip. Here’s the link to their website for more information!

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We arrived at that trail around 10AM on Sunday morning and the parking lot was virtually empty. There were a few vans parked out in the lot and to our surprise there were A LOT of families with small children. If you are bringing your dog along that does not get along with children, be sure to pass on this trail. There a lot of bikes, children and families picnicking! The good news? There is not many dogs, so if your pup is like mine (not friendly with other pups) this trail is for you!

ALWAYS BE PREPARED: Even when on shorter trails it’s important to have the essentials. Interested in what kind of day pack I use for trips like these? “>Here’s the exact day pack I use on my day-ventures with this cutie. (Affiliate link). I always carry a first aid kit (for myself and Tinsel), a pop out bowel for her to drink from AND PLENTY of water! I’ll be posting a “day packing guide” later on! But you can see all of our hiking and camping adventures here.

Start off straight from the parking lot and hit up the first .8 mile loop (short I know). Make sure to take lots of breaks with your pup, the path is made of crushed shell rock and might tear up your pups feet. After the loop, keep left and follow the longer “brown” trail markings through the picking area. The brown trail will lead you to a multitude of other trails, all around 1-2 miles round trip. Pick and choose your trails, these are fully pathed. Great for biking too! There are plenty of picnicking spots along the paved path; next time we will bring a packed lunch!

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There is a historic pioneer village in the middle of the trails (that is NOT dog friendly), but great for kids! That part of the park hours vary, so be sure to check before arriving.

We had a blast checking out all of the trails this park has to offer and you should too! Perfect for familes, safe for solo femal hikers (like myself) AND perfectly suited to bring your best fur buddy along. We hiked just under 3 miles, but we were EXHAUSTED. Next time, we plan on starting a bit earlier in the morning to avoid the heat.

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Have you checked out this trail before? I would love to hear about it in the comments below! 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 Thank you all for reading! Be sure to check out Tinsel & my Instagram @TheTangledTinsel to see all of our weekend adventures!

DIY : Color Blocked Painted Pots! 🌺👩🏻‍🌾

I’m a bit OBSESSED with color blocking > wether we are talking about wall art or notebooks. I saw this craft idea on a fellow craft bloggers Instagram and just had to give it a go for myself! Belows the supply list & let’s get started!


“>Terra-cotta Pots! As many as you want to paint. I’ve included my a link to what I purchased off of Amazon (affiliate link).

Paint! I chose “>orange, “>pink, “>navy, “>black and “>white. OR you can buy a “>variety pack of paint here.

“>Painters tape!

“>Paint brushes

Be sure to pick up cacti or herbs and dirt to fill your pots ☺️☺️ (I’ve actually ordered succulents off of amazon and I was completely surprised by how incredible they were. “>Check out what I purchased here). For only $15 these little cuties were absolutly perfect.

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Now let’s get started! First I want to share with you my favorite tip: always use terra-cotta pots with painting projects; the clay asorbs paint, allowing it to quickly dry. If you are looking to hot glue, let’s say florals always use the PLASTIC terra-cotta looking pots, plastic adheres better to hot glue.

For this project, start off with giving your pots a good coat of white paint. You can use a spong or brush to apply it, you don’t need to be too particular about getting it perfectly even > you’ll be covering it up later.

Next > get inspired. Check out Pinterest or copy the patterns I did on my pots! There are so many options!

Start taping off your pots. Horizontal, diagonal or vertical strips OR HECK just pant cute white starts on yours (like I did).

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Don’t mind the mess! (And the half empty Starbucks cups 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️)

After Taping off the pots, start adding some color! My first pot is this cute half orange/pink and black stripped cutie.

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Add even more character to your pots! Add stripes, swirls and stars. After painting, let your pots fully dry for about an hour before planting! Sitting the pots out in the sun will help speed up the process too.

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Or you can be impatient like me and plant them right away

After letting the pots dry add in some of your favorite plants. Of course I found this project as just an excuse to buy more cacti for my collection. If you live near Orlando, Florida be sure to check out my two favorite cacti places; The Florida Cactus Farm & Lukas Butterfly and Nursery 🌵 > I’m not even sponsored by these places, I actually just live at them (but for real….I have a cacti PROBLEM).


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Here’s how the pots turned out! (Buddy the bunny, helping out of course 🐰)

Thank you all for reading! I would love to see how your pots came out in the photos below! Don’t forget to pin this post for later and follow us on Pinterest to see all of tutorials 😘😘 Thank you!

Life Hack : A look inside my private writing (and hiding) space 🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️

My husband, Tinsel the dog and myself live a medium sized condo – we have one bedroom and one bath. Although we love living in our smaller lifestyle (Less cleaning/maintain everything), sometimes I feel like I have no “me space.” A space for me to focus on my writing and meditation. AND to also find somewhere I can show off my cacti collection 😏😏

So I set my mind to it this weekend. I wanted to create a my own zen space. I started off by collecting some floor cushions, I was lucky enough to have been given these by a friend FOR FREE! I snagged an extra shelf from our storage closet. I picked up these ADORABLE black and white printed outdoor rugs from IKEA for $15!

Aren’t these rugs freakin’ adorable?? This is my second set of these same rugs….since my little bunny nibbled on the last set 🐰. I set up a small couch with the floor cushions, added some throw pillows AND BAM! Wondering what that black fence thing is in the background? That’s my DIY bunny fence. I can easily pull it out and pin him on the patio for a little bit of fresh air and exercise. Normally he stays out here during the day, getting some much needed exercise and fresh air. I even make him cardboard box houses to play in (OK so he doesn’t look happy – trust me he just has RBF). 🤷🏻‍♀️♥️🐰

So that’s kind of it. I now have this incredible zen-like work space. Especially that I have been sick, this is my sitting space to get some much needed fresh air. OH and space for my cacti collection (see below)….now that I have a bit more space….I think it’s time for another trip to the Florida Cactus Company – Check out my article about them here.

What’s your zen space look like? Do you have a little reading nook or hiding space away from the kids? I’d like to hear about thembelow!

DIY : Leather Christmas Ornaments

A few weekends ago my husband and I visited the Orlando Museum of Art’s Festival of Trees event – where I was completely captivated by this tree. Stunning, hand-cut leather ornaments – with kind of a “mermaid scallop” look.

I mean at this point you should know me pretty well – I just HAD to try this out for myself. I knew that I could make this myself for WAY CHEAPER. So let’s get started here with the shopping list. Of course most of these items can be found at the Dollar Tree you can pop these items into your shopping cart here! Also just because your reading this & probably have a LOVE for the Dollar Tree like me – be sure to check out their free in store pick up option here and save yourself some time! (Seriously – the only way to do it!)

Let’s get started with the supply list!

– Clear plastic ornaments! As many as you want for your tree or gifts! ($1 at Hobby Lobby or use any of your old ornaments at home)

– A hot glue gun and glue refills. Did you know you can also pick these up from the Dollar Tree? Seriously. Never pay more than a $1 for hot glue refill unless you are buying the pumpkin spice scented sticks from Michaels….. 😏

– Fake Leather (please) fabric. You can pick this up from your local hobby store like Hobby Lobby. I found this in the Upholstery Section and paid $1.75 for a quarter yard

And that’s seriously it. See below picture for the inspiration for this craft! (because I’m a bit selfish) I’m making these little guys for my tree at home instead of gifts.

Our Christmas tree is just a little different from normal Christmas trees; my husband and I are pretty particular when it comes to ornaments. I was inspired by my Grandmother’s tree growing up; each ornament matched – matching bulbs in different patterns, dim white lights and each piece matching the next. My Grandmother never really had cartoon or themed ornaments – everything matched and was breath taking. SO our tree is the same way, we have several different grey and white bulbs (some glitter and some with a matte finish). We have beautifully dim white lights and strung sparkly pine cones.

I remember being mesmerized by my Grandmother’s tree growing up. Everything iced in white, with the dark green fir tree peeping out underneath.

ANYWAYS – I wanted to make these leather ornaments. Stunning, matte leather ornaments to go with our current tree. You can see what our current tree looks like below 😻😻

So let’s get started sha’ll we? First start off by plugging in your hot glue gun – your gonna need it.

Second – Start off by cutting the leather fabric into small circles. For this craft, I’m sizing each piece to be about the size of a quarter (I used a flash light butt as a measurement). Depending on how many ornaments you are creating, will change the amount of circles you will need. For one ornament I cut about 25 quarter-sized circles.

Last step – Start off at the bottom and glue the circles onto the ornament. Row by row work your way up to the top of the ornament hook.Take your time ☺️ I know it’s always hard with me and crafts; I always rush through it with excitement!

And that’s it! We made these precious leather “mermaid scalloped” ornaments! Perfect for a holiday gift, ornament exchange party or even for your own tree at home! I would love to see how your ornaments turned out below and if you have any other ideas for crafts you’d like me to make – just let me know if the comments below!!! Feel free to check out any of my other DIY series here as well

Travel Tuesday : Let me tell you about the worst vacation I have ever been on

So I took a week off from writing – My husband and I were going on this incredible vacation and of course we were also spending time with friends and family for turkey day. ANYWAYS THAT SAID – sit back and let me tell you about the worst vacation I’ve ever been on and ALMOST died during. (Spoilers)

To preface this, let me tell you our actually plan:

Saturday morning leave around 7AM and drive up to Savanah, Georgia for lunch. Then continue driving to our campsite in Asheville, NC before 5PM. Set up camp, cuddle and make s’mores . There was a meteor shower that was happening this night! So we were planning on staying up late to see it.

Sunday morning wake up and see the sunrise over the mountains at our campsite. Then drive further up north to Grandfather Mountain to do a little hiking before lunch. For lunch, drive back to Asheville and check out this taco joint downtown. Head back to the campsite, enjoy a hot dinner and get a good rest.

Monday morning wake up and pack up camp. Head back to downtown Asheville and find somewhere to have breakfast. After eating, start driving to Charleston, SC for lunch and site seeing. After lunch, head home and be home before dark.

It sounded like a perfectly simple plan. Super relaxing. Not over-planned (like my usual style) So let me tell you what actually happened:

We packed up our little Kia on Thursday, Friday we pre-made our meals and packed the cooler. We were prepped! We don’t normally drive our Kia, my husband and I are blessed enough that we don’t need a second car. But our little Kia is there in case we need it. So it doesn’t have many miles on it and it’s relatively new. (I’m going somewhere with this – just hang on).

Friday night: we couldn’t sleep. This vacation was going to be AMAZING. Around 3AM on Saturday, we decided “HECK we are up – Let’s just go!!” So we did. Tinsel the dog, my husband and I pilled into the small Kia crammed with our camping gear and we headed off to Georgia.

Around three hours in, our car starts giving out. The Kia is sputtering down the highway and we make the call to turn around. Still staying positive, we decided to head home and pick up a rental car. As long as we were back on the road by 9:30AM we could at least make it to our campsite before dark.

My husband pre-paid for our rental car and set a time for us to pick it up. We got to the dealership early and two ladies got there before us! They even cut our place in line, spent 45 minutes inspecting the car (it’s honestly like they never saw a car before) and we still didn’t get a car until 10:30AM!!! (Ok calming down). We finally made it back to our house with our rental car, we moved over all of our camping gear and got back on the road.

At this point we decided to forgo seeing Savanah, Georgia because we simply did not have enough time. We knew at this point, that we would have to put up our tent in the dark. Surprisingly still optimistic.

We drove straight to Asheville; a full eight hour drive. We got to the point where “google maps ends” and we had to follow the written instructions up the mountain side to our campsite. (In the dark, while it was raining, in a unmaintained gravel road).

Saturday 7PM: Our campsite was BEAUTIFUL. A fully fenced in, private deck overlooking the mountains. Oddly, the wind was picking up? We had no cell phone service and it looked like a storm was rolling in. At this point, we had no choice but to set up camp. We didn’t know how to get back down the mountain side, we had no cell phone service and the storm was starting to pick up.

My husband quickly threw me the tent. I grabbed it and quickly tumbled down two flights of stairs to our deck. Luckily, it was so cold – I felt no pain 😂😂 (to update currently: my wrist is swollen, along with a severely bruised knee)

We set up the tent and the wind started getting worse. We decided to take all of our camping gear out of the car to help weigh down our tent for the night. My husband finally got a little phone signal and was able to look at the weather for a split second. We were in a dangerous wind advisory – 50-60 MPH winds were going to hit us directly on the mountain cliff and we were stuck. We had to open the windows on the tent in order to allow some of the wind to pass through – which meant we were drenched from the rain. It was dropping bellow 30 degrees and the wind was tearing apart our tent. We could feel the deck shifting below us due to the strain. We could hear our car slipping and sliding in the gravel above us. The tent was lifting us off of the ground. And we were trapped.

We didn’t sleep at all. Around 2AM we heard two loud SNAPS. Two of our tent poles collapsed under the pressure.

Oh did I mention? Tinsel (our pup) got so terrified she peed. She peed all over me. Fantastic I know.

Sunday 5AM: The sun was starting to peep out. We had enough light that we could finally leave. Our tent shifted so much, the tent door was now on the roof and we were pilled under our belongings. We quickly threw all of our belongings into our car and headed off to town. We found a Starbucks about 45 minutes away and quickly filled up on warm beverages; keeping the heat on full blast in the car.

My husband (being the real hero of our whole trip) stayed positive. He asked me “Ok so last night sucked. What else is on your list?” I knew the answer to that one – hiking Grandfather Mountain. So we hoped into the car and headed off. As we were driving up, snow to fall ! (For this Florida girl – it’s a HUGE deal). Tinsel got to play in snow for the very first time and had a BLAST.

We had an incredible time playing in the snow – but now we were even more excited about hiking in it. So we kept driving. We made it to the state park and started driving up the mountain. The car slipped in the ice and slide right into a ditch. We tried to get it out, but the car was saturated in ice and was unable to move. We had to call our AAA service to help us out. The good news? Our nice warm car had no cell phone signal. We had to leave Tinsel in the car and walk a mile down the mountain side to get cell phone signal. The even better news? The towing company wants us to stay by the cell phone service in case he needs to call us. The even better better news? It was going to be two hours before he could help us. See that cute little black dot walking down the road? That’s me

For those that are uncomfortable about things: just skip this paragraph all together. Remember that venti Starbucks beverage? Well yeah I finished it and now we were stuck on the side of the road waiting. I had to PEE. I had to pee more than I have never needed to pee in my entire life. I HAD TO GO. So I took that venti Starbucks cup and I FILLED it.

We waited. We waited some more. We played in the snow. We waited and waited. AND FINALLY the tow truck guy showed up! He pulled us right out and we were on our way in less than 30 minutes!

Exhausted and fed up. We decided the best bet would just to head home. We were exhausted, our tent was destroyed and we had little supplies that were not ruined. The three of use pilled back into the car and headed towards downtown Asheville for lunch. We wanted to get a good meal before another eight hour drive.

We stopped at the White Duck Taco and got well…..tacos 😉. We ate while driving. About three hours into the drive, my husband looks at me and says “I don’t feel so well.” Yeah you guessed it – poor guy got food poisoning it time. We are still trying to stay optimistic- so we get a hotel room in Charleston, South Carolina. We decided to make the most of this terrible trip and stay over night in Charleston. This way, we can still go sight seeing in Savanah and Charleston AND make it home before it gets dark (driving exhausted in the dark down the highway is not one of my favorite things).

Monday morning: Charleston is beautiful. Stunning. So many perfectly colorful buildings. Incredible architecture. I love this small town filled with southern charm. In Charleston, we hit up Rainbow Row (the beautiful colorful buildings in the top picture) AND we got to see the famous Pineapple Fountain in their Central Park. We stopped off in Charleston for breakfast and to refill our caffeine fueled hearts and we were off to Savanah, Georgia for lunch.

Fueled up, warm and fed: we finally made it to Savanah. We stopped to sightsee their Forsyth Park for a bit and take in the old oak trees. The weather was finally starting to warm up as we wandered back to our car.

Overall this was an insane trip. My car died, we almost died on a mountain camping,our car needed to be towed out of a snowy ditch AND we got food poisoning. But you know what? We didn’t argue once and we stayed positive the entire trip. I’m a little worn out still (and a bit bruised up), but next time we will be better prepared! We are currently in the midst of planning our next road trip, Florida to the Alamo!

Travel Tuesday : Remember that time? We got stuck in a blizzard at the Grand Canyon? ❄️❄️

It was late November 2016, my husband’s Mom reached out to us and wanted us to join her on vacation. We were to fly out and meet them at Vegas to spend the night, spend some time in Vegas and then hit up the Canyon later on that week.

Day 1 of our Trip:

We landed early, around 9 and started off. We hit up each hotel along the north strip to check out the hotel lobbies (my husband and his mother BOTH are hospitality management so this was a must). We stopped to sleep at the Paris Hotel in Vegas with a view of the Bellagio Fountain! Exhausted we retired to our hotel room AFTER we check out the FANCY Taco Bell. If you haven’t heard about the craze, you can check out their site here. LET ME TELL YOU ITS AMAZING.

Those tasty starburst flavored icy’s? You can add any type of alcohol you can dream up. Who could honestly want more in life. (Orange Starburst + Rum)

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Day 2 of our Trip:

Next morning we checked out even more hotels and took in all of the sights. We drove further down in Vegas to Laughlin, Nevada staying at the Aquarius over night. We saw a TERRIBLE comedy show, ate at the In’N Out Burger and we saw live music on the pier. It was such an incredible night, walking along the water and hiking through the desert! (Photo below) I love Nevada! SO MUCH HIKING and we honestly could not ask for better weather.

Day 3 of our Trip:

We started driving. The actual goal this trip? I was supposed to see snow for the very first time. I’ve lived in Florida all of my life, coming for a poor family, I was never able to travel. My mother in law has been on a mission to try to fix this. (We are going on a cruise together in February to Haiti!!)

My mother-in-law drove us to the top of a mountain in Arizona (the “Snow Bowl”) filled me up with cocoa and tucked me into about five layers of clothes. She then sent me off to play in the snow. (In all honestly, I only married my husband for his mother. She’s incredible). I played in the snow and fell in love. I never though I would love the cold! BUT OMG SNOW.

We go back into our car and drove to the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. After checking into our cabin, we walked around the rim during sunset and the snow was just starting to come down. We slept peacefully (but freezing) in our cabin and woke early the next morning. I knew from the start of the trip, I REALLY REALLY wanted to hike a part of the Bright Angel Trail. The snow was getting thicker and thicker, we loaded up on cocoa and headed down the trail. Even if you are not a hiker, step just a few feet down into the trail and you run into your first small tunnel. The trail is carved into the side of the canyon, some parts you actually walk through these small tunnels (making for a very CUTE Instagram spot)

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The sun started to come up, we were surrounded by wildlife and it was the most incredible experience of my life. We sat there for a while, watching the snow come down and the sun fighting to rise behind it.We turned back and decided to walk the rest of the rim near the touristy side, since the snow was so thick it was unsafe to continue hiking the trail.  We walked the entire length the South Rim, along all of the museums and cafes (just about 20-25 miles).


Exhausted. We retired at the pizza shop bar next to our cabin and re-told our adventures to my husband’s Mom. I probably will never forget this moment. Standing on a ledge, covered in snow, completely still.

This is what travel is about – having these moments where you feel grounded and small.

Day 4 of our Trip:

The next morning we woke up early again. Walked through the blizzard to the State Park’s transportation (bus service). We wanted to take the bus up on a tour of the canyon. Little to our knowledge, the bus service closed because of the snow storm and we turned back around. We ended up sitting in this small wooden cafe at the edge of the canyon sipping on home brewed coffees.

At least we got to experience one of the most rare weather occurrences in the Grand Canyon; a full blizzard. I asked to see snow and BOY did my mother in law deliver.


Later in the day we made our way back to Vegas for the night, to catch our flight the next morning. Have you ever seen Hoover Dam? WELL STOP AND SEE IT! $12 for parking and it was NEAT. Don’t pay for the tour (it’s kind of scam), instead walk around the damn and enjoy all of the sights! They do have a small cafe here as well, if you are looking for a place to stop for lunch!

What’s really neat? Walk your way to the middle and you can stand in two different time zones at once! (OK – maybe it’s not that exciting. But my husband got a kick out of it)

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We walked the north side of the Vegas strip (another 15+ miles) and I have honestly never slept so hard in my life.

Exhausted. We caught our flight back home and have been relieving the trip ever since. Overall we walked close to 50 miles, we had tons of blisters, but honestly it was the most incredible trip of my life. Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon before? I’d love to see your photos below!

To end this: here’s a cute picture of a friend I made on my trip. OH! And if you are looking for a more recent #TRIPINSPIRATION check out my weekend in D.C here or our trip to Gatlinburg! Happy Thursday!! dsdssdsad.jpg

Exploring the Orlando Neighborhood : Renting bikes and exploring downtown Celebration

What’s the most important thing in a strong, long lasting relationship?

Inside Jokes 

We make memories, we make inside jokes and we always have something to talk about or laugh or butts off in bed before we go to sleep. Remember that one time, you slipped and fell in the Grand Canyon and pissed off that goat?

 I know here in Florida currently we have absolutely no weekend plans, as we are all bracing for the impact of Hurricane Irma instead. My husband and I are planning on having a quite weekend now, watching movies (if the power stays on) and munching on our hurricane snacks.

That said, let me tell you about my previous weekend (Labor Day Weekend!).

Since I KNEW this current weekend we would be stuck in our house so I really wanted to do something outdoorsy! We decided to rent bikes near Downtown Celebration in Kissimmee, Florida. Bike rentals cost us $15 per person for a two hour rental.

Do keep in mind this company has bikes for EVERYONE. They have the basic adult and child bikes, but they also rent out all attachments to bring your pup along or a wagon to pull a child. All bikes come with helmets as well.

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You can check out their site here. 

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Celebration Bike Rental and Sales – 700 Bloom Street Celebration, FL 34747 US

Open from 10:00AM-4:30PM and is closed on Mondays and Tuesday. 

We picked up our bikes around 2:00PM (just a thirty minute drive from our home). The staff was INCREDIBLE. They adjusted our seats, made sure we were comfortable, handed us a marked trail map and even gave us two cold waters for the trip!

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The large loop around Celebration takes approximately an hour and a half at a slow pace to complete. So you can feel free to stop in the small local parks on the way or take photos of the 9 Million dollar home!! My suggestion though, make sure to map out points on google maps and allow Google to guide you. The map can be VERY hard to follow and there are minimal trail markers.

We started off on the trail and followed the paths around all of the breath taking homes and board walks.

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We did get lost a few times (and yelled at each other about proper map techniques) but we still had an incredible time. So many incredible birds and giant grasshoppers on the trail, along with some pretty neat houses! Celebration Florida really takes you back to simpler times; tiny town homes, white picket fences and brick lined streets.

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If you follow the bike path all the way to the “longer board walk trail” marked on the map; you’ll find exactly that. This quiet board walk shaded by large oak trees.

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We finished the bike trail in a little less than two hours (even stopping for Starbucks Pumpkin Lattes on the way back) and we biked well over seven miles. A truly perfect afternoon date idea right near Orlando!

Remember that time we busted our asses on bikes and we thought we were going to die? Who’s says you “never forget how to ride a bike”? Inside jokes and torment are the foundation of our relationship. 💏

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Have you ever biked Downtown Celebration in Kissimmee, Florida? Or have any other great date ideas?? I’d love to hear them below!! 👏🏻👏🏻