Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Tag: nature

Ria Formosa

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Our private boat tour of the Ria Formosa lagoon in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, just outside of downtown Faro (it wasn’t *supposed* to be private, but because it’s the off season, and apparently other people aren’t as enthusiastic about boat rides in January as we are, it became private =D). It was BEAUTIFUL. And so fascinating! The tides vary so much within a day that entire islands come and go in hours. During our trip, the tide was rising – it looked as if we were in the middle of a vast ocean. Then mere hours later from the shore, we could look out and see that ocean now a maze of thin waterways divided by masses of land. And the birds! There were so many, most of which had simply migrated for the winter and would soon return to their homes across the world in Africa, Europe, and beyond.

Our tour guide took us out to the very edge to the thin strip of sand that is Faro Beach. We were able to park the boat and walk across the land to the other side, the beach, to see the ocean. I’ve never seen such powerful waves. They were alive, alive like the entire ecosystem.





Sleepy Christmas flowers, awakening slowly, but surely. Seeking the light and now ready to embrace the world. 


Apples in Ipswich

Russel Orchard

Apple tree

Russel Orchard StoreNew England fall is beautiful. The air is crisp, the sun is out, the trees are a rainbow. It’s a true gift, a gift to be lived. This weekend, fall led us to Russel Orchards in Ipswich on the North Shore of Massachusetts. There are hay rides, pumpkins, animals, farm stands, and of course, never-ending fields of apple orchards. You can never pick too many apples, in my opinion. And the town itself, Ipswich, is lovely. Farms and foliage. History and art museums. An old main street. It’s something from a storybook.


Sunset in Miami

Riding my bike home from the Wellness Center, had to stop for this.

Sitting by the Lake

For one of my journalism classes today, we had to do an ‘observation exercise’ (aka, sit somewhere on campus, look at things, and write down what we saw). Of course, I used this as an excuse to sit by the lake in the center of campus and relax for a bit:


Lake Osceola

Down the steep, grassy slope, along the edge of Lake Osceola, there is a singular, worn wooden bench resting in its own world beneath the cover of the trees. Simultaneously alone and in the middle of it all, it’s an intriguing spot- far away, but not too far. The crisp smell of freshly fried food drifts in the breeze from behind; the happy chatter of lunchtime at the Rat, of students strolling by a distant reminder of a campus setting.

Here, the sky is a deep grey- not murky or ominous, but rather, calm and cozy. For a second, it seems almost as if a bluish hue radiates from the thick blanket of cloud that engulfs this world, but further analysis reveals it to be a mere trick of the light. Even the lake radiates this cool grey; the green, consequently, only stands out more. Green grass, green palms, green and grey, everywhere- except for a dash of red across the way. A young man stands on the edge, staring at something unknown in the distance, his bright red shirt contrasting with the scenery around him like a Christmas scene minus the snow. Is he looking at the ducks, the two ducks swimming leisurely along the edge? Or maybe he’s trying to witness the source of the random splash, the only indicator of the fish leaping, breaking the surface.

A huge gust tears the pages from my hand, my notebook blowing frantically in the wind, as the palms violently sway. The chatter continues, undisturbed. Its source is part of a different world, a world separate from this seclusion, save for a single bright orange price tag littering the muddy ground at my feet. A plane zooms overhead, and then it is time to go, to return up the slope, back to the real world.


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