Spring Break Packing List

This year, like last, I am traveling to the beautiful and sensational Florida Keys. The islands and reefs will be the prettiest you’ll see around, and the rich culture you will crave to soak in. That, along with beautiful sun to take in.

Only 2 days away, I actually haven’t started packing yet, but my friend that’s coming with us asked what to bring, since she has never been to the glorious place. So, I figured I would share that information with you. Even if it’s not necessarily helpful for you, at least it can get you excited for the fun to come!

The things to bring for the best time ever:

A couple, or several bathing suits. The outside is my best friend during Spring Break. Bring a variety; sporty for activities, bandeaus for tanning, bikinis for walking around with a light coverup on. Down in the Keys, bathing suits are pretty much considered clothing. So do it right. For more information, Check out my blog post about wearing the right bathing suit to suit your body!

Sun tan lotion and proper moisturizer. I bring a ton of lotion with aloe in it. It’s my favorite and it helps a lot since the sun is more intense down there. My personal favorite is Banana Boat Lotion with Aloe. It’s my staple and has preserved my tan long after the sun! Although a tad pricey, usually running around $6-8 depending on where you go, it will be an investment. Goes a long way, feels great and soothes skin, and it smells nice too. But at Target, it’s on sale!!! Check out these other good lotions at Target too!

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Pool hat and/or some other hat. I bring a huge pool hat for the days I want to read by the pool without straining my eyes and then a small little snapback guy for the beach. I got one down there last year with my name on it with neon colors, and I’m obsessed. Trust me, it’s a water thing, and it’s great to have one. Or even a cute Fedora! Fedora’s are ultra chic and cool.

Me and my sister, Lauren, on Duval Street in Key West, Florida. Summer 2012

Me and my sister, Lauren, on Duval Street in Key West, Florida. Summer 2012

Shopping bag (over the shoulder). You need one with a good strap. Too skinny and it will kill you, eh! I’ve had that happen. So while you’re wandering the Duval Street with the shops or looking at coastal antique stores, bringing the right bag can save your stuff, and your shoulder!

Beach reads (although it’s not a big beach since the keys are mainly reefs, for the beach club bring books or magazines). I like bringing reads because it’s relaxing and it can keep you occupied. Catch up on your celebrity reads or classic novels; my reading will have both!

Down by the Shore

Down by the Shore

Sun dresses, shorts, tanks, etc. Bring some easy, breezy outfits that require minimum maintenance. When you’re done in the water and are rushing to dinner with your friends, the last thing you need to worry about it ironing or second guessing your outfit choice. Light materials are the best and try to avoid dark colors if you’re trying to stay cool since dark colors absorb the heat.

Wherever you’re going on Spring Break, remember the essentials! And to add to that, be aware of your surroundings, keep your stuff close to you and don’t get completely swept away in the scenery. You still need to be safe after all.

But go! Have fun! Where are you going? Know anything else I need?

As always, be blessed, and this time, be extra sunny!

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Skydiving at it’s Finest

In Lakeland, Florida, there are many different things to see and explore, however to the residents, it at times becomes difficult to find new and exciting things to do… things like First Friday downtown, the flea markets and farmers’ market, the drive-in movie, and more.

What would you do if skydiving was one of them?

Me head-first free falling to Earth!

Me head-first free falling to Earth! Jumped with JUMP Florida Skydive in Plant City, Florida.

Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane on a warm, sunny day for a great price not only gives you a chance to explore outside of the typical Lakeland city limits, but it gives you extraordinary sites from 12,000 miles up, only a few miles away.

In the place ascending

In the place ascending, getting pumped!

With the loveliest of deal sites, Groupon has made skydiving available more than once and can have deals extremely close to Lakeland, like where I most recently jumped for the second time, in Plant City, Florida, about 15 minutes away from Lakeland, with the JUMP Florida Skydive Center. My first jump was in July 2012, in Orlando, Florida, and I had to go again and bring more people.

The entire group after everyone went skydiving. Great Instructors! Great Jump!

The entire group after everyone went skydiving. Great Instructors! Great Jump!

Jumping out of an airplane is a grand opportunity for a thrill, and it’s even better in numbers, so bring a friend or two and make it an experience for  someone’s birthday even. That’s what me, my roommate, her brother, and another friend did for my roommate’s 21st birthday last month.

Rachel Roskoski free falling during skydiving!

Rachel Roskoski free falling during skydiving!

Rachel and Daniel Roskoski getting prepared to skydive, January 2013.

Rachel and Daniel Roskoski getting prepared to skydive, January 2013.

“You only turn 21 once and I wanted to make it absolutely incredible,” beamed Rachel Roskoski, 21, who was going to skydive for the very first time. “I’m pretty scared, but I know it will be fun, it’s just having to jump out! The rush is going to get me.”

Upon arriving at the JUMP Florida Skydive Airport, we waited our turn and  watched some other skydivers on video promo, and when they called out names, we were pumped.

Jason Yazmitz and I about to Skydive. We're pumped!

Jason Yazmitz and I about to Skydive. We’re pumped!

“I’ve never done anything this crazy!” states Jason Yazmitz, 23, a friend jumping in our group. He explained that as he was going up he was thinking, “my blood is pumping and I can’t stop thinking about what the view will be like two miles up.”

Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane really takes one breath away; the rushing wind on all sides in the midst of perfect silence except your own yelling voice.

“It was exhilarating! I’m already thinking of times when I can come again, and for sure with this group, we have a blast,” smiles Daniel Roskoski.

There is truly no other feeling like front flipping out of an airplane, falling head-first towards the ground with startling speed, and I would suggest it to everyone! Save up, and at their affordable price, convenient location, and wonderful staff and facility, skydiving is now a no-brainer. Above all else, the best part is, it’s right in Lakeland’s backyard.