Last week was a personal milestone for Matt and I. We took a vacation.

I know, ground-breaking.

Technically, it wasn't even a vacation -- it was a conference paid for through his work that allowed me to accompany. So it was more of a vacation for me than him...buuuut we'll take what we can get.

We never took a honeymoon because we were moving to Hawaii right after our wedding (one way ticket -hollerrrr). That was sortof a honeymoon, and Matt argues that is was definitely a vacation -- but we lived there and he was gone over 1/2 the time on deployments soooo I beg to differ. It was incredible to live in a "vacation" destination full-time, don't get me wrong, I will never deny that awesomeness... but it wasn't a vacation. I digress.

Enjoy a little peak through the vacation adventures as told through pics (after all, they say 1,000 words, right?) Who am I kidding, I'm gonna use words, too.

Amelia Island

Day 1 (while Matt was listening to entralling lectures on coding) I took a boat tour with a group of significant others who also attended the conference. We floated around the little historic island learning all kinds of interesting facts, looking for dolphins (we got to see a mom with her baby!) and soaking in the sun.

A neighboring island was home to the Carnegie family's winter mansion and upon her death, Mrs. Canegie instructed in her will that all of her prize horses be let free to roam the land. So now there's a whole clan of gorgeous wild horses living the dream -- is that beautiful of what!?

We also got to walk around the cute little town of Fernandina on the island and ran into this incredible fudge and homemade ice cream shop. So that definitely happened.

(left) Is that an amazing example of the power of the printed photograph? I believe it is. It was so amazing to look through this collection of photographs of the original Carnegie mansion as it was on the island in the the 1920's. (right) Me chowing on an enormous turkey leg. That was my sole bite. I chose a slightly less barbaric meal, but had to get the picture.

We stayed at the Omni Resort... aaaaamazing. That pool was legand...(wait for it)...ary.

Um, this was the view from our room. I mean it was ok...

On one of the conference days, these guys played with building robot boats for the pool... cause they're cool like that.

The coordinaters needed a full group shot and luckily I had my camera at the pool that day soooo shout out to JSCONF!

Friday was MY BIRTHDAY!! We woke up with the sunrise and went for a run on the beach, then had an incredible breakfast at the hotel. Once Matt went off to the conference lectures, I took my journal back out the beach for a little quiet time. I always like to write on my birthday and sort-of reflect on the past year as well as what's ahead. Just as I believe in printed pictures, I believe in the power of a pen and paper. I'm a little old-school sometimes, don't judge. This year was particularly sentimental because so much has changed since 25 (and the quarter-life-breakdown that came with it). It was also the first year I got to spend my birthday with little Baby O. :-)

Meet the largest and creepiest looking jelly-fish I've ever seen...

Aaaaand then I walked along the ocean collecting sea-shells in my hat...because that's what every 26 year old does on her birthday, right?! Life is so beautiful.

Finally, Matt got some beach time as well so we snapped a quick pic of the little baby bump- it was his/her first vacation too, ya know. ;-)

I found out that my good friend from grad school at JMU lived only 1 hour away in Jacksonville so she and her boyfriend were awesome and drove out to the resort to have dinner with us! It was such a special treat to get to see friends in such an unexpected circumstance and catch up with them (over some pretty awesome burgers, I might add).

We finished up with a late night/date night epic ice cream sundae by the pool and remembered at the last minute to actually take a photo of the two of use together (duh, too bad it was already dark.) Regardless, my birthday was definitely a memorable one and I loved celebrating another year beside the love of my life.

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