Winter Wonderland! 

The beauty of working on a college campus.  Not only do I have the privilege of working on a beautiful campus, I love being a part of a community that changes peoples lives for the better. It’s amazing to watch my students walk in as nervous freshman and walk out/across the stage as confident leaders ready to take on the world.

“Create Your Own Path”

Cheers

Rock Iguanas: A Man’s Best Friend!

Trip It 'N' Go

While island hopping The Great Exuma Cays, we could not leave without visiting a small island home to Bahamian Rock iguanas. These iguanas are extinct in most of the world. The Exumas is one of the few places in the world that you can find these amazing creatures. Because they are considered endangered species and are at risk of extinction, they are protected by the Bahamian government. Similar to the swimming pigs, the iguanas run towards the beach when they see boats approaching their island. I was hesitant to get out of the boat, as these creatures are bigger than I what expected, and don’t necessarily appear to be the friendliest. When you see a couple dozen approaching the boat, they look aggressive and ready to attack. However, that is not the case. To my surprise, these Rock iguanas are actually tame and very friendly.

 If you think you can…

View original post 74 more words

Mermaid & Sandbars

Have you ever wondered how sandbars are formed? Sandbars are formed underwater. As waves break, this pulls materials from the shoreline, migrating further into the ocean. During heavy storms, large waves can build sandbars far from shore, until they rise above the water’s surface. Sandbars are basically formed by wave action and currents, and can be made of sand, gravel or silt.

Approaching a sandbar by boat is a breathtaking experience. The view is stunning. I mean, you could literally see the bottom of the water from several feet up. On this day, the crystal clear water blanketed parts of the sandbar. The colors, the beautiful shades of blue in the water were magnified by the clear blue skies, and the blindingly extra soft white sand underneath. It was such a heavenly and peaceful moment.

 

 Approaching the sandbar by boat.As you can see in the above image, the water was shallow. Sandbars are gorgeous at low tides. Even with moderate waves, it was safe to move around. I was careful not to test the far edges of the sandbar, as the seabed can slope down at a steep angle. As we approached the sandbar, I was becoming afraid that our boat would get stuck in the sand. It didn’t as our boat captains knew exactly what they were doing.  As they said, “this is their office”. They do excursions six days a week.  However, when I moved just a few steps backwards, the depth of the water dropped immediately. It actually caught me off guard. Sandbars can be dangerous as well; especially, if you don’t know how to swim.I find sandbars to be mesmerizing. Because of the way they are formed, you know that no one else will ever be on the exact formation where you currently stand. The sand will shift as the tide comes in which will cause the sandbar to be buried beneath the ocean and reappear at a slightly different location. How cool is that? I could have stayed at that location the entire day. Well, at least until the sandbar submerged again.  A mermaid moment! 
 Peace & Love     I found conch shells everywhere. Cool Fact: Some of the relevant scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest movie were filmed in these beautiful waters of Great Exuma.

Cheers

PS: Keep scrolling to read about my experiences swimming with sharks and pigs.

Emi

“Falling” Back Is Not For Everyone

Let me get this out of the way immediately… you can call me silly, but NOTHING else. 🙂 Do you know why this weekend we turned back our clocks by an hour? Yes, I was asking myself the same question. By the time I get home from work, it’s going to be dark outside. Who the hell came up with this and why?

Therefore, I took it upon myself to randomly ask a handful of individuals that very question. Why do we turn back our clocks? Some of the responses I received were, “I don’t know,” “ to save time” Really? Others said, “to benefit farmers, and for agriculture,” “to sleep an additional hour,” and finally someone said, “to save on electricity.” It’s interesting how people know what to do for Daylight Saving Time (DTS); however, no one really knows the reason behind it. I have to be honest, I don’t really know either.

There seems to be many theories and/or arguments as to why DTS exist. Some studies have reported that DTS reduces annual energy use. Others have tied it to less crime and a decrease in robberies. I don’t know how true these assumptions hold, as I did not investigate further. However, I do wonder if farmers are for DTS. I would think this shift cuts their productivity, as it gets darker sooner.

DTS doesn’t occur in all states or territories of the United States. Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Island do not participate in DTS. Nope, they are not interested in “falling” back.

Do you think DTS is necessary?

Cheers

Emi

OINK OINK! – The Swimming Pigs


Imagine telling your friend or significant other that you want to swim with pigs. As you can imagine, the thought of swimming with pigs did not go over well with my husband. Without any hesitation his response was a flat out “no”. “But honey, let me explain”, I said. “No” he replied. After going back and forth for a few minutes, I was finally able to state my case by showing him pictures. Eventually, I managed to get him to agree. Unless you have what I define as a “weird” fetish, it’s difficult for anyone to understand the concept of swimming with pigs. After all who does that?

Big Major Cay is a small-uninhabited island home to the most adorable swimming pigs. It is unknown how the pigs originally came to the island. It is believed that the pigs were dropped off by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them, or that there was a nearby shipwreck and the pigs swam to safety. Big Major Cay has become a popular destination for tourists who want to experience swimming with the pigs in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Bahamas. Forget about celebrity islands, the pigs have become the latest attraction. The pigs are thriving and living freely in the sandy beaches of the island. Their day consists of soaking up the sun, going for a surf, eating, and sleeping under the shade while keeping one eye open watching out for the passing yachts and vessels.  The only way to the island is by boat.  I find it quite fascinating how the pigs have learned to associate boats with food.  Therefore, when the boats approach, the pigs swim out to meet the boats with the expectation to be fed. These pigs are living a fabulous life.
  Pigs swimming out to meet the boat. They are great swimmers.  I found Wilbur!

WANTED! Piggy Mugshot 🙂

Business meeting, but they are not interested in what I have to say.  Got sausage?  If you are not going to feed us, get out of our way.  I’m sexy and I know it! Getting ready for the runway. Piggy catwalk time…. Cool shot taken with a GoPro Hero 4 camera.

Although, it is quite the entertainment to observe the pigs in their “natural” habitat, and allow for great photos, it is important to keep in mind that they are wild animals. I must confess that I felt safer swimming with sharks than I did the pigs. The pigs can be a little aggressive at times, buy they are lovely.

Oh, and believe it or not, they do not like selfies. Below is my epic selfie fail.

Cheers

Emi

PS: Click on the following link to read about my experience swimming with sharks at Compass Cay

http://tripitngo.com/2015/10/18/fierce-fearless-a-jaw-adventure/

Rock Iguanas: A Man’s Best Friend!

While island hopping The Great Exuma Cays, we could not leave without visiting a small island home to Bahamian Rock iguanas. These iguanas are extinct in most of the world. The Exumas is one of the few places in the world that you can find these amazing creatures. Because they are considered endangered species and are at risk of extinction, they are protected by the Bahamian government. Similar to the swimming pigs, the iguanas run towards the beach when they see boats approaching their island. I was hesitant to get out of the boat, as these creatures are bigger than I what expected, and don’t necessarily appear to be the friendliest. When you see a couple dozen approaching the boat, they look aggressive and ready to attack. However, that is not the case. To my surprise, these Rock iguanas are actually tame and very friendly.

 If you think you can set foot on their shores for free, you are WRONG. The iguanas expect you to feed them, and feed them well. My husband Alex is feeding the iguanas pieces of lettuce. Rock iguanas love to eat leafy leaves, veggies, and fruits. These chunky and graceful creatures can live up to 40 years. Lets continue to take care of them and protect them.

PS: Keep scrolling to read about my experiences swimming with sharks and pigs.

Fierce & Fearless: A “Jaw” Adventure


Even the most courageous people have fears to overcome. Are you afraid of something tangible, like spiders or are you afraid of heights? Are you afraid of failure or perhaps the unknown? No matter what it is that scares you, acknowledge, confront and take ownership of your fear to keep it from holding you back in whatever you desire to do in life. Sometimes we let our fears control us and we end up missing out on experiencing new adventures or even career opportunities. In my case, I didn’t let my fear deter me of a new adventure to swim with sharks.

A few times a year, television news networks report on shark attacks. The viewers automatically associate sharks as the “bad” creatures of the ocean. Some folks go as far as saying they are the bullies of the ocean. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I personally feel the ocean is their home and we the people are invading their territory; therefore, we should know what the risks are when we venture into the ocean. Anyways, that’s a whole other conversation…

While exploring The Great Exuma Cays in the Bahamas, we came across a tiny island called Compass Cay. My husband and I were in a boat with approximately ten people including two boat captains. As we approached the island, we immediately began to see nurse sharks swimming by our boat in the crystalline waters of the Bahamas. At that moment, my eyes were witnessing an incredible scene. However, my desire to enter the water with these creatures was becoming slim. The captain noticed people’s reactions and he didn’t hesitate to compare them to big catfish while docking the boat. He assured us that we were going to be fine, and strangely enough I believed him. He told us not to be afraid that the sharks would swim by us and wouldn’t hurt us. His only warning for us was not to put our hands in front of their mouths or try to take selfies because “they ARE sharks”.

The sharks are not contained in a specific area. They are free to come and go as they please. It appears the sharks have been hanging around Compass Cay for a long time. Besides, they know they will be fed, and there is no threat to them. So, I assume that’s the reason they stick around. Before we got in the water, an employee at Compass Cay pounded a wooden paddle against the dock three times which served as a sound mechanism to get the sharks to the marina. The employee then proceeded to feed them bloody pieces of fish, and we were given the okay to get in the water. As the sharks go for the food, they swim at a rapid speed making them bounce right into you. I was surprised to learn that sharks are not slimy creatures. Their skin is a rough texture, which I thought, felt similar to sandpaper. I cannot describe the frightening yet exciting feeling I experienced. My brain could not make up its mind. For the first time, I was happy and scared at the same time. I was enjoying the moment. Enjoying life!   The shop
A nurse shark swimming by our boat.
  It’s a shark life! My dear husband – His & Hers Adventure and Staying Together! Rule #1
 Herman, Woody, Hook, Ross, Squirl, Lefty, Mutt & Corn are Friendly 🙂
 Swimming with nurse sharks was a once in a lifetime experience. It was definitely a unique adventure. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things even if it is once a year. You may be surprised at how well you manage. Conquer your fears and spread your wings my friends.

~Cheers~

Emi

America’s Sailing Capital


Annapolis, Maryland is well-known as America’s Sailing Capital. This city is rich in history, culture, and beauty. It’s colonial heritage, cobblestone roads and maritime character makes this city vibrant and alive. Annapolis is also home to The United States Naval Academy (USNA). Today, the entire campus is a national historic landmark, and home to many historic sites, building, and monuments.


If you are planning to visit Annapolis in the near future, you may want to consider doing and/or visiting the following:

  • The Maryland State House

  • The Historic District

  • Renting a boat or kayak

  • Touring the city by way of walking, tour shuttles, biking or Segway tours.

Last, but not least there are plenty of places to eat, shopping to do, art galleries to see, and live music and performances to enjoy.

Cheers

The Beauty of Lavender

 

Hi folks!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog. I’m alive and doing well in case you missed me. 🙂 Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting a marvelous lavender farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (approximately 45 miles from the City of Philadelphia). It was such a lovely and relaxing experience. The minute my husband and I arrived at the farm our olfactory senses automatically activated as we were hit with the pure aroma of lavender. It was simply breathtaking. Oh, and the colorful butterflies were beautiful as they were gracefully flying from one flower to another in search for nectar. You hear the birds chirping and the buzz of bees surrounding you and the rows of lavender.

This amazing plant is used for making soaps, fragrances, lotions and many other products. In addition, lavender oil is said to have the following health benefits:

  • Reduces mental stress and anxiety
  • Helps treat insomnia
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Treats acne
  • May be used as a pain reliever
  • Helps with blood circulation
  • Can be used as a bug repellent
  • Aids in digestion etc…

Follow @tripitngo on instagram 🙂

Cheers

ea