Smile #186 – Hello, 25!

Where did time go?!  It seems just like yesterday I blew out the candles for my 18th birthday.  And now I am going to be 25?!  At 11:59pm, I stared at my clock in disbelief.  In less than 15 seconds, I will be reaching one of the last celebratory monumental milestones in one’s life.  5,4,3,2,1…

Happy Birthday to me!  



OMG!  Being 25 means I have to ‘adult’ full time now.  …hmm…Yet I am still watching Tom and Jerry and getting excited about kinder eggs.  #priority

After a mini panic about being mid 20s, I remembered I get to spend my birthday in the air.  I’ll be flying home from Panama.  What’s a more appropriate way to ring in the new year than spend it in a flight!  🙂

Cheers for being 365 days wiser. 🙂  



Smile #185 – 25 Before 25: COMPLETED!

About a year and half ago, I decided to welcome the real adulthood (25) by achieving something epic.  I set the most ambitious travel goal to date.

I want to visit 25 countries before turning 25

When I set the goal, I had just hit my #20 country – Vatican City.  It would have been so much easier if I had lived in Europe or Southeast Asia where country hopping is easy and cheap.  Unfortunately I live in the US where airfare are ridiculously high, even for domestic trips and don’t even get me started on trains.  From the start, I knew it would be a stretch to visit 5 new countries.

Thankfully Bubble was supportive of my latest idea.  He thought I was insane but still sticked it through with me.  We puzzled over which countries to visit and how to maximum both time and money and never compromise on the quality of our travels.  We are not going to a country for the sake of ticking it off.

I was able to take advantage of work and personal vacation.  Within this short period, I visited Vietnam (21), Canada (22), Norway (23), Denmark (24), Sweden (25) and as a bonus, Panama (26)!

I feel like I am on cloud nine…I mean both figuratively and literally as I am spending my birthday in the air.  It feels absolutely surreal to know that I did it!  This is definitely one of my proudest moments in life.

I visited 25 26 Before 25!


Now the next biggest question is what should be my next goal?

Smile #181 – Nice to Meet You, Hall Family Farm!

Nice to Meet You, Hall Family Farm!  

Fall has slowly descended upon Charlotte. I guess I should have noticed it with everything pumpkin spice flavored.  PSL, anyone?  I truly noticed it when the fluctuating weather forced me to switch outfits 2x in one day.  Mornings are too cold for shorts and afternoons are too hot for jeans.  Next time, I am sticking with PJs.  #sweatsforlife

There are endless ways to celebrate fall.  Picking pumpkins and getting lost in a corn maze are just two quintessential fall traditions.  This year, Bubble, lil Sis and I paid a visit to Hall Family Farm.  Despite it conveniently located in the residential area so close to home, I have yet to stop by.

The quaint farm offers hayrides, pumpkin picking, a kid zone, and corn mazes.  A mini corn maze geared toward younger children and a non-scary corn maze readied for adults.  There is also a cider bar and a funnel cake station.

When we arrived, the place was packed with families.  Kids ran around screaming in joy while parents sat under the picnic tent enjoying a glass of cider.  We might be the only ones here without a kid….

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We grabbed a wagon and headed to the pumpkin patch.  There were pumpkins everywhere!

Is it just me, or does this look more like a pregnancy announcement…..Yeah, going to save it for later.  Much much later…


These photos are much better.  Lol.

The 5 acre field features a different theme every year. This year, the maze is Wonders of the World themed.  (Did they know I was coming! jk jk!)   When viewed from above, the interconnecting path cuts through the corn like different wonders of the world.  So does that mean I have been to all 7 wonders of the world?

They upped the corn maze challenge by applying technology in the field. Visitors are asked to download an app to begin the map hunting quest.  Search the maze for 12 hidden map stations.  Pick the correct trivia fact at each station and scan its QR code.  The correct choice will add a map piece to your phone’s maze map.  Find all 12 map stations in the quickest time wins a prize.

Alright, let’s get started!

We found our first piece of the puzzle pretty quickly.  The rest of it, not so much.  The trivia questions were tough!  Who knew the Stonehenge was carved from compacted volcanic ash called tuff?!  Or the temple to the Goddess Athena was designed in classic Doric style!?  I think I need to travel more!


After 36 minutes of rummaging in the field, we collected all the pieces, except 2.

The night has began to settle in.  Thank goodness for our cell phone flash lights to help us find our ways.  We circled the area in attempts to find those missing pieces, but to no prevail.  Sometimes you push through and sometimes you should just take the exit on the right.  We didn’t find all the pieces, but it was fun spending the afternoon in the outdoors.  🙂

Smile #180 – 1 Year Engagement Anniversary

Happy 1 Year Engagement Anniversary!  

Exactly one year ago, Bubble and I were on our first European vacation in Italy, sipping  fruity wine and chowing down some delicious homemade pasta.  Exactly one year ago, Bubble and I set out on the most scenic and magical hike by the beautiful Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre.  Exactly one year ago, in the midst of our hike, Bubble got down on his knee and asked me to be his partner in crime, his travel partner, his confidant, his support system and his wife.

I can’t believe it has been a year!  We are still very much the same people – still making the same silly joke, still laughing at with each other.  Still very much in love.

Exactly 11 months to go until we are pronounced Lee & Leigha.  🙂

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