See ya later, Gator!

IMG_3658

I may have shed a tear or two (okay, okay – it was a lot) while writing this post “see ya later” letter. It’s almost surreal to think that I’ve finally left Gainesville after 6 ½ wonderful years. I held on for as long as I could, but it’s time for me to embrace a new adventure.

Read More


Pumpkin Party + Fall Festival

img_1598-1

This past October absolutely flew by with all of the events, classes and life that happened. From a pumpkin party to a fall festival, it was the perfect start to the season. This October certainly did not disappoint.

To kick off the season, we had a Pumpkin Party complete with lots of food, old-time Halloween movies, a photo booth + good friends. We had homemade chili, mac-and-cheese, bacon-wrapped weenies, spinach dip + lots of sweets. And no pumpkin party would be complete without some pumpkin carving and decorating!

We ended October by going to the annual Micanopy Fall Festival. For Kev, this was his first time going to the festival. It was great to re-visit the festival and share stories from last year’s. We also met up with my sweet friend Montana as well. My favorite part of the day was listening to the band, eating a slaw-dog and looking at all the crafts. I got some great ideas for upcoming Christmas gifts.

img_1591

Montana + I couldn’t pass up this cute Fall scene!

img_1568

I ran into some of my sweet, sweet residents from 3 years ago.

October absolutely flew by, and I can’t believe it’s already November. I still have some Fall bucket list items that I’m hoping to finish in the upcoming weeks before December.


Liquid Gold: The Rise and Fall of Florida Citrus

IMG_5367

If you’re from Florida, then you know how precious citrus is to our state.  I can’t remember a time where we didn’t have fresh orange juice or grapefruit available while growing up. I guess that’s also a perk of living in Fort Pierce – one of the founding areas of citrus in Florida.

And if you’re a Floridian, then you’re probably aware of the state our beloved citrus is in – if you’re not, it’s devastating. Due to the greening disease, our citrus is literally dying before our eyes. A cure hasn’t yet been found, but a lot of research is being done to try and stop it. Especially at the University of Florida, it seems like the IFAS center has dedicated a lot of time and hard work to figure out the disease.

IMG_5345

The Matheson History Museum recently displayed an exhibit titled “Liquid Gold: The Rise and Fall of Florida Citrus.” Kev and I visited the exhibit to learn more about the beautiful beginning of Florida citrus and unfortunately, it’s hideous decline.

The exhibit displayed the timeline of citrus’ start in Florida along with photographs of packing houses, groves and the men & women who helped start it all. They even have comic books of Captain Citrus with the story line of saving Florida’s citrus.

If you’re ever in the Gainesville area, I definitely recommend stopping by the museum. It seems they always have their exhibit on display – the history of Alachua and it’s role in Florida history. You can even take tours of the historical Matheson House that is behind the museum.


Gainesville Eats: Mac’s Drive Thru

IMG_5312

I LOVE to eat – I’m what you would call a self-proclaimed foodie. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a household that celebrated both my Asian and Southern heritage. That being said, my brother and I did not grow up being picky. We pretty much ate anything that was given to us… one day it would be chicken & biscuits and the next fried rice. I guess that’s why I have an appreciation for all types of foods and cultures; you never get bored!

Honestly, I could eat all day if it was socially acceptable … and if I had that kind of endurance. Anyways, my favorite thing about Gainesville is the endless amount of amazing restaurants and delicious foods. While I’ve been here for about 5 years now, there are still new restaurants waiting to be eaten explored. I credit a lot of my food choices to the Ken Eats Gainesville site. Ken is a lifesaver when it comes to trying new places; if there’s a local restaurant in Gainesville, he’s probably already tried it and wrote a review.

 

It’s Ken’s “Best of List” where my brother and I found the Best Fast-Food Burger: Mac’s Drive Thru.  Even though Mac’s is a drive-thru, it feels like your neighbor’s home. I know, that probably sounds weird, but we were welcomed with a huge smile and a “how are y’all doing.” If we weren’t in the car, I’m pretty sure I would have hugged the lady working the window. When I told her it was our first time to Mac’s she responded with, “Well honey I know it’s not going to be your last.” She then told us we had come at the worst time on the busiest day – 12:30pm on a Friday. The wait wasn’t that bad though, about 15 minutes, which I guess might be a little long for a drive-thru but totally worth it!

IMG_5313

Picnic style lunch at the Bo Diddley Plaza in Downtown, Gainesville

We got 2 double cheeseburgers all the way with fries and large sweet teas. As any good southerner knows, making sweet tea is an art form. And the folks at Mac’s are artists – I swear this sweet tea tasted as good as my Gammy’s. And the large was HUGE – I can only imagine how big the jumbo one is. While this is one restaurant we’ve checked off our list, I’m already looking forward to going back!

IMG_5316

Post Mac’s  at the Bo Diddley Plaza in Downtown, Gainesville.

 


January Beginnings

IMG_4684

I have a confession: I’ve been a bit behind on blogging this month. Between the start of a new year and just life in general, I’ve been slow to share what I’ve been up to. However, with the end of January near, I wanted to make sure I shared why I absolutely love this month.

January has always held a special place in my heart because, for me, I see it as a time for new beginnings. As always, there’s reflection of the previous year and the creation of new year’s resolutions. Last year, I made a vow to take more pictures to capture our family’s memories. I made a Lowe Family Yearbook to encompass the past year’s memories, so I’ve been successful in that resolution. This year, my resolution is to feel fulfilled every day. Whether it’s something as simple as reading or having an hour-long conversation with a friend, I plan to dedicate each day to something I love.

January is also a birthday month for my mom and I. We always celebrate our birthdays together by either exploring new towns, shopping and of course, eating! This year, dad planned mom’s birthday party at a local bar in Vero Beach – The Kilted Mermaid. It was a night filled with close friends, a hard apple ale and a great band.

IMG_4705

This past weekend my parents came up to celebrate my birthday in Gainesville. We spent Saturday traveling to Newberry for their delicious garlic-butter, blue crabs and scrumptious cupcakes from Sugar Refined. These cupcakes are literally the best I’ve ever had, and that’s saying something because I love cupcakes. I highly recommend the key lime pie ones.

IMG_4706

Later we went to High Springs for their antiques and the Great Outdoors Restaurant for a birthday dinner. We weren’t able to explore the town as much as we’d like, so we definitely plan to return for another weekend. However, from the places we did explore, I can vouch that High Springs has some hidden gems. I loved the atmosphere at the Great Outdoors Restaurant – a fusion of old and new. The food was delicious and the band was amazing – I can’t wait to return.

January also brought a bridal shower for my sweet friend Janeen. With her wedding quickly approaching in March, we were so excited to celebrate her upcoming nuptials. I could spend an entire blog post talking about the shower! It was beautiful and filled with love – the perfect celebration for Janeen!

IMG_4636

I think that just about wraps up the month of January! If January is any indication of what this upcoming year has in store, then I know 2016 will be filled with lots of love and adventures. It is sure to be a year to remember!