“When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.” -Ernest Hemingway

Well said, right?

I’ve been having quite a bit of fun lately: throwing caution (and my savings) to the wind in pursuit of a little adventure. Last month, I maxed out my vacation earnings at work and so, time had to be taken off and trips had to be planned!

My friend, Mikaela (check out her awesome blog, The Daily Saint), and I have been talking about getting our scuba certifications for MONTHS now, but we’d been struggling to find the right time and place to make it happen.

My cousin, Marissa, and her family (hi Cody, Kaine and Kaleaya!) recently moved to Key West.

Another very busy friend, Maggie, texted me late one night last month and asked if I wanted to do a girl’s trip in August.

Well folks, the stars aligned and I had the most marvelous adventure!

After a handful of gin and sodas at 11pm on a Wednesday night, I booked a flight and hotel to Key West. By Thursday afternoon, I’d researched the best PADI certified dive shops on the island and had a scuba certification course booked. Helloooo vacation!

I was on cloud 9, when I got word of this sucker.



I checked weather.gov obsessively, panicked once or twice, and made the executive decision that this storm wasn’t going to sabotage my trip (as if I had that kind of authority over the weather). I got lucky, and Hermine missed the Florida Keys on her way into the gulf, and on the way out. She created some chop on the water that kept us in the harbor, sprinkled us with a few rain showers, and made my flight home bumpier than I’d like, but otherwise steered clear.

I got to spend time with my beautiful cousin and her amazing kiddos, learn a new skill with my official scuba buddy, and laze around Key West with a dear friend who I don’t see near enough. It was glorious.

Huge thanks to Marissa, Mikaela, Maggie, Scuba Instructor Extraordinaire the Colonel (check out his photography on instagram @keywestphotog), the fabulous humans at Southpoint Divers (use them if you’re diving in Key West!), the weird and wonderful NYA Hotel, and my generous parents for bankrolling most of my scuba cert as a 30th birthday present (you guys are the best). You all made hurricane season in Key West amazing!

As it turns out, tropical storm Hermine decided she hadn’t had enough of me, and she followed me into Labor Day weekend on the Chesapeake. Luckily, she skirted me again and I got to spend a lovely weekend on the Bay (again, with just a little rain and choppy waters).

Between the stars aligning and the narrow escape from a tropical storm not once, but TWICE, I’m feeling insanely fortunate. I should probably do some sort of dance of gratitude to the gods of weather and vacation. (Is that a thing?)

In any case, I had a BLAST and am reminded how important it is to take time off from our busy lives to relax, explore, try new things, and just have some fun!

How were your summer travels? Have you ever had a vacation derailed (or nearly) by bad weather?

About the Author Aubrie Fennecken

Aubrie Fennecken is the Chief Alchemist at Opportunity Kitchen | work + wellness strategist | nonprofit fundraising expert | providing productivity and self-care support for mission-driven humans

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