ICHETUCKNEE SPRINGS, FL

My first video (hi-res video is available at the vimeo page)! I decided to start off my post from Florida with a video, instead of pictures. Hope you guys enjoy it. First stop in Florida was at Ichetucknee State Park. I camped there a night and the next morning, woke up early to go swimming at many natural springs along the river. I traveled from the north entrance and also checked out the south side. I was exciting and a bit terrified (hence the super fast awkward doggy paddling) since I was the only person swimming there and the springs are massive, yet beautiful. The water itself was crystal clear. I'm also aware that Florida has lots of gators and luckily I didn't see any. Next time, I must rent the kayak or inner tube to float down the river. 
Xo,
- Tiffani

Music credit from one of my favorite bands: Intro by The XX


NEW ORLEANS, LA

Where do I start? To sum it all up, New Orleans (NOLA), has been all the hype that you've heard and more! It was my first time in Louisiana and I such a blast! While I was there I was lucky enough to hang out with close relatives and family that I have never met before. Their hospitality was amazing and they are the sweetest people ever, can't wait to see them again!

I attended the Krewe of Boo parade, which was the biggest Halloween parade in New Orleans. I've heard of Mardi Gras and all the the beads and chaos that go with it. I didn't expect the Halloween parade to be anything like it, but I was very wrong. People were throwing beads and things out the floats that rolled past by the ton. Let me just say, people are crazy for the beads! Trying to catch them and collect different colors are addictive. Attending a parade in NOLA is a must do.

The whole time I was there I felt like I was stuffed. The FOOD is amazing in NOLA, it seemed like you could get endless amounts of oysters, shrimp, crawdads (not salty and buttery like Boiling Crab in CA), soft shell crabs, char-grilled oysters, poboys, and several other delicacies on every corner. New Orleans definitely didn't disappoint at all in the seafood category. Now that I have had a taste of that real cajun seasoning that all the seafood was infused with, I can't imagine eating it anywhere else. I will definitely be back again to indulge in all the food, maybe during Mardi Gras. If you're looking for places to eat, I would recommend the places/dishes below:

1. Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar in New Orleans (happy hour $3/dozen oysters, shrimp andouille brochettes, "big easy" bbq shrimp, and bread pudding).

2. ACME (deep fried soft shell crab with sweet potato fries, raw oysters, char-grilled oysters and bread pudding). ACME tastes better to me than FELIX. 

Side note, definitely hit up "Bliss Nail Bar", if you want to get your nails done. The decor and environment is very modern and pleasant. Plus the staff are superb at what they do!

HOUSTON, TX

I always thought that Little Saigon in Orange County, CA had amazing Vietnamese food, but when I arrived to Houston, I would say their Vietnamese food is just as amazing! From the traditional Vietnamese soup dish "canh chua", to "bo 7 mon", and pho, they have it all here and I basically ate my way through Houston. A good friend introduced us to a lot of the tasty Vietnamese food and as we ate throughout the night, our last stop was at Chez Beignets. If you ever had the beignets at Downtown Disney or the ones in New Orleans at Cafe Du Monde, I would say Chez Beignets surpass them all! Other than eating and shopping in Houston, you can check out the awesome Water Wall, located next to the Galleria Mall (towards Macy's). It's huge and definitely worth the visit. 

SAN ANTONIO, TX

I'm really thankful that I was able to walk around the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas before the aftermath of Hurricane Patricia flooded the area this weekend. The River Walk is a must when you're in San Antonio. From dining with a beautiful view of the river, countless places you can shop and miles to stroll, this is a lively water front location to hang with your family/friends. Be warn that there are a tremendous amount of gackles (black birds) that welcome you with high pitching sound. When you do see them or hear them, try to walk away really fast (they are not birds that you want to see nor hear).

If you're looking for good food outside the River Walk (less than 15 mins), hit up Rosario's Mexican Cafe Y Cantina. I ate there before the River Walk and ordered the beef and shrimp fajitas. One of the most delicious flour tortillas I've ever had and they also provide you with complimentary guacamole along with house made salsa and chips. Friendly server as well! 

SEMINOLE CANYON SP, TX

If history was or is your favorite course in school and you wanted to visit a site that has petroglyphs dating back 7,000 years ago, then Seminole Canyon State Park is a place for you! Beautiful sunsets, amazing stars at night, hiking trails, and a well preserved landmark made this park very enjoyable. I only spent 2 days here which was more than enough for me. Definitely go on the guided tour where you can learn more about the rock/cave paintings, the people that lived here thousands of years ago and what they did to survive in this area. The wonderful tour guide asked the group to challenge him by asking a question he has never heard before since he has been doing this guided tour volunteerily for the last 18 years. Apparently, I was able to shocked him with a question that he has never heard before. I asked him, "How long can poop be preserved for?" So funny. If you like to know, feces can be very well preserved as long as it is kept in a cool and dry area. There's this professor that can bring back the smell of the feces from years ago. Dna testing is how they are able to know a lot about the civilization that lived here. Oh yes, the clouds was also amazing that day.