Penguin, USA

In all the times I’ve played games at fairs and carnivals, I’ve never really been a big winner.  I’ve never hit the plush toy jackpot, you could say.  I’ve won a fair few small toys, as most of the games are based primarily on aim… and I have good eyesight… but pretty poor aim.  So I usually end up pretty normal, I guess.


I went to the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida.  There were many many games to play, and most of them were full of the same few plush toys:


I would have been thrilled to win any of these toys.  And I started keeping an eye out for any particularly good ones.  Or games where ‘everyone’s a winner!’ because those are usually the only ones I win.

I didn’t even really consider this one- because the toys were all so big that I figured I had no shot.  They just seemed like you would need superhuman talent to win…


But, while waiting for my group to go on the Ferris wheel, (not my favorite thing) I started actually watching the guy play this game.  All you had to do was use a stick with a string and a small hoop on the end to stand up a glass bottle.  And he kept doing it.  And showing everyone how to do it.  And I realized there was no luck involved in this.  And no aim.  It was just a test of your brain- and whether you could follow the instructions even as they went against your instincts.

BRAIN GAME! I was winning that Plush Penguin.  I continued to watch until everyone was off the Ferris wheel- and then I went for it.  c360_2016-03-07-20-22-27-441.jpg

After I stood up the bottle, the guy told me I could put my stick down.  I told him that I had never won anything before and he was crazy if he thought I was just going to win this without taking a picture.  I proceeded to hold the stick for several minutes as we tried to get the picture. And then I got to pick out my Penguin!


And then I proceeded to take selfies with the Penguin all over the festival grounds to the chagrin of every child there.


Then Penguin and I went to get some Cotton Candy!


And then! We headed to the concert ground, where Lonestar were performing.


Penguin took up two seats, but it was oddly satisfying to be listening to ‘Amazed’ while sitting next to a giant penguin.

Finally, it was time to go home, but we had a bit of a problem fitting Penguin into the car.


But finally, we made it home where Penguin chilled on the couch, until I could find a decent home for him in a children’s hospital.


Turns out, hospitals have kind of strict rules about toy donation- probably because of the germs.  So we decided to donate Penguin to a second hand shop associated with the children’s hospital.

But not before Penguin watched longingly out the window.


So, that’s the penguin story.  It’s not a big deal to most… but definitely one of the most exciting things to happen to me since I’ve been home!


City of Dwarfs, Poland

So, as you can probably tell by the complete lack of recent posts, I’m still finding it extremely challenging to be creative.  But, last weekend I ventured outside of Warsaw for the weekend, and was so inspired.  Continue reading “City of Dwarfs, Poland”

Train Hostel, Netherlands

Recently, at school, we got to the place in the calendar that everyone had been looking forward to for months.  Winter Break.  Not to be confused with the Christmas holiday break, winter break is thrown in the middle of February because, you know what?  There’s a long time between Christmas and Easter.  And a two week holiday is just what every teacher (and student) needs. Continue reading “Train Hostel, Netherlands”

Why Travel?

For the better part of the last seven years, I have been living abroad.  Either living and working in a specific place, or traveling around, exploring as much as I can in the time that I have.  Over that time, I have been asked countless times why I choose to travel.  And after many times answering that I wanted to see the world and meet people around the world… I started to actually think about why I decided to travel.  And, I think, it boils down to three experiences I’ve had.  So I thought I’d write about it. Continue reading “Why Travel?”

Supposedly abandoned Prison, Estonia

Over the summer, in Estonia, I met up with a friend and some couchsurfers for a bit of adventuring.  We decided to go to a place called Rummu, just outside of Tallinn.  Luckily, my friend has an offroad capable car, so this journey was no problem for us. Continue reading “Supposedly abandoned Prison, Estonia”

Best Meal, Estonia

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know how I feel about food.  Food is one of my very favorite things.  You may have also picked up on my love for Estonia.  So I wanted to write a quick blurb about a great meal that I had at a great restaurant in Tallinn.  That it was my going away meal, is poignant.  Continue reading “Best Meal, Estonia”

Inis Mor, Ireland

I started writing about Inis Mor after my first trip there.  Unfortunately, I never finished the blog, so I think it’s fitting to finish it, now that I have so much new information to add. First, a bit from a few years ago: Continue reading “Inis Mor, Ireland”

Schonnbrunn Palace, Austria

Now, I debated on whether or not to write about this palace… you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside.  So is it worth it to write about it?  Or just skip this and move onto the next thing?  But ultimately, I really enjoyed it- and wanted to share it. Continue reading “Schonnbrunn Palace, Austria”

Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Since the moment I saw a picture of Plitvice for the first time, it had sat on the top of my place to go wishlist. I had a brief pinterest account which had exactly one board ‘travel wishlist’ with exactly one pinned photo ‘Plitvice National Park.’ My first trip to Croatia I was seriously running low on funds while there and couldn’t make it out to Plitvice. So, when my cousins and I were putting together an itinerary for our trip, my first and pretty much only ‘must visit’ was to go see some lakes and waterfalls. Continue reading “Plitvice National Park, Croatia”

Island Tour, Greece

On to the next adventure, as they say.  And this is a slightly new experience for me.  Or at least- it’s been awhile.  But on this trip, I’m not alone.  I’ve met up with two of my cousins for a bit of a travel around Europe before hopefully finding a place to live.
First stop? Greece. Continue reading “Island Tour, Greece”