Heading inland from St. Augustine I got to stop and visit with a wonderful ex-coworker from my school, from whom I took over a few roles when she smartly retired to this gorgeous property. Marshall’s home in DeLand is like a garden oasis, with multiple koi ponds, shady sections of ferns, fences made from felled trees, and an abundance of native plants and bird feeders. The colors here in January were enough to make me in awe of what it must look like when more plants are in bloom. I was treated to a tour of the garden by Marshall and her garden guru Erin, got my own baby snake plant which hopefully may withstand van life, and saw personal highlights of a piggy statue and a stump garden. So magical, plus all kinds of lizards, a snake, and a monster toad in residence.

We had a great dinner (hibiscus tacos for the win) and a tour of the town complete with bats soaring from bat houses in a pocket park, cool street art and sculptures, and even a free show of a couple on what seemed like a tinder date pretty much going at it in a car in front of the restaurant patio. Crazy times in DeLand! So good to see Marshall and Ric at their new(ish) place and meet Erin. Keep up the good life!

On a whim because I was going right past I decided the night before to drop crazy cash for a day solo at Disney to check out the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge area in the Hollywood Studios park. I hadn’t been to this park in years since it was MGM who knows when, and after my most recent Disney trip being such a blast with park aficionados Laura and Julianna I wasn’t sure going alone would be much fun, but I am glad I went despite not enough pre-planning. Thanks to the newness of the Star Wars stuff the timed passes for one main attraction ride are only available to register for once at the park, and despite arriving 20 min before the main opening all the passes were already claimed for the day by people staying on property who get to go in early and by others way crazier than I. Despite missing out on that particular ride, I was totally blown away by the look and detail of the new area of the park. Much like is the case in the Magic Kingdom being surrounded by kids of all ages (ahem my adult friends) in full Disney mode, being at Galaxy’s Edge with a bunch of die hard Star Wars fans in all varieties of silly outfits and funny t-shirts made it a great time. Plus being alone, I got a few wins from solo rider lines on all the other rides, so that’s an upside.

For the sake of my budget I escaped the day only buying one treat of giant ice cream sandwich which came recommended and a coffee, and a new phone case of baby yoda cuteness since I’d been avoiding buying one for months (I swear I’m wearing clothes in my mirror phone photo… yikes). Have to admit it, it was totally worth a day and all the dollars. Plus, added bonus, I got to end my night after Disney fireworks and Star Wars light show by having a facetime date with my awesome buddy Amanda! We caught up and had dinner and a champagne toast ‘together’ for our college’s “Toast Heard Around the Word” night, so what better way to close out a day of fun. Miss you, lady!

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