Monthly Round-Up: Rose & Thorns – November 2022

November Rose & Thorns – A monthly recap of the highs and lows experienced each month.

I haven’t written an opening paragraph to a Rose & Thorns post in a very long time. However, I wanted to point out that there will not be a thorn this month. At the beginning of each month, I open the template for the next R&T post and fill it out as the month progresses. I keep notes on events and topics I want to highlight but failed to see any darkness or sight inconveniences during November. Is not having a thorn for the month a thorn in and of itself? Possibly. 

Rose: Lottery Winner 

The Powerball reached an all-time high of over 2 Billion dollars this month. While everyone was standing in line to purchase their ticket to buy a small island in the Caribbean, I was hoping to be selected for the Skyway 10k race. While a couple of million dollars would be nice, I hedged my bets on something with better odds. 

The Skyway bridge is the flagship bridge for the state of Florida. Spanning over 4 miles to connect St. Petersburg and Terra Ceia, it hovers 180 ft above the water at a 4% grade. Once a year, in partnership with the Armed Forces Families Foundation, the skyway is closed for the Skyway 10k. This race is so popular that a lottery system has been implemented to select the participants. Limited to 8,000 participants, I’m happy to say I will be one of them for next year’s race!


Rose: Girls Trip

The closest thing to therapy that isn’t actual therapy is going on a trip with your best friend. Aside from day trips to the beach, I’m embarrassed to say we haven’t gone on an extended trip in several years. We both had significant changes to our places of work and personal lives recently, which has freed up our schedules to plan a girls’ camping trip. Life seems to be going a hundred miles an hour lately, and camping is the best way to slow down and disconnect. 

The highlights from the trip were detailed in a recent post – Weekend Camping at Hanging Rock State Park. Between hiking and searching for coffee shops, there were long hours of story time, gossip, solving the world’s problems, and explaining your inner demons without fear of judgment. The nightly entertainment was constant attention on the fire as we enjoyed dehydrated meals from a bag. There was only s brief brush with the wildlife as a possum visited our campsite, hissed, and shuffled away. We battled nearly freezing temperatures, attempted to outrun an out-of-season tropical storm, and still remained friends. I may not have wholly convinced my friend that this is the best way to vacation, but she has converted into enjoying it. 

Campsite at Hanging Rock State Park.
Hanging Rock State Park overlook.

Rose: 1st Half Marathon

As I mentioned in October’s R&T, I signed up for the Burg to Beach to Bayshore Challenge. The challenge consists of three half marathons in the Tampa Bay area in four months. This month I completed the first of three races. I felt the pre-race nervousness leading up to the race, but once the crowd of 1,800 people began to move over the starting line, all of those feelings disappeared, and my brain snapped into focus, just as I’d practiced. The race pacers held signs with their paced time; as long as I kept the 2:15:00 pacer behind me, I knew I would achieve my PR. Feeling wholly exhausted and soaking wet, I crossed the finish line at 2:08. 

For my first experience completing a half marathon, I was very impressed with the course and the post-race amenities. It was much more difficult than I anticipated, but crossing the finish line was even more rewarding than I imagined. I plan to go into greater detail in a dedicated post once all three races are completed, comparing the highs and lows from each race. 

Women standing with a finisher medal in her hand after a half marathon.

November Favorites:

Vivaia Boots – I collaborated with Vivaia on my Instagram this month. Vivaia creates shoes from recycled water bottles, using up to six bottles for each pair. I selected the Madeline 2.0 over-the-knee boots as the shoes I wanted to create content for the brand. I was surprised how comfortable my feet were throughout the day. The tall sock-like fabric kept my legs warm, and the wide toe box aloud for pliantly of space for my toes. They are the perfect combination of comfort and style. I’m considering buying a pair of flats for more casual everyday outfits. Many holiday sales are happening on their website, and you can also use code vivaiaj10 for 10% off your purchase. 

Camping Stove – Our camping meals would not have been possible without this camping stove. The compactness made it easy to pack and throw in my camping box, but it would easily fit in a hiking backpack for primitive camping. The small pots fit perfectly on the burner while it heated the water for our meals. We had boiling water in a few minutes to rehydrate our dinners and make coffee in the morning. Definitely a camping necessity for any outdoor trip. 

Women standing in the door way of a small teal RV wearing tall over the knee boots and a sweater.

November Blog Post Recap

WEEKEND GUIDE EXPLORING BROOKSVILLE, FLORIDA – Slow down by spending a weekend exploring miles of hiking trails and historic homes, ending the day at the nearby vineyards. Located an hour North of Tampa, Florida, Brooksville isn’t the picturesque touristy beach town that comes to mind when you think of Florida. 

WEEKEND CAMPING AT HANGING ROCK STATE PARK – Camping, Hiking, and small-town coffee shops were the highlights of my recent trip to Hanging Rock State Park. This State Park is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy the views from the top of the mountain. 

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2 thoughts on “Monthly Round-Up: Rose & Thorns – November 2022

    1. I went back and forth on whether I should write opossum or possum. But I say possum in every day life, so I tried to stay true to my personality.

      Hopefully, opossums don’t have access to the internet. I would hate to offend the opossum community. 🤣

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