I’m An Official Polar Plunger!

What an incredible experience!!!!  Friday night I did my first ever polar bear plunge and I think I might be hooked!  The event raised over $41K for Special Olympics Montana.

I checked in about an hour before the event, so I could have plenty of time to warm up and get changed into my costume.  If you’re crazy enough to plunge, you should dress the part.  There were so many cute costumes…Duck Dynasty, Cindy Lou Who, pirates, Santa, the list goes on and on.  The winner of the costume contest, however, was a team of nursing students called Public Enema #1.

My team (The Copsickles) were up first.  I left the warm building to wait in a heated tent.  My plunging partner kicked off the event by giving a short speech (too cold for a long one) and some introductions.  I had planned to wait in the tent until the speech was over, but was rushed onto the platform in that -26°F air. They didn’t want any lag time between the speech and the jump.  If my costume was a little silly on its own, it looked outright ridiculous standing on a platform with a bunch of cops in uniform!

Waiting To Take The Plunge

Waiting To Take The Plunge (Photo by Jennifer Gooldy)

The first two sets of Copsickles made the plunge.  Then it was our turn.  We stepped onto the ledge of the pool.  Three, Two, One.  I flung my hands in the air and kicked my feet up as I plunged into that ice-cold water.  I will never forget that sound or the feel of that icy water completely swallowing me.  I quickly swam to the surface losing a shoe along the way and made my way to the other end to exit.  I grabbed the ladder and immediately let go.  A thick layer of ice had completely coated the ladder.  I lost my other shoe.  A man on the platform reached out his hand for me.  The next thing I remember I was standing next to a hot tub frantically looking for stairs that weren’t there.  I contemplated just diving in head first, my head was already wet after all.  I decided against that and just put aside all lady-likeness for a moment and kind of rolled into the hot tub.  You can see a video of a few of the jumps here.  I am in the second to last set of jumpers on the video.  Oh, and I’m totally creeping in the background at the beginning.


Jump! (Photo by Jennifer Gooldy)

The only thing I can compare the rush of a polar bear plunge to is my first time sky diving, jumping from safety into the unknown with life threatening consequences if something went wrong.  It was exciting.  It was exhilarating.  It was something I definitely want to do again.

I made so many great friends at the event, but some of my favorites have to be athlete John and his adorable girlfriend Katie.  John earned the Golden Plunger award for raising the most money.  He raised over $7K all by himself!  Katie just gushed over him.  She leaned in close as if to share a secret with me and told me she was the luckiest girl in the whole world.  How can you not love people like her, so full of joy!

Post Plunge with Katie and John

Post Plunge with Katie and John


Freezin For A Reason

It’s official! I’m taking the plunge tonight, the polar bear plunge! I’m so thankful for all my friends & family who have supported me! We’ve raised almost $300 in 24hrs for Special Olympics Montana! I’m super excited to be making the jump, but equally excited to be supporting such a great cause. I’ve been involved with Special Olympics for most of my life & it’s always held a special place in my heart.

So let’s get to the logistics of the jump. They are expecting temperatures to drop down to -26 tonight! Don’t worry though! There will be rescue divers in the water and EMTs on site. Immediately after the jump we get into a hot tub to warm up.

I’m on the local law enforcement team, The Copsickles. Since they are one of the major sponsors of the event we will be some of the first to jump. I love that, because it just means more time in the hot tub for me!


Should I Take The Plunge?

Just when I thought the adventure on this trip was winding down, tonight I was presented with the opportunity to do a polar bear plunge this weekend! Why on earth would this Florida girl jump into freezing cold water when it’s -20 out? The event is to raise money for the Special Olympics, but also why not! I’ll keep you posted if I raise enough money tomorrow to jump!  If you are interested in donating, you can do so here.


Wild Things And Wild Places

Only a little over a week until my next Montana trip and I’m getting so excited!  I have to let you in on a little secret.  Before every trip, I get all pumped up listening to songs and watching videos about Montana.  I can spend hours on the official Montana travel site finding inspiration for my next trip!  Below is my favorite video featuring Casey Anderson (host of Expedition Wild and America the Wild on Nat Geo).  I even have a favorite quote from the video.

“…the people who live here have a mindset of allowing it to be wild and seeing that as an asset, and I feel that in that coexistence between the people that are here and the wild things and wild places it just has this mysterious feeling about it that’s just unlike anywhere on earth.”

Visiting the grizzly bear sanctuary mentioned in the video is one of the many activities mentioned in my Montana Wish List.

Visions Of Winter Fun Dancing In My Head

It’s official!  I’ll be back in Montana again in a couple weeks!  This will be my first time there during the winter in almost a decade! I know living in the South so long has made me a little soft, but I’m hoping I toughen up to the Montana winter within a day or two.Snowy Cabin

It won’t be the first time that it’s snowed on me while visiting the Treasure State.   During my 2012 trip it snowed my first full day there, since it was the middle of Junuary.  If you’re not familiar with Junuary, it’s when it feels like January in June!  My mom and I were supposed to sleep in a teepee that night for the first time, but we weren’t prepared for that kind of weather and opted for a nice warm hotel instead.



It’s very typical that the first snow of the year is in October and the last snow in May.  However, I have seen it snow every month of the year in Montana!  I even remember getting snowed on at an Independence Day cookout once!

I’ve been away from it long enough that the snow is now a novelty to me and I can’t wait to go play in it!  These past few days I’ve had visions of ice skates, snow shoes, and sleigh rides dancing in my head.  Stay tuned to see which Montana Wish List events get checked off during this trip!

Home For The Wild West Holidays

I got a call from my mom and my aunt and adventure is in the air!  The three of us feed off each other and you never know what might happen (remember our silliness in Glacier Park this summer?).  It started out a somewhat normal conversation…we’re listening to Christmas music on our road trip, so of course we thought of you.  Somehow that turned into the three of us planning a flash mob during their small town parade of lights next month!

Let’s backup a minute and figure out how we got here.  Last month they helped organize the Wild West Days in Chinook, MT.  They helped with the stick horse parade, the can-can contest, and even got involved in the Miss Kitty look alike event.  We are not sit on the sidelines kind of people!

Chinook, MT Wild West Days

Chinook, MT Wild West Days

Bandits taking over the Wild West parade

Bandits taking over the Wild West parade

Guess which Miss Kitties are my mom and aunt!

Guess which Miss Kitties are my mom and my aunt!

In addition to running different events, they also entered the 1st place float!  My uncle and family friend built the float to honor the centennial of our family homestead.  My grandma played beauty queen and waved to crowd.  A couple of the dogs and chickens even rode the float for authenticity!

The guys and their prize winning float!

The guys and their prize winning float!

My grandma playing beauty queen on her family homestead float

My grandma playing beauty queen on her family homestead float and yes that’s Sponge Bob in the window!

The chickens even made it on the float!

The chickens even made it on the float!

Since they now have a reputation as master float builders, their church asked them to be in charge of the float for the annual parade of lights.  I remember going to the parade as a little girl all bundled up, mesmerized by the lights. We talked about different ideas for the float including a surprise flash mob.  I LOVE Christmas and music and lights and flash mobs, so I don’t think I’ll be able to sit this one out!  I’m already listening to Christmas music looking at plane tickets!  Hopefully I’ll be able to scratch off a few items on my Montana bucket list while I’m there!

France in Florida?

This weekend I have a little adventure planned with friend and fellow blogger Diary of a Francophone. Who knows what will happen; who knows where we will go!  I am one who loves to just get in the car and make it up as I go along.  While we don’t know where we are going, we will be on a bit of a scavenger hunt.  I am helping her find a little piece of France right here in Florida and she is helping me find adventure and something beautiful.

Since we are talking about France, I thought I’d share a few photos from my trip to Paris.  Don’t worry, it’s not another standard photo of the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe that you’ve seen a thousand times before.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, I have this silly habit of taking photos from moving vehicles, so most of my Paris photos are from the top of a big, red double decker tour bus.

This was my favorite sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe.  What is that facial expression all about?

This was my favorite sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe. What is that facial expression all about?

I fell in love with this carousel!

I fell in love with this carousel!

Look up from inside the Eiffel Tower

Looking up from inside the Eiffel Tower

My favorite place in all of Paris - Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris!

My favorite place in all of Paris – Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris!

The stained glass was amazing!

The stained glass was amazing!

This incredible opera house just made me want to put on a ball gown and belt out my favorite aria!

This incredible opera house just made me want to put on a ball gown and belt out my favorite aria!

Loved this sculpture on top of Le Palais Garnier!

Loved this sculpture on top of Le Palais Garnier!


Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Wow!  What an honor!  I am so humbled that Turquoise Compass would find my blog inspiring enough to nominate!  She is such an inspiration to me!  I so appreciate her willingness to go against tradition and follow her dreams.  Hopefully … Continue reading