Coffee with Adventure

Beautiful picture in California.

This week, I’m living vicariously through my friends’ Snapchat and Instagram stories. Looking at these, I started reminiscing about trips I’ve taken in the last few years. Today, Coffee with Chloe is a throwback to four memorable trips.

Welcome to a few pieces of my past.

December 2013: California 

Beautiful picture in California.
Exploring California.

In December 2013, my sister moved to California to live with my brother for a few months. On Dec. 26, five of nine siblings packed up my sister’s car and took off on a 26-hour trip to Arroyo Grande, Calif. We traveled through the wide-open spaces of Nebraska, the mountains of Colorado and the Las Vegas strip.

We jammed out to Britney, which the one brother in the car listened to without complaint.

During our time in California, we met my brother’s future wife, ate the best smoothies ever, toured Hearst Castle, walked on the beach and welcomed 2014 with my brother’s girlfriend’s family – featuring sushi and fireworks.

Smoothies from It's Really Yogurt
Emily and I enjoying smoothies from It’s Really Yogurt. (This is the highest quality picture my iPhone 4 could capture.)

We flew back to S. D. and were greeted by minus 40 wind chills.

Just a minute – my coffee pot finished brewing.

October 2014: Missouri 

RipCord at Worlds of Fun
Round one of the RipCord with Lea. (Photo by Jessica Voigt)

My high school was small, putting teachers in charge of numerous classes for students in grades seven to 12. Teaching many courses leads to scheduling conflicts, so my high school alternates teaching chemistry and physics. Paul Kuhlman (PK) teaches both courses and during physics years, he takes his class to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Mo. to study roller coasters.

The juniors and seniors packed into a school bus and headed for the amusement park’s annual haunted park event. On this trip, I discovered that my best friend loves roller coasters as much as I do.

Lea and I rode the RipCord twice – the most terrifying and exhilarating experience of my life – and waited in line for front row seats on every roller coaster. We are firm believers that the front row is the best seat. Lea convinced me to ride the Boomerang, despite my adamant refusal when we arrived.

We stayed at the park until closing time at 1 a.m., then headed back to the hotel and left for South Dakota the next morning. The trip was so fun that the 24-page worksheet PK made us complete didn’t seem too bad.

Pause for refill.

October 2017: Montana

Sibling picture at Sky Ridge Ranch, Montana.
My siblings\squad. (Photo by Slikati Photo and Video)

My sister – the one I helped move to California a few paragraphs ago – married her childhood crush in October 2017. The two met in elementary school when my family moved to Montana, then reconnected a few years ago.

My mom and I flew to Montana a few days before the wedding, after she spent the night in the dorms with me – which was a fun sleepover, but I don’t think my mom will be giving up the farmhouse for a dorm anytime soon.

We stayed in a rental home about 20 minutes from Sky Ridge Ranch, the wedding venue. I helped my mom make wedding cupcakes and my sister with anything she needed. I was honored with the task of crafting altar bouquets, so I used my training from Mensch Retail Greenhouse and The Flower Shop to arrange two large rose bouquets.

The wedding day was chilly, with a temperature high of about 35 degrees Fahrenheit – which is brisk in a bridesmaid dress, but the day was beautiful. I ate way too much food – catered by the groom’s brother – and danced the night away with my siblings.

I need another refill.

October 2017: Texas

View from the Dallas Sheraton
Some of the Augie students checking out Dallas with our fearless leader, Janet Blank-Libra.

A week after my sister’s wedding, I flew to Dallas with a group of fellow journalism students and Dr. Janet Blank-Libra for the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention.

The annual convention brings journalism students and advisers together to hear from renowned journalists, get feedback on your university yearbooks and newspapers, attend breakout sessions providing information about journalistic skills, submit university publications for awards and experience a city.

In Dallas, I ate delicious meals, got lost multiple times in the Dallas Sheraton, cried at the Sixth Floor Museum, tried rolled ice cream, improved my journalistic knowledge, heard fellow Augie students on a panel discussing empathy in journalism and got an autograph from Hugh Aynesworth, journalist and witness to the Kennedy assassination. I also jumped into a heated rooftop pool with my fellow yearbook staffers, only to discover it was not heated.

The knowledge gained on this trip was invaluable, but the experience meant more to me because I got to know my fellow Augie journalism students better. A new city with students I didn’t know well was a risk for my introverted self, but I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.


Today, I shared four adventures. These experiences were important to me for different reasons, but each was memorable. I’m looking forward to all the memorable adventures that await me.

My next stop is Universal Studios. I hope my brother is ready for a guest.


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Journalism, communication and media studies major at Augustana University (S.D.). Coffee lover and feature writer.

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