Travel Diary Pt 2: Miami Eats

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Stuffing my face is what I do best. Walk and eat.. walk and eat.

If you caught my beach obsessed post about my first days in Miami, here’s one that talks about all the food we consumed. It’s always overwhelming trying to research the best places to eat in a new city, so I relied on recommendations from friends, blog posts like this one from my blogger friend The Fashion Hour, and what the locals were recommending.

Joe’s Stone Crab (11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139) was first! Most places around Miami Beach are going to be pricey, but this is definitely a spot worth checking out. When more than three people say you need to go, you go. It’s been around for over a 100 years and is known for their delicious stone crabs, caught fresh in Miami. This was our dinner destination on our first night.

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The place was HUGE. Our waitress Christine helped us navigate the menu and not over order. The four of us split two soups (which was really enough for the four people). The Clam Chowder was amazing and so flavorful. It was a thick soup, not watery at all. The crab bisque was ok. It was creamier and sweeter than I liked.

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Instead of going for the main combos which were easily $60+ a person, our waitress recommended we get a pound of the Stone crab grilled with a garlic sauce, and the Alaskan Crab Claws served chilled along with two sides. I preferred the claws over the stone crab. I like the sweeter flavor of the meat rather than a salty stone crabs. The stone crab is still great, just different.

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It was actually the perfect amount for us in addition to the hash browns and the grilled tomatoes. Seeing other tables order a whole combo platter would’ve been WAY too much food per person, especially with as filling as the creamy soups were beforehand. We actually had leftovers to take home too.

This key lime pie was bomb. It wasn’t overly tangy and had the perfect balance of sweetness and citrus. I pretty much ate the majority of this slice. Sorry friends. Haha.

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Suviche (1119 16th Street, Miami Beach) was our dinner destination Saturday night. It’s a Peruvian and Asian fusion restaurant. We intended to go to Ceviche105, but ended up here instead. The concept is cool, with build your own ceviche bowls, sushi rolls, and signature dishes. It was good, but it wasn’t great. Not a spot I’d recommend worth visiting. There are many other options I think are worth your money and taste buds.

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This seafood risotto was a bit on the bland side. The shrimp had no flavor at all.
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Pretty much a seafood combo fried rice. Probably the best tasting of all the dishes of the night.
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Tuna Tataki with a teriyaki type sauce
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Getting a bit of everything in each bite was key for this ceviche to be tasty. The tanginess was a bit overwhelming.

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Little Havana is a bit of a trek outside of Miami Beach. If you want a taste of  Cuban life, you can walk the 3-4 block area and check out the different stores on Calle Ocho. The neighborhood is sketchy, so be wary.

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El Gallito Bakery (1551 SW 27th Ave, Miami, FL 33145) was a recommendation from my friend Natalie of The Fashion Hour. There was so much to choose from and the nice lady indulged us as we communicated in broken Spanglish and finally settled on a few choiced bites.

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We didn’t want to stuff ourselves and took a few bites of different baked goods and pastries. We tried a carne and chorizo empanada, guava pastry, and guava and cheese pastry with cafe con leche and cafe cubano. All this was $7. Everything was dirt cheap.miamieats-traveldiary-pt14

Next to El Gallito was another restaurant. It looked like a buffet version of every single Cuban food you could think of. We settled for small tasting of some really succulent and crispy chicacronnes. Amazing.

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Next, we lyfted to Versaille (3555 Southwest 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33135-4196), a very famous touristy spot. Think of it as the Cafe du Monde of Little Havana. The line was out the door, but the wait wasn’t too bad. We walked next door to their little cafe and enjoyed some Sugar Cane Juice while we waited.

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At this point, we weren’t super stuffed and decided to share the Seafood Paella, because why the heck not?! It had squid, clams, octopus, generous servings of shrimp, lobster, fish, and chicken. The saffron rice was flavorful and addicting. To order, they require a 2 person minimum at $25 bucks a head. We ordered the minimum and it seriously could feed 5+ people. The serving size was unreal.

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Yardbird (1600 Lenox Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139)
Back to the trendier part of Miami, Yardbird was THE recommendation for really solid fried chicken. We drove past it the previous night and saw how packed the restaurant was and hoped that was an indication on the food quality. I think we had our fill of seafood for the moment and craved something hot and southern.

To start we had their version of a caesar salad and a smoked and roasted bone marrow.

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Wasn’t in love with the caesar salad. Just give me all the dressing.miamieats-traveldiary-pt18

The bone marrow comes with a sweet onion marmalade and country toast. It was incredibly fatty which I liked, but that’s not everyones preference.miamieats-traveldiary-pt20

This 5 cheese mac n cheese was good. It mellowed out the richness, but wished it was a little creamier.miamieats-traveldiary-pt21

For our entrees, we split the Crispy Chicken biscuits with pepper jelly and the Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken.
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If you’re a fan of Chik Fil A, this is your dish. The portion was pretty large and the chicken had great flavor. The mix of salty, savory and sweet with the added flavors in the biscuit was delicious.miamieats-traveldiary-pt24

The fried chicken was solid. The breading was light and flavorful. The spices and flavors also resonated in the meat. It wasn’t overly crispy and hit the spot. I love fried chicken and they did good!
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The key to eating well in Miami is to not eat with your eyes. Especially when traveling and away from the comforts of a big bed, the last thing you want is to feel sluggish and tired after a huge meal. The four of did well to split a lot of different things and get a taste of it all. With limited belly space, you have to make it count. So glad we were able to walk and dance it off each day. I’m sure I clocked in at least 13K.

I’m sure I missed some great spots in Miami for eats. Where should I visit on my next trip? Comment below. I’d love to hear your recommendations!

Travel Diary Pt 1: Getting my Vitamin Sea at Miami Beach

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This past weekend, you might have caught a glimpse of all the adventures my friends and I went on during our trip to Miami. Traveling to brand new places for the first time is always so refreshing, eye opening, and fun. Especially with good friends. And it felt so good to not have a worry in the world, other than to reapply sunscreen and food.

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Being in a land locked state, we were pretty obsessed with Miami Beach the first two days. Plus, we really worked on our tan. We arrived bright and early Friday morning and wasted no time before heading to the beach. We booked the cutest Airbnb so close the Mid Beach, only a 10 minute walk down to hit the infamous South Beach. Prepare yourself for the photo dump.

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YAY! Jumping for joy to be in Miami!

Walking up the boardwalk and toward the sea is always an exhilarating feeling. So we slathered on the SPF and lots of it, before jumping in. The water was warm and clear. The breeze was perfect, and we couldn’t get enough of it.

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What’s beach time without some light reading and beer? South Beach was also pretty lively for being off-season. The energy was fun and and vibrant. That sun is definitely unforgiving, so we made sure we slathered on TONS of sunscreen and reapplied every other hour. The essentials for beach side fun would be SPF100, cheap sunnies you don’t mind getting ruined in the water. It’ll protect your eyes from the harsh sun. Beer and a portable speaker. Makes all the difference.

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I even got in a little workout beachside. It was hot and humid in the early morning. Got in a quick run and  short circuit. Plenty of benches for body weight workouts like push ups, box jump squats, and more. It was cool seeing other bicyclists, runners out early to beat the heat. Plus, rehydrating with fresh coconuts was the best treat.

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miamibeach-traveldiary-pt121This view was absolutely amazing. Couldn’t get enough of it. miamibeach-traveldiary-pt18

Got as much Vitamin Sea as we could. Soaking up the sun and sorely missed beach vibes. I loved how clear the water was and the random sand dunes in the water. Perfect start to vacation.

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Thanks for my tan Miami and the amazing scenery. Got a few more posts coming recapping my eats and sightseeing. Drop a comment below and tell me what some of your favorite places to visit in Miami Beach/South Beach!

14 Fitness Events You Need to Know About

June is lookin’ good with all these amazing events this month. Got 14 fun events to get you sweating this month. Check out the amazing line up plus one hosted by me!

1. Luke’s Locker Anniversary Party  |  Wednesday, June 1st @ 6pm
Luke’s Locker White Rock is celebrating Global Running Day and their anniversary on June 1st, Wednesday. Stop in the store from 6-8p for a fun run on the trail. The first 50 people will get a free Mizuno shirt. Stick around for light bites, refreshments and prizes. Mizuno will also be there offering free wear tests.

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2. The Meetup x lululemon athletics  |  Wednesday, June 1 @  730pm.
The Meetup and lululemon athletica on Knox/Henderson are getting together to bring you (entrepreneurs, bloggers, young professionals, creatives, small business owners) a fun evening of networking and mingling. On Wednesday, June 1st, get a chance to hear from The Kalon Life,  VIV Jordan, Wild Arrow, StudioHop and more. Nibbles and sips provided by Double Dose Bakery and Roots Juices. Attendees must RSVP to secure their spot. Event is FREE!

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3. FREE Workouts for SIX02 Day  | Thursday, June 2nd @ 6:02pm
SIX02 is also celebrating SIX02 Day with free workouts at all of their store locations. Head to a nearest SIX02 store on June 2nd for a free class at 6:02pm. See what they did there? Each SIX:02 location will host a live DJ in-store with post-workout refreshments and treats. You will receive 20 percent off all purchases in-store and online on Thursday. You can register below:

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4. Barre Code Plano Brawl & Brews | Saturday, June 4 @ 11am
Take a fun Brawl class with Barre Code Plano at Nine Band Brewing Company (9 Prestige Circle, Allen Tx) and reward yourself with a cold pint of beer! It’s $20 bucks, beer included and you can register  under “Events” at here.
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5. Grit Launch Party | Sunday, June 5th, 1-4pm
Brit Rettig, founder of Grit Fitness invites you to celebrate the opening of her new flagship studio in the Design District. The launch party will include cocktails, light bites, and workout gear offerings to shop by top fitness brands. General Admission is free and open to the public. VIP tickets are $25 and include priority entry and a special GRIT swag bag and gift courtesy of Nike. Snag your tickets here.

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6. Sunset Yoga w/ Dallas Fitness Ambassadors | Wednesday, June 8 @ 7pm
Dallas Fitness Ambassadors invites you to join them for an evening of yoga bliss at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Dallas. Noemi Martinez of V12 Yoga will lead an all-level flow class on the 38th floor in the chaparral ballroom overlooking downtown. The first 40 people who arrive will receive awesome swag bags. Post yoga, enjoy light bites and sips compliments of the Sheraton. Bring your mat, water and RSVP here.

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7. Grit Fitness Summer Sweat Series | Sunday, June 12th @ 2pm
Sweat with Grit, Sunday June 12th at the Westin Galleria. Take a free dance cardio class followed by sips poolside. Get pool access till 6pm. Get your girlfriends and grab your tickets here.

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8. ComCardio Grand Opening Celebration | Sat, June 11 at 9am.
Lea of Running with Ollie Blog and Premier Protein are hosting the grand opening of ComCardio Studio in Hurst, TX. Head over for a FREE early morning bodyweight bootcamp class sponsored by Premier Protein. Premier Protein is fully sponsoring the Bodyweight Bootcamp class. Stick around to win giveaways, sample PP, and more! RSVP to kengel@hunterpr.com.
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9. Athleta Summer Soltice Celebration | Monday, June 20th @930a. 
Grab tickets to Yoga in the Park with the Frisco RoughRiders Foundation and Athleta.  Proceeds benefit Hope’s Door of Plano and the Foundation. First 100 sign ups receive a free yoga mat. Stick around for post yoga party prizes and raffles. Tickets are $20 and you can sign up here.
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10. Yoga in the Park with Pei Wei | Tuesday, June 21 @ 6p
Join Pei Wei and Britt Rainwater for a free yoga class at Klyde Warren Park. The first 50 attendees will receive a Pei Wei swag bag, and all guests have a chance to win a Lululemon Athletica yoga mat or an unlimited month of ClassPass. Giveaway entries will begin at 6 p.m. The hour long free yoga class will be followed by complimentary quinoa sampling provided by Pei Wei. See more details here.
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11. ZENERGIZE at Lorna Jane West Village | June 25th @ 12p-4pm
ZENERGIZE your life with Soul Powered Sisters Brittany Madrid, Marzia Prince, and Shanna Lee of CubeFit Yoga for the BIGGEST summer event at Lorna Jane in West Village Dallas. This FREE health and fitness event will have a fun filled four hours of yoga, HIIT, strength, healthy nutrition, meditation, giveaways, and more. Check out the event and schedule here.

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12. Self Defense Workshop | Sat, June 25th @12pm-2pm
Chamberlain Studios brings back another free self defense workshop and workout. Learn basic, potentially life saving self-defense techniques in this hands-on workshop. Break a board for $1 to benefit Genesis Women’s Shelter. RSVP to info@dallaskenpo.com and follow updates on the facebook event here.

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13. Get Hot for Summer Wrap Up Party on the Katy Trail | Sunday, June 26th @ 930am & 1030a
Join Barre Code Design District for 2 workouts on the Katy Trail. Take a 930a Barre Code class or a 1030a Namaslay Class (HIIT/Barre Stretch combo). These workouts are free and you can RSVP by emailing designdistrict@thebarrecode.com. Bring your mat, shoes and water. Goodies provided by NUUN and Power Crunch. 

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14. Pound Class with Jambox at Bandier HP | Wed, June 29th @ 630pm.
Join me at Bandier Highland Park for one of my favorite cardio workouts. Strike a beat and break a sweat with one of the hottest dance cardio formats out there: POUND. Spots are limited and tickets are $15. All proceeds will benefit the MOVEMEANT FOUNDATION. There will be post workout refreshments and mini facials provided by Dior. Earn extra entries to the raffle with every additional $5 donation. Register here. Almost all the spots are gone!

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P.S. If you’re looking for more events in Plano, my friend Jessica of Love You More Too has a fun round up on her blog. Check it out here. Which one will you be going to?

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Drop a comment below and let me know where you’ll be sweating this summer.

The Perfect 3 Ingredient Pink Lemonade + Gelato Float

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It’s getting HOT in Texas and I am so ready for summer. For a fresh and super easy treat, I got together with Sprouts to bring you this fun treat. You can make this 3 ingredient dessert and kick up your feet on your home patio.

I’m not huge on super sweet sugary desserts or drinks. I tend to go for the tart or citrusy refreshments. If you’re like me, this Sparkling Pink Lemonade and Liconcello Float is just what you need.

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All you need is:

  • 1 bottle of the Sprouts Sparkling Pink Lemonade
  • 1 pint Sprouts Limoncello Gelato or other Lemon gelato
  • Raspberries and lemon slices to garnish

One pint will make enough for two glasses. I put 2-3 scoops per glass and poured in the sparking pink lemonade. Then added the raspberries for flavor. You’ll need a sparkling juice in order to get that fizzy action.

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Add in a cute straw and you have the perfect balance of sweet and tart in a glass. Once the gelato starts to melt, it turns into a foamy-slushy.

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There are so many wonderful combinations you can do to make your favorite floats. You can also grab an orange soda and add it to a Honey Vanilla for a creamsicle float or use a cola and vanilla for a classic taste. Have fun with club soda, ice cream and your favorite juice. Add champagne for brunch floats too. So easy, fun, and perfect for summer.

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What are your favorite combos for a fizzy float? Leave a comment below!

Why I Rappelled 50 Stories Down the Reunion Tower

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On Friday afternoon, it hadn’t quite set in that I would be rappelling down an iconic Dallas landmark, the Reunion Tower. I hadn’t told many friends or family I would be doing what some have said was wild or crazy. I don’t think I was even convinced I was doing it myself. That day I finally gave in and Google’d the height of the dang tower. 561ft. That’s 50 floors guy, but I did it all for an amazing cause.

Shatterproof is an organization founded by Gary Mendell after losing his son Brian to drug addiction at the young age of 25. After his passing, Gary realized that unlike other organizations dedicated toward the awareness and education of diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, there wasn’t anything like that for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Now Shatterproof is providing a voice for those that most would dismiss as self-inflicted ailments. It’s time to end the stigma.

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To promote awareness through community events, Shatterproof put on the rappelling challenge across multiple cities in the U.S. starting with the tallest rappel they’ve ever done . This would be the third time in Dallas and the first time at the Reunion Tower. Only 100 people and some very lucky media folks would be able to free rappel down 50 stories. Each person rappelling would have to raise a certain amount of money to secure a spot.

During my interview with Gary, it was incredible and sad to hear his story about his son Brian, but the journey that loss has taken him is astounding. He’s been able to pass legislation in nine states so far, with two more by the end of the year that would save more lives. You can learn more about their accomplishments here.

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Here are some mind-boggling stats I bet you didn’t know about those suffering from addiction:

  • More than 22 million people suffer from addiction according to a 2013 stat.
  • 135,000 Americans die from alcohol and other drugs every year. That’s 370 people a day.
  • The societal cost to help those suffering from alcohol and other drug addiction is estimated in excess of $415 billion per year.

And ya know, what? All those deaths are preventable. Shatterproof’s goal is to reduce all of that by 50 percent over the next 20 years. So far they’ve raised 15 million over the last two years with a goal to raise 7 million more this year. Dallas donations contribute 225,000 toward that goal so far. While there may be support groups like AA, Shatterproof hopes to provide more funding for rescue, treatment, and prevention.

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So back to the actual experience. Words cannot describe how incredible it was up there. I was taken into a room with my partner Hillary Juster, a special writer for the CW33 to gear up. We were strapped into harnesses, provided with gloves and a helmet. We were checked multiple times for safety and assured it was absolutely safe and easy to learn.

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Once we were on the Geo deck aka the big ball, we couldn’t bring along our phones and not allowed to bring anything that could possible fall (i.e. phone), or hurt us (jewelry, glass cases, etc). Fortunately, I had some really nice people offer to take photos of us!

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The metaphor associated with rappelling and drug addiction is that the first step (toward recovery or off the geo deck) is always the hardest. And it sure was! I could NOT look down and I knew I couldn’t back out either. The thrill seeker in me would not let me back out and I hate having regrets (note the sign above). The scariest part for me was getting up that ladder.

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Guys, my leg is literally hanging off the side of the geo deck. I couldn’t look down.shatterproof-rappelling-deepfriedfit-dallasblogger15

I struggled to get my other leg over and just let go. But I suppose that’s the whole point. We had radios on us to check in, and the crew is able to get us down if there was an emergency. As in, I pass out mid air and just cannot keep it together. Fortunately, that didn’t happen!

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The ropes were so heavy. Turns out they DO make rope that long and since I am super light, I would have to tug the rope up myself for a while until it becomes easier to just glide down.

shatterproof-rappelling-deepfriedfit-dallasblogger17 I think my reaction to pain, nervousness, anxiety is laughter. Ha. Lots of WTF’s running through my mind at this point. Insert lots of nervous giggling.
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I’m kicking myself for not getting a GoPro in time for this experience. You would’ve seen an amazing view of Dallas and recorded my heavy breathing from rappelling down. Oh, and of course, all the expletives. It was a surreal experience up there. I took those precious moments to take in the view of Downtown. I enjoyed the quiet hum of the city and savored those moments. It was just me and my thoughts, feeling completely free in the sky.

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You feel so small in such a vast space and while I still did not look directly down, I only looked up and around me. As I continued down, we could see our reflections on the side of the reunion tower and the Hyatt Regency. It was metaphoric in that we also reflected on ourselves and what Shatterproof is fighting so hard for.

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The experience provided a fresh perspective for me.  It was absolutely exhilarating being to do something I most likely won’t ever have the chance to do again. And to be able to share this experience in PSA form really makes me love what I do: telling stories. If you feel compelled, you can donate to the cause here.

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What did you think of this experience? Would you rappel 50 floors? Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think!

 

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