Hocus-Pocus Potion

My Adventure With Free Wrinkle Cream And Holy Water In Winter Park, Florida

On the last day of Sandi's visit, I took her to downtown Winter Park for a day of "touching stuff" and a visit to the local art museum.


A dear friend from high school escaped from the wintery wonderland of Pennsylvania this week for a long weekend of fun in the sun. On the last day of Sandi's visit, I took her to downtown Winter Park for a day of "touching stuff" and a visit to the local art museum. Sandi and I both enjoy window shopping and people watching, and Winter Park, Florida, has the best of both worlds. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and we parked the car on a side road and began our adventure.

As we turned the corner on Park Avenue, we came upon a sales girl giving out free samples of eye cream. Sandi accepted the cream and I asked her what she was giving us. The sales girl said, "come inside and I will make you look 10 years younger." Sandi took the challenge and climbed up on the makeup chair.

Feeling a little frisky I told her, "I already look 10 years younger than I am, how much younger can I get." Lia, the sales girl on a mission, kept talking about the eye cream that was going to take our wrinkles and bags away.

Then she wipes the makeup off under Sandi's left eye and applies a cream the color of baby shit. Lia asks us what type of products we use on our faces, and as we discuss products, the difference in Sandi's eye is changing to taught youthful skin. I was impressed. Sandi, not so much, and she whispers to me, "Preparation H does the same thing."

Lia proceeds to apply it to my right eye and while she is applying this magic cream. I ask the cost for her hocus-pocus potion. She struggles to keep that from me, yet I persist with the nudging of Sandi saying, "ask her how much, ask her."

"$400," Lia finally admits along with, "but this tube will last 3 years. You will pay $400 in 3 years for other creams."

"Okay," and ask, "can I pay this in payments over 3 years?"

"No," she replies and states a facelift would cost $10,000. "We have all-natural products no surgery. And it will last 3 years."

In the meantime, Sandi begins saying, "my eye is burning and I'm lopsided." We both look like we had a stroke, with the opposite sides dropping. Lia has finished her shtick and realized she is not making a sale and wants to send us on our way, when I say "Wait, you need to do the other eye."

Sandi is still saying it's burning as Lia applies this magical cream to her right eye. And then coats both eyes with a clear substance which we can only assume is a mixture of egg whites and rubbing alcohol. She does the same to me and send us on our way. Hailing goodbyes and I'll tell my friends about your product, Sandi and I sauntered down Park Avenue to "touch stuff".

In the French pastry shop, the sales lady seemed unable to make "eye" contact with me when I ordered a cappuccino. Three stores later, we walk into an art/bohemian store and I come across a mirror only to see I have what looks like crusted egg whites around the bottom part of my eyes and on the top on my cheeks! I scream "Oh my god! Look at my eyes!" I pull a tissue and my makeup bag from my purse and proceed to scrape the "magic age reducing cream" off my face. It somehow sucked up all the moisture under my eyes and was now a wrinkly raw mess, puffing up every time I swiped. Meanwhile, Sandi is rubbing spit on her face crying "it still burns. Get it off!"

We manage to scrape a layer off and leave the store before the clerk kicks us out. We come upon SMM Church and go inside. Sandi's eyes are still burning, and I need to pee. So, we head to the ladies room. Sandi and I soap up a paper towel and scrub the remainder of the crusted concoction off our face. On our way out we pass the fountain of holy water and I tell Sandi to dab some of the water on her eyes and I do the same. Surprisingly it doesn't burn but is cool and refreshing.

We cross the street to the art museum and get in line to pay our admission. It wasn't until we had already bought our tickets and started into the museum that we hear the clerk tell a customer about the discount for people 60 and older. Huh, we both look at each other. Why didn't they tell us, could it be the hocus-pocus potion worked or per-chance did the holy water do the trick? We don't know for sure but hours later the wrinkles are back plus our skin is still burning.

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30 Places Every Millennial Girl Needs To Travel To BEFORE She Turns 30

Live your best life, all around the world.

I am a travel enthusiast. There is nowhere I do not want to go.

Traveling the world is one of my biggest goals in life and I am determined to make it happen. The world is so big and I would love to see every inch of it at some point or another.

However, if I can travel to these 30 places before I turn 30, I will feel as though I have accomplished more than enough.

1. New York City, New York

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

3. Grand Canyon, Arizona

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

5. San Francisco, California

6. Los Angeles, California

7. Nashville, Tennessee

8. Honolulu, Hawaii

9. Walt Disney World, Florida

10. Chicago, Illinois

11. Nassau, Bahamas

12. Cozumel, Mexico

13. Cancún, Mexico

14. Bridgetown, Barbados

15. Basseterre, St. Kitts

16. Philipsburg, St. Maarten

17. Montego Bay, Jamacia

18. Christiansted, St. Croix

19. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

20. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

21. Tortola Baths, Tortola

22. San Juan, Puerto Rico

23. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

24. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

25. Oranjestad, Aruba

26. Mykonos, Greece

27. London, England

28. Paris, France

29. Barcelona, Spain

30. Rome, Italy

Okay, so these are 30 places I want to go out of like, a million. I have traveled to some of these places and would not hesitate one second to go back.

Every new place is like a new adventure, and traveling will forever be so exciting and intruiging to me.

Cover Image Credit: Maisa Teat

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Valuable Takeaways You Will Get From Studying Abroad

The things you'll remember most won't be the "crazy parties", but memories much more meaningful than that.


Everyone who studies abroad always comes back saying the same cliche things, such as how study abroad absolutely changed them or how they feel like they just belong in the place they studied in. Others will boast about skipping all their classes and partying every other night, which in a way, are also unique experiences. After 4 months abroad, I can assure you that although there is some truth in all of those statements, the reality is more of a mild mix of all of them. You will create unforgettable memories with friends and spend time partying it up in the city, but you will also come to genuinely appreciate your city for its small quirks instead of the major touristy activities. Regardless of your experience, however, here are some lessons everyone will have taken from their time abroad.

1. More Independence

No matter how well traveled you were before starting this semester abroad, when you're thrown into a foreign country with no one familiar, you'll be forced to grow up quickly. From figuring out how to interact with your non-student neighbors to figuring out meals every single day, studying abroad will help you grow up quickly. This may be the first time that you'll be away from everyone you know for more than a few weeks, and you'll have to find ways to cope with it.

2. New Perspectives

After spending more than 10 years in the American education system, learning about events like World War II and the Global Financial Crisis from a non-American perspective can be extremely eye-opening. Interactions and discussions with international students from other countries will leave you baffled at how many major things in history that your public high school education back in America never taught you. Picnics with your classmates will reveal new foods that you have never been exposed to, but that you now love and must eat once a week. The world is a diverse place, and it required you to get out of the country to truly realize it.

3. Travel opportunities

In the US, you could drive 7 hours from Los Angeles and still end up in California. In Europe or Asia or any other place, transportation methods under that same time can get you to another country or even multiple countries. Instead of a weekend trip to the mountains in the same state, you can take a train from Paris and end up in London a mere two hours later. With different countries so close together, take as many chances as possible to explore as much as you can. That being said, don't forget to travel within your own country and thoroughly explore the place you're living in!

4. Lifelong friendships

Even if you're an introvert, you'll find someone you can get along well with while abroad. Slowly but surely, you'll make that study buddy, gym buddy, boba buddy, or whatever-else-you-do buddy. Realistically, you won't be able to meet up with these people anytime soon after your time abroad, but you'll become so close to them during these few months because you're all on your own for the first time. Every few years, you'll still be compelled to meet up and catch up with them. Every time you visit a country, you'll be able to hit up the friend you made while studying abroad who lives there.

Everyone's study abroad experience will be different, but as long as you put yourself out there and make the most of your time abroad, you will come home with some of the fondest memories of your life.

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