Holidays Travel Tips

Here are a few travel tips as we go through this holiday season:

Before The Trip
Pack light: You should only bring the necessary stuff you need for your trip. If you are allowed a free checked-bag on your airline, use it instead of bringing a carry-on. This will accelerate the boarding process and reduce delays at the gate.

Carry-on: You should pack your travel documents, medication, car keys and spare lithium batteries in your carry-on or in a bag as your personal item. If you are bringing liquids, they should be 100g/100ml (3.4 oz.) or less. Make sure your carry-on luggage has the right dimensions and weight depending on your airline. Many air carriers are strict about this and will make you check your bag if it’s too large.

Bringing gifts?: If you are carrying gifts onboard the aircraft, you should keep them unwrapped until you go through security. It’s just easier for the security officers if they have to inspect your gifts.

Flying international?
: If you are flying out of the country, make sure you have all the documents you need to enter the foreign country such as passport and visas. Ensure your passport is valid and is not expired prior to your trip.

24 Hours Before The Flight
Check-in: One day prior to your flight, you can check-in on your airline’s website or on their mobile app.

Flight status: Enable your notifications on your smart phone so you can know the status of your flight. If it is delayed or cancelled, you will know before heading to the airport for nothing. Winter weather delays can be expected even if you are not flying to/from the north as your inbound plane and the crew might be coming from Minneapolis for example.

At The Airport
Arrive early: If you are flying early in the morning or out of a major hub, definitely arrive early before your flight. There are a lot of people at the airport checking-in for their flights, dropping their bags and going through the security check point, which means longer wait times. Early for me means between 2 hours and 3 hours before departure.

Security checkpoint: To expedite security, I would recommend that you put your phone and wallet in your bag or your carry-on. You’ll have less loose items in the bins that you can lose. If you have a laptop, put it in a separate bin. Keep your boarding pass and ID with you as you go through screening. If “TSA Pre” is written on your boarding pass, just put everything in your bag and go through the walk through detector with your shoes and belt.

Boarding the Aircraft
Boarding time: Only go closer to the boarding area when your boarding zone is called so you won’t block any passengers in line that are boarding an earlier zone than you. To increase the odds your flight leaves on-time, only board when it’s your turn. I was boarding a flight earlier this week and a passenger tried to board during  Zone 1 while he was Zone 5…

Onboard: If you have a carry-on, store it with handle out or wheels out to make space for everyone on board. If you have a winter jacket, don’t put it next to your carry-on. Squeeze it on top of your carry-on or put it under the seat in front of you with your personal item.

Comment below if you have other good #traveltips to give to our readers!

Happy and safe travels!

Nicolas

Exploring the West

As my last adventure of the Spring semester, I had the privilege of traveling out west with the Admissions team. Our itinerary included Denver, Los Angeles, and Seattle during the course of five days. Needless to say, it was a lot of time spent in an airplane.

The beginning of our trip didn’t start out as planned, since our flight out of Daytona to Atlanta was delayed for three hours. After rebooking our flight twice, we finally made it to Denver with just a few hours to spare before the event. As an ERAU student, naturally I was excited to go to Denver International Airport, since there are so many conspiracies surrounding it. I was surprised when we landed to see that there was still snow on the ground! After admiring the snow and the Rocky Mountains, we got to the restaurant where we were going to be hosting our dinner event. A lot of families showed up, and I was able to talk with them about ERAU Daytona Beach Campus.

After a successful event in Denver, it was off to Los Angeles! We woke up very early in the morning to catch a flight to Salt Lake City, where we would be making our connection. I had never flown into SLC during the daylight hours, so I enjoyed the views of the mountains, and the lake.

Approach into SLC at sunrise

Once we made it to LA, we hit the ground running. After all, what else are you supposed to do when you have an entire free day in Los Angeles? First stop: In-N-Out Burger. A California classic. This restaurant was conveniently located at the end of one of the runways at LAX. So, we enjoyed plane-spotting while drinking our milkshakes. You could definitely tell we were from Embry-Riddle, since we oohed and ahhed when the 777s and 787s came in for landing. Once we got our burger fix, we headed out to explore the city, after a quick check-in to our hotel, of course.

Our first tourist destination was the Hollywood Sign. We drove up into the hills and took pictures of it in the distance from the Griffith Observatory. Somehow, we also managed to get into the Griffith Observatory to look around for a bit. We didn’t have much time to spare though, since our next stop was a tour at the Warner Brothers Studios. I had been to Los Angeles a couple times before, but had never done the tour before, so I was quite excited! Once we arrived at the Studios in Burbank, we were greeted with the bustling of television production. The tour lasted a couple hours, and we got to see Harry Potter costumes, sound stages where Pretty Little Liars, Friends, and the Big Bang Theory were filmed, as well as many other awesome things! Once the tour was over, we drove out to Santa Monica to visit the famous pier. Little did we know that there were severe wind advisories for that area! We were freezing! However, a little wind didn’t stop us. We ate at a restaurant on the pier and watched the sunset. It was the perfect end to a busy day, or so we thought. On the way back towards our hotel in downtown, we decided that we couldn’t leave LA without driving down Hollywood Boulevard. We got to see the stars on the sidewalks, the famous theaters, and Jimmy Kimmel Live’s studio!

View of the Hollywood Sign from the Griffith Observatory

Sitting on the Friends couch

Santa Monica Pier

Obviously, we maximized our free time in Los Angeles. The next day, we walked to the restaurant where we were hosting the luncheon. Our hotel was across from the Staples Center, so we also got to take some pictures of it while we were passing through. The event was very successful, and once again, I got to speak with many families about Embry-Riddle! It has turned into one of my passions. I love to see the excitement on students’ faces when they talk about attending ERAU.

Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles

After LA, we headed to our final destination, which was Seattle! I was excited to be back in my hometown, even if it was just for a day. Our hotel was in Pioneer Square, which is one of the most historic districts of Seattle. We were hungry after a long evening of travel, so we found the oldest bar in Seattle. However, we had to sit outside to eat, since I am not yet 21. The burgers were to die for, and our server was hilarious. It was around 50 degrees while we were eating, but it was definitely worth it. The next day, the event in Seattle was another luncheon. It was a smaller crowd, and it was special to me since my family was in attendance. My younger sister is going to be attending Embry-Riddle in August!

Once the event was over, my family joined us, and we all went to Pike Place Market and the Gum Wall. Thankfully it stopped raining just in time! We bought flowers, went to Beecher’s, and bought salmon from the famous Pike Place Fish Market. After a nice lunch on the pier, the ERAU Admissions team went to explore Seattle. We visited the Space Needle, of course. I also took them to see a lesser known tourist attraction: the Fremont Troll. It is a big troll that was sculpted underneath the bridge between Seattle and Fremont.

Approach into SEA over downtown

My sister and I at the Gum Wall

By that time, we were all exhausted just in time for our red eye flight back to Daytona! The entire trip was filled with laughter and good conversations. I enjoyed meeting some members of the ERAU Class of 2020! Now that the trip is over, I am looking forward to the next West Coast trip next year!

Until next time,

Lindsey

Spring Break Round 2

Hello, hello! After a nice two week hiatus, we’re back with our regularly scheduled broadcast. Spring Break was not too, too bad, which is nice.

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The conference was held at the Sheraton Hotel. Unfortunately, the WiFi was not free so I didn’t get to work as productively as I would’ve liked.

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The weather was also really wet and cold for some reason.

The first half of my break consisted of me representing The Avion Newspaper at this years College Media Association (CMA) conference in New York City. Considering that this was my first conference for anything, I think it went pretty well. The weather was a bit chilly so I never got to do any of the cool photo stuff I was planning to do, which was a bummer. While at the conference, I got to meet some really interesting people, I learned how other colleges, across the United States, layout their newspapers, and I have some valuable information to bring back to use for our newspaper.

I kept getting the right answers during Photography Jeopardy though.

I kept getting the right answers during Photography Jeopardy though.

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I miss doing theater.

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Once the conference was over, I luckily had the option of going straight to my house in New Jersey where I spent the remainder of my break. It was nice being home even though it was only for about four days. I got to see my high school’s production of Footloose which was amazing, and I had lunch with a friend: Pretty much average Spring Break. Maybe next year I’ll do something more awesome, but only time will tell.

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Lugging my luggage from NJ to John F. Kennedy International Airport was fun considering it was a 3 hour journey.

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With only just 6 more weeks left of Spring 2016, I’m really nervous about what’s next. Maybe I just need to take a leap of faith and go with the flow. I’ll let you know how that goes in two weeks.

Winter Break: Round Two

Hello, hello again! I can’t believe that it’s been almost two weeks since winter break ended…at least I wish it was winter since I didn’t get any snow back in New Jersey.

On my flight to New Jersey, I had a 30 minute layover in Charlotte, North Carolina which, at the time, didn’t seem so bad. That was until I realized my flight from Daytona departed 30 minutes later than expected, and I had to cross two terminals. Long story short, I did not make my connection to Newark so I had to wait 2 hours to board another flight.

Once I finally made it home, I pretty much spent a majority of my time playing Fallout 4, hanging out with friends and family, traveling to New York City: the usual.

2016 brings with it not only a new semester, but definitely a new year. Everyone always talks about things they’ll do for their “New Year’s Resolutions,” but I really do feel that 2016 will be different.

Well for starters, I’m now The Avion’s advertising manager which means I’m also a member of Embry-Riddle’s Student Government Association. I’m pretty excited to say the least. It’s a big responsibility but people have faith in me, faith that I won’t bankrupt the newspaper, so I might as well give it a shot.

With me being advertising manager, that brings my total of on-campus jobs to 4, which is quite extreme. I don’t know how, but I need some way of paying the bills! Maybe this semester will be a good place to practice time management.

Well that’s it for me. Hopefully I’ll have some fun stuff to report back on once the next post comes out. Until then, stay curious and welcome back to Riddle everyone.

And We’re Back!

Hello, hello! After a much needed 4-5 month hiatus, we’re back! And I’m not just talking about me being back on the blogging scene, but rather everyone coming back to Embry-Riddle. So on that note, welcome back returning students and faculty, and hello to the new students and faculty getting their start at Embry-Riddle this semester!

This summer has been a jam-packed one for sure. With things ranging from collegiate visits and parades to work and traveling, Summer 2015 may have been my most productive summer to date.

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Summer 2015 also marked the time where I started taking “artsy” pictures.

With victory and triumph in my veins after conquering the spring semester, I boarded my flight bound from Orlando, Florida (MCO) to Newark, New Jersey (EWR) and rode the train home once I got to New Jersey. It was probably 1AM when I finally got to my house on May 1st. Unfortunately for me, most of my friends were still in school/college. Needless to say, I did not spend May wisely and spent most of my time at home. (Whoops.) I did however, visit my high school to catch up with some teachers and friends. I even spoke to a few freshmen classes about college and how to prepare for the next 4-5 years of their lives.

Suddenly June came barreling in, and I suddenly found myself in a chaotic ballet of commitments and unexpected events. My sister’s orientation for Penn State University was during the first week of June so I had to put off working in New York City until the week after. Despite the logistics, 4-hour drive, and uncomfortable hotel beds, it was a fun time. Most importantly, my sister enjoyed the school which is what really mattered.

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I guess Penn State ran out of rock climbing walls.

With Penn State’s orientation over and my sister finishing high school in 2 weeks, I went back to work in New York City. Not much has changed since I left last summer, but it was still nice to go back to work in place that was familiar to me. The atmosphere and pacing is so different from life here in Daytona Beach, and that’s the lifestyle I was accustomed to.

Sometime in the middle of July, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team defeated Japan during the Women’s FIFA Cup and to celebrate, there was a ticker tape parade in New York City. Conveniently, my office was on Broadway and I managed to get some really nice pictures. It was my first ever ticker tape parade and it was really special considering the last one was in 2012 after the Giants won the Superbowl.

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ERMERGERD. ERMERGERD.

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I saw people just dump entire packets of paper outside their windows. It was crazy.

Annoyingly, August rolled around signalling the end of my summer vacation a few weeks later. By that time, I finished my internship and spent my time at home preparing for the fall semester. I managed to go out and photograph a few sunrises, the Perseid Meteor Shower, and sunsets. It was nice and a fitting salute to my home state before leaving for Riddle.

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I saw the Milky Way in person for the first time ever!

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The last sunrise I saw in New Jersey. *sheds tear*

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Oooo.

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On my flight back to Orlando, I ran into William Stirna who was a graduate of Embry-Riddle’s class of 1994!

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With things at Embry-Riddle in full swing now, nothing’s really changed since I left last spring. My classes are very interesting with SIM 200 being the most “technical” class I’ve taken to date. My professors are wonderful and they make class enjoyable, and I’m honestly glad things worked out the way they did. So, on that bombshell, thank you for reading, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

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This isn’t Daytona Beach, but this was taken in Florida…that counts right?

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“Oh so artsy.”

Snow? During Spring Break?

Wow, here I am back in NJ, and it’s snowing on the First Day of Spring. None of it is sticking however, but it’s nice to see snow falling after spending so much time in Florida.

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Someone please tell me that isn’t jet fuel being dumped out of my plane before landing…

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Surprisingly this is the 2nd time I’ve flown out of Daytona Beach Int.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, my break hasn’t been all that eventful thanks to Mother Nature’s winter-weather-fury. I manage to visit my friend who goes to school at the University of Delaware, got to go back to my high school and visit my friends in the drama department, had dinner at my friends’ house, and spent some quality time with my family; what more could you ask for?

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I found the University of Delaware’s equivalent of the COAS.

I got a nice chunk of my homework done, but there’s still more to accomplish so hopefully I don’t get sidetracked. Speaking of sidetracked, the snow is actually sticking! All the lawns on my street are turning white!

I’m glad we had a week off for Spring Break (technically 10 days for me but I digress.) I definitely needed the break to take some time to think about what I need to accomplish when I get back to Riddle. Not only that, it was nice to see my friends rooting for me because we all need a little motivation in life.

With that said, I think I’m ready to come back to school. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things. I definitely need nicer weather to get more practice with my quadcopter so I’m excited. So, on that bombshell, I’ll see you all soon!

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12:41 “Eh, nothing’s gonna happen.”

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1:14 “NO WAY.”

 

“Oh, we’re halfway there. Woah, livin’ on a prayer.”

What’s that you say? Spring Break is only just a week away? Inconceivable! I can’t believe it’s already March! Like I feel like the semester just started. I guess time flies when you’re having fun, or are doing way too many things at once; I digress.

I’ve been flying a lot more with my quadcopter, and I finally got the confidence to mount my GoPro to it! I got some great video –  some of the highlights include: aerial footage of Embry-Riddle, mid-air collisions, and formation flying with other smaller planes. I’m still getting the hang of working with Adobe Premiere Pro and SpeedGrade. I also ordered more parts for my quadcopter so fingers crossed as I try to get better footage! If you’re on the fence about starting, I highly recommend getting into RC flying because it’s such a wonderful hobby. Honestly, everyone who’s seen me and my hall-mates flying on the soccer field just stop and smile because of how awesome it is. We even managed to impress two campus security guys one night when we were flying. RC flying teachers you aerodynamics, electronics, videography, and so much more; it’s definitely a hobby that’s going to stay with me for a very long time.

I am a very huge Doctor Who fan so logically, rather illogically, I decided to decorated my door to look like the TARDIS, the iconic blue police telephone box from the TV show. When I came back from class one day, someone left a replica panel of the door sign on my desk. After talking to my friends, I learned that someone from maintenance saw my door, left and came back with the panel for my door. I was truly amazed and shocked because I wasn’t expecting something like that to happen to me. Flash forward to present day and the sign/panel is hanging proudly on my door.

Aside from that, there’s nothing really new on my end so on that bombshell, I’ll see you all in another two weeks!

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DUDE, IT’S ETCHED IN PLASTIC.

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My door game is on point…depending on which point system you use.

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I need to start getting into architectural drawings.

 

Taking Flight


Has it really been two weeks already? Honestly so much has happened in this week alone that I cannot comprehend it all. In terms of highlights: I got to meet Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise, I was hired by the IT department, so I now have two campus jobs (yay?), and my new quadcopter came in the mail.

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The Avion strikes again! *Angerly waves fist in the air*

Meeting Fred Haise was absolutely amazing; words cannot describe how nice and genuinely awesome he is. I was fortunate enough to meet him as well as sit-in on two of his Q&A sessions. As I sat in the audience and listened to him speak, you could feel his enthusiasm for space and aviation. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and he was very honest and open about what he talked about. If any of you ever get the chance to see him, please do yourself a favor and try to. I would like to thank Dr. Kain of the Honors program here at Embry-Riddle for allowing me to meet Fred Haise and my friend Gus Galarnyk for telling me about his session with the honors students.

In addition to applying for a Resident Adviser (RA) position, I also applied to the IT department here at Embry-Riddle. I was extremely nervous because I was never interviewed for a job before and I knew that  there were people who were way more qualified than me. With that said, I was amazed and excited when I learned I got the job. I start work on Thursday so hopefully I can work out my schedule because I’m terrible with time management. Hopefully I have the same amount of luck for my RA interview (Fingers crossed)!

I don’t know if I learned from the Quadcopter Incident of 2015 because almost immediately afterward, I sprang to get a new quadcopter and returning the old one. In terms of practical use aside from “it looks cool bro,” I really want to get into aerial-imaging (fancy schmancy for  footage taken in the sky/air.) With photography and videography under my belt, I need something to challenge myself and since like 5 guys on my floor are RC plane hobbyists, I had no problems getting into the swing of things. One of my suite-mates recently got a new RC plane while the other, who happens to be an RC plane trainer, built one from scratch. Since we all acquired our new gear on Saturday, we all went flying and it was a fun time. RC flying is definitely a hobby I can get into, and since it’s not that big where I grew up, more bragging rights for me when I come back home.

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Soccer fields are amazing great places to fly dangerous precision-control aircraft.

I can’t believe we’ve been back in school for 1 month already. What’s even more shocking is that I have friends who didn’t even go back yet! Oh well, just 3 more and I’m back in NJ. On that bombshell, I’ll see you all soon.

If hyper-linking works, he’s an outtake from our RC flying antics: Whoops

The Future is Very Bright

With Winter Break behind us all, it’s time for us to continue what we started last semester. I was pleased, well moderately satisfied, with where I stood last semester but there was definitely room for improvement. This semester I’m attempting to push myself harder and, thanks to my schedule, I might make my goal a reality.

With only 4 classes this semester, I have plenty of time for school and the clubs I’m involved in. It’s nice not feeling constrained by your course load, but also it feels good to have something to do. Whether it’s doing my EGR120 homework (Graphical Communications) or a photography assignment for the Avion, I’m always doing something.

Aside from school and clubs, I’m starting to get back into photography and, more recently, RC planes. I just got a mini-quadcopter and I love it! Of course that was until after 2 minutes of me flying it for the first time, I got it stuck in a palm tree. With the enlisted help of 4-5 of my hall-mates, and the loss of my two flip flops,  we got it back and it still works! This basically means I need to practice in the simulator more and/or not fly by trees.

Since it’s only been 3 weeks into the semester, nothing much really has happened. I’m sure things will change in the next couple of days. So, until then, “Till all are one!”

I also would like to take the time to thank my friend Rachel Weeks for proof reading my posts since I have the grammar mechanics of a 5-year-old.

The 12th Hour

Has it been 14 weeks already? Honestly it feels like I just moved into Riddle yesterday, and now I’ll have to leave in a matter of days; It’s almost surreal to be honest. But, with finals just around the corner, there’s no time to reflect on my nostalgia. I have only two finals: physics and calculus. Physics I’m pretty confident in thanks to the regulations regarding note-cards: we’re allowed to use them. Calculus is a little more dicey, and I try to forget about it as best as I can. Hopefully, I can overcome my procrastination to relearn all the material that, for some bizarre reason, never seemed to stick in my head. All in all, “the grade you get, is the grade you earned” so I’ll have to let that be my mantra while studying.

On a much brighter note, I am now a general member of the Avion which means I can get clearance for events and stuff. Because the Avion is well known, many of the photographers in the group, can get special clearance to view rocket launches at Cape Canaveral much closer than the general public. I’m looking forward to next year’s launch schedule and I will make it my mission to see a rocket launch; hopefully my schedule will cooperate with me on that.

Ernie the Eagle joins me for dinner at Starbucks.

Also, as of 5 hours ago (Dec. 5, 2014 8PM EST), I was totally unaware that we had a college mascot. I was taking pictures outside and saw a rather large eagle costume approach the Hunt Library. In a brilliant moment of word association, I realized that the eagle was no one other than Ernie the Eagle. Or it could have been the fact that someone yelled “Ernie!” across the courtyard but we won’t mention it.

I recently had the opportunity to observe a flight with my friend and it was absolutely incredible. After many years of flying in Flight Simulator X, seeing a Cessna, or any plane really, up close and personal is such a wonderful and surreal experience. The fact that I could sit in the cockpit and had a feel for what each button, lever, and dial does is truly remarkable. I hope to one day get my pilot’s license and trade up my desk simulator for actual flight hours, but for now, FSX and flight observations will have to suffice.

I’ve learned a lot of things during this semester at Riddle. Aside from the knowledge learned in the classroom, I’ve learned a lot about myself, valuable life lessons, and how to navigate life in Florida. I’ve had a great time these past 14 weeks, and I’m definitely looking forward to next semester. So on that bombshell, not really, I wish everyone luck on their finals and hope to see you all in a few weeks!