Embry-Riddle is quite a unique school. Sometimes you’ll be sitting in the student union, hear the roar of a fighter jet’s engine, and two hours later, it’s parked on the Riddle ramp. We are an aeronautical university and do get a lot of surprise airplane visitors, so here have been my favorites over the years.
This might be a personal bias since the 747 is my favorite plane (EVER!!) but it’s not every day that an airline arrives at your university to let students tour their 747. Additionally, not every university will pay for a charter bus to take students to see the plane. It was amazing getting to see the plane up close and very personal with the plane. We could walk right up to it, touch it, explore it, and do anything reasonable that we wanted. I wrote a whole post about this plane because it’s that cool.
Ah, yes, the surprise visitor from last February! In this picture, only the ROTC students were allowed near it, but eventually, the general public was allowed inside. We weren’t allowed to get too close to it or go past the tape, but it was still really cool to walk around a fighter jet. At the time, I’d never seen a fighter jet up close before, so it was cool to have that experience. Watching it leave was also an amazing experience- it hovered over the runway before pulling into a steep climb and then some aerobatic maneuvers before it finally left the area. To this day I’m still not exactly sure what it was doing at ERAU, but I’m glad it showed up.
The C-17 and the Thunderbirds
A C-17 always shows up with the Thunderbirds in February for the Daytona 500, but this photo is from this year. I’ve seen them every year and they always do different things. Every single year, however, the rooftop balconies of the aviation maintenance science building and the parking garage are packed with students trying to get a good view. Last year, I was on the third floor balcony and watched the Thunderbirds fly a mini-airshow above us before coming in to land.
In February 2022, during my sophomore year, GoJet Airlines brought a CRJ 550 to ERAU and let the students tour it. GoJet is a regional airline that operates flights for United Airlines. It was super cool- they brought out small groups and handed out refreshments just like they would inflight. Even though it was a smaller plane, I had a lot of fun getting to see it on a more personal level than just being a passenger in it.
The Daily Flights
Last but not least… I love seeing the daily Delta/American/Avelo flights come in and out of the Daytona airport. One of the reasons I attended ERAU was because it’s so aviation focused, and I enjoyed the idea of seeing planes every day. I’ve gotten to see the planes here from so many different views- from inside a commercial airliner leaving the area, from the third floor balcony, up close and personal with them, and finally, flying in a small Riddle plane right by them. (But that’s a story for another time!) I’m excited to see what sort of airplane visitors will show up this year for my senior year. Hopefully one will come soon so I can see it! Regardless, I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!
How breaking my foot affected the course of my Fall 2023 semester. If you’re not super interested in the backstory, go ahead and skip to the first picture set in this post!
One fateful night during the Fall 2023 semester, also known as Wednesday, September 27, I was playing in an intramural volleyball game with my sorority, Sigma Kappa. We were doing pretty okay, and definitely had a chance to win the game. So, naturally, I put my all into the game. And broke my foot doing it.
I have loved playing intramural sports and I actually played lacrosse for about 6 years prior to attending Embry-Riddle, and never broke a single bone in my body, until this relatively low-stakes volleyball game. (We weren’t playing for a championship ring, really just for fun)
Like I said, I played lacrosse, not volleyball. So I was really just trying to get the ball over the net. About halfway through our first game, I jumped up to hit the ball back over the net (which I did successfully, and we got the point) and upon landing back on the ground, I felt my left foot do something weird and immediately start to hurt.
I didn’t want to delay the game, so I got up off the ground as quickly as I possibly could, and have been told I did it so quickly that most of the people there didn’t even know I got hurt. I made my way to the sidelines of the court, where a couple of my sorority sisters were there to check on me. I received a bag of ice and someone asked if I wanted medical attention, to which I responded; ‘No, I’ll be fine,’ genuinely believing that the pain would go away by the morning and I would be fine.
I stayed for the remainder of the game, which we unfortunately lost, and I went to get up from my seat and go out to my car in the ICI parking lot and drive back to Residence Hall 2 (RH2). Upon attempting to get up, I realized that I could hardly put any weight on my left foot, which was a problem. One of my sorority sisters went to get my car and drive it closer to the entrance of the ICI center, while a few members of the opposing team, who were also my friends and brothers of the Delta Chi fraternity, acted somewhat as ‘human crutches’ and helped me out and to my car.
One of my sorority sisters drove me back to my dorm in RH2 and parked my car for me. That night, I got into bed with my foot elevated and some ice on it, took some pain reliever, and somehow fell asleep, with the hope my foot would be alright in the morning.
Surprise! My foot was not alright in the morning. I woke up around 8:30 am and intended to get ready for my 9:45 class, in which I had an exam, but found I could barely walk. I called the campus’ Health and Wellness Center, who advised me to call Campus Safety to pick me up and drive me over to the center so they could take a look at my foot. I called Campus Safety, and only waited about 10 minutes for them to arrive, and they were incredibly helpful in making sure I got to the Wellness Center safely. Once there, the lovely nurse told me that I needed to get an X-ray and referred me to a local orthopedic clinic. The center provided me with crutches and I once again called Campus Safety to drive me to my car so I could go to the clinic. (It was my left foot that was broken, and all I needed was my right foot to drive, so no worries there.)
I sent an email to my professor explaining the situation, in hopes I would still be able to take that exam I mentioned. (I did, again no worries there.) After my X-rays, I was told I did in fact break my foot, and I should expect to be on crutches for about 3-4 weeks. Here’s where I guess I figured it was time to continue on with life as normal.
I truly appreciated the support when the injury occurred, and I included all of this context because every time I was asked how I broke my foot, this is just about everything I ended up responding with. (People love details, I guess)
The Fun Part: Life on Crutches!
No one told me how physically exhausting it would be to go through daily life on crutches. The first day was actually the easiest, I think. I wasn’t quite tired of the crutches, and was really just trying to ignore the pain in my foot. I answered a lot of questions and told the story of how it happened many, many times.
The biggest thing I noticed was how much I had to ask for help, which is something I’m not at all used to, and that’s where being on crutches began to take a mental toll. Many times, I found it incredibly frustrating to have to wait to ask someone to carry my lunch for me or to open a door for me, or I just had to figure out how to do it myself.
Usually, one of my friends would be around to help me get lunch, and that was no big deal. But sometimes, there was no one around, so unfortunately, I thought my solution was to just forget about it and try to get food another time. This is not the best way to go about my situation, and I have learned that now.
In regards to opening doors, many of the buildings I entered had a button I could press that would automatically open the door for me. However, when going to individual classes or even to the bathroom in some buildings, I struggled to open doors. Usually, when going to class, there was another person arriving around the same time, and would hold the door for me. Bathrooms, however, I found often had very heavy doors that were difficult to open, and was somewhat frustrating. It made me stop and think how accessible our campus really is.
All of these little frustrations really took a toll on my mental health. Having to rely on Campus Safety to get me across campus, or on friends to get my lunch, or on random classmates to hold the door open for me are things I never thought I would have to do, and I felt so incredibly helpless. Additionally, I am a very social person, but there were many things I couldn’t go do with my friends because I was on crutches. I fell into a lonely couple of weeks where I really didn’t feel like I had anyone to rely on. But, as soon as I realized what was making me upset (not being able to hang out with friends and do ‘fun’ stuff) I took some time to think about what I could do.
I could still go to my sorority’s chapter meetings, and even put on a little heel on my good foot when I had to dress up for chapter, hoping to gain a sense of normalcy. I found that I could still go to mass on campus, which helped to ease some of my mental troubles. I was able to go to the movie theater a couple of times, and even participate in my sorority’s philanthropy event.
Yes, it was hard to find the energy to do these things sometimes, but I realized that I was surrounded by people who wanted me to be there and wanted me to want to be there. Although being on crutches meant I couldn’t go bouldering in the fitness center, play volleyball with sisters, or play tug of war at my sorority’s Camp Sigma Kappa, I was still able to have plenty of fun being around the people I love.
Many of my professors were very understanding when I needed some extra time on assignments, because I was so physically and mentally exhausted while being on crutches. My bosses in Housing and Residence Life (p.s. I am still an RA, if you forgot) were helpful when I needed anything, as well as my coworkers, who often helped me get lunch or take out my trash, or even do my laundry.
Being on crutches taught me that it’s okay to ask for help, and that many people are usually willing to help! I also taught myself to discover things I could do on my own that still made me happy, even when I couldn’t run and jump and dance around my room.
There’s so much more that I could say in regards to breaking my foot, but perhaps that will be in a second story. For now though, I’m thankful to be off my crutches and out of my boot, while still taking it easy and allowing my foot to heal. Life isn’t quite back to normal yet, but I know that it will be soon, and I’ll be sure to update more as life goes on. With finals quickly approaching, my main focus is finishing the end of the semester strong, although much of it was quite the struggle.
I have truly appreciated everyone’s support while I was dealing with my injury, and appreciate the support I am still receiving from my family, my friends, my peers, and my professors.
Thanksgiving Break has come and, unfortunately, gone. I spent most of my time doing absolutely nothing which was pretty relaxing. My last class was on Monday, meaning that I got Tuesday off in addition to the rest of the week.
I did have homework due on Tuesday night, but I had already done most of it and then turned it in. After that, I was free to do what I wanted when I wanted. That meant going down to Vero Beach to see my best friend Chris, and riding the train from West Palm Beach to Orlando and back. We didn’t have anything better to, we were that bored, and it was a new experience, so we figured why not? Chris also had Thanksgiving off from his job, since the flight school he works at was closed for the holiday.
The train station was pretty small- nothing like Union Station in DC or Grand Central Station in New York City. I was pretty surprised, but then I found out that there’s only two trains that pass through, which makes a lot more sense. It was very modern and had an overlook of where the trains came in.
As for the train itself, it was still pretty cool. There was much more legroom than an airplane, free internet (although it didn’t work for me) and a huge bathroom. The train went up the coast and then inward towards Orlando, but it was too far inland for me to see many ocean views. I liked how much you could walk around the train. Where the cars connected, they would have a few windows so you could watch what was happening.
The train pulled into the Orlando airport. I’d seen a lot of people with suitcases, but me and Chris had just brought our backpacks. It pulled into the Terminal C, which I think is much more fancy than A and B. The main food court was over by the TSA lines in Terminals A and B, so we had to take the train over… and of course, spotted a couple of planes on the way.
We got lunch and then headed back to the train. I ended up sleeping for most of the way back, which I definitely needed after this semester. After that, Chris and I got Thanksgiving dinner at an iHOP, and my week continued on as normal.
I also ended up going over to a friend’s house and got to meet his two orange cats! They aren’t siblings, but they do get along well. It was his birthday, so of course we celebrated. At the end of the night, I went back home, went to bed, and prepared for a normal Sunday of doing homework.
I had a project due the Monday we got back which I was mostly done with, but I needed to finish it. The project is for AE 434, Spacecraft Controls, and aims to continuously point a satellite at the Earth. The class was working on part 2 of 3, creating block diagrams and adding a disturbance to the system. A disturbance is exactly what it sounds like- anything that disturbs the system from the state that it’s in. It’s a class I definitly find interesting, but it’s also a lot of work! If you come for Preview Day in April, I think you can observe classes. Although I’ll be finished with the class, I’ll still be on campus. I hope to see you there!
The idea of skipping classes could be unimaginable to some of you. Or it could be an everyday occurrence. Everyone has a different way of going about life, and I think that’s the beauty of being in college. I think sometimes we forget the idea of having free will. We are allowed to do whatever we’d like. However, this doesn’t mean we won’t face consequences.
Most people attend college from 18 years old to 22 years old. In my opinion, there’s a big difference between being 18 and being 22. I am at a halfway point in that span, but I’ve realized that I would not have become a better person since being 18 if I didn’t practice free will.
It’s important to remember that while we are students, we are also people. It’s okay to take a break, especially during college, before getting a real-world, real-adult job. In fact, it’s important to take breaks. Remembering of course that skipping class all the time may not result in the best grades, but maybe a few days of a break isn’t too bad, especially if you plan ahead.
I knew I would be leaving town and heading to Boston, MA, but also knew I would miss about 2 and a half days of class. That’s a pretty significant amount of time. But, all I had to do was reach out to each of my professors and let them know the situation. Most of the time, if you are willing to work ahead and put in a little extra effort to make sure you don’t get behind when you miss class, your professors will help you out too. I might be missing a few days of class, but it doesn’t feel like it. Yes, I am working a little more than normal right before my trip, but that means I get to enjoy my trip and stay on track.
Since I’ve mentioned my trip so much, I might as well share my journey.
My day started at 8 am, when I woke up, got myself ready for the day, and headed to the union for breakfast. After hanging out with a few of my friends who were awake and in the union as well, I headed off to my first class of the day, Airline Marketing. After class, which ended around 11 am, I headed back to the union for lunch and some light socializing, then back to my room in New Residence Hall 2. At this point, it’s around 12:30 pm. Here’s where skipping class comes in… I finished packing up for my trip and got in the car and drove home to Jacksonville Beach, despite knowing I had class at 2:15 and 3:45. I arrived home around 2 pm and spent some time with my family as they began to return home from school and work. I didn’t feel bad about missing class; my professors already knew and I was able to prepare by working ahead of time. My mom, sister, and I departed our home at the beaches and headed to Jacksonville International Airport, where we’d be getting on the evening flight to Boston Logan International Airport. Before you ask, no I don’t know what plane I flew on and I don’t know what other kinds of planes were at the airport either. I like to look at planes, but my knowledge of them stops there.
Growing up in Florida, I’ve never really seen the trees change colors in the fall, like they do in movies. I only know what ‘fall’ looks like because of what I’ve seen in movies or TV. So understandably, I’m pretty excited to head to beautiful New England and get a taste of autumn. On Friday, my sister and mom and I explored historic Salem, right in time for Halloween. Obviously, given I was in Salem, MA, I skipped class on Friday too. But all is good! I had planned ahead of time to make sure I didn’t miss too much. I was supposed to take a quiz in Corporate Finance this day, but luckily, I let my professor know I wouldn’t be in class and he allowed me to take the quiz before I left town.
This is what I’m talking about when I say plan ahead… If you’re gonna miss class for a little trip, just let someone know!
Salem was beautiful and also incredibly educational. I learned plenty about the Salem Witch Trials, and the general ‘spookiness’ of the town, especially around Halloween.
I loved seeing the colors of the trees all throughout Salem, but I really didn’t know it could get even more colorful! The next day, Saturday (no classes skipped) I went apple picking at Red Apple Farms! I truly got a taste of fall through freshly picked apples, an apple cider slushie, and apple cider donuts. What I’ve gathered from this trip is that the taste of fall must just be apple cider, and honestly? I’m okay with that. After apple picking, we headed into Mount Wachusett, where we rode the ski lift. (There was no snow or skiing, it was just a fun ride up and down the mountain.) This was a completely new concept to me- I’ve seen mountains, but I’ve never been in the mountains.
I truly had a lovely time experiencing these typical New England fall activities, and then woke up Sunday morning to a gray sky and all-day drizzles. But that’s okay!
Sunday (also no classes skipped) was a day spent exploring my mom’s hometown. I got to connect more with where she’s from, thus connecting with her a little more. I gained a new understanding of where I come from, in a sense. I met some of my family that, truth be told, I didn’t even know I had. It is always interesting to hear my mom’s stories from her childhood, but to get to see the places she mentions was something I could never imagine. It’s almost like I was watching a movie of my mom’s life… weird. Anyways, exploring her hometown was a lot of driving around and some personal stories, so I won’t share much more. On to Monday!
Monday was another gray and rainy day, and it got cold. I was definitely ready to head back to Florida for a sunny, 80° day. Luckily for me, our flight back to Jacksonville was Monday morning. It did require a 4:45 am wake up call, but at least there’s plenty of Dunkin’s to stop at on the way to the airport. Our flight was a little delayed, but that’s alright. We made it back to Jacksonville around 11 am, and back home around 11:45 am. After arriving home, I said goodbye to my mom and sister, and got in my car to drive back to Daytona. At this point, I have again skipped my Monday classes. But no worries! I planned ahead!
I got back to Daytona around 1:30pm on Monday and business continued as usual. I got some lunch in the union and did some homework, then I headed off to the Housing and Residence Life’s Halloween Carnival, where I made snow cones for everyone visiting! After that, I headed to the Student Union to watch Tri Sigma’s Halloween Fashion Show, which was a blast, per usual. As the night came to a close, I got myself ready for bed and said goodnight to Daytona Beach.
I suppose the moral of this story is that it’s okay to skip class sometimes. But it’s important to plan ahead.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (Ferris Bueller)
Ferris was on to something. Maybe he skipped class for some silly reasons, but hey, everyone needs a break sometimes. If I had decided not to go on this trip because I had class, I would be sitting here still unsure of what trees really look like in the fall, what fresh apple cider tastes like, and who my mom’s family is and what her hometown is like.
I’m glad I skipped class, but I definitely made it easier on myself by planning ahead. What I’m trying to say here is that you should miss a class or two, for a break for yourself. Just plan ahead and you’ll be good to go!
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my trip and seeing the photos I managed to take. Hang in there, the Fall 2023 semester is almost over.
Midterms, finals, and projects are approaching! Let’s all take a moment to take some deep breaths, try to consume not TOO much caffeine, and get kinda sorta appropriate amounts of sleep during these trying times. Please enjoy these scenic photos!
Over the years, I have really enjoyed various teams, groups, and projects including robots, rockets, subteams, PR, cars, student councils, clubs, class projects, and more! I wanted to take some time to list out a handful of things and mindsets that are super useful in the management process.
Prioritize one-person accountability
Each task should be able to be traced back to one specific person for accountability when it is done late, when someone has questions, when something goes wrong because of it, etc.
Learn to delegate
It is better to share the work instead of doing it all yourself. Although you may enjoy controlling the outcome, understandably, delegation also gives others the chance to learn your duties in the eventual circumstance that you retire/step down. It also helps the members of your team feel like they more directly contributed to the end goal.
Goals & timelines are SO important
These are some of the most important things whether it comes in the form of a Gantt chart, Excel sheet, or something else. An end goal must be defined with important milestones in order for a project to progress in a timely manner. Without these, the project risks veering away from the main goal and/or taking far too long. This will also help you give your teammates an answer to why you must complete a certain task on time and all the trickle-down consequences of a delay.
Factor in delays/buffers: Sometimes things can go wrong. Sometimes these things can be out of your control (supplier backups, accountable people getting sick, etc.). You need to factor in some buffer time when scheduling things to be completed so that this does not push back any very important end goals and deliverables.
Communication, communication, communication
ONE communication outlet: This is a very underrated thing, but having only ONE outlet of communication for a team (Discord, text, Slack, etc.) will immensely reduce confusion and help everyone stay on the same page.
Meet in person! Call on Discord! Put updates and random thoughts in the group chat! Communication will help your team bond, stay on topic, be focused and productive, and so much more. It is far better to overcommunicate than to undercommunicate.
Open House was this past weekend and as I’m graduating in the spring, it’ll be my last one! It’s one of my favorite events of the semester since I get to meet lots of new people (and collect some free stuff).
My day started off nice and early since the first organization I was representing, the aerospace engineering department, started working at 7:45 AM. Students (both undergraduate and graduate) were around with professors as department representatives, answering any questions that the families had for us. Here are a few of the most-asked questions (and their answers):
Are there a lot of hands-on experiences for students? Yes! As part of the AE curriculum we have to take experimental aerodynamics, controls, structures and materials laboratory classes. My favorite so far has been the experimental aerodynamics lab since a good part of your grade (and the class) relies on your DIY lab experiment where you create your own experiment. It has to pass safety testing and be approved just like a real experiment, too. For my group’s experiment we put a model 737 fuselage in the wind tunnel!
What are the different tracks for? They are different specializations for your degree! I’m the astronautics (astro) track which means I’ll take different classes than someone in the aeronautics (aero) track. For example, I take Spacecraft Controls instead of Flight Dynamics and Control. The classes are a little more tailored towards your track for a more specialized degree.
What about internships and co-ops? How do you get one? Yes! I’ve had three internships (Summer 2020, Summer 2022, and Summer 2023) with three different companies (M3 Defense Consulting, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and The Boeing Company). I got each in a different way, but networking helps a lot- both with your professors, classmates, and company mentoring programs available to students. I would also suggest joining a professional organization and if possible, attending their conference!
After representing the aerospace engineering department, it was time for me to change shirts and represent my other organization: the Women’s Ambassadors! I walked over to the admissions building to get our stuff for tabling. We had pink ERAU tags, pink pens, and purple lanyards. We were tabling on the side of the student union next to the student government and ROTC tables, so we got a good amount of traffic.
At the Women’s Ambassadors table, I also got a lot of questions. This time, the questions focused more on the student experience as a whole rather than the aerospace engineering program as a whole. These were the top questions:
Do you like it here, and are you glad you came? Yes! I really do like ERAU and am glad I came to Riddle. It’s the perfect size for me- small enough so that professors will know you by name, but big enough so that you can still meet new people every week. I also like that you can hold leadership positions in multiple organizations!
What are the Women’s Ambassadors and what do you do? The Women’s Ambassadors were founded to increase the enrollment and retention rate of female students. We do this by working at admissions events (like Open House, accepted student dinners and regional admissions presentations) and mentoring freshman students. We also host events for female students on campus so that they have a sense of community. Our sister program, the Women’s Ambassador Mentoring Program, is run by a female professor on campus and has expanded to provide mentoring events too!
What is the campus social scene like? It really depends on what you make of it. If you don’t want a social life, sit in your dorm all day and you won’t really be bothered. If you do want a social life, you have to get out there and make it- join clubs and make friends in your classes. Campus life is definitely what you make of it.
My last Open House was a lot of fun. I love working at these events and meeting new people, but I’m also excited to graduate and move into the next chapter of my life. Attending ERAU definitely helped me get to where I’m going. If you’re thinking about coming to ERAU, definitely apply and attend Open House and Preview Day if you can! Hopefully I’ll see you there… if not I’ll see you in the next post!
You do not need a rug but you 100% need a water bottle!!
If you didn’t know, now you do, but ERAU has a suggested packing list! However, I didn’t end up bringing everything on this list. Honestly, most of the things I brought were the bare essentials- sheets, towels, and storage containers for other things I wanted like shoes or extra blankets. I didn’t bring any sort of decoration whatsoever because I was a little too lazy to put it up and take it down every year. And I didn’t mind. However, some of the things on the list I absolutely used every day– they were definitely on my “must bring to college” list. Here are my thoughts:
1. A Very Long Phone Charger This was probably my most-used item. I lived in New Residence Hall 2 during my freshman year and kept my bed fully lofted. Thus, it was important for me to have a very, very, very long phone charger to reach up to my bed. I also added a Command hook on the side of my bed so that I wouldn’t have to climb out of my bed if I lost it. Instead, I threaded it through the Command hook when I wasn’t using it so that it would always be reachable from my bed. I also had my desk under my bed, and the charger was long enough to loop through the Command hook on the side of my bed and then back to my desk if I needed it there, too.
2. A Water Bottle ERAU is in Florida and it is HOT, which means it’s also important to stay hydrated. Definitely bring some sort of water bottle! There are plenty of water bottle filling stations on campus, so the amount it holds doesn’t really matter as much. I would also suggest a vacuum insulated water bottle to keep your drink cold, especially in the warmer months.
3. Sweatshirt, Pants, and/or Long Sleeve Shirts Florida gets hot, but it also gets cool. It never snows here or anything, but it can be a humid cold, which makes it feel colder. I’m from Kentucky, so I’ve been through snow, but never a whole lot of it. Even so, I still need a sweatshirt and pants during some times of the year. If you’re from a colder climate, it may be still be a good idea to bring some colder-weather clothes, but maybe not a heavy winter coat.
4. An Extra Phone/Laptop Charger for Your Backpack This one may be a preference if your phone and laptop have an amazing battery life, but my phone dies during the day, so I always carry a charger with me. ERAU has plenty of spaces to charge your phone or laptop- the library, the student union, even in some classrooms.
5. An Umbrella or Raincoat for Your Backpack Ah, the joys of living in Florida- popup rain showers. Every so often I will go to class, and within the hour, it’s pouring outside. Sometimes I have the luxury to wait out the rain, and other times I don’t. Therefore, I highly suggest having an umbrella or raincoat (or both!) for your backpack when it does rain.
6. A Decent Camera for Surprise Visitors As this is ERAU, sometimes we get a few surprise visitors on campus. Of course we have regularly scheduled Delta Air Lines and American Airlines flights, but we’ve had C-17s, the Thunderbirds, an Atlas Air 747, an F-15, and plenty of other aircraft that I may not have even seen! So it’s great to have a decent camera- even if it’s just on your phone- to take pictures of anything that drops in for a day or so. I’m excited to see what sort of aircraft will come in this semester. I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!
I slept in until about 10:30 a.m. and woke up to my fiance jiggling me saying “Hey, isn’t there a solar eclipse you wanted to see today?” I jolted awake remembering it started around 11:00 a.m. but I knew we weren’t able to see the whole thing from Florida. I made some coffee, got dressed, and my fiance and I hopped in the car to go run to a few stores for our weekend errands. When we got to Perrine’s Market in Port Orange, I got a call from one of my best friends in Jacksonville, Liz. She said “you have to look at the eclipse, you can see it now!” Luckily the car windows were tinted, so I pulled out my iPhone, pointed it aimlessly at the Sun, and when I checked my phone screen, I realized I just accidentally got some of the best photos of the eclipse!
It was amazing to see a crescent Sun and so clearly too! We didn’t need those fancy glasses and we didn’t need to look directly at it either. The cloud cover came at the best time! It blocked the glare from the Sun just enough to still see it on a digital image. I was so bummed thinking that because it was cloudy, we wouldn’t be able to see much of it… Boy was I wrong!
We also ended up going to the Apple store to check out the new Airpods Max, and well, we ended up walking out with two pairs. Happy early Anniversary!
I got this palm green color and they are just so sleek and beautiful. No more ear buds falling out of my ears at the gym when I am running or working out. As much as I love my Airpods Pro, they always fall out of my ears when I am working out. I am excited to use these over-the-ear headphones now!
So, I love the Fall season. The decor, the food, the outfits. I also love crafting and using coupons. Around this time of year I like to make a huge Michael’s Craft Store trip, and create (and sell) custom pumpkins! They are lightweight, totally customizable, and cute! I made 10 so far this season and am seriously thinking about turning it into a business. Maybe I can even get on QVC one of these days! I can dream…
I went to Port Orange Family Days over the weekend and it was perfect weather for it! I ended up getting these cotton handmade headbands from Lauren of Crafty Little Witch Creations. I got a Jacksonville Jaguars design, a sunflower design, and a pumpkin design!
We also got some Gran Arepa corn cakes. These are my favorite food truck treat.
I love going to the Port Orange City Center to walk when Family Days isn’t in town as well. There is a large lake with a sort of nature trail. Also, there are so many turtles that live in the lake! I found this baby sun bathing on Sunday at the festival, and I think this is the smallest turtle I have ever seen in this lake. They are usually huge! Can you spot it?
I also made my way to Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens. This is another spot in Port Orange that is a must-see if you have a love for nature, plants, and flowers. All you need is some sneakers and a good camera, and you have yourself a beautiful day ahead of you. I used to volunteer here when I was in High School and I loved gardening and tending to the nature trails. It is so peaceful and it gives you a nice break from the hustle and bustle of life.
A couple weeks ago I went to Pittsburgh for a Regional Admissions Presentation (RAP). Last weekend I got back on the road again and ended up in Washington D.C. and New York City!
For this trip, I flew out of the Orlando airport on a morning flight. That required me to get up a bit early, but I didn’t mind. D.C. and New York City were destinations that I really wanted to visit. I got into D.C. in the late morning, so that meant I had the day to explore. Of course, my first spot was the Udvar-Hazy Center, which is home to a Concorde, a SR-71, and Space Shuttle Discovery.
The Udvar-Hazy Center was amazing. It also had a tall air traffic control-like structure that looked over the runways at Dulles Airport. That spot also had a live stream of the air traffic control communications, so I could hear the pilots and tower talking as planes started to land. A lot of traffic came in during the short time I was there, including a couple of international flights. That was super cool to watch!
After I was done at the museum, I ended up going over to a friend’s house and got to meet his cats. He has two black cats and one orange cat, and all three of them were very sweet. I missed my cat at home, even though I had only left him that day, so it was nice to be able to see some other kitties.
After playing with the cats a bit, I headed over to my hotel. My friend dropped me off at the metro, which I was excited to take. I had all of my things with me, and I took the metro into the city to the hotel. I ended up walking a couple blocks to the hotel and checking in. I didn’t get much time to relax- having known I would be going to D.C., I planned out a few things that I’d want to do.
I walked back to the metro and met a friend at another metro stop, where we got dinner and then went to a movie theater. Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour movie was out this weekend, and we’d managed to get tickets! We spent the evening watching the three hour movie before I went back to my hotel.
Saturday was the first RAP in downtown D.C., and it was super fun! Since D.C. is a huge city, we had a great turnout. At the RAP, full-time personnel from admissions talk about the university and then at certain points, students (like myself!) are given the chance to speak. At these RAPs, I talked about my previous internships, experiences with professors, and student organizations at the Daytona Beach campus. The D.C. and NYC events were joint events, meaning that representatives from the Prescott campus were there too.
After the presentation, people are allowed to ask questions until the time scheduled is up. Once the scheduled time is up, the families are allowed to leave while we stay behind and answer individual questions. That’s where I get the more personalized questions about my experiences in the degree program, how I manage my time, and other student life-specific questions. I love it- it’s so much fun to meet new people!
Once everyone has left, then it’s time to pack up. I usually change into something that isn’t a business casual outfit, and since we had another RAP in NYC the next day, we went to the train station. Union Station in D.C. is huge- it also reminded me a lot of Grand Central Station in NYC. We took the Amtrak train to NYC’s Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station. It was a three hour ride, and the train was much more spacious than a plane.
Following the train, we headed to our hotel and checked in. After that, I was able to do what I wanted! I met up with the other student and one of the full-time admissions people from Prescott, and we ended up exploring New York City together at night. It was very exciting. I got to try NYC pizza (it was amazing) and we stopped by Grand Central Station.
We got back pretty late, and I fell asleep super fast. The morning came, and I ended up venturing back out into downtown NYC to get another slice of pizza. Our hotel was right next to Times Square and as I found, shops that sell pizza by the slice are everywhere! So I had pizza for breakfast before I met the admissions personnel in the lobby and we walked to the RAP venue.
The NYC RAP went the same way the D.C. one did. All RAPs present the same information. It was hosted in a venue right next to Times Square and the Hamilton theater, which I thought was super cool. After the RAP, the entire admissions group walked across the street to an Italian restaurant for dinner before we parted ways. I, along with the other members of the Daytona team, were flying out of the LaGuardia airport that night.
My flight got back into Orlando at 12:18 AM, and once I got to my car, it was about a one-hour drive back to Daytona. I didn’t even bother to unpack that night (well, morning) and instead fell asleep ASAP since I had class the next day. The trip was definitely worth it, though. I had so much fun walking around in D.C. and NYC. Even though I’m from a small town, I’m definitely a big city person at heart. I really enjoyed my time here, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Maybe I’ll see you at an event next semester, during Open House, on Preview Day… if not, I’ll see you in the next post!