November 18

Greetings from chilly Daytona!

Seriously, it has actually been quite cold lately, especially in the morning and evening when the sun goes down and a frigid breeze passes by! It makes me feel excited realizing that being home where it’s expectedly cold really isn’t too far away.

Plus, I’m already encouraged by being able to see the end of my classes. If that wasn’t perfect enough, I also had a wonderful time with my Daddy! I had been awaiting his arrival for so long, I could hardly believe it had actually come!

But, to go back a little, I had an insanely busy few days getting ready for his coming. I didn’t want to have any homework or loose ends to fix so I could fully enjoy the 4-day visit. I’ve also put a few more things into my daily schedule. I try to exercise 1-hr a day and it’s been going well so far! Doing the bike or elliptical in the comfort of Tallman Commons or the sparkling new Fitness Center is a joy. My friend Alex got me into reading while I bike. It certainly helps to pass the time and she practically brought a library down with her, so I am well-supplied. Plus, for my Honors class, we finally get to read one of my favorite stories, Pride and Prejudice. I honestly have never read the book before, but I’ve seen both the 6-hr BBC version and the new with Ms. Knightly. Sad, I know, but now I have read it, so no worries.

Drinking tea is a daily thrill. I can get some lovely English Breakfast at Einstein’s and I got Green and Bubble at a store on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. I’ve had a cold I’m just about over and it’s cold outside, so it’s just what I need! 🙂

Working in SPRL is already getting more interesting. The last 4 hours I spent in the lab were doing more secretarial things, which I love. I typed up an inventory sheet and quickly whipped up a sign-out sheet for people who wanna borrow a book, tool, or folder. My fellow EP major worker and I were also able to get a closer look at some of the instruments. A lot of the words went over my head, but I still got a general feel for it. Maybe someday I’ll be designing instruments like them! My next task will be coming up with a catalog system for all the data with one of the older workers in addition to continuing to analyze the data set I’ve been given. The graphs I look at were taken in 2003-2004 in Norway. Cool stuff!

Just as a follow-up on the STS-120 Discovery, when I was walking to Graphical Design, I heard a loud “Bo-boom!” and a guy in front of me said it was the shuttle re-entering the atmosphere. Pretty cool since I saw it go up too!

Speaking of Graphics, I’ve been enjoying it so much more now since we moved on from views. I so love the dimension/extension work we are doing now. We have an extra credit quiz on Monday, so I should be able to recover from an earlier bad quiz.

One of the exciting things on campus has been the 12 Angry Men play. I finally was able to go last night. I’d never heard of the story, but it’s apparently a very classic film. My mom says we’re watching it when I’m home! I only knew of two of my friends, but actually five of them were in the play. I was surprised that I know so many people already! Everyone did an excellent job! I hope I can get involved in Riddle Players one of my semesters here!

Another big event was the College Career Expo. I went mostly to get a feel for internships and Co-ops as well as watch the older students interact with prospective employers. I saw some of my favorite companies like Boeing, Cessna, and Piper, and was introduced to others like Honeywell, United Space Alliance, and Lockheed Martin. The summary? Internships are around six weeks; Co-ops a semester. But, Co-ops have benefits, internships don’t. Finally, almost everyone does business and hiring online. I did pick up a few tips about applying for Boeing internships, so I’ll remember that next time I apply. I’ve already sent in my resume’ for 4 summer ones. I love that I live so close to their Everett plant! I walked out of that fair with a crazy amount of free stuff, looking forward to the future I could have in the industry! It truly is amazing that our school can draw so many huge aerospace companies. We don’t have to go anywhere except across the street and we can get great jobs!

One of the funnest things I’ve done in the past two weeks apart from my adventures with my dad (which I will discuss soon) was going to the Latin Dance class! I have always wanted to learn some kind of dance and it was so much fun! Once we got over being a little embarrassed, my friend and I had a great time. We were already picking up the tricky spins and getting used to the beats. I just don’t have those amazing Latina hips like some of the girls we met, but they so kindly helped me learn some steps so I didn’t look too ridiculous. It was good exercise, let me tell you! Regardless, I can’t wait until the next time! It’s so nice to have the Fitness Center and all of the free classes!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for- the homecoming weekend stories! On Thursday, my lab partner and I had everything go wrong. Thankfully, one lab is going to be thrown out. To brush off the bad hours, my partner drove me to her new apartment and we ate dinner with her roomie before going to Marble Slab and then the Homecoming Talent Show in the Student Center. It was so hilarious!! I loved the dancers, juggler, and many more. We even got free Homecoming t-shirts and cups. That was the only Homecoming thing I was able to experience ’cause my dad was coming the next morning. I made sure everything was packed, but I was still so excited, I ended up staying up pretty late with Alex. We drank tea, read books, drew pictures, and listened to music. Fun times!

The next morning, he was here! When I walked down to the circle drive outside Tallmans I couldn’t keep the smile in. We had a little white Pontiac rental car. I brought my daddy up to my room to help me get the bags down. Then, we walked over to Propeller’s to eat. I had a Caesar chicken wrap and my dad got a cheeseburger. I’ve actually never eaten there before… It was so nice to just sit outside and talk while planes flew overhead. Our next stop was the UC (Student Center; don’t ask me why we call it that!) to use up my 7 meal plans. We got plenty of good stuff for the weekend and then jumped in the car to go. It was off to Orlando! We stopped by our nice hotel only to find it wouldn’t be ready for several more hours. But I did get to pick up my no expiration, hopper 10-day Disney World ticket. That means I only pay $35 every time I go (I’m already going twice this year at least) instead of $70. So, it’s a perfect deal. We found the Mall at Millenia to visit. I loved all of the beautiful Christmas decorations! I flew in and out of the stores, only finding things at Urban Outfitters. It was fun just to be with my dad. For dinner, I decided it would be really fun to eat at Hard Rock Café. I saw a brochure at the hotel for a free gift with $25 purchase, so off we went. But, unlike Downtown Disney, you have to pay to park to even get near Universal City Walk. We paid the ridiculous $11 charge and parked in Jurassic Park 505. I really want to go to Islands of Adventure sometime. I’ve got 4 ½ more years to do it, so… We ate at Hard Rock and got a tasty appetizer mix and salad. When we finished, I got a free pin with a wee guitar on it. I like it! The rest of the night we wandered stores, got ice cream at TCBY, and made the long trek back to the hotel.

We were so tired on Saturday that we decided to get up when we got up and then go to Disney World and the Magic Kingdom. Even agreeing to that, we ended up making it to Disney 15 minutes after it opened at 9.
This is significant because we stayed until 15 minutes before the park closed, 11:45. Phew. Long fun day! We made off like bandits in the morning going to rides like Pirates, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain (we did a funny pose for the camera and Dad bought it for me to have in the room), and Haunted Mansion. For lunch, we ate in Liberty Square at the Plaza restaurant. We both had delicious sandwiches. I loved the sweet potato chips too. We would throughout the day stop in little shops. I eventually got a cute rainbow Mickey bracelet and tea. Our fastpass for Space Mountain was valid, so we went there. I took video, but it’s mostly just black. I might use some parts in a video collage though. Next, since we were in Tomorrowland, I went on my favorite Tomorrowland Transit Authority, the new Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We also found a cool Kodak picture area to take funny shots. We used fastpasses to the max and also went to Mickey’s Philharmagic and TIki Room Under New Management before going on the Train around the park. We decided to take the monorail to the Contemporary Resort and catch a bus to Downtown Disney. We were going to eat at Rainforest Café but the wait was 2 hrs, so we ate at Planet Hollywood instead. We stopped in a couple stores and got some nice gifts and such. When we finally found the restaurant, we relaxed.

That place is so funky, but fun! We had a delicious plate called LA Lasagna and I had a Home Alone smoothie in honor of my dad (he loves that movie). After returning from our Downtown Disney adventure, we went on Teacups (I haven’t done it since my very first time at Disney World and this was my 5th). We accidentally went on Snow White because we were enjoying the big fireworks show and then found ourselves in the line for it. The witch was so scary!! 😉 Small World was next. I taped the whole thing to torture others online. We went on Thunder Mountain and Pirates again, then I tried another old ride, the Astro Orbiter! We also went on the Indy Speedway. I drove and it was easy since both of us weighed down the car it couldn’t go very fast! Finally, as per my tradition, we finished the night with one last Space Mountain. My favorite!

On Sunday, we got all the stuff together to check out of the hotel. It was a Wyndham like the crazy nice one at Ocean Walk, but a little more laid back and less fancy. It was still very nice, though. We stopped back at the school to pick up my Crop Walk donation envelope. We waited for Casey, Josh, and Chris from CFC in the chapel and then followed them to Westiminster-By-The-Sea Presbyterian Church. They had free hotdogs, chips, and rice krispies with plenty of drinks. We also got a Crop Walk t-shirt. Josh designed it and it’s burnt orange. We walked along the beach and enjoyed the really nice day. It was fun to joke around with the guys too. My dad is so funny! We never ran into the 1-mile marker table the head guy talked about so we ended up walking 6 miles total. Whoops. On the way back to the car parked at the church, I saw a giant inflatable gold fish at a garage sale and we got it for my room. It’s hilarious! Back in the car, we decided to go stop by our new hotel. Then, we went to Ocean Walk. It was tough to find a parking spot as usual. We went to Bubba Gump’s and enjoyed a shrimp platter and hush pups. It was so beautiful sitting outside and looking out at the ocean. We walked along the beach to kill time for our movie that didn’t start until 7. It all of a sudden got very dark and windy. The clouds looked very ominous! Next, I got pumpkin pie in the sky from Coldstone and Dad got a Starbucks drink. We sat in comfy Starbucks chairs and listened to a guy sing Hotel California while teaching a teen how to play. Finally, we could go on up to the theater to watch Fred Claus. It was very cute and fun. We always tend to watch Christmas movies together… I feel like it’s here already because of all the trees, decorations, and music! So early!

On our last day together, we thought it would be fun to go to the nearby Museum of Arts and Sciences on Nova Rd. I found out that students from a DBCC and Riddle get in for free. I had no idea. Cool!

They had a crazy Coke collection, Teddy Bears galore, pretty art, amazingly old pots and jewelry, cool trains, and giant fossils. I want to go back for their Christmas festival of lights thing this weekend.

After that, we left and went to a few stores like Wal-Mart, the record store, and Office Depot to get last-minute stuff done. I even got a cool Christmas star light for the window. We ate at Sonic before coming back to my dorm room for the last 30 minutes before he had to leave for the airport. I wanted to cry again, but I held it in as best as I could. It’s not really that bad- I go home in less than 30 days.

And I only have 17 school days left. Only 1 final during “finals week”. Not bad at all! I spent the rest of the evening unpacking, fixing the Christmas lights, and doing the Chemistry group quiz.

Well, I had originally thought that this would be a short entry, but then I had too much to say about the long weekend. Sorry! 🙂 Oh well… You know the drill: please e-mail me if you have any questions and enjoy the pics and video I put up!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I know I for one will be counting my blessings and be praising God for his awesome work. I have such wonderful family and friends not to mention an amazing opportunity to go to a school like Riddle!

Tell at least one someone how much you love them this week, ok?

Until Next Time,

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