December 4

10 days  9 hours  29 minutes  18 seconds… until I’m halfway home!

…and that will be even less by the time I’m done writing this and by the time you read it! Yes, the thing on everyone’s mind here is HOME.
After all, I’ve never been away from it for more than two weeks before and I didn’t get to go home for Thanksgiving.

Things have been pretty easy going here the past few weeks. I’ve just been working in SPRL and doing little quizzes and homework assignments. We had a nice 5-day break for Thanksgiving. A friend and I went to the beach, had some Starbucks, and saw August Rush at Ocean Walk on Wednesday. I got to use Safe Ride for the first time since Kerry was able to drop us off and do Thanksgiving shopping with her grandpa’s car, but we needed a way back. It’s only $8 a ride within the zone and $1 for each extra person. So we split $11 (tip, too), which is not bad!

The next day, Thanksgiving, it was painfully slow waiting for 2:00 to arrive. Campus was so quiet and mellow it was bizarre. The buffet had great Thanksgiving food up already on nice tables and silver dishes. I introduced another friend from our floor to stuffing. He was hooked. That’s my favorite thing, too. He came with us, as well as the girl I went to the beach with the day before, who I know from Christian Fellowship Club. The last member of our party minus my roommate’s whole family was a mutual friend of Kerry’s and mine. I know him from Chem lab and she knows him from the Catholic Student Union. Phew! Now that introductions are all over (cleverly minus names! ;)) I can tell you about the rest of the day.

We stopped to get some last minute supplies and met some of Kerry’s siblings. At the house, we played Cranium and Apples to Apples and enjoyed goofing off with the kids. They were full of energy and hilarious! Our Thanksgiving feast was wonderful and I enjoyed some dishes I’d never had before.

On Black Friday instead of going shopping (I severely miss that because it’s a huge family tradition back home) we braved the crowds at Epcot. I hadn’t been to that park in several years, so it was fun to go back. We started the day by doing Fast Track and getting fastpasses for Soarin’ over California. Next, we wandered through the countries. Now that I’ve been to several more represented, it was even better. We made our way around and I became nostalgic seeing British tea, French pastries, and German bratwurst. Good stuff. For lunch I had a ham and chesse croissant and a cream puff. For dinner, my friend (Yes, the one from the beach and yesterday- sorry I have to be so
confusing!)  and I had Chinese food. Finally, it was time for Mission Space- my favorite! We both had such a great time on that one. Then we saw a huge Christmas concert and managed to get front-row seats. It was beautiful. To close the night, we ate crepes in France while watching the huge fireworks show. Lovely.

For Christian Fellowship Club, we went out to Denny’s and then Super Target. I was so excited to find that their Black Friday sale went 2 days so I got some cheap DVDs!! I also bought a cute 3-foot $10 tree for the room as well as some small glass ball ornaments. It looks so nice! I had some purple lights already and it looks so nice when I plug it in.

As for this past week, there isn’t too much to say. It’s just the same old stuff. We did have our last Calc test; I think I did well. Wednesday was crazy because at midnight, we surprised my suitemate with a cake and gifts. Some silly guys started a cake fight and two guys and two girls ended up screaming, yelling, and getting covered in cake. It was exciting to say the least.

And I’m officially finished with Chem Lab because we had our final on Thursday. I got the last one I wanted, but I managed to do ok, I think. It’s so nice that only one final is actually during finals week. That means coming home earlier! I took the birthday girl out to Chili’s later that night and we had a great time. We also wandered through Wal-Mart with some others getting a cake and gift yet again for another person on our floor whose birthday was Friday.

So now, here I am close to finishing my first semester of college!
I’ve got plenty of time to study for my few things left and to pack.
The second I get home I’m gonna enjoy the Christmas tree (It’s snowing in WA right now, too!!), bake something, and go to my favorite restaurant, where I work, Red Robin with my parents! I think I can make it…

Happy December!
Natalie Ann

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