April 25, 2011

The semester is nearly over. With only a week of classes left and about two finals (both on a Saturday), I finally see my first year of college nearing an end. It seemed like just yesterday I was nervous to embark on this new journey of the unknown in college. Would I make friends? Would people like me? Was I even going to like my classes and teachers? I had so many questions and looking back now it almost seemed naïve of me to worry quite so much. College had its good and bad, things I loved and things I loathed. It was everything and nothing like high school and it was an experience I could never forget.

Looking back on some of my journal entries online I could see how much I had learned, not only school book wise but also through common sense learned of things go on a “university” level. I can only hope to continue recording things like this about college so when I graduate I will have seen just how far I’ve really come along now.

To all of you still deciding, graduating from high school, or even attending in the Fall 2011 semester, I wish you the best of luck. I can’t say your experience will be exactly like my own. I only hope that you do not make some of the mistakes I made, however, if making mistakes is how you learn then by all means. College is something that, if not careful, can overwhelm you in a negative way, or it can challenge you to become a more mature person in this fast-paced world. Being at Riddle has helped me grow as a person, and please believe this is not a script writing, this is an honest opinion. You cannot always depend on your parents, academic advisor, or even financial advisor to tell you when you need to get things done or fix every single problem. You have to stand up for yourself, this doesn’t always mean alone, but this done mean speaking up when you realize a problem or even something you just don’t understand. The only dumb question is the one you never ask, it’s your first year in college, and no one expects you to know everything, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know anything. The same pride you have on your day of graduation, the “I finally made it out” mentality; hold on to that as you enter college.

Work hard to obtain the goals and ambitions you have for yourself and never back down from them. I myself will be a Sophomore Fall semester (even though I’ll be attending this summer as well), and my dreams of graduating from ERAU with a Baccalaureate in Communications and minors in psychology and International Studies are only one step closer, that’s something no one can take from me. And as you walk across the stage and onto your college campus, just realize you are one step closer to your dreams, and that is something no one can ever take away from you. Good luck to you all and keep your head up no matter what.

April 25, 2011

Well, this year is coming to a close. It is really depressing in some ways but happy in others. To know that my first year as a college student is over and moving out of my first dorm with my first roommate ever is sad. This will be one of the weirdest summers till this day. While I was in high school, summer meant beaches and spending time with friends who I had seen just a couple weeks ago. Now it is completely different. The friends that I’ve made over the past 9 months are going to spread all over the country and the world. Knowing that we will see each other in 3 months makes us all feel better, but these people are friends that I will be friends with for the rest of my life. You will learn that once you come here. Friends that you make in high school and when you were younger are completely different than those who you meet here in college. There’s a different bond that is acquired between college friends, one that you don’t want to break.

This past weekend was Easter and you will realize that in college, you sort of forget about holidays. Easter was no different than typical weekend here. All that was different was seeing the Easter decorations and candy in Walmart and Target. I hope you all had a great Easter, if you celebrate it.

In other news, classes are going great. I’ve had quizzes and tests during the past couple weeks and doing very well on them. I only have one real final exam in Physics but have a LaserGrade for my instrument class, which is basically a final test but contributes to 10% or your final grade. If you don’t get above an 80% on it, you lose that 10%, thus it’s extremely important to study as hard as you can. Other than that, most classes are wrapping up and teachers are just summarizing the course, telling us how they enjoyed the year and to have a great summer. I will be seeing a couple of my teachers next fall because I have them for other classes. I have my Flight Physiology teacher, Professor Moren, for Aircraft Engine-Turbine, and my Science-Fiction Monsters and Villains teacher, Professor Porter, for my upper level humanity, Studies in Film.

Flying is going well. I might not be able to finish my private due to the fact that I am low on money. We shall see how it goes but I’m hoping to finish it. I got a new instructor who is very nice but I definitely miss my old instructor, Lindsey, who is getting trained for the airline, ExpressJet.

That pretty much wraps up this semester. It has been so great getting to know you prospective students and actually meeting some of you, those that came down for the Sneak Preview. I hope to be involved next fall in reaching out to more prospective students, in either journals or some other way of outreach. I hope you enjoyed reading about my first year experience here at Riddle and know you definitely will enjoy yours, once you get here. During the summer if you have any questions, please feel free to email me personally and keep up-to-date on my Youtube Channel. I will be posting videos during these last few days here at Embry-Riddle and might even post during the summer.

April 25, 2011

Hey guys. How are you all doing? I am doing well here. I’m just finishing up the last week of classes. I can’t believe that a whole second year has gone by. Time truly flies. I am halfway through with college already and that is hard to believe. Unfortunately, that means that this is my final journal entry for you guys as well. Since I last wrote, again not all too much has been going on. My days are primarily filled with classes and work. As I have mentioned to you before, the end of the semester is a hectic time as all semester-long projects become due combined with the final exams and tests for each class. It is kind of stressful in the middle of it all, but then before you know it, it is summer and you have four months off from school. It’s great.

Other than classes and work, I have been spending some time moving into my apartment. Most of the furniture has come by now, and I should be sleeping there by the end of the week or early next week. It’s coming along quite nicely. With this comes moving out of the dorm room, too, which is a lot of work in and of itself. You’d be surprised how much stuff you accumulate throughout the year without even knowing it. Then, when you are moving out, you have to figure out what you’re going to do with it all. Last year, I got a storage unit for the things I didn’t want to send home, but this year I will just move what I need into the apartment and throw away the rest. Then, all that’s left is to clean the dorm, check out, and give back the keys. I remember from last year the somewhat strange feeling of seeing your room completely empty just before you walk out the door for the last time.

The weather is beautiful now, in the 80’s every day. People are getting out to the beach as much as they can and the atmosphere has been very upbeat. It is really nice to have warm weather starting in February instead of having to wait until May like I did at home. Everything seems better in the warm weather. The most exciting thing I did since I last wrote was this past Easter weekend when I brought my roommate down to my parent’s house in South Florida. My whole family was there for Easter weekend and we went down to spend it with them. It was really a great time. Two of our friends from school were also down there visiting their families so we all were able to meet up a few times. Friday night, we all went out for ice cream after dinner with my family. On Saturday, we went to the pool for most of the day and just enjoyed relaxing in the sun. That night, we went to Stuart, Florida to see my dad’s parents and his brother and his family, many of whom I hadn’t seen in several years. It was great to catch up with all of them and to learn what they were up to. It was amazing to see how much they’d grown since I last saw them.

On Sunday, we had Easter breakfast with my family and then my roommate and I went to meet with our friends from school. His family has a brand new boat and we went out on it for a few hours on the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. It was a great time. The water was crystal clear in the Intracoastal, probably the clearest I’d ever seen it. The weather was perfect as well. We went out of the Boca Inlet and entered the Atlantic which was a little choppy but that made for some fun wave bouncing. At one point, we were all suspended in the air as the boat came back down to meet the water. We then drove up and down the Intracoastal a bit and looked at the massive houses on it. Finally, we returned to the Boca Raton Resort and Club, where they keep their boat, and got a famous frozen hot chocolate from the Serendipity restaurant inside the resort. Then, we went out to grab a late lunch at Stir Crazy Café, which had amazing stir fry. It was a great way to end the weekend.

After heading back home and saying goodbye to my family, my roommate and I headed back to Daytona for one more week of school. Well, guys, that is really all I have for you from the past two weeks. I want to take a moment and mention how much I enjoyed writing this for you every other week this year. I hope that my experiences and knowledge was able to help you in deciding where you wanted to go to school and what you want to do for a living. I sure have enjoyed interacting with many of you and even meeting a few of you at the Accepted Students Day reception. Even though I will not be writing any more regularly, please feel free to contact me anytime at grecoj1@my.erau.edu with any questions of if you should need anything at all.

I sure hope that you ended up deciding on Embry-Riddle for your college and I hope to see you around campus next year.

Thanks again and please take care.
Pete Greco

April 24, 2011

Happy Easter for all of you who celebrated it!! We are down to the last week and a half of school. Professors are getting crazy with projects, and students are going nuts over finals. Lucky for me, my honors professor, Dr. Kain, decided to cancel our final for that class. I only have 2 now! Well…minus the plethora of last minute projects and essays…I can actually say I passed Calc 2 (which is supposed to be the hardest math you’ll ever take) with an A! Unless I screwed up on this last test…but I think I did well.

I just finished writing my last paper for COM221 (tech report writing). It’s a 6-7 page analytical paper. I’m not complaining though! I did it on one of my favorite topics. I’ll leave that for you to guess…starts with a D ends with a Y? I have yet to work on my 4-5 page honors paper on Afghanistan and my CATIA project…design an airplane with everything on it AND another project too? In ONE week? I wonder what my professor was thinking…Sometimes I believe they think they’re the only class we have to study for.

Besides all the madness, I have really enjoyed these past few weeks. Last week, on Sunday, the honors program had a field trip to Ichetucknee springs near Gainesville. We floated down a river for about an hour and a half. Well…some of us ran straight into the banks of the river or got stuck inside caves or the many branches lying around (*cough Bharvi cough*). The water was freezing cold and the temperature outside was less than warm. Because of the very long walk back to the entrance, however, we decided to call it quits after our first run down the river.

That day, we were awake from 6 in the morning to well over one the next morning. Why you ask? Well, Jim’s birthday was on Saturday. His brother decided to get married that day. Jim had to fly back home for the wedding, and therefore couldn’t spend his birthday with us. Sunday we decide to go to Orlando after Bharvi and I came back from our trip. This was almost 7:30 at night. We drive to downtown Disney (90 minutes), eat, watch the fireworks from the Polynesian, and head back. Needless to say we were very, very tired the next morning…I bought 2 Vinylmation figures though! They’re vinyl figurines in the shape of Mickey that are painted over in all sorts of designs. I bought a nerdy Donald Duck and a mystery park one (turned out to resemble one of the exit signs around WDW). I believe I have an obsession with them now…

On Friday of this week, we took a trip to, you guessed it…Disney. This time, however, we decided to stay overnight at a hotel nearby. We reserved the room through hotwire, and much to our surprise, we got a hotel IN the mall! I wonder who thinks of these things…but hey, it was right next to M&M world. The place was really nice, and the beds were an awesome change from our dorm beds. We went to eat at Bongo’s (Jim’s favorite), and the next day, we all went to Blizzard Beach, one of Disney’s two water parks.

These past few weekends have been one of the best I’ve had so far. I’m really going to miss this place, but I’m excited for summer! We’re planning driving from San Ramon to Seattle, spend the day there, drive to Vancouver, spend another day there, and taking a cruise (Disney of course) all the way to Alaska. Then, we are driving all the way down to Anaheim, California to go to Club33 (Google it!!), since I found out my dad has access to it through his company. So so excited!!

I can’t believe this is my last blog for you guys…I’m going to miss talking to all of you! You can still contact me though or keep in touch through Facebook! You females will be able to see me at the For Women Only orientation in the fall. I really do hope to meet you all in the fall…so until then, get excited Future Eagles! Your first step into your dream adventure has just begun… <3 Adriana

April 11, 2011

It’s only been two weeks since spring break? For some reason it seems to me like it’s been a lot longer than that. On one side, we’re almost done for the semester (crazy huh?), but on the other, summer is just a few weeks away. I know all of you who are just waiting to get out of high school are actually looking forward to summer, but something about this place just gets to me. Call me crazy, but I’ll miss not seeing my friends for four months. I’ll miss my room. I’ll even miss doing laundry if it means not being here! I’m not sure if I even like the fact that, when we come back, we’ll be living in another dorm (airport view!). What’s even crazier is that I’m already a quarter of the way done with college. Guess who’s staying for grad school…?

Well enough with my rant—on to the good stuff!

The rain seemed to follow me back to Daytona from my house. The deluge hit campus like there was no tomorrow! A friend of mine said: “Dear friends with snow, I’m sorry for making fun of you and your weather. But this week you got your revenge when Poseidon vomited on my campus”. If you see some of the pictures I’ll post, you’d understand…the area between my dorm and the main campus flooded with (not even joking) at least 2 feet of water! Luckily, it only lasted for a few days.

Another nice thing we did was that we went WDW resort-hopping. Yes, I just made that up. Pretty much, we went to Downtown Disney (I can hear all of you thinking “again”? yes, again…) to park the car, took a bus to the Contemporary, and took the monorail around all the resorts. We stopped by the Polynesian to watch the Wishes! Nighttime Spectacular firework show at Magic Kingdom from across the lagoon. I think it’s becoming our new tradition…

Nothing comes close to how insanely busy last weekend was, though! Jim and I signed up to volunteer at New Smyrna Beach’s annual Balloon and Sky Fest. Remember how I had mentioned we would be working chase crew? Well, let me just say it was a lot more work than we had anticipated. We woke up bright and early (well…it was still dark out, so dark and early?) on Saturday and Sunday morning to make the 30-minute drive down US1. When we got there, we were each grouped with our assigned crew.

On Saturday, we worked with 175,000 cubic-inch Oggy the Dragon, who stood at an amazing 138 feet tall. Because of the winds, we couldn’t release the balloons, so they were only tethered for the crowd to witness. To top it all off, we had volunteer that went MIA—so three teenagers, 2 elderly people, and a former Navy man had to hold own the massive balloon. We got dirty, almost burnt to a crisp when we first started inflating the balloon, and we were sweaty and hot. But overall—it was a lot of fun! One of the volunteers turned out to be a former ERAU student (a FEMALE!).

The day after that, we worked with Sunny Boy, a sun-shaped balloon. This one stood taller at 140 feet, but held much less hot air, so it was a lot less work. After that, we took a stroll around the place, and ended up mining. Spruce Creek Mining Co. had set up a tent, where, for a few dollars, we bought a bag of dirt. After cleaning out the bag using a river-like system, we found a few big Emerald stones, rubies, peacock ore, and even some quartz! That must have been the highlight of my day…

Last big thing—The Big Show! Touch N Go productions held its annual big show on Saturday. This year, the university hosted Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake, two ska bands. It was less crowded than I had expected, but, having been drained of energy that day from balloon fest, we only stayed and listened for an hour or so. Still fun—I can never pass up a good show!

I suppose that’s all. Nothing too exciting coming up next few weeks. I have an analytical report to look forward to. Nothing too exciting except…OPEN HOUSE/SNEEK PREVIEW DAY!! Have you RSVPed yet? I look forward to seeing you all around! As always, message me with all your questions! This will be one of my last blogs (sad face), so I want to get as many of your questions answered before the end of the semester!

April 10, 2011

Due to recent events, I have decided to revisit the topic of making sure you check your finances and, more specifically, requirements and guidelines of your scholarships, grants and/or loans. I’ll tell a little bit of my own experience and in doing so I hope you will not make the same mistake and become greater informed. I wanted to take Summer A classes this 2011 because the course I wanted to take was available for the summer and during Fall/Spring semesters they were much harder to get into. So I filled out the registration form and took a trip to my advisor’s office. After getting my approval and academic advisor hold lifted (yes that is a requirement, one you will learn more about, promise), I took my signed sheet to the Records and Registration building to have everything finalized. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and I was told I had an “outstanding balance” on my account. Basically put, it meant I owed the school money for something and was an amount I didn’t have right on hand. I asked for the reasoning and was answered with something that shocked me more than having money to be paid. My own scholarship was charging me. Apparently my research was done incorrectly and in return presented me with a mighty dollar (more than a dollar) to be repaid.

So, why the charge you ask? It’s simple, I changed a class to auditing (before the school’s official drop/audit due date) but didn’t realize the scholarship’s requirements for auditing or dropping a class were different from that of the school’s dates. It’s important that if you have (or will) receive a scholarship, grant and/or loan that you find out the procedures for adding, dropping, auditing, or even failing a course. Unfortunately when given such academic awards you do not have a printed manual with every single circumstance that could happen and that results concerning your monetary state. This is something you have you find out for your own and if you don’t well you could end up like I did. Fortunately, mine did have a happy ending and after having paid back the scholarship promptly I was able to turn in my form and am now admitted into the Summer A term. It is sincerely my hope that from you reading this or sharing this information that it will prevent someone from making this same mistake.

I was even told by an advisor that when wanting to make any class changes go (such as dropping or auditing) go to financial aid prior to and find out if it will have any effect on the money you’re receiving. It is something that may make or break a final decision in your academic track and should always be taken seriously and with much consideration. I am happy that mine did not end up as badly as it could have but it’s is something I want to prevent from ever happening again.

April 10, 2011

It’s been another couple of great weeks. The end of the semester is getting closer and closer and we have about 15 days of classes left, and that means we have more and more tests and reviews. I finished my Physics Laboratory, I had to take a final test that was based on all of our labs and we were given data and used certain formulas to get what the answer would be.

Flying is going great and I am only a couple flights away and an oral or two away from my check ride and getting my private pilot license. I can seriously almost taste it. My flight instructor will be leaving within the next week or two to work for ExpressJet. I am so happy for her and was so glad I had her as my instructor for the time I did, and she definitely taught me a lot. I recently had my first night cross-country. I flew to the usual place that people fly on their night flight, KISM or Kissimmee, FL. The route from Daytona takes you right by Disney World and you get to see both Disney and Universal lit up at night and if you’re lucky, you get to see the Fireworks. It was a great flight and due to the Class B airspace, which just means it’s very condensed, busy, and fast moving aircraft, they have to vector or direct you through the airspace. They put us right over Disney and it was a definitely an amazing sight and was one of my favorite flights so far.

I know I’ve talked about it but I love being in driving distance of Orlando. A couple friends and I drove over to Downtown Disney, grabbed dinner, and hopped a ride over to the Disney Resorts, watched the fireworks from the Polynesian Resort and rode the monorail for a bit. It’s awesome to think that people come from all over the world to a place we go just for the night; definitely a thing that should be on your to-do list when you come down. Also coming up is the Accepted Student event here at the Daytona campus. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you prospective students and if you spot me, feel free to run up and say HI! It will be a great feeling knowing that I was your spot a year ago.

Also we recently registered for classes and, since I came in as a sophomore, I got to register a couple days earlier than my friends. I got all my classes that I wanted and will be flying multi-engine this coming fall instead of going on the single engine route. It costs more but I feel that it should be worth it because I get approximately 30 more hours of multi-engine time instead of those who take the single-engine route who receive about 15-20 hours.

In Flight Physiology, we had a guest speaker, Bob Cabana, who is the director of the Kennedy Space Center and a former pilot and astronaut. It was great to hear about his journey and how he got where he is today. He’s done four space shuttle missions and was a naval flight officer for the Marine Corps. He gave us advice and what to do and what not to do in our careers and it really helped put a perspective on things and how our lives should turn out.

Other than that nothing much is going on outside of school. Mainly my life surrounds finishing up my private course and studying for classes and getting homework done. That’s also why there has been a lack of videos on my youtube page, but will hopefully be updating soon. So stay tuned. If you aren’t a part of the 2015 facebook group, I highly recommend it because you’ll get to see names and talk to people you might be sharing a dorm with so get to know people. And I hope you’ve registered for Sneak Preview. Makes you feel a part of the Riddle community already. Till next time!

April 10, 2011

Hi everyone. How are you guys doing? Things are going pretty well with me. Busy, but good! We are getting down to the end of the semester now with only about 3 more weeks of classes. You may remember from reading my journal last semester that this is the time of the semester when all of the projects start becoming due, studying begins, and the final push for the end of the semester is in full swing. It can be a bit overwhelming at times, but with proper time management, it really isn’t too bad at all.

Since I wrote last, really not all that much has happened, actually. With my course work and working at the airport, I haven’t had too much time to do much of anything exciting, but I do have a few neat things to talk to you guys about.

First, though, I just wanted to mention for a second that it is, for a lot of my readers, pretty much right at the time that you will have decided which school to attend this fall. If you’re still reading this regularly, that choice was probably Embry-Riddle, and I commend you on a decision well made. I can honestly say that you will not regret it. As I mentioned in a previous entry, if you are local to the area or have the means to come down for a weekend, next weekend is the Accepted Students day and if you haven’t seen the campus before, I highly recommend coming to that. You will be able to meet future classmates, see the dorms, meet professors, get to know the campus, even get your Eagle Card and other things done before you arrive for class in August. I’ll be around, so if you are here and see me, please stop and say hi!

Anyways, like I was saying earlier, it is the projects time of the semester. Right now, I only really have two main ones to do, and one of them is nearly complete. Other than that, most of my finals are just regular course exams so I am not too concerned about that either. I have enjoyed the semester academically so far and am trying my best to end it with the best grades I can.

Aside from coursework and classes though, I have been working at Daytona Beach International Airport quite a bit. There is much going on there now as the main runway is in the process of being completely resurfaced. Last night, I worked an overnight shift escorting the construction workers and making sure things were done properly. The project was split into different phases which basically change the length of the runway so that one portion of it can be resurfaced while the other is being used for aircraft, and last night we had to change around the configuration to “phase 2” by closing more of the runway for construction work. This leaves only about 3600 feet of runway available on the usually 10,500 foot long runway 7L; good news to me because it means that all of the commercial airliners will have to land on the next longest runway, 16, which runs just outside my dorm windows. In any case, though, last night the runway markings and barricades had to be moved and painted, and some electrical work had to be done as well. Monday morning, the runway will open for use, even though only small aircraft will be able to use it. I have worked overnight shifts before at home, but I really think that no matter how many you work, your body is never really prepared for it. It really leaves you exhausted. But, at least I can catch up on some sleep today! Delta has continued flying in their Boeing 757’s to Daytona which has been a nice thing to see, and it looks as though they will keep a few on the schedule for the next two months.

My roommate and I move into our apartment tomorrow, although we actually won’t be living there immediately because our furniture won’t be delivered until later in the month. It is exciting though and we are looking forward to it. I have decided to stay here in Daytona an extra month before I go home for the summer, as well, to work at the airport and it will be nice to have the apartment all to myself for a while!

Other than that, the summer weather has reached Daytona and the temperatures look to be in the 80’s into the foreseeable future. Many Floridians are groaning at this thought, but I love it! I definitely would rather be warm than cold! A few weeks ago, we had some crazy storms with some of the hardest rain I’ve ever seen fall at once. I was working at the time and as you can see from the picture, I could barely see the jetway just a few feet in front of me. Crazy! Also, last week, I was filmed for a promotional video for Embry-Riddle by a professional camera crew. It was a really neat experience to be able to participate in. They came to the airport and filmed me doing some job duties there, and then interviewed me on campus afterwords. It was a little intimidating at first but I got used to it after a while and am looking forward to seeing the finished product!

Well, I think that’s really all I have for you guys this time! Sorry for not having more to talk about, but you can probably see how busy I have been recently! I have made it a priority to go to Disney World at least one more time before I go home, and if you know me you know that will probably happen!

Anyways, like usual, don’t hesitate to e-mail me any questions you might have and I hope to see you next weekend if you can make it.

It’s hard to believe my next entry will be my last one! Time sure flies. Talk to you then!


March 28, 2011

Before I begin, have you RSVPed for Sneak Preview? It’s in a few weeks! April 16th. I expect to see every one of you there! Not much academic-related news this time because we had spring break (finally) last week. Let me answer a few frequently asked questions first:

1) Do you get to pick your dorm/classes? No you don’t, they’re randomly chosen unless you’re in Honors (then you end up in 5th floor Adams)..although some people claim there’s a way around it. I’ll leave that for you to figure out, because I don’t know exactly how that works.

2) What’s it like being a female on campus? Pretty nice, I’d say. Some people say that you see more squirrels than girls around campus (which has happened to me), but we get a lot of perks.

3) How are the parties on campus? Honest answer: they don’t happen on campus (in the dorms like you see in the movies). Our Campus Safety personnel is strict when it comes to underage drinking/loud noises…so I would recommend if that’s what you’re coming here for, then Riddle isn’t right for you. Besides, you’re spending so much money already, right? Parties do happen..you just have to know where to look (the Greeks are a good source).

Now that that’s taken care of, let’s get to the good stuff! Spring break was a lot of fun (at least for me). My roommate, who stayed on campus, said it was very quiet around. She also told me how every food place was closed at 7!! That’s just crazy if you ask me…Dining Services needs to do something about that.

I myself went back home to California with Jim. Sad to say, however, it was raining like crazy the whole time we were there. And now that I’m back on campus it’s raining here too! People say I brought it back with me, but trust me I’ve had to pay with the flu…

Because all my classes got cancelled on Friday (yay me!), I didn’t have to skip any to get to my flight from MCO—PHX—OAK that afternoon. It was a very long flight, like always, but it was nice to have some company on the way there. My parents had plans to go visit Yosemite National Park that weekend, but of course, it had to snow, which blocked the roads. I was a little upset, because having never seen snow, I didn’t realize how bad the roads could get. We decided to go see the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, CA instead. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, that was the carrier ship that rescued both Apollo 11 and 12 (and 13th? I may be wrong) from the ocean after their return from the moon. Because of that, inside the ship, they had a mockup of the Apollo capsule as well as the original trailer in which the astronauts were quarantined. I also saw lot of airplanes, along with the helicopter used to pull the capsule from the water (I’m not sure if that was the original one…but still pretty neat). We toured the bunk rooms, the dining halls, the bridge, and even got to see where the seamen assembled torpedoes!

Sunday we went to Chinatown—my personal favorite—and went to see my aunt Jenny who had had an accident the day before. Monday we went to Old Town Sacramento, where we got to visit the Railroad Museum. We even discovered a huge candy store where we could sample everything in the store! I have a newfound love for saltwater taffy as a result…

My brother had to go to school, and my dad had to work for the rest of the week, but we still managed to enjoy our stay. Jim and I ended up taking the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit—our public transportation system) to San Francisco, where we went around the famed Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, as well as rode on the cable cars. The sea lions were around! They come every year and just lay on the pier. They were very loud…and very smelly, to say the least. Jim also got to visit his uncle, who lives in the nearby town of Emeryville (where the Pixar Animation Studios are). He gave me a very nice necklace he made himself, since he’s an artist. Friday, I took Jim to the San Jose flea market and a supermarket called Mi Pueblo (Hispanic food)…that was something, but at least I bought a neat phone case, guavas (SO good! Haven’t had them in years), and bought some awesome food to take back to my room.

We headed back to campus on Saturday night. Red eye flight…it was horrible! We didn’t get back to campus until 1:30 PM the NEXT day! We had a long delay in Charlotte because our pilot over-fueled the plane (therefore putting it over the maximum landing weight), which delayed us for an hour because the extra fuel had to be taken out, and the tanks balanced…and then bad weather hit us, delaying our plane another 30 minutes. Not complaining too much, because I know some people got stuck in Atlanta anywhere from 4 hours to 2 DAYS! I feel like this is getting too lengthy, and there’s a whole lot coming up in the next blog! An airshow, a hot air balloon show ( I’ll be volunteering there to help the chase crew!). Can’t wait

March 28, 2011

Spring break has ended. I know I should be a little bit saddened, but I am not too sad. This break (even though I live in Daytona so I didn’t travel), I had the opportunity to rest and relax as much as I could throughout the day. I’ll admit it was ended a little early seeing as I had a take-home test to do. I decided I’d do it at the end in order to get myself back into the school mood. And because I was procrastinating till the last minute to actually do the test. It took me a long time to finish but in the end I feel more accomplished for better understanding the material. School let out on a Friday, I only had one class that day but stayed there pretty late. I stayed up late (like usual but a little longer than normal and enjoyed the benefits of not having to wake up early the next day. I normally don’t go to bed early at all but getting up early by the latest 7am I could definitely enjoy sleeping in till the time of my choosing. My parents were happy to have me home (or so I think). And I was more than happy to have the benefits of not having to “buy my meal” every day.

Yes this Spring break was definitely something to remember and appreciate. I may not have gone all around where I wanted to go, but, I had the chance to be with the people I love and sleep a little more than I’m use to. Sure I returned back to school kind of early but I don’t regret it. Just know that tomorrow (Monday) when I wake up from having 4-5 hours of sleep around 6:45am-7am, I can breathe a sigh of relief because not only did I ave a beautiful spring break but I am one step closer to the summer break….that’s five weeks to be more specific.

Beautiful ending to a beautiful day! (Photo taken by me: Hannah Langhorn)