Holidays in the Sunshine State

When you think of the holiday season, you normally don’t think of Florida, although, the Sunshine State has a lot to offer during the holidays. It’s always hard to balance the excitement of the holidays with the stress of Finals Week, especially when you’re surrounded by so many holiday events.

Earlier this month I went to the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando to see the ICE! display that they put on each year. The display is in their convention center and it is composed of tons of ice that has been carved by professional ice carvers. It was my first time going to the display, and I was excited because the theme was Charlie Brown Christmas.

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown

Snoopy

Snoopy

Besides seeing the ice sculptures, one of the best parts of the display is that it is inside a nine degree freezer. They claim that nine degrees is the perfect viewing temperature for ice. Since I’ve been in Florida for three years, I was definitely not used to the cold. I brought my own winter jacket, even though they are also provided for you at the display. It was awesome to experience a winter temperature while still living in Florida.

David and I holding an apple made out of ice

David and I holding an apple made out of ice

It’s always nice to get away from the stress of Finals to get into the holiday spirit. Now I’m off to Disney World and New York City to see what else this holiday season has to offer!

Until next time,

Lindsey

It’s Over!

I can’t believe the fall 2016 semester is already over. I feel like it was not a long time ago that I ended my summer internship. I’m very happy that finals are now over and that we have a bit less than a month of vacation.

I had my last final on Tuesday evening. This semester, only has two finals during the four days that are considered “finals week.” In most of my classes, the professors gave the final during regular class time on the last day of classes. Instead of being a big comprehensive exam with the material we saw from the beginning of the semester, it was just a normal exam with the material covered in the last few weeks. To make it even easier, one of my finals was open book and we were allowed to reference our textbook, our computer (with no internet access), PowerPoint slides and notes. It was definitely my easiest exam!

I am now at the airport waiting for my flight to go home for the holidays! Before I left Daytona Beach, I made sure my schedule was set for next semester. I was on the waitlist for one of my classes that only had one section. Fortunately, the Department of Physical Sciences decided to add a second section of Biology because many students were on the waiting list for the class. If you are currently on a waitlist for one of your classes, you have a few options. First, you can wait until the first week of classes in January where the class might open since many students drop classes. Second, you can try to force entry in a class, but this process is more complicated since you have to talk with your Program Coordinator, the Department of your class and the professor teaching the course. Finally, you might be able to take the class online* through Worldwide. You can read my blog to see if an online class is a good option for you.

I will be home with my family until January 1. On the first day of 2017, I will head with my family to London for a week!

Happy holidays and see you in 2017!

Nicolas

*Current residential campus students must submit appropriate paperwork before enrolling in online courses through the Worldwide Campus. Consult with the Record’s Office, your advisor or admissions counselor before deciding whether online courses are right for you.

Winter Break

It’s almost time for the Spring 2016 semester to begin which means that the end of Winter Break is near. It has been nice to be off for a few weeks, but I am looking forward to classes beginning.

After my last final on Wednesday, December 9, I worked the rest of the week in Career Services which was actually a lot of fun as I was able to help out a lot with all of the internship paperwork. Plus, it is a unique experience being on campus when most of the students are away, and even the squirrels disappear. Although, I couldn’t wait to go home that Saturday, but unfortunately, some weather impacted my flight which caused me to have to stay until Sunday morning.

With my extra afternoon in Daytona Beach, I wanted to make the most of it. I hopped in my car and drove out to Ponce Inlet and visited the Light House. It was a nice sunny and warm afternoon, and I was treated to some spectacular views. I am glad that I had some extra time in Daytona Beach as who knows when I would have made it out to the light house or explored Ponce Inlet.

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Finally, Sunday morning came around, and I was able to fly back home. There, I spent about a week running errands and hanging out with my friends, but then it was back to South Florida for a week for a family vacation.

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After returning home, I enjoyed about a week-and-a-half at home, spending most of it with friends, but then in what seemed like a blink of an eye, I was boarding my flight to return back to Daytona Beach.

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I hope everybody had a very Happy Holidays and has a great 2016! Stay tuned!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Being in Florida during December, it is hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit. All of the palm trees, 80 degree days, and flip flops are not what you picture when you think of the holidays. However, I have found a few places in Florida that are full of Christmas cheer.

Over Thanksgiving break, I went to Disney World for a couple days. Of course, Disney is always decked out for the holidays! The parks have incredible Christmas trees and decorations, while Disney Springs has amazing Christmas themed merchandise. One of my favorite things to do is to go to all of the resorts to look at the gingerbread houses. They are incredible! The one at the Grand Floridian is a working sweet shop! They sell gingerbread cookies, chocolates, and gingerbread houses. I also enjoy looking at the gingerbread carousel that is at the Beach Resort. Another one of my favorites is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios, which is where they decorate an entire street in the park with Christmas lights. All of the lights dance along with the Christmas music that is playing. The street is always packed with people wanting to get some Christmas cheer. This is my favorite holiday activity to do in Florida, as it is always a good time. Sadly, this is the last year that Disney is putting on the light display, due to the new additions to the park that are being built.

Christmas tree at the Animal Kingdom

Christmas tree at the Animal Kingdom

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Decorations in the Magic Kingdom

Decorations in the Magic Kingdom

Decorations in the Contemporary Resort

Decorations in the Contemporary Resort

Gingerbread house in the Grand Floridian Resort

Gingerbread house in the Grand Floridian Resort

Chocolate from the gingerbread house

Chocolate from the gingerbread house

Gingerbread carousel in the Beach Resort

Gingerbread carousel in the Beach Resort

Osborne Spectacle of Lights

Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Once Finals were over, I headed up to St. Augustine to see their Night of Lights. The entire historic district is decorated with Christmas lights. You can walk around the city and look at the lights, or ride on one of the trolleys. I had never been to the Night of Lights before, so it was fun to see something new. There were a lot of visitors walking around, all enjoying the Christmas music and lights. After, I had to go to the Milkshake and Waffle Bar for a Nutella and Banana milkshake. They’re delicious.

Christmas tree in St. Augustine

Christmas tree in St. Augustine

One evening I went down to the Halifax River to watch the Christmas Boat Parade. It is a parade that the Yacht Club puts on, which includes approximately 30 boats that are decorated in lights. I was amazed at the amount of people who were out by the river watching. I had never experienced a Christmas boat parade before, as I am normally in Washington during December. It was a cool experience, and a fun, free way to get in the holiday spirit!

Most recently, I traveled to Fort Myers for the weekend and saw the Edison and Ford Estates lights. Each of the houses are decorated for Christmas, as well as the entire property. It was interesting to be able to see inside of the houses, while also getting in the Christmas spirit. I learned a lot about the two inventors, who both resided in Florida just over 100 years ago.The Estate is a beautiful piece of property on the river in Fort Myers, and is decorated every year for Christmas. I would definitely recommend going!

Inside Henry Ford's house

Inside Henry Ford’s house

As of now, there are only 11 days until Christmas, and I am sure I will find even more fun things to do before then! It may be weird singing “Winter Wonderland” while driving in Daytona Beach on an 80 degree December day, but there are many ways to get into the Christmas spirit in Florida… you might just have to look at little harder to find them!

Wishing you a happy holiday season!

Lindsey

 

It’s a Wrap!

The 2015 Fall semester has just ended! After a stressful week and a half of studying and testing, you can now relax for more than a month until school starts again in mid-January! If you did not know, ERAU has added an extra week of break this year compared to the previous years.

My last final was on Tuesday and it had a speech. As I mentioned in a post in October, Speech is definitely not my easiest and favorite class since I am shy and dislike public speaking. My last final consisted of an impromptu speech. The professor makes you pick a few topics from a bag. You decide which topic you want to talk about and you have three minutes to prepare to present in front of the class. Trust me, it goes by very fast. The subject I selected was for communities to be more bicycles friendly. Can we find peace? I just had the time to write the few key points I wanted to talk about that it was already my turn to get up to the podium. About half way through my speech, I ran out of ideas and paused for about 25 seconds without knowing what to say. Then my professor suggested me that I could just sum up my speech. I felt so bad about my speech when I back to my seat. I got my grade a few days later and I did not do bad at all to my surprise! I was happy about it.

I was lucky to get to spend the rest of the week in warm Florida before heading back home in the cold for most of the break. Hey there is no snow yet at least! I will spend some time during Christmas Eve and Christmas to see my extended family, which I do not see often. A few days later, my family and I will board a plane bound to the Sunshine State to spend a week and a half in the West Palm Beach area. We rented a condo until March! I will definitely head there some time with my friends next semester. Just before the New Year, there is always a hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, FL. We bought ticket to watch the game. It is interesting to see that there are more fans cheering for Montreal than the local team. That is because many Canadians travel to Southern Florida to escape the cold winter.

After New Year, I have decided that I will go back to Canada for a few days since we will still have two weeks of vacation before school starts. When I come back to Daytona before classes start, I might go visit the Carolina Aviation Museum with my friend Jack. The Airbus A320 that safely landed in the Hudson River in January 2009 sits at the museum. Can’t wait to see it!

Sunset from above on my flight from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta.

Sunset from above on my flight from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta.

Well I’m about to board my next flight to Montreal. Now, I would like you to sit back, relax, and enjoy this month of deserved vacation. Come back well rested to Daytona Beach in January and be ready to start the next semester!

Until next time!

Nicolas

R&R

By the time finals week rolled around here at ERAU, the library became completely packed, Starbucks was busy at all hours of the day (and night), and all of us students were eagerly packing our bags for our journeys home for the holidays. After all of the stress of finals week, our Fall 2014 Semester was finally complete and we were free to relax for a few weeks. I spent my break at my home in Lake Tapps, WA with my family and friends. Although it was filled with rest and relaxation, I also kept a somewhat busy schedule…

Before I left Florida, it only felt fitting to go to Walt Disney World one last time. I went with my boyfriend and we enjoyed looking at all of the spectacular holiday decorations Disney puts up. We also took time to ride a few rides (although it was very busy), visit Minnie and Mickey, watch the Electrical Parade, and end our night with the fireworks show.

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Once I finally got back to the Evergreen State, I was greeted with cool, crisp air the minute I walked out of the airport. As I got used to the cold over the next week, I had the chance to go to my first NBA game, which was the Portland Trail Blazers versus the San Antonio Spurs at the Moda Center in Portland, OR. It was a really cool experience getting to actually go to a game. I also went to The Nutcracker Ballet in Seattle, as well as a Michael W. Smith Christmas Concert with my family. My friends and I spent one night driving around Seattle to find the best Christmas light decorations around. We definitely found some over-the-top decorations. 

Our view at the NBA game.

Our view at the NBA game.

The curtain at The Nutcracker.

The curtain at The Nutcracker.

The week before Christmas was spent baking cookies, wrapping presents, having the annual gingerbread house competition, and watching Christmas movies with my family. It really is the best time of the year!

David and I's entry in the Gingerbread House Competition. We definitely won!

David and I’s entry in the Gingerbread House Competition. We definitely won!

Although we did not have a White Christmas at my house like I was hoping for, we did manage to get some snow in the Cascade Mountain Range with just enough time left for me to go skiing before I departed for the Sunshine State once again.

My dad, younger sister, boyfriend, and two other friends all went up to Crystal Mountain Ski Resort one day, and we had an amazing time. The mountain had just got over 20 inches of snow that weekend, so the snow conditions were wonderful! What wasn’t so wonderful was the weather… After a few runs on the small hill, we decided to head up the chairlift to the Summit. That day it was 7 degrees and very windy, however we did manage to make it a great day full of skiing.

David, myself, and Brian waiting to ride the Gondola to the Summit at Crystal Mountain.

David, myself, and Brian waiting to ride the Gondola to the Summit at Crystal Mountain.

The drive to Crystal Mountain.

The drive to Crystal Mountain.

All in all, I would call my break a success. It was full of rest and relaxation, family time, and adventures. Now that I am back at ERAU, I do miss the feeling of being stress-free and spending time with my family and friends, but I am also ready to see what this semester has in store for me!

Until next time,

Lindsey

December 17, 2008

Hello to you all from Virginia!!!

I hope everyone is having a great break. Well, actually, if you are still in high school I am not sure yours has started yet so I hope you have a good break!!! My last final was on the 9th and I left at 7 am on the 10th. Flew out of Orlando into Baltimore/Washington and its freeeezing here! No snow yet, it is in the 20’s though. I really want snow though! All of my family is coming up next monday (the 22nd) then the day after Christmas I am going to New York for my cousin’s wedding. I love NY I can’t wait! The bad thing is my laptop crashed yesterday 🙁 I don’t know what in the world I am going to do! I did just put like a million pictures up on facebook of the Dulles Air and Space Museum so go check the out!!! There are way to many good ones to choose from so I am taking the easy way out and saying go look at them all!!! The SR-71 was there and the Enola Gay, it was absolutely AMAZING! That’s been all of my excitement so far, I am waiting for all your e-mails and facebook messages! So once again – e-mail me at hunte@erau.edu or find me on fackbook –search Elizabeth Marie!!!

Happy Holidays everyone and to those who share my holiday, Merry Christmas!!!!

-Elizabeth!!!