What’s so Great about Florida?

Being new to Florida, you may think we’re all about the beach. But as someone who’s lived in Florida all her life, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you more about all the things you can do in the area. Just this past month, I’ve done some fun things I want to share so you can think about experiencing them yourself.

I’ll start with the Annual St. Demetrios Greek Festival. Every year, around the second week of November, people everywhere come to check out Greek Fest right here in Daytona Beach at the Greek Orthodox Church. Going to this Festival is a literal taste of the Greek culture including authentic foods, music, and dancing. The festival has wonderful scenery as you sit back eat delicious food and enjoy an amazing view of our beautiful Florida waters. This event is an excellent idea to keep in mind as it is an annual event.

Another amazing thing about Daytona is how close we are to Orlando! Orlando is full of different exciting places, but it’s quite a busy place to live, which is why I personally think being in Daytona is a nice distance and a lot less traffic! With all there is to do in Orlando, I’m specifically talking about Universal. As college students, it’s nice to take a break and do something fun and since Universal is so close, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to take advantage of such a super, awesome, fun escape! The most amazing part about all this is that Embry-Riddle sells discounted tickets, so with if you’re afraid to break the bank too much, you can purchase discounted tickets in the ICI Center in the Rec sports office (cash only). And although Universal is my favorite, discounted tickets for different parks like Disney World, Sea World, and Busch Gardens are also available for students.

Even if you don’t go to the parks at Universal, the best part about it is the grand entrance that is City Walk. City Walk has amazing stores, great restaurants, and awesome night life fun. And it’s all just about an hour’s drive away.

The End of the Semester is Approaching… Bring on the Stress

It is the middle of November, and it seems like classes are speeding up, rather than winding down. With three projects due the day before Thanksgiving, weekly assignments, and endless meetings, I feel like I will never make it to Winter Break. However, it is a refreshing feeling knowing that once I make it to Thanksgiving, I will be stress-free.

That being said, where has the semester gone?! I feel like I have been in Daytona for two months, not four! It seems like each semester flies by faster than the last one did. I cannot even imagine how fast my senior year will go by…

I know this time of year is full of a lot of stress, so I wanted to share some ways I am coping with the stress. I believe it is so important to do something for yourself at least once a week, whether this be going out for ice cream, going to the beach, or just watching a good movie. Taking time for myself helps me to forget about my stress for awhile, and focus on having fun.

Lately, I have been doing active things to keep my mind off of school. Last weekend Tri Sigma had our Fall Sisterhood, which was bio-luminescent kayaking at Mosquito Lagoon. We went kayaking in the dark, in the middle of nowhere. It was so amazing to see the water light up every time your oar hit the water. The stargazing was also incredible! However, just like the name, I ended the night with 60 bug bites all over my leg, and am still recovering. Getting out into nature was just what I needed to kick-off the month of November.

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This weekend I started my open water diving scuba certification course. The first day was spent in a classroom learning information, while Sunday was spent in a pool learning skills. I am not going to lie, I was pretty scared when I first went under water, however, I got used to it, and actually really enjoyed it. I cannot wait until next weekend, when I get to dive at both Alexander and Ginnie Springs. I will be completing the course, while diving at two beautiful springs in Florida!

Being busy and active on the weekends has helped me to have something to look forward to, besides due dates for final projects! When I look at my planner and see a full week, I know I have to plan in something fun to do on the weekend. This strategy has helped me throughout my three semesters in college, and I would recommend it to you, as well! For now, I will say good luck with any finals you have coming up, and I hope you are not stressing out!

Until next time,

Lindsey

Life @ Riddle – The First Half of Fall

Hello Riddle Kids! Hope your week is going good! Before you know it, it will be the end of the week! Regarding the fall semester, we are halfway through it! A lot has happened and it has flown by! With midterms coming up, it really is good timing!

So let’s talk school. What has happened in this half of the semester? New professors, new classes, and new adventures. Currently I am taking EGR 120 Graphical Communications, EGR 115 Intro to Computing for Engineers, COM 122 English Composition, PSY 310 Sensation and Perception, and MA 241 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I. For those engineers out there, yes they don’t advise you to take EGR 115 & 120 at the same time, but I had no choice. Being dual major means you are jam packed for your career here at Riddle. Classes have been going well and homework stacks up. Staying ahead has been a plus. It has allotted me free time. Being involved in all the clubs and organizations has also kept me busy. We have broken ground and made a lot of progress. All the hard work has definitely paid off!

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Space Shuttle Toy taken apart

Fall has been jam packed with exams, projects, and homework. I would have to say I am really excited about my EGR 120 final project. I get to take apart and build (in CATIA) a Space Shuttle Pullback Toy! I will admit I am a total space nerd so yes, I am really excited! Today, I got to take it apart and inventory all the different parts. It was really interesting to see how everything fit together. There were actually more parts then I believed to be, but hey, more work! As an engineering student a Riddle, I always thought that it was going to be impossible to understand the material, but it has been coming to me easier than I thought. Not all the material comes to me right away but it takes practice and dedication. You certainty will not get everything on the first try that is for sure!

Being an engineering student gives me and all you other students the opportunity to grow and create the next big thing. We are the next generation to shape and build the future. How cool is that?! The fact that Riddle has such a great engineering program, assures me that I can shape the future. I do love that feeling.

For the full part: in between school I have traveled a little bit. I’ve gone to Orlando, St. Augustine, New Smyrna Beach, Coral Springs, FL and Savannah, GA. It was a lot of fun traveling and seeing parts of Florida and Georgia that I haven’t seen in quite a while. In St. Augustine, I had the chance to see a luau! It was my second luau I have ever seen and it was totally an amazing experience! I know they have one more luau on October 24th so if you have time to drive to St. Augustine, it is a lot of fun! Escaping from Daytona was a nice break.

Although it is almlost over, I will still be hitting the books and watching the stars. With 3 exams this week and upcoming projects there is no time to waste! Have a great rest of the fall semester everyone!

 

Spring Break Recap

Spring Break has come and gone and everyone is back in class, yet I still want to share my Spring Break recap with you.

Most people went back home for Spring Break, but I stayed in Florida and went to Fort Myers. I had the privilege of staying with my boyfriend’s family at their house, so it was much more convenient (and fun) than going back to Washington would have been!

The trip was full of relaxation, sightseeing, and good food. Because Fort Myers is on the Gulf of Mexico and is on the west coast of Florida, it is home to some of the most spectacular sunsets in Florida. Of course, watching a sunset was on my bucket list for the trip, and we watched it almost every night! We also went fishing in the pond behind the house every morning and evening. We caught all kinds of different fish and even saw turtles and an alligator!

Sunset over Fort Myers Beach

Sunset over Fort Myers Beach

 

Fort Myers is home to Spring Training every year for the Red Sox and the Twins. Everyday we drove by both of their ballparks, which were both surprisingly large. Traffic was always very busy during the afternoons because of the ball games and there were fans everywhere.

The second night we were there, we found a hidden beach which was perfect for watching the sunset. We continued to go back there almost every evening to watch! It is called Bunche Beach and it is located in between Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island. The sand bar was huge, so you could walk really far out into the water. The sun set through the Sanibel/Captiva bridge every night and it was amazing to watch, even after the first night.IMG_0788

Just before sunset on Bunche Beach

Just before sunset on Bunche Beach

One day, we took a trip to Sanibel and Captiva. They are both islands just off the coast of Fort Myers Beach. Sanibel Island is known for its seashells and white sand. We spent a few hours there on the beach hunting for shells, and afterwards, drove around the island and looked at all of the beach shops. It really felt like I was living “the island life”! That night, we went to a restaurant called Parrot Key. It is a very popular restaurant on the Fort Myers Marina. Their specialty is seafood, and I had the most amazing fish tacos! They also are famous for their dessert by the name of “Pelican Poop”. It is comprised of brownies, ice cream, coconut, and pineapple. I’m craving it right now just thinking about it!

Outside of Parrot Key

Outside of Parrot Key

Pelican Poop

Pelican Poop

Another day, we went to Lover’s Key State Park. It is located just south of Fort Myers and is a lot less busy, as well. We took a tram from the front of the park, through the mangroves, to the beach. The beach was covered with pure white sand and the water was pure blue. Lover’s Key felt like a private beach compared to Fort Myers Beach.

White sandy beach at Lover's Key

White sandy beach at Lover’s Key

Sightseeing is one of my favorite things to do, and since I was in a city I had never been to before, I wanted to do a lot of sightseeing! Since Naples is so close to Fort Myers, it was a must-do on the trip. Naples is a very wealthy city which is comprised of million-dollar beach homes and fancy stores. We just drove through the neighborhoods (that weren’t gated!) and looked at the homes in the area. They were incredible! There were also several huge yachts, fancy cars, and beautiful yards. Another night, we went driving around Fort Myers and found the Edison and Ford House. The house was huge and the property was beautiful. Apparently, it is where both Thomas Edison and Henry Ford lived during the cold northern winters.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was the day we spent in Everglades City. It has always been my dream to go on an airboat in the Everglades, and it finally came true! I am still so excited about it! The airboat tour took us through the swamps around Everglades City. It felt like we were in a corn maze, only it was mangroves. I have no idea how the tour guide could find his way out of the mangroves! I though we were just going in circles the whole time. We also saw two gators, and I got to hold a baby one!

Through the mangroves we go!

Through the mangroves we go!

Riding on the airboat

Riding on the airboat

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To end the trip, we went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse and played mini-golf! Mini golf is always a tradition on any vacation. We also made a stop at the Love Boat Ice Cream Shop. It was the cutest old ice cream shop, and all of their ice cream was homemade. The line was out the door when we got there, and people continued to come for the rest of the evening.

Outside the Love Boat

Outside the Love Boat

Spring Break came at the perfect time. It was very nice to relax, have home-cooked meals, and explore South Florida. I am so grateful for my wonderful Spring Break experience and I am looking forward to exploring more of what Florida has to offer sometime soon!

Until next time,

Lindsey