Sunshine & San Diego

Happy July everyone! Also happy summer! I’m currently blogging from Tucson, Arizona with the temperatures in the 100+ everyday, typically around 108 and the intense sunshine and low humidity that accompanies the desert. 

The first semester of my third year level Arabic class has concluded with me obtaining a final grade of an A. I took a small vacation during fourth of July weekend to San Diego, California with some friends who also speak arabic, which was a great break. 

I’d never been to California before so this spontaneous road trip that began with my friends and I renting a car for the long weekend, stopping for snacks and coffee, then setting off, was so much fun. The drive from Arizona to California is only about five hours, for some that might feel like a lot, but the scenery of the desert, the mountains, and eventually the ocean, plus great music and four friends who had only met a month before was truly a wonderful adventure.

A mountain side view of the Pacific Ocean in San Diego.

We only had a few days to explore the city so we spent them at about three different beaches, Coronado, Pacific, and Imperial, watched fireworks seaside on the night of the fourth, and visited many 24 hour Mexican food places. We also briefly hiked along some coastal mountains and I thrived in all the vegan food options that San Diego had to offer. For the record, my love of chips and salsa has only increased. My favorite beach foods are now veggie pizza, apples, and chili powder covered mangoes. I commend California for satisfying my morning brunch and coffee shop needs as well. 

Sunset at the San Diego Harbor!

We also spent time in downtown San Diego exploring the harbor and all the restaurants and shops in Little Italy. Not to mention we had some quite entertaining encounters with Birds, the motorized scooters, not actual birds. They are an extremely popular form of transportation there and while they are an effective way to get around they are also so fun to play with when you’re with a group of friends. I highly encourage you to try them for the experience, if you have not.

In other news, I have just completed my first week in my second semester of third year Arabic at the University of Arizona and I have less than a month left here. My first semester flew by and while I am enjoying the nice break from studying engineering, the classes here are rigorous but definitely not as stressful, or perhaps I’ve just gotten better at managing stressful situations? Will comment more on this when school starts back up in the fall and my normal engineering and AFROTC schedule is back in full swing again.

Side note: I added some new stickers to my laptop case, a small Arizona one in the shape of the state and an Arabic one. 

My laptop case featuring two new stickers… I need to get some Riddle stickers to add to it when I get back to Florida.

The Arabic sticker says: ان مع العسر يسرا which means with every hardship comes ease.

Keep on keeping on folks and enjoy the summer, stay cool! Will report back soon!

First Trip of the Year

I started off my first day of the year by travelling to London-Heathrow for a family week vacation in United Kingdom’s largest city. I think the winter season is a good time to travel to Europe because there a lot less tourists than during the busy summer season. Streets are less crowded and the wait time to do some activities is reduced. The temperature during winter varies between 0oC (32 F) and 10oC (50 F). We were lucky to get a few sunny days during our stay.

Below is my Top 5 of the things I love to do or see in London.

London Eye

The London Eye is one of my favorite attractions in London. The 135 metres (443 ft.) high Ferris wheel was completed in 2000. It was first sponsored by British Airways for many years, but now Coca-Cola took over the branding.

The London Eye

The London Eye

From the cabin, you can see most of the city from above. You can see the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and the Shard just to name a few. One wheel rotation takes 30 minutes so you will have plenty of time to take pictures and enjoy the view.

If you would like to experience London with a 360 degrees view, regular adult tickets sell for £23 (US$29). When it is crowded and there are long queues, you can purchase a Fast Track Ticket for £32 (US$40).

Tower of London

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The Food

You will eat well when traveling to the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. London is a multicultural city with people speaking over 300 different languages. You can basically find a variety of food from all around the globe. I love the food in London!

Poached Scottish salmon with fennel, grapefruit and dill pickled cucumber.

Poached Scottish salmon with fennel, grapefruit and dill pickled cucumber (Starter)

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Braised jowl of Tamworth pork with bacon marmalade, cider pickled cabbage and apple (Main course)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Harrods

Harrods is a luxury department store with more than 330 departments. There, you can find  almost everything such as restaurants and a bunch of stores. I visited twice in a week!

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Big Ben

Big Ben, also known as the Elizabeth Tower, is the famous clock in London!

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I hope 2017 brings you to new exciting places!

Nicolas

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

Quick Update

It’s been a busy few weeks at Embry-Riddle. For President’s Day/Valentine’s Day

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A large heart made out of rose pedals at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

weekend, I went back home to Houston, Texas, and it was nice to spend the weekend with my family and local friends. Plus, I did receive some exciting news while en-route home for the weekend, but more will come later.

After I got back, I have been quite busy between work and school. This semester feels a bit different since I am taking a lot of my upper-level classes. This is the time where the rubber meets the road as in I am beginning to see how a lot of my classes connect; this helps keep my attention and engaged as many new connections are made.

Meanwhile, there are lots of big projects coming up. For example in my Airline-Airport Operations class, we are in small groups and will write a paper and give a presentation investigating something airline and airport related, and in my Business Information Systems class, we are writing about the “back end” of a business (which includes privacy policies, social media policies, software, and many other parts). Plus, we have started on our big Tech Report Research Paper.

The count down until Spring Break is on! Just one week to go.

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December 11th 2012

Finally! Winter break is here! Done with classes and don’t have to worry about school for a month. It will be a much needed break for everyone. Looking back on the semester, however; the last three months have just flown by. It literally seems like it was just yesterday I was moving into my dorm room, and yet today I spent most of my day cleaning and packing for my visit back home. What a great first semester of college it has been. Not anything like what I had expected, yet completely exceeded my hopes and aspirations. I could not be more confident with my decision to attend Embry-Riddle.

Finally finals are over. Throughout the course of the semester I’ve heard people talk about “how stressful finals are” and how you should remember that “there is a life after finals,” so naturally I was really curious as to how I would respond to my first week of finals at Embry-Riddle. Fortunately, I did quite well on all of my exams. I didn’t fail any tests that resulted in a dramatic change in my grades, so it was a win. In fact, I did so well on my math final I brought my grade up to a B, and math is not my strongest subject so I was very pleased with that. It felt good to finish the semester out strong. Now, I can go home and enjoy the break with friends and family and not have to worry about my grades. If you put the work in during the semester, you really shouldn’t have a problem with final exams.

Last week, Air Force ROTC ended for the semester. We had our Pass in Review ceremony to close out the fall term. Cadets were given different awards based on leadership, academics and physical fitness. It was a very nice ceremony other than the fact that we had to stand in the same place for about 45 minutes without being able to move. I am really looking forward to next semester in ROTC. Now that I have a good understanding of how ROTC life works, I am ready to start making some strides and working my way to becoming a commissioned Officer in the Air Force.

Photo: My Flight poses for a picture after the fall 2012 Pass in Review Ceremony.

Flying is going great. I had my first solo a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome! My instructor and I went up to Palatka, Florida where I dropped him off and took the plane for myself. I did three landings while he watched from the ground. After, I picked him up and we stopped for lunch to celebrate. It was definitely a great experience and is a milestone in your aviation career. This past week I have been working on my cross country flights. Over the weekend, I flew down to Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, then back to Daytona for a duration of 1.9 hours. Cross country flying is definitely my favorite. You really feel like a pilot when you are filing a flight plan, getting a weather briefing and planning your route of flight while calculating time, fuel, distance, etc. Last evening, I was scheduled for my night cross country to St. Petersburg, but we had to cancel due to weather. I will be finishing up my cross country flights after I return in January. After that, I will have another solo in the local practice area, then two solo cross country flights! After, I will have a few practice flights then I’ll be up for my end of course check ride. It’s crazy to think that before I came down here in the summer I had absolutely no flight experience and now within 2 months I should already have my Private Pilot Certificate. Up next will be my Instrument rating.

Photo: Photo from Embry-Riddle of my first solo.

 It’s been a great first semester and I am really looking forward to going back home and spending the holidays with my family. I hope you have a great holiday and I’ll talk to you next year. Thanks for reading!