Home & Holidays

Happy December everyone! I’m currently blogging from Washington DC. I traveled from Daytona Beach to Orlando then to Richmond, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach to see family and friends, and now I’m spending some time up north visiting with my sister. It’s starting to get so cold here, I feel like Florida has definitely gotten me accustomed to warmer climates. I’m definitely lucky to have been able to borrow my brother and sister’s warm clothes while I visited because my small carry on included jeans and a flannel that were not cut out for this 30 degree weather. Such a drastic climate change from blazing summers in Kansas and mild and humid temperatures in Florida.  

In other news, I have been enjoying my break so much. I’ve done a ton of yoga at a studio only two blocks away from my house (score!), have been running on the beach (in the cold yikes), doing push-ups and ab workouts, have gone on a couple hikes, and of course took my dog, Kita on walks with my dad, in addition to eating a bunch of good food, visiting local coffee shops, and sleeping.

One of my favorite things I got to do over break was paint a shed my dad built. Surprisingly enough painting the entire thing only took a few hours in the afternoon with my family all grabbing brushes.

Painting a shed! I promise the tiny brush was only used to cover nails.

Kita got painted too!

I also got to spend some time hiking with my sister and mom, which was great! Got to break in my new hiking boots I got for Christmas, broke in some new running shoes, and also some new ABU boots for Field Training Preparation (FTP) next semester. To say the least my feet are extremely sore, but better now than later.

On a hike with my mom and sister!

My aunt also took some amazing family photos for us that are currently being uploaded but will be sure to be included in the upcoming posts.

I fly back to Florida in a few days and can definitely say I will miss the leisurely pace of a balanced life and no homework. RAs always arrive back to school early to decorate, inspect, and set up the dorms again before all the residents return for the upcoming semester. Until then though, I’ll be sleeping and eating well in preparation for FTP, as well as working on scholarship applications and internship applications for the summer.

Happy new year and I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays. Will report back soon once the semester starts up again!

Welcome to the New Semester

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Spring 2016 semester! Sorry it has taken me a while to write a blog, I have been super sick for the past week, but I am getting better. This semester is exciting for me. I am taking five classes: Speech, Physics, Calculus, Humanities and Commercial Space Ops Seminar. On Monday’s and Friday’s I am 8:00a to 12:00p, which is really awesome because it gives me a chance to go home and get homework done and more time to relax at night. On Tuesday’s I have once class from 9:45a to 11:00a and Wednesday’s 8:00a – 12:00p and 1:00p – 2:00p. Luckily, I have Thursday’s off so I really am enjoying this semester. In particular, I really am enjoying my Humanities class. It is HU145 for McKee. The theme is music, which is really awesome considering that it’s not literature or hard core history. We get to read a couple books on music and actually listen to old time music.

On the other hand, I am currently a Mechanical Engineering and Human Factors Psychology major…I am most likely going to be switching my HF major to Commercial Space Operations. That is why I am taking the CSO 101 seminar class to see what it is all about. I am taking it with Lance Erickson, the man who wrote the program. He is retiring after this semester so I lucked out with that. I really am enjoying the class. There are a lot of interesting jobs that really interest me. Plus, it is about space and space is my life.

Speaking about space, I was recently named a NASA Solar System Ambassador (SSA) for 2016. I get to do four giant speeches a year! It is totally awesome. I get my own name badge and everything! Once I know more information on it I will be sure to write about it.

As for the new semester, a lot awaits. New classes, new starts, new teachers, and new chances. Most importantly there are new opportunities. Personally for me, I am excited for the new opportunities: NASA SSA, classes, and possible connections. There is an endless number of things that can happen in someone’s life and a new year and new semester sets a perfect tone for that.

Have a great semester everyone!

A Quick Winter Vacation Update

Happy New Year Folks!

Here is a quick update on my winter break. After the Christmas celebrations, my family and I flew to South Florida. My parents rented a condo in the Palm Beach area until March. We spent about a week there and I felt like home since Daytona Beach is only 190 miles up north.

During my stay in Florida, I went to the BB&T in Sunrise to watch the hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers. This classic matchup happens annually before the end of the year.

This game is very special for both teams. This game happens at the end of the year because there are many Eastern Canadian hockey fans that fly to South Florida to enjoy the warm weather. The arena is usually filled up when the Canadiens are in town. However, the attendance is of only about 50% on average during other regular season games.

During the National Anthem before puck drop, there were more fans singing the “Oh Canada” than the US Anthem! The Canadian National Anthem was even sang in French. I would actually say there are more Canadiens fans in the stands than the local team. There are a lot of noise and cheers when the Canadiens score a goal. Way more than the Panthers!

We ended up losing the game, but it was still fun to be there!

A few days before New Year’s Eve, some of our Texan friends came to visit us for a few days in Florida. I haven’t seen the family for the past year in a half. The last time I saw them before I moved back to Montreal, after I graduated college in San Antonio. It was great to spend some time with them even though it was only for a few days. We played golf and celebrated the beginning of 2016 with them!

One night, we all ate dinner at “Chez L’Épicier,” a French Canadian restaurant owned by a reputed chef. Even some of the waiters spoke French! Below is a picture of one of the dessert they have on their menu. It is called “The Club Sandwich.” Carved pieces of cake replace the sandwich, fried pieces of pineapple act as the fries, and shredded honeydew melon plays the role of the coleslaw. It was delicious!

The Club Sandwich

The Club Sandwich

I’m currently writing this story at 33,000 feet above sea level on my way to Canada. I will spend the end of the week up north before returning to Daytona. I plan to see my friends and go ski in the cold weather!

Until next time!

Nicolas

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