Break & ChocoBananas

Happy March everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida and spring break has finally come to an end. Over the break I flew out of MCO to IAD then to… El Salvador! It was truly a thrilling experience and I can honestly say I’d rather be on a beach in the sun than back into the swing of classes.

Over the break my sister, my mom, and I went to La Libertad, El Salvador and spent the week soaking up the sunshine and eating really great food. Cue the fresh smoothies and pupusas.

We surfed, we hiked waterfalls, mountains, volcanos, went to the beach, the pool, and I (of course) did a lot of yoga and napping. We stayed at a private villa called La Casa Bonita that had coconut, mango, and banana trees on the property, so naturally we woke up every morning to enjoy fresh fruit or fresh juice with breakfast. I also ate a lot of frozen bananas and mangoes covered in chocolate, also called ChocoBananas or ChocoMangos.

My sister and I on the second level of our villa overlooking the pool!

The beach in the town we stayed in was absolutely stunning, and there wasn’t even sand! The noise the tide made when it rushed out and all the water fled from the gray stones sounded almost like a stereotypical babbling brook mixed with the familiar swish of the tides. It was hands-down one of the most peaceful places I’ve been, and a definitely well deserved break from the hustle and bustle of classes and my normal routine. The noise alone was breathtaking, and that doesn’t even take into account the amazing view.

My mom and I next to the pool before we went out to dinner!

It’s always hard coming back from a totally different atmosphere and being expected to flip a switch and forget about all outside things because we’re back in “school” mode. A lot of students get sad or really miss home after long weekends or breaks. Sometimes letting yourself be consumed with all your responsibilities truly ostracizes you in your own little world and it can at times even feel a little lonely!

One thing that I definitely fall victim to at Riddle is being consumed with everything it has to offer. Most of the time I feel like Riddle is its own little island, and even leaving campus for a few minutes to go to the store or the beach is a rain check that realigns my perspective and reminds me that although being a student is a huge part of my life, it is not my entire life. I’m on year two, and still working on balancing everything and figuring out how to not be so consumed with all I’m involved in here. It’s so important to take breaks, and breathe. Relaxing and recuperating after a long week of work and school is extremely important.

My sister and I at the top of the Santa Ana Volcano, featuring a ChocoBanana on a stick.

In lieu of nostalgia from spring break, while I try to navigate the balance between work mode and rest, I leave you from a spot at my desk on a Sunday afternoon about to work on some Aerospace Flight Vehicles homework, and I hope you all take five minutes to yourselves to breathe, whether its in the middle of the day, or you schedule your evenings as time to put away your phones and laptops and decompress, you deserve it. Work hard, and rest harder. Until next time folks!

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