Spring Break Road Trip

For my last Spring Break, I decided to go somewhere I’d never been before. My sister, boyfriend, and I drove to Charleston, South Carolina for a few days. On the way up to Charleston, we stopped in Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, Georgia. It was an amazing trip despite the cold weather that swept across the East Coast.

On our first segment of the trip, we stopped at St. Simons Island, Georgia, which is home to some of the best BBQ in the United States. We normally fly up to St. Simons whenever we go, so it was cool to drive around the island and see all that it had to offer. There were gorgeous houses and buildings scattered all around.

We arrived in Savannah in the evening-just in time to grab some dinner. We were there a few days before St. Patrick’s Day, so there were decorations everywhere and people were dressed in green (Savannah has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the nation). We ended up getting dinner down by the river and were surprised by the huge cargo ships going in and out of the port. The next day, we walked around the historic squares in Savannah, which are supposedly haunted. We even got to sit in the spot where Tom Hanks spoke those famous words, “Life is like a box of chocolates”.

Sitting where Forrest Gump was filmed in Chippewa Square

Sitting where Forrest Gump was filmed in Chippewa Square

Jones Street, Savannah, GA

Jones Street, Savannah, GA

After exploring Savannah, we hit the road and arrived in Hilton Head Island a couple of hours later. It was raining and gloomy, but I can definitely imagine how beautiful the island would be in the summer. We went out to the famous Salty Dog Cafe, and walked around some souvenir stores. There were tons of resorts and golf courses that would make anyone dream of coming to Hilton Head.

We spent a few hours in Hilton Head, and then drove the last stretch to Charleston, South Carolina. I had wanted to go to Charleston for a long time, and I was so excited to be able to finally go! It was so much more than I imagined. I fell in love with the historic homes and the southern charm.

The Pink Door, Charleston, SC

The Pink Door, Charleston, SC

Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was in Charleston… seriously! My inner foodie was so happy, but my wallet definitely was not. Of course, in addition to eating well, we spent a lot of time exploring.

We walked around the Battery, walked down Rainbow Row, and went to tour the USS Yorktowne. On our last day in town, we went to Boone Hall Plantation, which is the plantation that was used in the popular movie, The Notebook. The architecture and the grounds were incredible, and I really appreciated all the work they are doing to keep it looking beautiful.

Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row

The entry into Boone Hall Plantation

The entry into Boone Hall Plantation

Boone Hall Plantation Home

Boone Hall Plantation Home

Charleston is definitely a city that I want to go back to again and again. I’m glad I was able to spend my last Spring Break exploring one of the gems of the South.

Until next time,

Lindsey

From Spring to Summer

Wow am I tardy on writing! Sorry about that – I promise I’ll keep up this summer, especially because I’ll have plenty to write about.

Spring semester went out with a bang. The Semester of Death has been vanquished, and not a moment too soon! I had four final projects to do, four final exams to take, and my senior thesis proposal to write. Combine that with moving to a new apartment and putting on a musical and you get one stressed out future-rocket scientist. But as I am writing this from the end, I’ll skip ahead and tell you that it all works out okay.

I figured I’d tell you guys a little bit about some of the cool final projects I worked on in my junior year at ERAU. For Optics we designed a satellite-based camera that can take pictures of Mars rovers from orbit around Mars. This was done using some math and some CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, and the end result turned out excellent. In my Microcomputers class we had to design, build, and program a sun sensor with a ton of other features. That one didn’t turn out amazingly – you know how it goes, it works great for you and then you present it for the professor and it just decides not to work for no reason – but it was definitely a very cool project. I also wrote and submitted the proposal for my undergraduate thesis, which you can read¬†here if you’re interested.

I was also inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma – the national physics honors society – this semester! So… yay!

3D

3D CAD drawing of the telescope lenses used in our camera design for Optics.

A picture of our sun sensor. It may not be pretty, but you can see how complicated and totally awesome it is.

A picture of our sun sensor. It may not be pretty, but you can see how complicated and totally awesome it is.

Hitting the books for finals! This was the stack on my desk for a couple weeks.

Hitting the books for finals! This was the stack on my desk for a couple weeks.

 

Back behind my saxophone to put on a production of Jekyll & Hyde!

Back behind my saxophone to put on a production of Jekyll & Hyde!

Oh, I mentioned I played in a musical. The Riddle Players Theatre Company put on the first musical in like 9 years or something along those lines…. Jekyll & Hyde! The story of the aspiring scientist who splits into two personalities: one good and one evil. It’s a great show; I’ve been addicted to the soundtrack ever since. I got to play my saxophone in the pit, and it was a ton of work but a ton of fun. We put on a fantastic production, and I loved having the opportunity to get back into playing some music, which really doesn’t come too often at ERAU, unfortunately. It was also cool to see a bunch of engineers/scientists/pilots/left-brain people put on a musical, and do such a great job of it – we really have a lot of undiscovered talent hidden within all of this math and science.

I’m not going to write a ton of words in this entry. I’ll just throw a bunch of pictures at you to show some of the cool things I’ve been up to….

 

I moved out of my own apartment and into a two-bedroom with a friend of mine. It's cheaper, and she makes me breakfast sometimes. So no complaints there. It's also much nicer - same complex but new appliances, cabinets, and I have a giant bathroom and closet.

I moved out of my own apartment and into a two-bedroom with a friend of mine. It’s cheaper, and she makes me breakfast sometimes. So no complaints there. It’s also much nicer – same complex but new appliances, cabinets, and I have a giant bathroom and closet.

Sally the Space Hamster is still doing well. She likes to watch me do homework and climb all over my books and notes.

Sally the Space Hamster is still doing well. She likes to watch me do homework and climb all over my books and notes.

 

These are the kind of problems we did in Classical Mechanics. Quite whimsical, but they lose their fun once you start to work through the math!

These are the kind of problems we did in Classical Mechanics. Quite whimsical, but they lose their fun once you start to work through the math!

With school being done, May is a fantastic time of year to hit the beach in Daytona!

With school being done, May is a fantastic time of year to hit the beach in Daytona!

 

My roommate and I made a Pi Pie after finding rhubarb at the Daytona farmer's market. Strawberry rhubarb - it was yummy!

My roommate and I made a Pi Pie after finding rhubarb at the Daytona farmer’s market. Strawberry rhubarb – it was yummy!

I drove my boyfriend up to Savannah, GA for his internship with Gulfstream and stayed up there for a couple days. It's a neat place. But I think he's going to write a blog so I'll let him talk about that!

I drove my boyfriend up to Savannah, GA for his internship with Gulfstream and stayed up there for a couple days. It’s a neat place. But I think he’s going to write a blog so I’ll let him talk about that!

 

Back home in Minneapolis for a couple weeks. The longer you spend away from home the more you appreciate it, even if growing up you thought it was the worst place ever and wondered how anybody could ever live in such a frozen tundra. But now I'm like "hey, the summers aren't death, and the city is shiny and pretty."

Back home in Minneapolis for a couple weeks. The longer you spend away from home the more you appreciate it, even if growing up you thought it was the worst place ever and wondered how anybody could ever live in such a frozen tundra. But now I’m like “hey, the summers aren’t death like Florida, and the city is shiny and pretty.”

My little brother graduated from high school this weekend! I guess he's not so little anymore. I tried to recruit him to ERAU, but he wasn't interested - darn!

My little brother graduated from high school this weekend! I guess he’s not so little anymore. I tried to recruit him to ERAU, but he wasn’t interested – darn!

 

I head out to Mountain View, California on Sunday to start my summer at SETI, so you’d better believe I’ll be writing about that. I just wanted to pop in and give a quick update on all the things I’ve been doing since my last entry. As always, feel free to shoot me an email or comment on this post if you want to ask questions or just chat with an awesome Riddle student.

Until next time!
-Lynsey
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