Sunday, January 20, 2013

Road Trip: Part 1

I have learned something very important over the past few days. I love road trips! I was a little worried about three days straight in the car, but it was actually mostly enjoyable. Near the end of our last day I just wanted the day to end, but that was because I was exhausted from lack of sleep and we were nearly to my brother and sister-in-law's house in North Carolina. I just wanted to get there already!

For the most part though, I loved driving through the country and stopping to see family and watching the scenery. We ate deep dish pizza with a cousin in Chicago and we stopped to see some cousins near Nashville. We watched the snow melt, and then the grass get greener, and then the snow reappear when we got to the mountains. We watched the sun rise once or twice as well. My favorite time while we were driving was on Friday morning, we were going through the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina. It was absolutely gorgeous! It was in the 30's or 40's and sunny, but there was freshly fallen snow all around us.

This weekend staying in Jacksonville has been a nice break from the car. Of course, it has also been wonderful to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law. We got to see the base where my brother is stationed (he's a Marine), which was really interesting. Today we even got to go to the beach! It was only in the 60's and windy, but it was sunny and the weather felt amazing to us folks from Minnesota. Definitely the warmest weather I've felt in quite a while.

This is their dog, Juliet. Usually she's terrified of the water, apparently today is the first time she's ever willingly gone into anything larger than a puddle.

The water was freezing cold, but it felt wonderful nonetheless to have bare feet in the sand and waves.

Tomorrow we leave for some more driving. Hurray! (I'm only being slightly sarcastic...) We're going to stay in Virginia Beach for a night and see yet more cousins. I never realized until this trip how many cousins I have scattered across the country! Our hotel is directly on the beach, and I'm pretty sure in the middle of the boardwalk, so I am excited for that.

That's about all I have to say for tonight, I should probably start getting ready for bed. We're going to try for a fairly early start in the morning. I'll keep you updated on my adventures when I can!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Leaving is so bittersweet.

I have been home for over 4 weeks, secure in the fact that I had lots of time to spend. But now that I only have one more day, it feels like I barely just got here.

I suppose I'll get used to it eventually, but so far moving between two different places so often is a little disorienting. Just as soon as I get home and start to feel at home, its time to pack up again and leave. Its so sad to think of all of the time I didn't get to spend with my friends and all of the things that I could have done that I probably won't be able to do for the next 5 months. I guess that's the nice thing about home, though, I know I'll always be back.

The sweet part of the bittersweet is where I get to go. On my first ever road trip! I have always wanted to go on a road trip! I am so excited. I have a feeling that I will feel slightly different after several days straight doing nothing but sitting in a car, but this is one thing I am thrilled to be able to cross off of my bucket list. Well, I don't actually have a bucket list, but if I did going on a road trip would definitely be on it.

*lapse of time for increasingly frustrated attempts to upload a picture onto blogger*

Okay, here is where I wanted to insert a map of the route we will be taking. Unfortunately my computer is not cooperating, so you will have to bear with my muddled explanation in lieu of a beautifully illustrated map. Basically our ultimate destination is Wellesley, to bring me back to school, but on the way we are visiting lots of family. Our first stop will be in Chicago, and we will stay the night a short drive away in Indiana. Next we will be visiting some cousins near Nashville and spending the night, and then on our third day we will be arriving in Jacksonville, North Carolina where my brother is stationed. (He's in the Marine Corps, for those of you who don't know.)

We will be spending the weekend with my brother and sister-in-law, and then off to Virginia Beach to see some more family. Because nobody goes to the beach in Virginia in January, we got a really good price on a hotel directly overlooking the ocean. At least the scenery will be beautiful, if not necessarily the weather. Our last stop will be a couple days with my aunt and uncle in Bridgewater, Virginia, and then on to Wellesley! That's perhaps the part I'm most looking forward to, even though it means the end of our trip and the end of my freedom for another semester. You see, my dad has never been to Wellesley, and I am very excited to show him the place where I spend so much of my time. My mom has only been there once when I started school this fall, so it will be nice for her to be able to explore some more with a more knowledgeable guide (namely me.)

And then, after 5 days in the Boston area, I will be starting classes and my parents will be leaving for another two day drive back home. I'm not looking forward to that part.

But for now, I will get back to packing. (Well, to be honest, I will start packing.)

Hurray for adventures!

Friday, January 11, 2013

My favorite way to spend my free time

It has been SO wonderful to be home these last few weeks! I have spent tons of time with family (although not as much time with friends as I would like) and plenty of time home by myself. I know that probably sounds miserable to some of you outgoing people that like to be busy every moment of every day, but for me it has been paradise. I have had a lot of time to watch mindless tv, waste time on the computer, and read books for no reason other than that I enjoy them. Reading for pleasure and not for a class? What a concept!

However, I have also been doing some productive things. For a few days I was knitting like crazy, and I made my very first hat! I know, its a very cheesy picture of myself in the mirror, but I was proud of my hat :)

I have also been doing lots of cooking and baking. Here is an experiment that my mom and I made, they're called mini crostatas, and they're filled with either Nutella or strawberry jelly. So delicious!

I don't even remember all of the other little projects I have been working on, but the flour and the glue have been flying! (Hopefully not at the same time...) 

So, as many hours as I have been spending sleeping in or watching tv or doing absolutely nothing, I have also  been exercising my creativity. Its so nice to have the time to put my mind to doing something besides homework.

Coming Soon: My very first road trip! I am SO excited! I'll tell you all about it later, but I already leave in less than a week! I will miss home, but I am thrilled that I have this opportunity. My last hurrah of winter break before classes start yet again! Stay tuned.