Category: WonderWorks

Christmas break part 1

Well, after a long hiatus, Sinbad has returned!  Hopefully I’ll be able to be a bit more regular in my writings this semester! 🙂  But I can now officially say that I survived my first semester of graduate education!  It was a really tough semester, so I’m really pleased to be able to say that I survived :D.

The one good thing about being a graduate student, is that there are no finals in grad school!  So, I was able to leave about a week and a half earlier than everyone else, which was wonderful, to say the least. The latter half of my Christmas break was frenetically crazy, so having an extra week at the beginning of the month to just relax at home was just delicious.  I got to be home for both Josh and Matt’s birthday (and see their graduation from white to yellow belt in karate!), decorated the tree with my siblings, went to a tacky sweater party as a family, drove around looking at Christmas lights, and overall just had a grand time together.  I’m so blessed to have a family that loves me so much :).  It was even better this year, because last year my Christmas was so squeezed, since I only had 2 weeks of leave to be home from Korea.  I think having such a crazy holiday last year made me appreciate the extra relaxing time even more this time around.

Mom made a homemade ice cream cake for Josh and Matt’s birthday

The brand-new yellow belts! 🙂

My shirt is snoopy, and I’m holding a Charlie Brown ornament.  I thought it was cute… 😉

My family really got into the tacky sweater party

Mom and I dressed a bit more conservatively 🙂

Right before Christmas, however, the mayhem began!  Together with my family, I drove several thousand miles – right around 3000 – within the span of 2 1/2 weeks.  The whirlwind tour began in North Carolina, with a visit to my dad’s parents.  They took us to WonderWorks, the same hands-on science museum that I went to in Orlando late last year (check out this link to read about that).  And it was just as fun the second time around!  Maybe even more, actually, since this time I went with my beloved family :).

The whole family (plus Jan!) in front of WonderWorks

Indoor ropes course!

Even mom went up!  I was so proud!! 🙂

After North Carolina, we went even farther north, spending Christmas in New Jersey with my mom’s parents.  We did a bit of visiting, a bit of helping them move and get unpacked, a bit of hanging out; and then it was time to move on again!  After 3 days spent with each set of grandparents, we headed back down to Georgia.  It was quite a whirlwind tour, and exhausting to say the least; but really wonderful at the same time.  I get to see my grandparents so infrequently; getting to see all of them within the same week was just unheard-of happiness! 🙂  More about the latter half of my Christmas break in the next update!

Orlando vacation ^_^

As the semester draws to a close, I’ve realized just how far behind I’ve gotten in several things that are important to me – most notably, in writing.  Writing is something that I really do enjoy doing, and I’m told by my loyal fans that I’m decently good at it ;).  Plus, with 2 freelance contracts under my belt over the past few months – one with a startup travel blog, and the other one writing the cultural sections of a Spanish language textbook – I suppose I need to get back into the habit of actually writing regularly again!  So here goes, update #1 of who-knows-how-many….

I had so much fun in Florida with my friends the Reichels for Sarah’s wedding (see my blog about that here), that I just had to go back and see them again.  My class schedule is pretty flexible, so one weekend in early November I was able to hop on a bus and spend an entire 3 days down in Orlando with them.  It took an incredible amount of work beforehand to get to a point where I didn’t have to do any schoolwork while I was down there; but once I was there, it was a lovely little mini-vacation.

Mr. and Mrs. Reichel greeted me with another welcome basket and note, just like they had when I first arrived for the wedding a month earlier.  It was so nice to feel so loved and welcome – my love language has always been gift-giving, and that family certainly knows how to speak my language :).

As wonderful as the wedding was, however, this weekend was great in an entirely different way, as there were no stressful preparations for a life-changing event to prepare for.  It was definitely a much more relaxing weekend overall than the first time around.  We hung out around the house some, had dinner at a Japanese steak house, went for a walk around a lovely park at night, saw a hilarious show at a comedy club, and went on a canoeing trip – wearing a bathing suit in November….imagine that!!  Gotta love Florida….

My favorite place, however, was called WonderWorks.  It’s difficult to explain, but I suppose that the best description I can afford you would be that it is a hand’s-on science museum.  They had giant bubble makers, and machines that generated hurricane-force gales, and virtual roller coasters, and beds of nails, and all sorts of things to let your inner child play without abandon.  It was delightful.  My mother always says that age is a state of mind, and I quite agree.  I may be turning 23 next month, but I’m really closer to 3 than 23 ;).

So that was Florida!  Updates from Atlanta are soon to follow!

The park at Crane’s Roost
SAK comedy club 😀
Yay for canoeing!!

The wonder of WonderWorks!!

Laser tag….I was unshootable 😉