… to the end of winter break, the start of a new semester, to the start of a new chapter in my life!

As you can see I retitled the blog because I decided it would be better for it to reflect my current “adventures!” I’ve been back in the US for a good 7 months now and I haven’t been out of the country since then.  I’m not exactly sure when I will leave the US again but it won’t be before the end of my final semester at Dickinson in any case.  I realize blogging about college life isn’t very exciting but I’m mostly blogging for myself now instead of for people who read this blog while I was abroad.  Anyways who knows, I may be abroad next year!

Winter Break is now winding down and I will be back at Dickinson the following weekend.  I will be honest, I am very excited to be going back to school.  First of all, it will be my last semester as an undergrad.  I have very mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand I am excited about not having to worry about classes and papers and fulfilling sorority obligations.  It’s nice to be busy but I’m usually so stressed out at school that I usually am running around like a chicken with her head cut off.  So it will be nice for that to end… but if I end up going to grad school, that school stress will continue and will actually be more intense.

But I am definitely going to miss Dickinson and the people I’ve met there.  Some of these people will definitely become life long friends and without the school, I never would have met them.  Some of the people I will never see again, obviously some I will miss and others not so much.  It’s hard to realize that after graduation, I’m expected to go out into the world and find a job/go to grad school and become this responsible, mature adult.  When the heck did that happen? I definitely don’t feel very responsible or mature at all.  Well I suppose I do a little.  Whenever I pass by gaggles of high schoolers (especially girls) giggling and talking obnoxiously loud and pushing into each other and slapping each other as they walk around in groups of mini armies, I definitely think “Oh my god, thank God I’m not that annoying anymore.” Though if I may so myself, I never actually did that to begin with.  However I’m definitely grateful high school is over and that I’ve definitely done some sort of growing up since then.

But I feel like there is a lot I don’t know about the world. It’s scary going out into the unknown which I obviously know nothing about.  What is going to happen? Will it work out? Ugh.  Anyways, it will be hard to say bye to Dickinson so I hope to take advantage of this semester.  Maybe I will finally get around to taking pictures of my school this spring because the campus is absolutely gorgeous when all the trees and flowers are in bloom, with the signature red Adirondack chairs dotting the green lawns.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day went off without a hitch.  We celebrated Christmas Eve at our house with the traditional goose and all the other usual fixings, including the buche de Noel dessert (yule log in English).  Ever year my father makes his own buche de Noel from scratch, but he also buys one from the fancy French restaurant in our town.  Christmas Day was spent quietly at our house and my friend Duoyi also was there! It was definitely very different from last year when we were all in France in that rented room.

Duoyi wasn’t at our house for very long.  She arrived late Christmas Eve and took off in the evening of Christmas Day.  She is from China but instead of going home for the holidays during break (Christmas isn’t a big to do in China), she decided to travel around the USA.  She didn’t really have a set plan for Christmas and I absolutely refused to let her spend Christmas in NY alone.  So she came over to our house and spent the day with us, accompanying our family on a walk to the boardwalk and learning all about how my parents met.  (Short version in one sentence: Papa was Mom’s French host brother) Then she decided to head to the airport that evening since she had an early flight out of Laguardia to Texas.  I dropped her off at the station but I was very nervous about letting her go alone, even though she is rather fearless and totally fine about traveling alone.

We then spent  4 days in Vermont  to go skiing at Killington. We stayed in a resort this time around and to leave Milou behind because it didn’t accept dogs.  We weren’t able to go skiing the first day because it was raining so we went cross country skiing instead for the first time.  Mom obviously loved it because she was skiing on a flat surface for once and not advancing at the rate of a snail on the slopes.  I absolutely hated it.  I don’t really see the point of gliding around on snow in the woods when you can easily walk along the path in your boots! Definitely very boring and not as fun as downhill skiing.
Other activities at the hotel included snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, marshmallow roasting, horse sleigh rides, an outdoor heated pool, massages at the spa… we nearly participated in all these activities which includes the massages.  I’ve had Swedish massage done before and after a day of skiing it felt great! However I doubt Papa will be clamoring for another one anytime soon haha.
So despite a day of no skiing and very limited skiing on another day because the windchill was tooooo cold and the visibility was zero (and our ski goggles froze over), we had a good time overall.  Nobody broke any bones this time around (my aunt broke her foot two years ago) and it was great to be on the slopes after a 2  year absence.  I forgot how much I hate snowboarders though, I think all snowboarders should have their own mountain because they clearly can’t control their boards as well as skiers can on skis.
And of course we stopped at the Vermont Country Store on the way back at Mom’s insistence which sells super tacky, rustic merchandise that Mom is super fond of.  After that, it was slow going in the blizzard and we must have seen between 8-10 accidents on the highway, including someone being pulled out on a stretcher.  Some drivers underestimate the power of snow and forget that snow + speed = recipe for disaster.

And as of now, I’m the remaining adult child left in the house.  Hermana is already back at school “In the Woods” and el primo frances has returned to France to extend his visa.  He is supposed to be back in 2 weeks, or so he claims.  We shall see… he was, like, 3 months late getting here!

I was in Boston for a couple of days, visiting a grad school and my friend who goes to law school there.  I hadn’t been to Boston since visiting colleges in high school and I had forgotten how beautiful the city is.  Boston doesn’t have the crazy, nervous energy that is the living pulse of NYC, or specifically Manhattan (the only other borough I’ve ventured out to is the Bronx).  It’s definitely more laidback, but very New England.  It’s also a lot less crowded and a lot smaller, which is why I probably feel like it’s more manageable.

Anyways the grad school has a nice campus and is located near a bunch of other schools, outside the center of Boston.  It’s close to a T stop, which is great because if I do end up going to school in Boston, I most likely won’t have a car.  Mom also accompanied me (just for the day) to attend the info session with me so it was nice to spend some one one one time with her.

Oh and my friend’s apartment is to die for.  It’s a studio, but a really large studio! It overlooks Boston Common so it has this gorgeous view of the park and apparently the Rock lives down the hall from her.  I did not see him while I was there though.  Her law school is close by so she lives within walking distance of it and she is very close to many restaurants, clubs, bars, and what have you.  We did end up going to a club for a night and it was a lot of fun! However to my friend’s great displeasure, all clubs close at 2 AM in Boston.  Well it is a smaller city than NYC and the T stops running around 1 AM… Anyways it was nice to spend time with my friend and meet some of her law school/Boston friends and get a peek of the Boston student life.

Apart from that, I’m taking the GRE and starting to apply to grad schools online.  This will probably take up a lot of my time this semester so it’s probably a good things I’m not taking difficult classes this semester (seminar is O-V-E-R thank god!).  We will see what happens with all of that!

Oh and if you haven’t seen Avatar in 3D yet, you really should! Or the Princess and the Frog… yes I did drag my 27 year old French cousin to go see it and we both loved it!

It’s been a relaxing break, which is what I wanted.  Now I am ready to take on this semester and figure out what comes next.