There’s a dog riding in the basket of that guy’s bike!

Greetings blog world,

It has been a while again!  I have been busy this week with finishing up final assignments and the last day of classes in TWO days!!  WHOO!  Excitingness.  And my trip to the South Island commences on Friday, so I am stoked for classes to be OVER and to get on my way to glaciers and hopefully penguins!  I started packing last night since I finally did laundry and had clean clothes to pack, so now I am even more excited if that is possible.  A week to explore the South Island and then back to good old Palmerston North.  I get back that Friday and Saturday a bunch of my humans and I are planning to trek out to the wind farm if the weather is nice.  So it better behave!  Then I have three days to “study” before my first exam on that Wednesday.  I think I will go insane!  I have all morning exams, which I think the powers that be did simply to get back at me for going to the South Island for Study Break.  But I only have exams on the Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Monday, so I suppose I can’t complain too much – at Riddle I probably would have had three exams lumped in one day and starting at 8AM.  Here they at least don’t start until 9:30AM.  Then there are only three more days before I hop on another plane and make my way to Hawaii!  So the next three weeks will be whizzing by.  I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing yet. 

Enough about what will happen, though – you’ll probably just have to read about all that stuff again after I experience it!  Aside from classes, the week went along pretty uneventful.  A few of my friends from the hall and I have taken to watching continuous episodes of a show from about 10 or 11PM to 12 or 1AM in one of our rooms for the past few evenings, which I always seem to pass out for about 5 minutes during.  Then when we go off to our own rooms, I become wide awake.  So of course I have to watch a movie or more episodes of something.  Very dangerous.  I can no longer fall asleep before 3AM!  😦  But I suppose it doesn’t matter too much, as I don’t have to get up until 11ish usually. 

FALL!!

 This past weekend consisted of being absolute bums as a group with the exception of the two-hour long walks we went on in the afternoon.  It finally wasn’t raining this weekend, so we took advantage of the nice weather and explored a bit.  The first day, we meandered aimlessly around the orchards behind Massey and then made our way over to see some sheep.  But they were in the paddock farther away from the road, so that wasn’t as successful as we hoped.  I really love the fall season.  And it’s SO wrong in my mind to consider the end of May as being fall, but the trees don’t lie!  🙂  The next day we ventured back to the area we had walked to way back when in the beginning of the semester when we decided not to continue because it had gotten dark and we had no clue where the path actually led and all that.  But it was bright and sunny and comfortable walking weather, so we followed the path. 

Ducks!

 We ended up at an outlook to Massey’s athletic field and an area for some of the research on soil and whatnot.  Following that were a lot of steps to a really neat wooden bridge that led us to the path along this pond with ducks and baby swans in it.  Eventually, we reached the road not far from Massey and followed that up to return to our humble abode.  On the road, however, we had to pass the horse paddocks and we all know that having three pre-vet students with you means that you need to spend time admiring the horses from the fence.  One horse actually did come over to us after a few minutes!

Other than the exciting walks, I spent most of the weekend reading and watching movies and TV episodes.  I even had a whole Disney in France marathon going with The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Beauty and the Beast, Ratatouille, and The Little Mermaid!  Episodes of Hawaii Five-O and Glee, not to mention other random movies thrown in there such as Inception and Catch Me If You Can.  Epic.  Got to love all of them!  It has gotten cold and we have established that watching movies at the onset of darkness is the only acceptable way to proceed.  🙂

I also had the chance to talk to some of my friends from home and whatnot that I haven’t spoken to in a while, so that was nice.  I still am amazed at how much I actually do miss people.  I was hoping to drive down to Florida with a few of my friends that are scattered about in July, but I am slowly realizing that they all have other crazy plans that make our schedules nearly impossible to match.  Slightly depressing, but it’s all good.  They will just have to visit some other time.  Being back in the same country (for most of us) will make such things slightly easier, I hope!

Well, I am afraid it is dinner time and I must be going for now.

Toodles!

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Are you aware

Today, May 21, marks a year from the day I embarked on a journey that has surely changed my life forever.  It is hard to believe it has only been a year and at the same time, it seems as if I boarded that plane bound for Rome, Italy ages ago.  So much has happened since then.  So much has changed, mostly for the better, I believe.  Traveling.  Something I have always loved doing, even though I never left the North American continent.  Which is fine.  The U.S. alone has more than enough to keep any traveler busy for years. 

The idea to study abroad was pushed on me when I first started working in the admissions office at Embry-Riddle my freshman year.  The guy who sat at the desk next to me day in and day out (when the admissions desk and study abroad desk were next to each other still) continually told me I needed to study abroad.  Anywhere.  It didn’t matter where.  And as much as I loved the idea of traveling, I was hesitant to really become interested in going off to another country on my own when it seemed being away from New York was hard enough at times.  On top of going off to another country with no one I knew and a completely different culture, I barely had a grasp on any language other than English.  I couldn’t live in a country – even if it was only for four or five months – that I didn’t know the language.  It was preposterous! 

So New Zealand came up.  The student assistant working there gave me a whole bunch of information, begged me to do some of my own research, and continued bringing it up as days turned to weeks and then into months.  But by day four, I was hooked.  How awesome would it be to go to New Zealand?  But I had a dilemma.  New Zealand was far.  And five months was an extremely long time for me after just leaving home for the first time four months prior.  But it seemed worth it.  I talked to my parents about it and they seemed to be interested in the idea, but unsure.  My sophomore year came and a new student assistant was brought in, as the first one had gone off to Paris for the dual degree program Riddle has.  He wasn’t quite so intense on pushing the idea of studying abroad to me, but I was still interested. 

Second semester, the first student assistant was back.  He wasn’t working in the office anymore, but he would come by to visit every now and then.  After briefly catching up on life for the past six months, he again started pushing the idea of study abroad.  Talking to him, I told him how epic I thought it would be to study abroad in New Zealand, but it was far and too long for my comfort zone.  And that’s how summer programs came up.  One month to explore another country.  I could go for that.  I looked around and then the ad caught my eye to go to Siena, Italy.  Italy!  After gathering all the details, I called my parents and discussed the idea.  What about New Zealand?  Did I want to do Italy instead of New Zealand?  It was legitimately a question my parents had.  The idea seems amusing now, but wow.  For whatever reason, going to Italy seemed to have more of an appeal than anything else.  Perhaps because it was sooner than later.  It was more of a sure thing and it wasn’t as far or nearly as long as a semester in New Zealand would be.  But going was the only thing on my mind for quite a while after I did a little research on it. 

We had a few meetings prior to departure, but in no sense did I really know anyone going.  We exchanged a few e-mails here and there and discovered that I would be on the same flight as another member of the group.  I remember like it was yesterday.  Meeting her at JFK and then talking for several hours non-stop as we waited to board our flight.  Even though we had just met each other, I knew we were going to be extremely close.  Afterall, she was a Disney fan!  The flight was long.  Extremely long.  I had never flown out of the country before.  I was naive enough to think I would sleep.  That was ridiculous.  I was way too excited to sleep!  A few hours into the flight, I remember opening my window shade to the dismay of a flight attendant.  I didn’t care.  The sun was just rising and we were flying over the Swiss Alps.  THE SWISS ALPS!  When we landed, we were excited beyond belief.  Quite possibly delirious, but excited nonetheless.  “WE’RE IN ITALY!!!”  was said too many times to actually count. 

The excitement of being in Italy NEVER died.  There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of something from that experience.  Going to Italy opened my eyes to something completely different.  I always thought I was fortunate that I grew up in New York.  I was definitely exposed to some things I doubt many people ever will be.  I still do believe that.  But Italy was so much more to me than a month to discover a new culture and whatnot.  Going to Siena, meeting and getting to know everyone from our group of nine, exploring Italy and Lugano, Switzerland, everything about the trip changed me.  I fell in love in a way that I can never explain.  Aside from the amazing bread we got fresh nearly everyday, the specially made pizzas, the croissants, the gelato (sometimes twice a day [= ), and all the other AMAZING food, the city itself was charming beyond what is comprehensible in the U.S.  There is not a city like it anywhere in my opinion.  And especially not with the same experiences. 

Our group was small, but I definitely preferred it that way.  I was never a fan of large groups.  Even at first I was slightly intimidated.  But it is amazing what fish out of water can do.  We were all in the same boat and none of us really knew each other, which made it easer for us to bond as a group.  And that we did.  Of course we had our pairs and trios here and there, but for the most part, we were together.  These eight other people grew to be my family.  People I would have probably never even associated with prior to Siena are people I care about immensely.  More than I ever thought possible.  These people are what made the trip so remarkable.  Everything we saw and did was amazing in itself, but singing Disney songs while attempting to find chessboards in Venice and renting kayaks to find our own private beach was all in the people.  I miss them everyday, even if we don’t get to talk as much as I would like to anymore.  I was able to truly be myself around them in an extremely short amount of time, something that is definitely not an easy thing to do for me.  I know I annoy people sometimes with the excessive chatter about Italy all the time, but I can’t help it.  To experience what I experienced is something I am grateful for and wouldn’t trade for anything – not even to go to space.  And that is saying a lot coming from me.  Aside from that, Italy made me aware of the world.  My perspective on a  lot of things shifted. 

A few weeks after leaving Italy, I applied for a few internships here and there.  I didn’t think much of them as it was already the middle of summer and I doubted there was any chance I would get selected for anything for the fall.  A few days after I submitted my applications, I received an e-mail from one of the companies I applied to.  I corresponded with them for a few days until I received a phone call offering me the internship.  I hadn’t even told anyone I applied for it, but I was keen on taking it.  The internship, as many of you will know now, however, was in Munich, Germany.  So I called the parents and after convincing them it was an opportunity of a lifetime, I accepted the offer and started packing my things to head back to Europe.  There was so much to be done in that time, but somehow I managed.  Regardless, I know if it had not been for Italy, I would have NEVER even considered accepting the offer.  Sure, I may have applied, but actually agreeing to move to Germany?  To a country I had never been to, a place where I couldn’t speak the language, or know anyone?  I know the experience in Italy is what made that decision as easy as anything else. 

Since my internship ended in February, I couldn’t go back to Riddle for the spring semester as it was too late, but that has essentially brought me to New Zealand after all.  Isn’t it amazing how things work?  Sure,  I miss home sometimes.  I still feel New Zealand is extremely far for comfort here and there.  But I know I can get through any and all the downs because of Italy.  I have always been confident in myself, obnoxiously so sometimes even.  But the Italy trip instilled even more confidence, individuality, life in me than anything else.

White Knight, Sandman, Circle, Mom, Blondie, Mistress, One or Two, Rummy, Mother Goose: what an amazing time we had.  Most certainly the best experience in my life and I thank you all for bringing your cards to the table.  I love you guys.  Thank you for everything.  And never forget: “You don’t even know!” 

=]

WOW, [insert name here], this is the best lasagna ever!

This week has proven to drag on by.  Not that I should really be complaining, I suppose.  I truly love it here.  I miss home and people and the comfort of controlling the temperature in my room, but otherwise, I am in paradise.  And I have new people and created somewhat of a home here, which is nice, but it’s still not the same as home.  It’s funny how that works, right?  And as much as I do love home, I would never want to actually live there permanently anymore.  New York will always be the place I want to go back to, but never to actually live in.  At least not for now.  Florida isn’t a place I really want to go back to either, but I have a consortium of humans that make it enough of a home to make it bearable for the next few years.  I don’t know what my obsession with home has been this past week, but it’s been there.  Maybe it’s because most people went back home now that classes for the spring semester are over.  There’s still three weeks to go of classes here in New Zealand, which I thought would be going by a lot quicker, but again, not so much. 

As the week has been drawn out, a lot of things have happened!  There was feeling sickly last Tuesday, scuba diving on Wednesday, SEEING A PENGUIN JUST CHILLIN ON SOME ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!! (insert extreme happiness here in case you couldn’t already tell!!!!  YES, A REAL, LIVE PENGUIN!!!!! 😀   SWEET AS!), I’m sure something interesting happened on Thursday, a horror movie night (yes, I actually watched a horror movie!!  Several, actually…  If you still count that third one that I mostly slept through…) on Friday, the 13th with “the most amazing lasagna ever” made by a friend.  The weekend consisted of epic bummingness and some work getting done – like my lab report that I forced myself to sit down and do for 10 hours.  No, I did not spend a full ten hours on my lab report.  I probably spent 5 hours complaining about how obnoxious the report was, one hour seriously working on the report, and four hours “multi-tasking” on the report while catching up with a friend form high school who I haven’t even really spoken to since the middle of senior year.  So essentially three and a half years of catching up and writing a lab report…  Yes.  🙂 

This week sleep has completely abandoned me.  A lot of last week too, but I care more this week for some reason.  For whatever reason, I can’t fall asleep.  It is terrible.  Part of why I can’t fall asleep is due to anxiety.  What am I anxious about?  I could give you heaps of things.  But that may take forever and I am not willing to share just that much about my innermost thoughts and all that jazz.  At least not at this moment!  Hehehe (but seriously, I wouldn’t hold my breath)!   OH!!  And gelato!  The weekend was also spent getting gelato! 🙂  Which really makes me miss Italy.  But that’s a whole different post.  Monday night/Tuesday morning for those of us in New Zealand, was the shuttle launch of Endeavour.  So of course, I had to stay up and watch that.  And then of course, I couldn’t fall asleep after that because, well, putting it this way, going into space is pretty much the ONLY thing I really want to do with my life.  I mean, sure there are other things I want to do, but I would give anything to actually go to space.  So obviously I couldn’t just fall asleep after seeing people doing the thing I want to do with my life. 

Last night, I don’t even know what the deal was.  I got home after fire club feeling exhausted.  Told myself I would sleep well, as I was EXHAUSTED from getting up for a lab at the crack of dawn earlier that day after not sleeping much the night before.  Props if you followed that without rereading it!  But no such luck.  In fact, I finally managed to fall asleep a little after 4AM.  And yeah, you guessed it, I had an early class again this morning.  If the world was really cruel (which I am starting to think it is), I will be able to fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow tonight.  Why?  Because I don’t have to be up until 12 tomorrow.  Sigh.  How twisted is that?  And my neck has been killing me!  For no reason!  OK, maybe it’s for aforementioned unmentionable reasons, but still.  Normally anxiety does not affect my physical well-being, just my mental one.  Which I am certain has been destroyed a while ago, so yeah. 

On a more exciting note (and yes, this is contributing to my anxiety as well), I BOOKED MY TRIP TO THE SOUTH ISLAND!! 🙂  I am stoked!  It will be great!  And it’s in less than three weeks! 🙂  O for awesome!  So yes, that is exciting if you couldn’t gather that already.  And hopefully it won’t be absolutely freezing, but even if it is, that’s alright – I can go skiing!  Yes, SKIING! IN JUNE!!!!!  😀  Loving this hemisphere thing, even if it just sounds soooo wrong!  It has been horrible weather here lately, though.  Sunday and Monday night I was rudely awakened (after finally managing to fall asleep) by wind and rain slamming into my window which I was certain would break.  I mean, me.  Being awakened by wind?  Really?  If you’ve ever slept in the general vicinity of me, you know I do not wake up for anything!  We went camping once and were sleeping in tents – TENTS – and apparently the WORLD was ending with the rain and thunder and lightning and people shrieking (in the same tent as me supposedly) from the elements existing and I peacefully continued to sleep.  If they didn’t tell me about it the following morning, I wouldn’t have even guessed it had rained, let alone apocalypsed from the way people made it sound.  But yes, so more obnoxiousness from the sleeping side. 

Hmmm…  I am feeling extremely ADD lately.  I have a friend from high school who we used to (well, still do) call Princess Plus.  The reason?  We were sitting in a diner one memorable day (this is where we coined the term ‘diner moments’ as well, if you were interested) and one of our friends asked the first friend I mentioned if she had ADD.  Her reply?  “I don’t have ADD!  I can drive just fine!”  The perfect ADD response.  We love her regardless.  But on another occasion she referred to ADD as add…  as in, she was too lazy to actually say the three letters – hence the plus part of Princess Plus.  The princess part?  You just have to know her.  Well, you probably don’t, but I know she sometimes read this, so we’ll stick with you have to meet her.  🙂  Love you, Princess Plus!  But the reason I bring it up is because I’m feeling all ADD and I am amused by our nicknaming abilities. 

Music.  I recently acquired more music from friends here and there.  And so I have been listening to music non stop lately.  It’s pretty good stuff.  But I am amazed at how much stuff I still don’t have and know I love and KNOW that I don’t have it and still want it.  You know what that’s like?  It’s horrible! 

Castle!  If you watch Castle (the TV show), you will be comforted to know, I too share your pain in wanting the fourth season to air ASAP!  Not a cool ending for the third season – they are trying to pull a Lost thing or something, I guess.  Sigh.  I have also become addicted to Glee lately.  I’m still catching up and only on the first season at the moment, but that will probably change soon.  As long as the internet doesn’t plan on capping!  I hate when that happens – reminds me too much of back when we had dial-up.  Not that I really needed the internet too much then, especially not to watch seasons of shows such as Castle and Glee, but yes. 

Anywho, I think I have rambled enough for now and quite certain I have scared at least one person who started reading this to bail, so I will leave you with a goodnight.  Also, look out for my next post on the 21st.  Yes, I will be posting on the 21st and the only reason I know this for sure is because the date has significance for me for several reasons and I have been writing the bits and pieces I have wanted to share for quite some time.  So, until then… 

TTFN!

Mother’s Day

I thought Sunday was going to be an absolute miserable day.  It is the first time in my life that I missed being home with my mom, grandmother, and aunts for Mother’s Day.  It didn’t help matters much that, even though it was Saturday for most of the day at home, they were all getting together to celebrate with a little BBQ.  Tradition, to say the least, but I wasn’t there.  And my brother wasn’t there.  Which I think actually made it slightly easier for me to accept that I couldn’t be with the women who helped raise me and guide me to become the person I am today, but it was still a depressing thought to me.  Why is it such a big deal to me?  To honestly answer would take days, weeks, possibly even years.  But I’ll attempt to go with the Reader’s Digest version.

To anyone that knows me, you will know that I am extremely close to my mom.  Some might even say a bit too close for what is healthy.  It is true that my mom is my best friend.  But she is also my mom and that distinction has always been there.  She is the most important person in my life and I can’t see that changing anytime soon, if ever.  She is the most remarkable person I have ever met, and I don’t care what anyone else says: she can do anything.  I know you may be reading this right now, Mom, and if I were there beside you, you know I would ask you if you were crying.  I am sorry if I made you reach for a box of tissues.  I don’t tell you enough how grateful I am to have you as a mother.  You really are the best and I hope you had an amazing day. 

It seems insane to get involved with the hype of anther card holiday.  There’s so many of them now.  For whatever reason, society has shifted into thinking cards and gifts should be given out just about every day of the year for some obscure holiday.  While it is nice to receive the things, it has past a point where we forget about the real meaning of these things.  Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are two events, however, that I think are a good thing.  We lose focus on what is important in life and family is right at the top.  At least in my book.  It reminds us to show our parents how much we are thankful for them.  But there should be more for it.  One day a year to thank your mom and dad and/or respective relatives or friends who are as good as?  These people raised us, cared for us at our worst times, attempted to make us the best people we can be.  Mine most certainly did that and more and I don’t show nearly enough appreciation for it.  Can I ever really thank them enough?  I’ve actually had this conversation with my mom before and her response is to go off in the world to be the person she taught me to be.  To make her proud.  That’s all she needs.  And while I want to do that, isn’t that what a parent is supposed to say?  They aren’t going to ask their kids for some kind of return on you, as if you were merely created for investment purposes.  I don’t think my parents would.  But then what can you do?  I certainly feel a sense in which I would like to pay them back for everything they have ever done for me, but is it possible? 

Probably almost seven years ago now, a study was done saying it would cost one million dollars to raise a child until they went off to college.  To college!  One million dollars.  That’s a lot of money.  And while it is possible to make that sort of money, can you really put a price tag on raising a child?  Or what to “pay back” if that were the case?  Money is one thing, but the time and energy spent is a whole other story as well.  My dad always liked to instill in us that “time is money.”  Well if time is money, my parents surely spent another few million dollars at the least on me and my brother.  But that’s all just one part of why spending that one day where the entire world focuses on spending time with your mother is important to me. 

In a previous post, I already explained to you how anyone would be lucky to have a godmother such as mine, so I won’t go on again about how awesome she is, but I just felt it necessary to mention her in here. 

My other aunt, and my confirmation sponsor – so in my opinion (and I’m certain I share this opinion with others as well) my other godmother, is also a big part of my life.  As much as I love my mom and wouldn’t trade her for the world, there are some things that we are simply so different about that it is hard to believe we are related sometimes.  This is where this aunt comes in.  We are very much alike – or at least I see the similarities and don’t realize the differences just yet – that it scares me.  I would sometimes ask my mom if she was sure I was hers and not my aunts.  She is another person who people would be lucky to have in their lives. 

Perhaps I am spoiled in regards to the motherly women in my life.  Maybe it is not as big of a deal to other people because they do not have the bonds and feeling about their mothers in the same respect that I do.  But that is why it is so important to me.  I know that they will always be there for me, regardless of where I am or what I am doing.  I love you guys and I am sorry I could not be with you to celebrate this year.  Many hugs and kisses and a huge thank you to all those mother’s out there.

Aspertame is banned in my country

Faithful readers!  If you are reading this, I thank you for not giving up on me!  Haha.  It has been quite a while – almost a month!  Insaneness.  I’m afraid this will be a rather long post as well, so brace yourselves!

Where to start.  I guess I will begin with before I left, yes, before I left.  Nothing all that exciting aside from my “normal routine” occurred, which is why I hadn’t really blogged about nothing.  My logic is flawless here.  😀  I did go diving out in Wellington one day.  I saw starfish!  Real starfish! 😀  AND other fish that I couldn’t tell you their names, but they looked awesome.  And an octopus.  Awesomeness.  Never saw any of these things before just chilling unless it was at an aquarium and/or zoo.  So I was excited.  Then that Friday night – this is about three weeks ago, I think – a friend invited the fire club over for “Backyard Bonanza.”  I don’ t know if she properly considered the ramifications when she initially invited us, but it was an epic time.  Cupcakes, frosting (especially decorating at least one, if not more, person’s face), and fire.  Could you really ask for anything better?  Plus this happened to coincide with the night before I left – there I go again, with the leaving thing – so I was able to stay up much later than I probably would have if I decided to sit in my room all night.  Happiness!   Afterwards, she drove me and a few other people home and I wasted time doing random things I didn’t really need to do, but helped me stay awake.  As this was almost a month ago, I couldn’t really tell you what that was, but it probably consisted of chatting to people on Skype from home and watching Outrageous Fortune.  Good stuff.  A show I would probably never watch, but have now become addicted to for whatever reason. OH!  I am also now addicted to Castle.  I was VERY disappointed when I realized that I caught up to all the episodes, but what can you do. 

CRAP!  It started to rain!  RAIN!  And I am sitting outside trying to type this because it was such a nice day out two seconds ago!  😦  Postponing writing more until weather cooperates better – SORRY!

Anywho, where was I?  Right.  Saturday morning – we’re in the middle of April now – I went home!  YAY!!  I was SO excited to go, but I managed to sleep for most of the flight, so extremely happy about that!  When I got to LAX, I had to go through security and whatnot again, but it wasn’t terrible.  I charged my electronics and texted my US friends that I coud finally talk to again before getting on the next flight.  Six hours after a fourteen hour one is WAY too long!  On top of that, weather SUCKED at JFK so we circled above Cincinnati for a while before circling above Long Island for AN HOUR!  A FREAKING HOUR!  After I have already been on planes and in airports for 20 hours!  ARGH!  They really need to do something about that!  And the stupid screen that kept saying 10 more minutes until our final destination.  Longest freaking ten minutes…  Grrr….   Anyway.  Once we landed I was able to run off the plane to meet with my parents.  Yes, both of them!  We proceeded to the car, which is normally uneventful and I probably wouldn’t mention, but I asked if I could sit in the front and then proceeded to go to the driver’s side.  Please note: I had NO intention of driving!  DAMN KIWIS!  They got to me and my brain!  AH!  Freaky.  But we then journeyed to Gino’s.  I love Gino’s! 😀  All in all, it was awesome to be back.

Sunday was false advertising.  I felt fine all day, went to church, as it was Palm Sunday, saw people, had an awesome lunch/dinner with good family friends, all good stuff.  Was feeling good.  Then Monday came.  And I thought I would die!  I couldn’t stop sleeping!  Stupid jet lag.  But I did manage to get some stuff down and laze away with my puppy!  He’s such a good dog, but man he’s getting old!  I also ordered pictures from when I was in Europe so I could scrapbook.  I was very proud of myself – I narrowed it down to 540 shots! 😀  Tuesday I picked up said shots, met up with some people, relaxed, enjoyed myself, scrapbooked, such good times.  That was pretty much my week with some naps and whatnot thrown in.  Wednesday, I did drive into Queens -and I didn’t get lost! – to get some friends and we proceeded on to some supermarket in New Jersey.  I miss a lot of people in New York, but I didn’t realize how much I really missed some of the conversations we have in person.  It was nice to have REAL conversations with people, even if not everyone I wanted to be there was present.  I suppose that’s what happens when people study abroad in China and go to unis in PA and such. 😦  They were missed too, but it was nice to have some quality time with my two favorite Asians! 🙂  Plus one of them is going through a similar situation to mine, so it was nice to rant/get advice/know I’m not alone in certain aspects of things.  Since we were still in Jersey and didn’t feel like going home when we were gone with the Japanese supermarket, we ventured down to visit another friend who goes to school there.  We didn’t stay long, but I hadn’t seen her in YEARS, so it was nice to finally get together. 

Then we ventured back to Queens, where my brother’s flight was getting in and the Asians were dropped off at home.  The rest of the week I basically already said what I did, but i left out all the adventures in choiring!  Haha.  Gotta love Holy Week!  Yes, many, MANY hours were spent at church singing/playing flute/praying, etc for choir practice, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, yeah you get the point.  Easter was FINALLY a GORGEOUS day – the first since I had been home!  80 degrees and sunny, no joke!  I could have FRIED if I stayed outside for any period of time.  Saw the family and whatnot, so good times.  I like my family.  I really do!  Saturday was also a fun day – sorry for the confusingness with the jumping of the days, you should know my mind can’t think straight by now – met with former fencing teammates in the city.  Spent most of the day meandering from food place to food place, so obviously life was good!  Then Monday I went back to the city with my aunt for an amusing lunch and whatnot.  If people had someone like my aunt in their lives – mind you, she is also my godmother – the world would be a better place.  EVERYONE should have an aunt like mine (Not to say I don’t love my other aunts, but my godmother and I have an extremely interesting and different relationship!)!  I also think it’s worth mentioning that the Brooklyn accent most DEFINITELY comes out when I have spent any amount of time with her, much to the annoyance of other people.  🙂

Tuesday I spent the day with my mommy, as I left Tuesday evening for Florida.  I never thought it was humanly possible to miss Florida as much as I did, but it is.  Well, maybe I didn’t really miss Florida – I missed certain people there.  My AMAZING friend who I MOST DEFINITELY could not live without picked me up from the airport in Orlando that night and we then spent the remainder of the evening (and most hours in the morning) properly catching up and being all happy and yeah.  As she kindly pointed out, we hadn’t seen each other in 235 days.  WAY TOO LONG if you ask me.  Even if you don’t ask me!  So it was nice having her to myself and all that.  There are friends that definitely change the way you think about things and life in general and I have to say she is one of them.  I thank her for that.  The next few day were also exciting, as I managed to end up with two cars at one point, see a WHOLE bunch of people I hadn’t seen in ages, get along with my brother (and meet his girlfriend), break into a car, and take care of some other pressing issues – like sorting out where I was living once I get back in July.  Good times. 

I find it amazing and amusing and I can’t think of another adjective that begins with an ‘a’ to convey my point, but I think two suffices for now at how excited I can be to see certain people.  Like there are people who I am happy to see when I do, but then there are people who I can’t WAIT to see, and others that I could care less if I saw them or if I didn’t.  But there are some people who literally just make me smile and instantly happy when I see them, especially if I can catch them by surprise.  I mean, those people who just make you feel that everything is right even if the world was about to end in five minutes, but you wouldn’t care because you were with those people you loved and cared about.  That’s what I missed most about Daytona, I have to say.  To me, Daytona really doesn’t offer much.  Sure, I enjoy Riddle, I am happy with the education there, and whatnot, but honestly, once I graduate there is nothing there for me aside from the people.  And unfortunately, most of them will be gone by then too.  I don’t know how or when it happened, but I grew to love a handful of people who are in Daytona right now.  There are not many people I become close to, but the ones I do matter and make such a difference.  It’s what makes being in New Zealand so hard sometimes.  Knowing my parents and family are in New York (or there abouts) and that the other people I truly love are in Florida.  It’s so damn far away.  And while I am enjoying time here, I can’t help but miss my friends. 

Man, that was a lot of sentimental stuff.  Alright, I’ll stop now.  But no promises – the time in Daytona proved to be quite an emotional one (no, not in a bad way, just yeah….).  I left on Saturday afternoon and leaving the car of a friend who dropped me off at the airport proved incredibly hard to do.  I cannot honestly remember a time that I so adamantly did not want to leave.  These attachments we form make such things so hard to do.  But eventually I did, I said goodbye, and I was on my way back to the other side of the world.  Water streaming from my eyes at various intervals that some of you humans might refer to as tears?  NEVER!  The sun was in my eyes!  Know this, any and all of you in Daytona (well you all are probably not there anymore until fall, but you know what I mean) who are reading this: I miss you and I love you and I should have said that in person, but I’m not very good with words regarding feelings sometimes, as you might have noticed. 

The flights back weren’t terrible.  I slept for most of them, thankfully.  The 777 (yes, you were right 🙂 ) was probably the NICEST plane I have ever been on – I can see why Air New Zealand is rated No. 1!  Damn!  Cool lights, awesome entertainment, places to hook up your iPods or anything else that can be used from a USB, and the list goes on!  I was impressed.  I got back Monday morning though, which means I completely lost a day.  Psh..  Who needs May 1st?!  Returning to Massey was exciting as I saw al you people I haven’t seen in two weeks!  The harassing from me started up right away with one of my friends demanding to know if I saved all of my energy over the past two weeks JUST to pick on her when I got back.  Her answer: yes!  🙂  Love you!  Went to classes, much to the surprise of my one friend who manages to ALWAYS sleep through his, then crashed relatively early – aka, 7PM.  BUT I slept until 7AM with few wake-ups in between, so go me! 😀 

Tuesday was slightly better dealing with jet lag than when I had gone home, but by 9PM, I was done and had to leave fire club, yes fire club, early!  DEPRESSING!  But I had enough sense to accept that it would not be conducive to my health or those surrounding me to play with actual fire when I kept dropping non-fire poi for the previous hour and a half.  So I went off to bed and yeah…  Slept!  I love sleep!   PLUS I also brought Twinkies to the meeting.  Man, are Kiwis amusing!  Apparently you can’t get Twinkies here so most of them have never had them.  Interesting enough even though I tried to warn them that Twinkies really were not all that appetizing.  Oh well, nothing like first hand experience! 

I honestly cannot remember yesterday.  I went to classes, I even did an assignment that isn’t due until the end of the month, and had dinner with people, but aside from that, I have NO recollection of what happened or anything. OH NO, WAIT!  I went to a meeting as the Food and Accommodation Rep.  Yes.  We discussed… food and accommodation.  Man, maybe the jet lag is worse than I thought today… 

Today was fairly routine, I hate to say.  Back into the grind.  Oh well!  Had to go back there sometime!  But now it appears time for food and celebrating of the three-day weekend that has commenced!  More sooner than last time, I hope! 

Thanks for reading!