Sunday, April 2, 2017

Freedom!!! (For a Week)


It's been quite a while since my last post so I'll catch you up quickly. We are halfway through Spring Semester at PLU and my goodness, how glad I am to say that. By all accounts (I polled my friends) Spring Semester has been difficult. I am taking 17 credits, the max allowed at PLU, and might be dying. I also worked a part time job for the first part of the semester, and started working on the Residence Hall Council in my dorm. Needless to say, I am crazy stressed and am so glad that we are on break. 

I spent the first four days of break in Arizona with my grandparents. I hadn't seen them in two years and was excited to be able to catch up with them! It also wasn't raining there which was an exciting change from Tacoma, where it just hasn't stopped. 

Here we are on my last day in Arizona, eating Sonoran Hotdogs (a local delicacy in Sahuarita). 

Arizona was absolutely amazing! It was sunny all 3 days I was there, and I have never been happier. I even made it a full day before I got sunburned, which has to be some kind of record. It isn't even that bad of sunburn, so I have no regrets about it. 

My grandparents and I had a lovely time together. We hiked, played games, and watched movies. It was the exact kind of relaxation that I needed. My first night there we watched Driving Miss Daisy, I had never seen it before, and I really enjoyed it. Our second day my grandmother and I got pedicures and then the three of us went on a hike. We went to Sabino Canyon, which is part of the Coronado National Forest. The hike we went on involved a tram up to the top of the path, and then we hiked down. It was really beautiful, I really enjoyed walking around (especially because we didn't see any snakes). After experiencing a different kind of Arizona then I had seen before, we had pizza and game night. My grandparents taught me to play Sequence, a strategy game, and the room was absolutely silent as we tried to beat each other. I unfortunately didn't win, but it was loads of fun!

Part of the Sabino Canyon Trail

This is called the Winking Face. If you look closely this rocky outcropping forms a face. It's kind of hard to see though.

My last full day in Arizona my grandmother and I went to the 4th Ave. Street Fair in downtown Tucson. I equate it with the Alaska State Fair, but on steroids (with no rides). We had funnel cake for breakfast and walked around looking at booths. After a lovely morning we drove to Madera Canyon and watched some wild turkeys while eating lunch. The time I spent in Arizona was amazing, but it was not my full Spring Break. 

I flew all day Monday and arrived back in Alaska at 11:30 pm, which means I didn't get home until 1:00 am. It snowed the first couple of days I was home, but the weather is just now starting to get more like spring. My sister was in school all week, and my dad worked, so my mom and spent the week together. We stayed pretty close to home, but did have a fantastic afternoon with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. I really miss my extended family when I'm at school and I relish the opportunity to reconnect with them. 

Saturday was my sister's Junior prom, and although she did not go, she and her boyfriend dressed up and took pictures. They decided to take pictures at the bridge, a beautiful location, but incredibly windy. It was a great reminder of why I despise Alaska weather so much. She looked absolutely beautiful, and the scenery was lovely- I just hope at least one picture turned out. 

The fantastic Alaska view from the Knick River Bridge.

My Dad wanted to test out the photo location before my sister got there.

Right now I'm sitting in the Anchorage airport, waiting for my flight to board. My parents drove me into town to drop me off, and my aunt and cousin came to send me off. My cousin is 6 and we are  best friends. That being said, he always knows what to say to make me cry. When I come home he starts every conversation with "Madeline I misseded you when you were gone." (It's like a knife to the heart). This send-off he didn't disappoint asking me "Why do you have to leave?" If that isn't enough to make you want to quit college and stay home, I don't know what is. Luckily I was able to give him a satisfactory answer and he let me go through security, after I was given an extra hug. 

Here we are just before I left for college orientation. The family resemblance is a little freaky, right?

This break was filled with family and relaxation, and while I might not be completely rejuvenated, I am ready to tackle the last part of this semester.