I’m back at Elon and getting into the swing of the new year! Wow, summer really flew by. Parts of it went slowly, parts of it were boring, and for parts of it I wanted nothing more than to be back at school with my friends and a constant schedule. Overall, I had a great 3.5 months off and wish I would have appreciated it a little more in the moment.
I know my last post highlights a few of the activities I was planning on doing over the break, but I wanted to expand a little more in this post and put my pictures up.
The first 6 weeks of the summer were fairly uneventful. I arrived home, got settled in, caught up with friends, and began my internship in Senator Portman’s Cincinnati office. My job was to answer phone calls from constituents, write news briefs, attend naturalization ceremonies, and update local government information. I quickly became friends with the other intern and, after discovering that we went to high school together and only live 5 minutes apart, carpooled with him the majority of the time.
I enjoyed the experience and am very happy I did it because I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I don’t think I want to be in that side of politics because it was hard to give people the answers they wanted and frustrating to see the roadblocks and obstacles government work can put in your way to slow you down and dilute the work you are trying to do. I also learned that I cannot have a job in the future where I sit in an office all day. I need to be moving around, meeting with people, and traveling.
The one exciting, out-of-the-norm thing I did during the 6 weeks of May and June was visit my grandparents in Massachusetts unexpectedly. My brother was going up to tour a school in Vermont, so I decided to tag along and stay with Mammy and Papa. I realized I hadn’t seen them in exactly a year, which made me so sad and frustrated that we don’t live closer and I hadn’t done anything to see them sooner. We had a nice, relaxing weekend (for the most part) and I was so happy to get a chance to spend time with them one on one.
July and August are when a lot of the craziness hit. My parents went out of town for my dad’s 50th birthday, Ty went to London for a family trip, and my Spanish brother, Gianluca, flew into town at the beginning of July to stay with us for another month. Adding another person to our already hectic family isn’t that big of a deal (my mom likes to say, “I’ve already got three kids so four doesn’t make a difference”) but it did add to our schedule because he had group events he had to be at.
4th of July was so much fun. Not only do the Spaniards love the holiday and get really into the USA spirit, but our town hosts a huge concert and festival every year. There are food trucks, singers, games, and more. This year The Fray performed and my family and friends and I had a great time!
We also brought Gianluca to the beach with us for a week. Edisto Island, South Carolina is one of my favorite places in the world. We used to go every summer growing up with the group my dad was stationed with in Germany while he was in the Army. Because of kids getting older and schedules getting crazier we stopped going 3 or 4 years ago. This year my family decided to go back because we missed the island and beach so much. It was weird not having the large group there, but we enjoyed our time and were able to do things we had never done before because we couldn’t get everyone on the same page. We went to Charleston for a day, did a big seafood diner, and went kayaking. Overall, it was a great trip and I hope we continue to go in the future.
The one thing I realized over that trip and the summer in general is how hard of a time I have relaxing. I can’t sit down and enjoy doing nothing. I always have to be doing something. This year at school I am going to try to plan on using one day a week as my “sabbath.” These are days I won’t do any school work. Instead, I will focus on activities in the area I have been wanting to do, reading, or doing nothing. I think it will help me learn how to relax and enjoy myself again.
In August I went to the Zac Brown Band concert for the first time. The tickets were my parent’s birthday present to me and it was one of the better presents they have given me. I feel like I am at the age and point in life now where I don’t need material things and I would rather have experiences and memories. The concert was amazing, not only because of the singing but because of the incredible instrumentals. I was blown away by the violinist and in awe the entire night.
I was also able to visit my Grandpa in St. Louis right before moving back to school. I said this in a previous post, but I love St. Louis. I really don’t sweat the small stuff when I’m there because I feel so far removed from a lot of my worries. It makes me so happy that I am able to see my grandpa so much and visit him for short weekends when I want to. I enjoy spending time with him and I really value our relationship. My friend Reagan came with me to visit and we had fun getting BBQ and soda floats, visiting the original Anheuser-Busch location, seeing the remodeled Arch museum, and more.
Move in was fast and tiring, but went well. I moved back to school a week early for a couple of reasons. The first was that I was ready to be back and had already been paying for my apartment since June (that’s how they get you). The second is that the Friday night of my original move in day was the first home football game and my youngest brother Trey’s marching band debut. My parents didn’t really want to miss that. The third is because my friend Jane and I decided to go stay with my family friends in DC for a few days before classes started and our schedules became too hectic for us to go another time.
We woke up early and drove the 5 hours up on Sunday. We then proceeded to attend not only a Nationals game, but also a DC United game all in that one day. It was exhausting but so much fun. The Nationals’ park is very nice and even though they were blown out, we still had a great time. The new DC United stadium was awesome. It was just built and has so many high-tech, fan friendly aspects to it. The game had a great atmosphere and it was fun to watch Wayne Rooney play.
The next day was packed full of fun activities, tours, and stops! We got up and when for a run across the river and by the Navy Yard and then headed to the National Mall for sight-seeing. Over the course of 6 or 7 hours we saw the Botanical Garden, the Native American History Museum, the White House, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Archives, and the Natural History Museum. We headed back home with sore feet and a need for sleep and had We the Pizza for dinner.
The next morning we got up early to visit an exhibit at the Library of Congress, as well as Ford’s Theater. We then headed to Georgetown for lunch and Baked and Wired Cupcakes, where we got caught in a torrential downpour. We headed home full, soaking wet, and happy. I’m glad we made this trip before classes started because we would have never been able to once they did. Jane and I both love DC and had a blast, so it was the perfect way to end the summer.
I’m going into my third week of classes and so far I am enjoying the majority of them and my schedule in general. I will make sure to post about the semester in December, but I am aiming to blog about more of my adventures before then!
Click on images below to enlarge and view as a slideshow.