Winter in Florida [read: it was 60 degrees one day]

After a long calendar year of classes (Fall – Spring – Summer 1 – Summer 2 – Fall), the three-week break surrounding the ‘holidays’ was much needed and appreciated. My flight back to the SRQ may have landed at 2 A.M., and I may have been crabby on the very first day, but everything else was pretty perfect. This was the year everyone decided to come home, which doesn’t happen often. For example, Alison came home. Alison in Sarasota is basically a unicorn sighting. Or Bigfoot. Or the Yeti. Name your mythical creature, and it’s Alison coming home.

This picture is to prove she was here this Winter Break. And the setting is my car Geo. You may also call him Geoff or Geoffrey.

Every day moved by relatively quickly in the Florida heat (from 90 degrees to 55 degrees, it was still hot) but that didn’t stop me from looking around every once in a while; thanks Ferris. We added another “B” to the mix of favorite home things – Brunch, Beach, Board Games, and Bonfire. Even in 90 degrees, fires are fun. What’s not to like when other people are willing to make you s’mores? Alright, I did make a few of my own, but Mandy was disappointed with how many other people caved. And with a rowdy game of convoluted inside-joke fishbowl with the bros a few times this break after the bon-bons, there were some silly nights. Clear skies, full hearts, many constellations, science – that’s the saying, no?

Besides that, all my Cambridge friends hung out in San Francisco without me for a day, thus solidifying my status as Mindy Kaling (great book, by the way) giving myself suggestions on how to deal with that. I basically FOMO’d from Florida and made plans to go to California someday. Soon.

I also got my parents board games for Christmas mostly to see my dad’s spelling abilities. In the inaugural game, Dad won the chance to go first and correctly spelled “Idea” and I’ve never been prouder. I see this as a fun & casual family tradition, which was proved as our family friends played it all break. Now these friends are really just family, my mom’s best friend & company, and we all spent a few days while they were here visiting from North Carolina essentially at the beach or playing Scrabble. Cheers to new traditions!

What a champion.
And look at how cute they are over twenty years ago?

My Christmas gifts, you ask? I didn’t really need much this year, or ask for much, but Grace got me a pillow of my spirit animal, Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, and that was an ace card. Huge play.

Emily, where is my coffee? Is it really that difficult? Fun Fact: I dressed up as her for “When I Grow Up” day.

Post-holiday season meant preparing for New Year’s Eve. Ideally this meant avoiding the Pineapple Drop (less exciting than it sounds) for the third year in a row, but a girl can only dream. Lela, Melissa, Tiffany, and I wound up back on Main Street watching a lit pineapple slowly lower us into 2016 while immersed in a crowd of eager tourists. Starting the year strong. The night started at Alexis’ house scaring her old dog/young puppy Charlie and ended with me wearing a Union Jack onesie. It was just a repeat of last year with the same best people. We spent the next day recovering by watching Sex & the City Seasons 3 and 4, getting Applebee’s half-price appetizers, and helping Lela make a dress out of rubber bands. 2-day celebrations are exhausting, man.

The real Prince Charles.
Remember readers, you can always finagle a backdrop for a party.
This was the only Polaroid photo that actually developed, happy holla days.

Getting back to campus is going to be real hard (what is it, like, 20 degrees?) after Florida. Despite everyone leaving me with their ‘shorter breaks’ [read: excuses, excuses] I still wish I had a little more time to get my life together before going to Boston. But that’s never what happens, right? If you don’t hit the ground running, did you really get off to the right start to the new year? Here’s to 2016, not the same as 2015 (the year Lela and I thought would be our year), and many warm, cozy surprises it hopefully brings in the tundra that is the Northeast along with crazy new beginnings. SRQ, you will be missed for quite some while. Stay golden.

Pineapple shoes are fitting for a place with a pineapple geotag. Touche.

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