Home for the Holidays

After about two and a half weeks of being home, I just got back to New Orleans and wanted to write a bit about my holiday vacation with my family. This break was longer than the total amount of time I had been home throughout the whole year, so it was so nice to catch up and joke around with family, visit my favorite hometown spots, and just hang out, watch a Hallmark movie with mom, do a puzzle, and eat a cookie. Here are some highlights of my break that sum up what I have been up to…

Christmas Festivities: Obviously the best part of the season! Leading up to Christmas Day, my family spent time wrapping and buying gifts, decorating the tree, and going on our annual pajama ride around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights while wearing matching dragon onesies, drinking hot chocolate, eating cookies, and singing to the Pentatonix Christmas albums. We went to Mass on Christmas Eve and each opened a gift before going to bed, and in the morning, we went through the rest of the gifts, made monkey bread, and tested out Rose’s new skateboard at the park. Even once Christmas Day was over, we continued the celebration with a get-together with extended family.

Cooking and Baking: Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, so I fully took advantage of a stocked kitchen and four people who were ready to eat at all times. My favorites were crêpes for dinner, so many Christmas cookies and treats, beef and broccoli with noodles, and my signature Oreo cheesecake with homemade ganache and whipped cream. Yum!

New Year’s Eve: I spent a tame New Year’s Eve home with family, complete with UNO and Trouble games, the livestream of the ball dropping in NYC thanks to a very drunk Anderson Cooper on CNN, and 12 grapes at the strike of midnight. Champagne is great, but let’s be real, sparkling grape juice is better anyway, and I loved spending some extra time home with family.

Excursions in Roanoke: Even though the opportunities for things to do in Roanoke are limited, I still had some fun outings. My mom, sisters, and I painted a pottery plate set at Glazed Bisque-It, we saw Little Women at the Grandin Theater, and mom and I went to Hotel Roanoke for breakfast and a look at the Christmas trees. Michael and I walked around the mall, went to the Roanoke Star, and got food, of course. I also had quite a few doctor and dentist appointments (may have gotten six cavities filled whoops), which wasn’t the most exciting but still made up a significant portion of my break.

Prep for the upcoming semester: When I wasn’t going to my favorite restaurants or spending time with family, I was probably working on my Honors Thesis, internship project, or post-grad applications. I also made business cards and printed my resume for the conference I’m attending in D.C. next week (yay for professional advancement)!

On my last night at home, my family went out for a celebratory dinner then spent the rest of the evening watching Disney Plus together. It was so nice to spend my break at home with some of my favorite people and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens this semester! I’m sad that it’s my last few months at Tulane but I can’t wait to figure out what I’m doing and where I will be after graduation.

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