Radiating Sunshine: Spring Break Recap 3/14/16

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Break Recap 3/14/16

One thing I love about Student Affairs is the breaks! I love taking a week (usually) and ending my break with a break recap over a weekend recap. I sometimes get jealous of my friends who have opted for careers that allow you to plan your life not on a semester-basis! However, I would be totally lying if I said I would pick anything, but this field for my career choice. 

This past week, I spent my Spring Break on a lot of different adventures. I began break with J as you heard about in his Weekend Recap last week! J is truly the greatest guy I know. Who would write a blog post for his girlfriend and wake up at 3:30AM to drive her to the airport. I told J last week that I am definitely over the whole traveling without him thing. So, J pack your back for ACPA 2017 :)

Anyways, from Sunday-Wednesday afternoon I spent my time in Montreal, Quebec, Canada! I flew out early Sunday morning and spent all day Sunday exploring and getting acquainted with the city. My hotel was about a half mile away from the convention center, so this allowed me plenty of time to learn the city and explore the business district of Montreal. 
The convention primarily took place in the Palais des Congreis (Palace of Congress) for Montreal. This building was without a doubt definitely one of the coolest and most modern building I have ever been! The sun reflected through the windows in the most beautiful way and it was a perfect location for the ACPA convention to be held.

Before, I get into details about the adventures... ACPA is international organization for Higher Education and Student Affairs. ACPA hosts tons of professional development opportunities and is committed to diversity and cultivating the best SA Professionals! The convention was so much fun and I can't wait to reflect on my notes throughout this week. I won't bore you all with educational details from the convention, however residential curriculums basically completes my life.

Food also completes my life... so I'm featuring my favorite dish from a restaurant that my co-worker Aaron and I stumbled upon. This fine dish is a crepe with sweet cheese and fresh fruit. I also got an assorted fruit juice, which was delightful. I still don't know what fruit was made to create the juice, but Aaron and I had a wide variety of guesses from apples, to dates, to apricots, etc!

People also make my adventures worth while and today I'm going to feature two people who definitely made exploring Montreal worth while! Aaron (on the left) was definitely essential to exploring Montreal. He is great company to keep and was a superb sounding board for great ideas! He is currently job searching and when he leaves I will definitely miss working with him every day.

Allegra (on the right) graduated with me from High School. She attends McGill University, so naturally while in Montreal I knew I needed to meet up with her! It was so nice talking to her and hearing about her different life experiences. College in Canada is definitely different from college in the US.

I also shared a delicious meal with some Ship friends and one of our professors (combining friends and food). We ate at a brewery and I got to try poutine, a Montreal inspired dish. Now they sell variations of poutine in the states, but nothing beats eating Montreal poutine right? Poutine is basically fries, gravy, and cheese curds (mozzarella cheese) and is literally heaven! I love french fries and gravy and add cheese to the picture and you literally cannot make me any happier. 
And to continue on the food train, one of Aaron's girlfriend's friends bought the table these delicious macaroons, which literally made my blogging heart and tastebuds swoon. Not only were these little treats beautiful to look at, but they were delicious to enjoy. I had never had a french macaroon before and I think I now have a favorite dessert.

There is something just so perfect about a macaroon, which is why I feel like it is the blogger's go to dessert to feature. Macaroons just emit this sweet and tender vibe on life, which I am definitely going to capitalize on more often.
The flavors: lemon, hazelnut, pistachio, raspberry, and chocolate 
When the conference ended, Aaron, his girlfriend Amy and I left and drove back to the States! Amy lives in New York, so we pit stopped at her apartment for the night before continuing to PA. So, Amy and Aaron gave me the full experience. We even when to a local brewery, where I think I had my favorite beer of all time: the Cheery Raspberry... I may or may not only feel deeply passionate about it because it has a cheery at the bottom (I know I'm really a child). I loved hanging out with Aaron and Amy and I really wish Josh could have joined us! We will definitely need to double date in the upcoming months!

On a side note Amy is a blogger too! I know super cool and it would only be right for me to give her blog, Unfinished Business a shout out, so check it out here! She blogs about life, day to day exploring, and Higher Education!

Aaron and I got back to PA on Thursday and I began packing my bags to leave for NODA at William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA on Friday. I took six O-Team Leaders and students to NODA and this was a remarkable experience. 
The students are all really inspiring folks and I loved having different conversations with them, getting to know them on a personal level, and singing with them in the car. We had a 5.5+ road trip down and back and this group made the drive so easy!
I'll be interning with Orientation this Summer, so it was really nice for me to begin establishing relationships with the O- Team leaders and learning how other institutions and our own university values transition and retention.

Both of these conferences have left me feeling so excited for the Student Affairs field and I'm so blessed to have been given the opportunity to meet so many new people, to learn so many new things, and to make so many memories! Whether it was for a conference for professional growth or a conference dedicated to great Orientation practices, my SA heart is so full of happiness it could explode.

How have you all been? I need to do some serious catching up on the blog world, but it will have to wait until the end of this week. All of the traveling has caused quite the back up on work and grad school. Anyways, cheers to a busy week!

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