Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Getting Ready for Firefly!

Matt & Kim in 2013
If you know me at all I've most likely mentioned Firefly to you at least once. My good friends must hear me mention it at least once a week. Going to concerts has sort of become my thing and there is no better place to see your favorite bands perform than Firefly. Firefly Music Festival is a four day event that happens every June in Dover, Delaware. It combines all the good things in life (such as camping, music, a beer arcade, silent discos and delicious food) into one amazing experience. I first heard of Firefly in 2013 and immediately got a ticket once I found out that people such as Tom Petty, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Calvin Harris, Zedd, Foster the People, Matt and Kim and many more would be playing.

I convinced my friend Ben to join me and we ended up having a fantastic time. Not only were there so many good acts to see, but the whole experience was unlike anything else I've ever been a part of. Upon arriving we immediately became friends with our neighbors and started playing games with everyone around us. I didn't meet a single mean or grumpy person and everyone seemed to be truly having a great time. It was my first every festival and I was hooked.

Calvin Harris doing his thing.
The next year things were so up in the air with the whole graduation thing and not knowing where I was going to be living that I didn't end up making it, but I knew I needed to go back in 2015. With Ben out in California now I requited a new group and got ready to see Paul McCartney, The Killers, The Chainsmokers, Walk the Moon and tons of other talented people. This year I had more of a plan since I had been through it all before. We ended up getting premiere camping which allows you to show up to the festival a day early so you don't have to worry about missing anything. I also made rue to create a packing list ahead of time so that we made sure to bring everything we needed.

Now I'm getting ready for Firefly 2016. Mumford and Sons, Florence & the Machine, Blink-182, Of Monsters and Men and tons more bands will be there and I can not wait!! Be sure to check out the full lineup! There are still more than 100 days until the fun begins but I'm getting so pumped that I've been having dreams about it regularly. I'm sure I'll be posting more before the festival begins so be on the lookout for updates :)
The 2015 Firefly crew

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'll Meet You in Alliot!

One of the most important buildings on campus is Alliot. In addition to the Dion Student Center, Alliot serves as the hub of campus. The main dining hall is located there in addition to lots of student offices and the campus store. The dining hall always has some great food options. My favorite is the buffalo chicken wrap. They post the menu on Twitter and whenever I see buffalo chicken you better believe I will be there even though I only have 40 swipes a semester since I'm a senior.
Campus store

My favorite part of Alliot is the MOVE office. MOVE stands for mobilization of volunteer efforts and it has been one of my favorite parts of Saint Mikes. There are always different projects to work on and most of them are one time commitments. All you have to do it write your name down and show up at the time on the sheet.
Outside of Alliot
The Wilderness Program office is also located there. They put on all kinds of events throughout the year. The biggest thing they are know for though is the $65 season pass to Smugglers Notch. This is an amazing deal and includes access to the pools and hot tubs. They also have rock climbing, ice climbing, snow snowing, hiking, back country skiing, telemark skiing, white water kayaking and sea kayaking trips. The best part is that all these trips range from $5-$15 and includes equipment so it's easy to fit into your budget.
The Wilderness Program Board

Upstairs there is a nice place to study as well. There is a perfect amount of background noise where it's not too quite but you can still focus on your work. We also have all of our Green Up (the environmental club) meetings in Alliot so I'm in there quite often.

Lisa hard at work upstairs

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Tropical Break

This year for spring break my friends and I somehow managed to get our act together and plan a trip. We went on a week long Carnival cruise out of Baltimore and it was by far the best vacation ever. The trip started with a long drive from Saint Mikes to Baltimore. Since ten of us went we split up into two cars, one for the guys and one for the girls. The ride went by quickly though since I made an eight hour playlist so there was always good songs playing. We stayed in a hotel overnight and the next morning we made our easy to the port.

 When we were walking onto the boat it finally hit us. We were actually on a vacation with ten friends and we were going to Florida and the Bahamas! The boat was awesome and there was always something to do. Since it was spring break there was an interesting mix of college students and couples. Every day they delivered a list of events to us and we tried to make as many of the fun ones as we could. There was trivia, dance parties, stand up comedians, live music, mini golf contests and more.

I think one of the best things about a cruise is the food. There is always so much food and its all free. They had the best chicken tenders ever, a 24-hour pizza place, great brunches for days at sea, and a fancy restaurant for dinner. The menus change every night and one night I couldn't decide it I wanted the lobster or the chicken so I was a little stressed out. But it turns out you can just get both. So of course the rest of the week I would get multiple entrees, appetizers or desserts.

Our first stop was Port Canaveral. We decided to go to the beach that day and had a blast. There were some pretty big waves so Justin rented a surf board and I rented a body board and we caught some pretty good waves.

The second stop was in Nassau in the Bahamas. I had been here a few times before which was cool since I actually knew my way around. We walked downtown for a little bit then decided to go to this bar called Senior Frogs for a drink. I don't think any of us planned on it but we ended up staying there for about four hours. They had great music, lots of contests and gave out free drinks. Basically all the college kids from our cruise were here so we got to meet a lot of new friends. Justin even tied for first place in a dance contest.

Our last stop was at Freeport. We were only there from 7am-1pm so some of the group stayed on the boat but most of us went to the beach. The water was so clear and warm that we mostly just hung out in the water. Before we knew it we had to get back on the boat.

It was really cool being on a boat with the same people for the whole week since you got to recognize a good amount of people. The trivia and dance party hosts started recognizing us and we became friends with one of the waiters at the bar. Words can't even describe how much fun this trip was. I took a bunch of pictures so enjoy.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Free Skiing and Water Park? Sounds Good!!

This past weekend ShredMC, our ski and snowboard club sponsored a trip to Jay Peak. The best part is that it included a free ski pass, water park ticket and transportation. Thats well over a $100 value which is pretty awesome since I really like skiing Jay and wanted to try out the water park. Since it was such a good deal signing up was competitive. We had to sign up at 7:45am in the student center. I got there at 7:40 and got the third to last spot. Since the demand was so high then ended up getting another bus so that eighty people could go. I went with two sophomore friends Brendan and Greg.
Greg hanging with a tree. We all fell but it was like falling on pillows.

The conditions were great in the glades. Jay has some really long and nice glades which were a workout but a blast. The other trails were tricky at the top since the visibility was really low in open areas. But we were more than happy staying in the trees. Since the runs were so long and we wanted to go to the water park for awhile we called it a day around 2:00 after getting in five solid runs. Our legs were like jello at that point anyways so we couldn't have done much more even if we wanted to.

The lines for the tram to the summit.
Going to a water park after skiing may be the best combo of activities ever. Walking into the 85 degree area felt so good. There are four water slides, two use tubes and the other two are body slides. One of the body slides you have to stand up then they drop you and you go around a loop type thing. I decided to take a few laps around the lazy river while Brendan and Greg did that. There is also a florider machine which simulates surfing and boogie boarding. I tried the boogie boarding one and it was pretty fun. There are also some outdoor hot tubs and a bar upstairs where I hung out with some other seniors near the end of the day.

Indoor water park!
It was an awesome day and I'm so glad ShredMC put this on for everyone!

One last look at half of the resort.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter Weekends

These last few weekends have been pretty great. I'm so excited that it has been cold and snowy for an extended period of time. There are lots of fun things to do in the winter at Saint Mike's and around Burlington. Last weekend Smugglers Notch was finally 100% open which was awesome since I had not been able to ski the glades at all this season yet. I was able to get off campus by 11:30 on Friday which allowed me to get to Smuggs by 12:30. Even though I got there pretty late I was still able to get in eight solid runs. Being able to go to my class and give a tour in the morning and still get in a decent amount of runs in the afternoon is one of my favorite things. It feels so good to get so much done by 5pm in one day.
Sorry for the hand but still a good view from the chairlift!
On February 8th I participated in my first Penguin Plunge which is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics. It consists of people running into Lake Champlain which is kind of crazy seeing as it is so cold this time of year. They had to bring in some heavy machinery to cut out the ice sine it has been so exceptionally cold this year. The water was 33 degrees which is as cold as it can get without freezing.
Another plunger Brendan and I posing before plunging.
Saint Michael's College had a pretty good sized team and it was a blast. Before running in we all changed into our bathing suits then went to the pump up room. Everyone just starts chanting and going crazy to build up adrenelin before opening the doors and making the run to the lake. The water actually didn't feel that cold. I think we were all so excited that it didn't have much of an effect. It still felt good to dry off and change in the warming room though.
Molly meeting the mascot.
Later that day I went back to the waterfront with some other people who did the Penguin Plunge and my roommate Justin to walk on Lake Champlain. The ice was extremely thick so we were able to walk out past the breakwater and ended up sliding around for a long time. The views were pretty great.
Looking back at Burlington from the ice of Lake Champlain.
To end the day Saint Mike's sponsored free ice skating at the nearby Cairns Arena. It was only open to SMC students and there were a good amount of people there. I hadn't skated in a long time but I did pretty well. I didn't knock anyone over or fall so I consider that a win. By the end of the night I was almost able to stop which was a big achievement.
What looks like liquid is actually black ice which is where we went sliding around.
A lot of people are looking forward to spring but I'm really enjoying winter right now. That being said I am counting down the days to Spring Break and our cruise!

Bonus pic of campus right after some snow!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Days Without Class

This semester I only have class Monday, Wednesday and Friday which means most days I'm not in class. I've been keeping busy though with my internship and other activities. Tuesdays and Thursdays I have my internship with 350 Vermont. I'm the tar sands free intern so I work in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to organize resistance to the possible pipeline reversal. My role consists of calling and emailing volunteers, updating the website, making presentations and getting to know the Northeast Kingdom. I've really been enjoying it so far. I'm never in the office and we are always going to new places which I really enjoy.
View from the chairlift with Stowe in the background
Then of course there are no classes on the weekends so I tend to go do something outside on Saturdays then keep Sundays free for relaxing and doing homework. I've gone skiing twice so far this semester which isn't too bad seeing how busy I've been. I also went snow shoeing a few weeks ago which was a blast.

Almost at the summit snow shoeing. 
So if you ever find yourself with classes only three days a week don't worry about getting bored. There is plenty of other things to do. In fact I think this has ended up being one of my busiest semesters yet!
A dog ended up following us during snow shoeing. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Last MOVE Trip

The MOVE program has been one of the most important parts of my time at Saint Mike's. I've had the privilege to go on an extended service trip every year and each trip has been a great experience. I did environmental work in Texas, worked with Habitat for Humanity and kids in Immokalee, had a life changing experience in the Dominican Republic and just got back from a week of working in a middle school in Buffalo.
Trip to Niagara Falls 
This year I applied to go on a trip like everyone else but was actual selected to be a trip leader since they always need to pull up a couple of people since there are more trips than there are extended service committee members. I was a little nervous at first since leading a group of ten people for a week seemed a little overwhelming but as soon as I met with my group I knew it would go well. I had an amazing group and we all became really close over the course of the week.

First day of school!
We worked at the NativityMiguel Middle School. If you click the link and watch the video you can get a really good picture of the mission of the school. There is a boys school and a girls school. The group was split into two groups of five so that we could work in both schools. We helped the kids with homework, hung out with them during lunch and did whatever odd jobs needed to be done. Sadly it was snowy in Buffalo last week so we had two snow days and didm;t get to bond with the kids as much as we would have liked. However, there was still lots of work to do on the snow days and we got a lot of cleaning and organizing done.

A little bit of snow
The last day was a half day and we got to organize all the activities for the girls. It was a great way to get to talk with all the girls since each of us stayed at an activity as all the girls cycled through. We ended the week with dinner at Duff's one of the many Buffalo wing restaurants. We got 150 wings which was a little bit of an overkill but they were really good.

A couple of the girls we worked with
I can never explain just how great these trips are but they really are amazing experiences and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to go on four of these trips!