Tag: spring break (page 2 of 3)

Once Upon a Spring Break…

In last week’s post, I made a few cracks about how I wouldn’t be doing anything over Spring Break besides eating, sleeping, and watching Netflix. I may have exaggerated – amazingly enough, I have gotten out of bed every day this break (so far), and have been surprisingly productive. The best part of my break to date, though, was my trip to New York City with my mom.

We took the bus into the city, then waited on line for an hour at TKTS. For those of you who don’t know, TKTS is in the middle of Times Square, and serves as a great resource for thrifty theatre-goers; it offers discounted tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Last year over break, my mom and I saw the revival of Evita in previews. This year, we were determined to see the Tony Award Winner for Best Musical Once, so we got to TKTS as early as we could.

The story with me, my mom, and Once is that we almost saw it last year, and decided at the last minute to see another show. Since then, Once has won eight Tonys and secured countless, glowing reviews; we have kicked ourselves every day for what we thought was our missed opportunity.

Fortunately, we secured our two tickets without trouble (cue me nearly jumping out of my Converse), and had several hours to kill before the 2:00 matinee. Pre-show adventures consisted of checking out the Hershey Store, MAC, the Disney Store, Starbucks, Café Metro, and scouring all four floors of the massive Forever 21 (three out of the four of which are completely underground – crazy!). Plus… trying not to get hit by a cab. After all this, we finally made our way toward the theatre.

Once is currently playing in Jacobs Theatre (formerly the Royale, for the Broadway-buffs out there), which is small but cozy in a way that only truly intimate theatres can be. From the onset, this show was unlike any other: the cast was on stage and performing as the audience was getting seated. The story follows a young Irish man (always just referred to as Guy, even in the program) in his hometown of Dublin, who is vowing to give up his guitar and music forever before he meets Girl. She is Czech, forward, and extremely passionate about her opinions and ideas. Once occurs over the span of less than a week, and explores how these two people, and those around them, encourage each other, make music, and live life.

It’s an understatement to say that I can understand why Once won the Tony for Best Musical: it is innovative in its musicianship (all the cast members are instrumentalists as well as actors and singers, and play their instruments on stage the entire show) and in its book (I laughed and cried within the same five minutes). I’m infinitely grateful that, a year later, I got to see it, and I’m doubly as glad I saw it with my mom.

~Claire Davanzo

Benefits of Being Home

It’s that time of year. That week that is highly anticipated during the first half of spring semester, and then reminisced about for the rest of it. It is tan lines, sunscreen, and sunburns. It is swim suits, flip-flops, and a Twitter feed full of, “#PanamaCity2013!” or “#Cancun!” It is of course, Spring Break. And what exotic destination have I been transported to for this year’s festivities?

Great Falls, Virginia.

While my peers sip smoothies to the sound of crashing waves, ankle deep in soft, white sand, I find myself back in my hometown. The sounds of waves are replaced by the sounds of cars on nearby roads and instead of sand; we actually got soft, white snow.

Yet, as depressing as this might sound, I’m surprisingly content in this setting. My stay at home has provided a period of pure relaxation to punctuate the fast pace of college life. It’s provided time to sleep, eat home-cooked meals, reflect, and in general, the time and the resources to do those things you’re just not able to when at the University.

As I look into study abroad, internships, and winter and summer sessions, it’s becoming apparent how limited my time at home is. Because of this, the comforts of home seem all the more precious. Whether it’s sleeping until the wee hours of the *cough* afternoon, getting to make requests for dinner, or watching movie after movie on instant-Netflix, these are rare comforts you don’t get to experience anywhere else. Especially as I become more aware that I’m really just visiting the place where I grew up and don’t exactly live there anymore, it makes me that much more determined to soak up time with my family and all the comforts that comes with it as much as possible. Excuse the sappiness.

I have also appreciated being able to occupy myself with activities because I like them, not because I need to do them. This past week I went to an open-mic night at a nearby coffee shop, a small country concert at a club downtown, rock climbed at a park just fifteen minutes away. At school you’re forced to prioritize, meaning those things you’d like to do but don’t have to do often get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list and are never checked off. At home, I’ve had the luxury of not really having a to-do list, and so been able to indulge in whatever whim I may have.

Of course, (nerd alert), there is also the fact that I’ve been able to catch up on schoolwork. I’ve definitely fallen behind in some areas since returning for spring semester and never really had the opportunity to just sit down for however many hours and get “caught up.” My fellow students may know the feeling. While it may sound entirely lame, that this is something I’m excited about. Nothing beats the feeling of being caught up and being able to return to school reorganized and ready to go.

So, if you’re stuck at home like me, or sometime in the future may find yourself facing the prospect of spending a vacation period at home, don’t despair. Even if you can’t bring yourself to treasure those moments at home, you can at least appreciate them. There’s a lot you can do with this experience and it’s one you’ll never quite be able to replicate.

~Victoria Snare

It’s spring break—now what do I do?

So you’re out of school for the week. Delaware’s spring break started after classes Friday, and now you’re wondering what other people are doing. Perhaps this is your first spring break, and you want to know some other options for next year besides being at home. Maybe it’s your last, and you are just enjoying time with no school. Whatever the case, here are some of the common spring break options. My colleagues on this blog have already covered several related topics, so be sure to check those out.
Option 1—the beach

One always-popular option is to take several of your close friends, a bathing suit, and head down to the beach. This year, for whatever reason, Panama City Beach (in Florida, not Panama, interestingly enough) is a very popular destination. Over 1,000 UD students signed up to go, according to a Delaware student representative for a travel company. Presumably many of those students are seniors hoping to enjoy “one last hurrah” before graduation.

Option 2—alternative spring break

Delaware has several non-traditional options for students who aren’t in to partying or want to see new things and help others. The alternative spring breaks students can choose from include a trip to Mississippi to work on oil spill relief projects, a journey to Washington D.C. to help homeless school children, a trip to New Orleans to help in the continuing Katrina recovery, an excursion to North Carolina to help the area in relief efforts for Sandy, and finally, a collaboration with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the poor. These are all fantastic options. Delaware usually announces the trips about six months ahead of time, so if you are interested by any of these, start looking out for the upcoming options come September.

Option 3—travel

Many people like to use spring break to go somewhere they normally would not. Perhaps you and your family decide to go visit New York City or Washington D.C. Maybe several of your friends and you opt to travel to somewhere you have never been but have always wanted to go, such as Chicago.

Options 4—staying home

This is what I am doing. Though it’s not particularly exciting, it is nice to just spend time with family and friends and enjoy not having any (well, much) work for a week. This works really well if the weather is nice, so you are not stuck inside, and if your friends from home are on break the same week. Some students who live off campus choose to just stay in their houses or apartments there, rather than returning home. That works too.

There are a lot of things you can do in this week-long period of no school. Hopefully you have some ideas and can continue to enjoy your break.

~Matthew Bittle


Small Wonder

UD students are enjoying spring break, a short reprieve from exams, papers, and busy schedules.  My break is off to a good start, but it’s different from past spring breaks in that I am spending it in beautiful Wilmington, Delaware, rather than the Orange County, California town where I grew up. Last summer my parents finally fulfilled their desire of returning to the homeland – aka the East Coast – so I am now a Delawarean.

The author at Valley Garden Park in Greenville

With such established residency comes a bad driver’s license picture, a love for Capriotti’s “bobbie” sandwiches, and a deep appreciation for the state that detractors label, “Dela-where?”.  While a big draw of UD is its relative proximity to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and New York City, Delaware itself has its own charms! Today I’m sharing some hot spots in Northern Delaware, (all pretty close to Newark), for when you desire an off-campus day trip.

  1. Parks:  I love East Coast nature, and find that taking a literal walk in the park is a great distraction from school stress.  Valley Garden Park is particularly quaint. Rockford Park hosts a “Flower Market” –a fun community event with vendors, state fair-style food and rides, and, of course, flowers – every year in early May. Alapocas Run State Park is great for runners, bikers, and even rock climbers, and White Clay Creek State Park is a Blue Hen favorite because of its proximity to campus.  My last botanical recommendation, Longwood Gardens, is actually in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, but the huge DuPont-founded establishment deserves mention because it features beautiful gardens year-round at a reasonable student price.

    Valley Garden Park in Greenville

    Cliffs for rock climbing in Wilmington’s Alpocas Run State Park

  2. Museums:  Delaware also offers places to enrich your mind out of the classroom.  For art lovers, there’s the Delaware Art Museum; the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library; and the Brandywine River Museum.  Business or economics majors would enjoy the Hagley Museum & Library, all about the “American enterprise”.  Those interested in anthropology, biology, or simply dinosaurs should check out the Delaware Museum of Natural History. And of course, I have to give a shout-out to the Museum of the Delaware Historical Society, where I interned this past winter!

    Wilmington’s Delaware History Museum

  3. Entertainment:  If you’ve seen one too many $3 movies in Trabant, consider something from this catchall category.  I like the Brandywine Zoo, which is fairly small but cheap and worth the trip.  I have yet to experience a Wilmington Blue Rocks (minor-league baseball) game or a show at the Grand Opera House, but have heard good things about both.  Finally, I can’t forget about the behemoth that is the Christiana Mall, because retail therapy is so much better when it’s tax-free!

It’s clear that one need not venture into Philly for a fun off-campus experience, as the state nicknamed “Small Wonder” offers a lot to explore.  Do you have any favorite Delaware locales?  Share in the comments below!

~Ruby Harrington

Netflix Spring Break

Congratulations, UD: you’ve finally made it. You’ve reached Spring Break. Your midterms are finished, your windows and doors are locked, and mere hours stand between you and an extravagant, expensive expedition or excursion; an exotic exploration of an extremely ex—

What, you mean you’re not doing that?

Trust me, I feel your pain. UD runs some amazing alternative Spring Break trips, both recreational and service-oriented, but with my schedule and budget, those just aren’t in the picture for me this semester. Which is why when I arrive back at home-sweet-Parsippany-New-Jersey-home, I’ll be snuggling up with a big cup of hot chocolate and the beautiful, red wonderland of Netflix. You, too, can manage this with the simple ease of $8 a month and all the movies and TV you could possibly want.

That said, here are my time-sensitive recommendations for your Netflix Spring Break..

I’ll have a few hours here and there. Recommendation: BBC’s Sherlock. This modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective novels is brilliant in ways that are simply elementary, my dear Watsons. Each episode is only an hour and a half, and to date, there is a grand total of six episodes (fans of the show are sometimes called “the Fandom that Waited,” because it takes so long for new episodes to come out). Sherlock has a sarcastic, utterly British sense of humour, and should not be watched sleep-deprived.

I have about enough time to watch one season of a show. Recommendation: Fox’s Firefly. About one season is exactly what you get with this staggeringly captivating sci-fi show (one season, plus a movie). From the mighty Joss Whedon comes Captain Mal Reynolds, a retired army veteran of a war long since ended; his first mate and fellow veteran, Zoe; and the rest of their cobbled-together crew. The show exudes mystery, and although I’ve not finished the series yet (because I’m holding out as long as I can to keep something to look forward to), I hear the ending is heartbreaking.

I will probably be getting cozy with my laptop. Recommendation: AMC’s The Walking Dead. The words I’ve most recently heard used to describe this horror drama are “scary” and “emotionally draining,” so set aside a stable chunk of time this break. The show follows Sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes as he and the remaining survivors of this post-apocalyptic world attempt to survive on an Earth dominated by “walkers,” or zombies.

What is a social life? Recommendation: BBC’s Doctor Who. The longest-running sci-fi show in history (sprinting towards its 50th anniversary next year!) is worth every instant of your free time this break. And I’m not just saying that because Doctor Who is my absolute favourite on this list. The show follows the Doctor (not Doctor Who), a two-hearted Time Lord who whirls around the universe in his TARDIS, and the companions he picks up along the way. If you choose to watch, do yourself a favour and start where Netflix suggests: with the 2005 episode “Rose.”

The author with her sonic screwdriver from Dr. Who


~Claire Davanzo

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