What I’ve Been Up To Lately…

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I can’t believe it is 2014.  It seems like 2002 was only a few years ago, not 12.  Time truly does fly by. 

Anyhow, it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged.  With Christmas and the New Year, I took some time to enjoy myself.  Now, I’m back, ready for a brand new year of blogging!  It’s hard to believe this will be Primary Junction’s third year!  Wow.

For my first blog of 2014, I want to do a quick recap of what I’ve been up to.  In December, we took a fun trip up north to Chicago and Minneapolis.  It was my first time visiting both cities, and I had an amazing time. 

Our first stop in Chicago was The Field Museum.  It was highly interesting, and one of the most interesting moments of my visit was getting to see Sue, the most complete T-Rex fossil.  I must say that the highlight of my visit was getting to go inside part of a REAL pyramid chamber.  It was by far one of the coolest experiences.  They also had a ton of mummies on display.  Interesting stuff for sure.

Another highlight of my time in Chicago was getting to visit Harpo Studios.  I used to watch Oprah all the time, so there was no way I could visit Chicago without going by her studio. 

Macy’s in Chicago was HUGE.  It used to be Marshall Field’s.  As you can see in the photos, the store went on for what seemed like miles!

Since we visited so close to Christmas, the Christkindlmarket was operating.  It was a neat experience.  My favorite part was getting to see SO many unique ornaments.  They truly had an ornament for any and every occasion. 

I’m BIG on national landmarks, so, of course, I had to visit Willis Tower Sears Tower (yeah, I HATE the name change).  We went up to the Skydeck on the 103rd floor.  The elevator ride up and down is unique.  You can feel every bit of the pressure change.  Coming down, the wind was up, and you could definitely feel it in the elevator.  As for the Skydeck, it was really neat!  Stepping out on the ledge makes the experience very unique.  I totally recommend it!

We spent a few days in Chicago before heading to Minnesota and the Mall of America!  First, we had to pass through Wisconsin!  It was in Wisconsin that we first saw snow on the ground.  As a kid, it used to snow all the time in the south.  We would get a foot or more of snow and often be out of school for two weeks at a time.  Now, that NEVER happens.  We are lucky to get one dusting.  šŸ™  Needless to say, part of the thrill of going up north was getting to see a huge snowfall again.  Our trip didn’t disappoint us!

I experienced the coldest temperatures of my life during our trip.  In Minnesota, the temperature got down to at least -11 Degrees Fahrenheit.  When the wind kicked it, it was pretty miserable being outside. 

One of our first stops in Minnesota was Mickey’s Diner in Saint Paul.  One of my all-time favorite movies, Jingle All The Way, filmed there, which is why I wanted to go.  It was a neat experience!

The Mall of America was awesome!  Even though we went near Christmas and on a weekend, it really didn’t seem crowded at all.  I guess it was because the mall was so huge.  There was truly room for everyone.  You can spend all day there and still not have time to spend in every store.  It’s truly worth a visit.

On the way home, we came through Iowa so I could pick up a state credit.  I’m a huge geography nerd, and one of the things on my bucket list is to visit all 50 states.

Christmas was great! Tons of great gifts and food!

For New Year’s Eve, we travelled to Myrtle Beach to meet up with some friends.  The weather was great, and it was a fun time!  While there, I had to visit my all-time favorite tourist shop, the Gay Dolphin. I used to go there as a kid, and it has always interested me.  Their shark section is super-interesting as well.

While there, I hit up the Pavilion Nostalgia Park.  It was my first time in Myrtle Beach since they tore down the real Pavilion, which I still think was a HUGE mistake.  Myrtle Beach just isn’t the same without it.  At the Nostalgia Park though, I did get to see several rides that were staples of my childhood.

It was great to ring in the New Year on the beach!  2014 has been great so far, and I can’t wait to see what the year brings!  I hope 2014 is off to a great start for you!

I’ll be back soon with a teaching-related blog post!  Have a great week, everyone!