Yeah, it has been awhile again.  Finals and the holidays are finally over and I can get back to living life again.  Our program is on break until the end of January, so I have a few weeks to “relax.”  I put this in quotes because my idea of relaxing is: cleaning my living quarters (you would be amazed at how quickly one lets the space accumulate dirt when cramming to write 60 pages in less than three weeks!), exercising my body (another thing that quickly falls to the wayside when trying to get everything done), review my German (how quickly we forget a language when we don’t use it), and reading for my research bibliography.

Before I began grad school I thought I would have tons of time to read for my bibliography.  I had plans to read two additional books per month to keep my own research interests moving forward.  Nope.  Never happened.  I have a list of over 40 books that I want to read for my project- right now since this list will surely grow.  My goal for this month off is to knock off at least 10 of those books from my list.  I am already off to a good start and have two finished.  Only eight more to reach my goal!  And honestly, since these works are directly related to my area of interest I actually enjoy reading them.  It has not felt like a chore or something I have to do for school.  It is for me and that is pretty rewarding.

But, I am not always all work and no play.  Sometimes I need to get out and have some fun!  So, to celebrate the season, the family took a trip to NYC.  I had to find something that would entertain the troops and stumbled across an article about the “world famous” gingerbread house contest at Le Parker Meridien (an upscale midtown hotel).  The pictures of some of the houses were stunning and I thought it sounded like a really great way to pass some time.

Loaded with bags (we had done a lot of shopping in the am), we made our way to midtown to see the spectacular houses.  Which they were!  All six of them.  That’s right.  Six.  Let down does not begin to convey how I felt at that moment.  Here I thought there would be dozens of confections to dazzle us.  Here is a picture of my favorite one from the day:



Spectacular? Yes.  All of the creations were.  I was just disappointed since the shows billing made it sound a lot more impressive, i.e. bigger, than it was.  None the less, it was fun.  All the confections were created and donated by local restaurants/bakeries and viewers could vote for their favorite by putting a dollar into a box by the display.  The money was to be donated to a charity later (I believe City Harvest, but I am not certain.)

With time to kill we decided to walk a few blocks to Rockefeller Center.  The center of Christmas in New York.  It is nice, of course, but it was completely packed which made it feel less enjoyable.  What the kids got a kick out of, however, was one the way there.  These two pieces of art:




With that, I wish my readers a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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