From Holland to Detroit to Las Vegas… and Back

This past weekend (plus Monday and Tuesday) my family and I took a trip to Las Vegas. Hope students had the two extra days off for Winter Break and my mom wanted to take advantage of what might be the last time my family is (mostly) all able to get together for a family vacation.

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We flew out on Friday night, which ended up about three in the morning Detroit time in Las Vegas.

That Saturday we visited the Strip, which is the long stretch of hotels, casinos, shops and restaurants. At night it feels a lot like Times Square.

The hotel lobbies in Las Vegas are extravagant. I found myself looking at the scenes of replicated cities, monuments, places and wondering whose idea was this?

I’m sure whoever decided that Las Vegas would be what it is today had money on their mind.

The next day we visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the Hoover Dam on the way back. Those are two landmarks that simply awe you in their presence. One land-made and one man-made, I couldn’t help but wonder how it all happened.

I also got to see a Cirque Du Soleil show that night… and you bet I was wondering the exact same questions as I did when I saw the Strip, the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam.

On our last day, Monday, we sat by the pool and explored a more rural Las Vegas at a local mall. The contrast between the bustling downtown and the quiet mall was strong. It felt just like an outdoor mall back at home.

Our plane was scheduled to leave that Monday night, but ended up getting delayed and canceled at three in the morning Las Vegas time. We finally got a ride back the next afternoon, and my mom dropped me off at Hope this morning, just in time.

While my last 24 hours have been exhausting, the trip was well worth it. Las Vegas isn’t really my city, but it’s definitely an experience that you should have. The same goes for the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. (And the Cirque Du Soleil. It’s on my list of top ten favorite things, ever).

Thanks for reading,

Brooke

Spring break and Stay-cation

My dad and I
My dad and I
Beautiful Colorado!
Beautiful Colorado!
ski time!
ski time!
Stay-cation Highlights
Stay-cation Highlights

Well, it is that time of year when the snow is finally starting to melt and spring is among us. Here in Holland we still have some large snow piles left, but the sun is making its way outside. Since I am not in classes this semester I was not able to take off for Spring Break. Thankfully one of my other housemates who also graduated at semester stayed in the house for the week. During the day we would go to work and in the evenings we: cooked dinner together, watched the sunset at the beach, tried out MVP Sports Club since the Dow was closed, tried new face masks, watched a documentary, attended kickboxing class, and mostly relaxed. It was kind of nice to have the house to ourselves and spend a lot of time together.

The week after Spring Break my dad and I took a trip with his company to Snowmass, Colorado. The mountains were beautiful and spending time with my dad was a lot of fun. We skied every day and thankfully had sunny days with the temperature around 50 degrees. We ate at some of the best restaurants and tried new food. One of the days we explored Aspen and shopped downtown. My dad really loves Colorado and skis in Snowmass every year. This was my first time skiing in Colorado so my dad was very patient with me and helped me with my form. After skiing in Colorado I think it will be more difficult to want to ski in the midwest.

During the week my dad and I also met new people through his company. There were financial advisors from all of the country who chose Colorado as their place to vacation. We had three group dinners during the week and one of the nights they took us to club house where I went on my first carriage ride. I think the best part of the trip was spending quality time with my dad. It is pretty rare that I get alone time with him so I definitely appreciate any time I get to spend with my dad.

Well I am about to head to work. I’m trying to embrace my last couple weeks at Hope. Time is flying! Graduation is just right around the corner… I think during my next blog I will highlight some of the things I have learned most at Hope.

Have an awesome week!

Summer 2013

For those reading this, you’ve come to the right blog. I know I already did an introduction of myself and whatnot, but now I want to share my summer with you. I know it seems kind of ridiculous, especially in September, but trust me, it’ll be worth it. Now that that’s out of the way, this past summer has been my most eventful and life-changing summer, EVER. An interesting fact about myself, and this is the fact that I share with everyone, is that I’m Filipino. For about a month, my family went to the Philippines for my cousin’s wedding and a vacation! It was the first time I was back since I emigrated to the United States at 8 years old. I remember so much from when I was little; seeing the changes was astounding. It was a great time to do some R&R, but it was also 100% educational. It was just one of those trips that you will never forget. Instead of blabbing on and on with words, look at the pictures below and read the captions. Surely, the pictures will speak for themselves!

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After the Philippines, I was home for about a week. All I did was sleep. I was so jet lagged that I slept for 16 hours at one point. Crazy right? Then after that week, I flew to Maine where I spent the most of my summer! I worked at Camp Cobboossee as a counselor. I got to work with the coolest kids ever, and it was definitely a great experience! Ultimately, I want to work with kids, so this job was perfect. Hopefully I get to return next summer. I miss my campers and counselor friends! Here are some pictures from camp!

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Hopefully you enjoyed this blog! I was barely home for the summer, but I wouldn’t of traded my experiences for anything else! More to come shortly, make sure you keep checking in! If you haven’t already, follow me on twitter at @HopeMarvin15! God Bless!