|Love you, Trini.|
In what was probably good timing, I left to visit my friend E in Galveston, Texas two days after we said goodbye to Trini. E helped us move down to Miami and set up our apartment back in August 2010. She really eased my transition from having my wedding to moving two days later. J had to start school the day after we arrived in Miami and I was unemployed in a jumbled apartment in a brand new city. She had moved to Galveston with her boyfriend from Madison and I was excited to be her first visitor. I flew in on a Wednesday and had until Sunday to hang out and explore some of Houston and Galveston. Here is my trip in some pictures.
On Wednesday we took it easy. Houston to Galveston is a bit of a hike and traffic is -dare I say it- worse than Miami. The drivers aren't as bad as Miami drivers, but there are just more people on the road, so there are bound to be loads of accidents. We went grocery shopping and made tacos for dinner and planned two crafts we wanted to tackle. On Thursday we headed back into Houston. First we stopped at a mall because I had my Sephora VIB coupon for me and a friend (15% off -what a deal!) and then we went to the National Museum of Funeral History and the Cullen Sculpture Garden. I thought the museum would be a fun, unique Houston attraction and I wasn't disappointed. It was in a residential area and it was virtually empty, but for $10 it was a nice way to spend a couple of hours. It was also massive at 30,500 square feed. That is a lot of history.
E and I decided to do a quiz. If you got 90% right you got 20% off an item at the gift shop. I thought I could bring something funny home for J. Well, let me tell you- that answer sheet was locked up so tight! E and I diligently answered the quiz and the cashier pulled the money out of the till, set it right in front of me so that she could "grade" us, and then she proceeded to take HALF points off for things like, "Name an animal represented as a fantasy casket" I wrote, "Chicken/Rooster." The answer was "MOTHER HEN." She offered to call management to see if I could get a full point but we politely told her that it wasn't necessary and laughed our butts off all the way to the car. It was especially funny because there was a book on Abraham Lincoln's assassination as a part of an exhibit that was labeled as "top secret" but we felt that the answer key to the silly quiz was more guarded. Still, we learned some really interesting things. I'll enlighten you with just a smattering of what I learned!
|This is a glass casket. They stopped making these because when they were lowered into the ground the lids would often crack. It was one of my favorite caskets there because it was so unique and oddly pretty. Glad it's not see-through, though.|
|Unlike the first glass casket, this glass casket really creeped met out.|
|They had a lot of stuff on the first embalming techniques. The "Father of American Embalming" is Dr. Thomas Holmes. Interestingly enough, I saw a table just like this on Oddities, a show I watch that is on the Science Channel.|
After that we headed to the Houston Museum District to stop and enjoy the Cullen Sculpture Garden. It was free. A lot of the sculptures of people were nekky. A lot of the sculptures were really modern. I mistook a jaintor's cart for a sculpture at one point. I can't take me anywhere. Then we went to lunch at a really cute place called Barnaby's Cafe. It is a dog-themed restaurant with ethical food (I think if we had ate more in Houston, there would have been more restaurants like this to choose from). And then we headed back to Galveston to try to beat traffic and we stayed up past our bed-times chatting and crafting.
|One of the many sculptures. I liked this one because it had a lot of optical illusions (water, reflections, glass).|
|See? Nekky. I liked this one, too. He's missing his ten gallon hat, though.|
|An entire serving of raw oysters all for me because no one else likes them? Oh what a shame. Who am I kidding, I wasn't going to share with anyone anyhow! :) How I eat these disgusting things, I will never know, but I love them. From The Spot.|
|Shrimp po'boy from Jimmy's on the Pier. I liked the tots. I couldn't finish everything you see here because we also had an appetizer of tots. J informs me that this is not a real po'boy. I'll have to try a NOLA one.|
Now, to address the future. As you all know, J and I have been taking steps toward moving out of Miami and continuing the adventure of our lives. I've worked hard at my position as a secretary, but I've always wanted something more for myself. I really have a passion for learning and I've wanted to go back to school for quite sometime. (In the future I hope to have Ph.D. after my name!) I have been attending information sessions and writing away for informational packets for the last two and a half years. (I've even started a career binder that was thoroughly labeled and color coded.) There are many things I think that I could be successful at and many things I like to do, but I spent a long time considering what would bring my passion and talent together. I applied to two schools and J applied to three schools for Ph.D. programs in his field. We got into all of the schools we applied to and it came down to a long discussion about where to live and how to pay for it. That discussion was answered when I was offered a position as a Graduate Assistant that would cover a large portion of my tuition in addition to providing me with a stipend. So... here is the big news... (it's already dropped via Facebook and family, so it's probably not news to most of you, but I haven't said anything yet on the blog...)
J and I will be moving to Seattle, Washington. As I mentioned, he'll be continuing his studies in Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies and working towards his Ph.D. I'll be working towards my Master's Degree in Library and Information Sciences. I'm combining my love of reading, organization (see example of career binder above), information, and learning into a career that is expanding beyond the traditional stereotype of a librarian. I'll be working with technology, assisting professors with their websites and I'll be taking most of my classes online, but I'll be taking some on campus and I'll be working on campus. While I am in school, I hope to get some writing done, unlike now, when I come home exhausted from my 9-5 and volunteering. There are opportunities for me to work with world-class faculty and to study abroad. UW-Seattle is the ranked the third highest in Library and Information Sciences in the country and I couldn't be more thrilled. I was very, very bummed to turn down and opportunity to return to UW-Madison, but we feel like this is the best move for the both of us. We'll be leaving Miami at the end of June (spending a month in Wisconsin before we head out west in August), there is an end in sight for this Midwesterner! Now we'll just become Pacific-Northwesterners. Very busy, very tired, very hard working Pacific-Northwesterners.