Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Life's a Beach... Oh, and I Passed My Master's Comps!!!

Every elevator should have a Beach button!
Jackie and I had been pretty burned out the past couple of weeks, and we were in desperate need of a getaway. Luckily, Jackie's mom had a coroners' conference at Orange Beach, and she invited us to tag along for the weekend.
This is what I imagined a coroners' conference at the beach to look like.

We packed up and left Friday morning. We made it all the way to the Mickey D's a little over a mile from the apartment and stopped for breakfast. From there, we headed to Prattville for a mandatory Bass Pro/Lane Bryant stop. We finally arrived at the Perdido Beach Resort in the mid-afternoon. After a little switch-a-roo with our rooms, we settled in and were able to start enjoying ourselves. (For the record, we really liked the hotel. The pool was great. The jacuzzi was heavenly. The gym was surprisingly nice. Our room was huge and had a comfy bed. The pizza at the pizzeria/ice cream parlor was delicious! We really had a great time!)
Pulling in to the resort!

We had arrived!

View from our room.
While this weekend was a (much needed) vacation, it was also a working weekend for me. I had to read a book for one of my classes. It was called How Sex Changed, and it was a history of transgendered people in America...not the best book to read while relaxing on the beach, but I'd rather read it at the beach than at home!
This was one strange book!

We enjoyed some great seafood while we were down there. I love shrimp! I got grilled shrimp at The Steamer the first night and a fried shrimp po'boy at The Shrimp Basket, and it was all delicious!!! We also got to go to Lambert's Cafe the last night we were there. It had been years since I'd been there. It was SO yummy, but I made the mistake of eating a whole roll before my food came, so I wasn't able to eat much of it. (However, I did enjoy the leftovers later that night while Shannon, Jackie, and I watched Independence Day.)

Me and my gal.

Ahoy, matey!! Me and Jackie as pirates!

My wing plate at Lambert's

Frozen custard!!!

I also went to the gym while we were there...gotta burn of some of those seafood calories! I was able to use an elliptical that looked out at the beach. It could definitely get used to working out with that view!
View from the elliptical while I was working out.

Jackie and I also hoped to strike it rich while we were there. We drove over to Florida (which was really just across the bridge) to buy scratch-offs and a lotto ticket. We won $15 on the scratch-offs, but we struck out on the lotto. I'm hoping we'll have better luck in Vegas this coming weekend!
Florida is on the other side of the bridge
Our unlucky lotto ticket

Posing with some of our scratch-off winnings!
Diana, Jeff, Jackie, and I also went out on the pier the night after we ate at The Shrimp Basket. It was fun to watch folks reel in their catches, and we also saw a sting ray in the water. We also went crabbing our last night there, but we couldn't find any. I was so bummed.
Before going on the pier

Jackie on the pier

Me on the pier

About to go crabbing!!

All we found was this giant sand turtle

Here are some more random pix from the trip:
Jackie in the "Big Momma" chair

Toes in the water, tush in the sand...

Jackie is rolled up like a burrito to take a nap.

She got cold.

The starfish versions of me and Jackie

Souvenir shopping
Trying on a hair hat

More hair hats

Freaky looking cat statue at Alvin's Island

Dad always told me I looked like the milkman.

I was really not looking forward to coming home Monday because I knew that I had to defend my Master's comps today. I was really nervous about it. The comps are one of the big steps I have to take in the expedited program at Alabama. It was a make-or-break situation.

It involved me sitting at a conference table with three of my professors discussing my answers that I'd written almost 2 months ago. I was so afraid that they would rip me apart, but they were really helpful and nice. They pointed out weak spots in my answers and gave suggestions on how to improve them. I also had to answer some of their questions on the fly. I know I rambled a lot, but I was praying that some part of what I was saying was making sense. When we had gone over all three answers, Dr. Zhou asked me to step out while they deliberated.

I walked out into the hallway and started looking at a bulletin board. Less than a minute later, Dr. Zhou stepped out and told me to come back in. I didn't have a good feeling. I thought that they probably said Nope, Nope, Nope...which of course would take less than a minute to do.

I nervously took my seat, and Dr. Zhou said, "You know, in a court case a short jury deliberation can be a good or bad thing....and for you, this is a good thing. Congratulations!" I was SO relieved! I can never thank Drs. Zhou

Several people have told me that getting your Ph.D. is really about jumping through all the hoops. While that sounds easy enough, they don't tell you that the hoops are all on fire. I'm just glad this one didn't catch me on fire...but I'm definitely feeling the heat from the next hoops.
This is what it feels like jumping through a flaming hoop for grad school.

1 comment:

  1. I am sooooo glad I am not the only one that takes pictures of my vacation food!!! LOL.

    And I love love love the starfish!!

    Congrats on making it through the hoop without getting burned! ;-)