While my Christmas break did not officially begin until December the 16th, I fell victim to an early check out.  My sister, who is a freshman at Creighton University in Omaha, came to visit on the 14th and 15th.  So, instead of burrowing myself inside the IC to review months of anthropology (and thus 10 million years of earth history), my sister and I toured the Loyola campus as well as the notable parts of the city.  What a stunning place Chicago is around Christmas.  Needless to say, as soon as I strolled out of my final exam Friday afternoon, I was more than ready to begin break, and what a break it was.

I began my break with a visit to Kansas City to see some friends that attend Rockhurst University, KC’s own Jesuit University.  Together we all attended The Fray concert at Midland Theatre (a beautiful place) before staying at my friend’s house for the night.  Though it was only a one-night affair, it was a great opportunity to come together and meet with friends I do not get to see all too often.  It was time well spent.   Upon arrival home, I fell into a state of inactivity that lasted until Christmas Eve.  For the five days leading up to Christmas, my days consisted of waking up (preferably after noon), reading the mystery book I was wrapped up in (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo- not normally a book I would read but very interesting and.  I would not recommend it for the faint-hearted), and eating meals with my family.  On occasion I left the house, but only under dire circumstances: a haircut, lunch with friends or a trip to the movies.

However, this hibernation of sorts would not last the entire break.  After Christmas and the festivities surrounding it, I began to shake off the laziness.  I had the chance to go to a few Blues hockey games….wins, which by the way, they are red hot right now as they make their push for the playoffs.  I also did some running with my friend who attends Rockhurst.  We are training for the St. Louis full marathon, so it was vital that we run a few times over break.  One of the nicest parts about break is that the weather was warm and enjoyable.  Though many may complain that it was not ‘Christmas weather’, I was entirely fine with that because on occasions I would go run around in the park in shorts and a sweatshirt.  It was perfect.

By the time the New Year had started, I was back to the active lifestyle I am used to.  I spent one night at a friend’s farmhouse laughing and playing music with some friends, Loyolans, as we wished one of our own ‘Ciao’ (as he was leaving for Rome in a few days).  I was also slated to leave St. Louis earlier than most.  In fact, my last day was January 8th.  So, on Sunday morning at 6:40 AM, I boarded train No. 302 headed for Chicago.

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