The last time I had a month-long semester break, I was sick the entire time and spent a day in the emergency room. So I’ve decided to make the most of this Christmas break. On my first day of post-finals freedom, I went to the hiking club Christmas party in Baton Rouge. I haven’t been able to do many hikes this year, so it was nice to see that group again and meet some new people. The dirty Santa game was hilarious, with the most coveted items being a giant frog-prince planter and a bottle of Fireball whiskey. My favorite quote of the night was “I got the frog, but you got the prince,” to which this little old lady replied “Yeah, and I should’ve never kissed that damn prince!”
The next day, my mom and I headed to Tylertown, Mississippi for the hiking club’s monthly group hike. A man in the club hosted a lunch at his home, and then led us to his tree farm for the hike. He owns about 400 acres of forest and has created his own trail through it. The 5-mile trail we hiked was lovely. I brought my chihuahua, Stu, along, and since his tiny legs couldn’t keep up, my mom and I took turns carrying him. Eventually our arms got tired, so I put him in my backpack. He enjoyed the ride and we got a good laugh out of it.
From Tylertown, me, Mom, and Stu drove to my parents’ house out in the country of central Louisiana. The small country community of that area had a Christmas fundraising event that night. A live band was playing, and there was food and a bonfire. Some teens sat on a tailgate parked by the fire. I spent the whole year in the world of academia, but suddenly it felt like I was in a country song. It was a welcome change of scenery.
A few nights later, my parents and I headed to the big city (Alexandria) for a concert of the Red River Chorale at the gorgeous St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. The church lights were dimmed, and candles were lit as the concert progressed. The chorale did a wonderful job, and I was reminded of my days at Centenary College (where I got my bachelor’s) and going to hear their award-winning choir at every possible opportunity.
After the concert, my parents and I went to a nearby coffee shop downtown for some hot chocolate and games. As we drove there, we accidentally drove through a movie set. Curious, my dad asked the barista at the coffee shop about the movie. Since I’ve been an extra in movies before, I got some information from the barista and applied to be an extra. So, this weekend I will be working as a movie extra!
Today I learned how to use a jaw saw, and I chopped down our Christmas tree on my parents’ property. Christmas in the country has been full of adventures, and there’s more to come!