Spring Break, woo!

This week has been relaxing,fun,  and -- most importantly -- not productive!

It's Spring Break and I've been looking forward to seeing family members for weeks. I talk to my cousins, Rachele and Annie, pretty much every day, and for a while now I've ended every conversation with "I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU GUYS!" 

Rachele's daughter Jocelyn turned 6 on Sunday, and Rachele planned a socially distanced birthday party in her backyard for Jocelyn and a few kids from her class. This was a big deal. Jocelyn's birthday party was at the trampoline park last year, and her party was the last sort of normal thing we did before everything went on lockdown. I was in total denial about coronavirus being a big deal and then our school system canceled school on the Friday before Spring Break. There was definitely some conversation about whether or not we should be gathering for a party, but most of us weren't that nervous, yet. 

Since then I've quarantined, been sent back to school to teach in-person while being expected to never see anyone socially, chosen to avoid seeing friends and family for the holidays, and gotten my first round of vaccinations. What a fucking year. So it was a big deal for Chris and I to head down to Chattanooga with Peanut and hang out with my cousins on a towel in the sun for 2 hours. 

The other goal I accomplished on Sunday was playing Pretty Pretty Princess with Rachele, Annie, and Jocelyn. Pretty Pretty Princess is a dress up board game from the 90's where you move a piece around the board and land on spaces that tell you to take a piece of jewelry out of the pile. The player who collects all of their jewelry and the crown is the winner. Rachele and Annie owned the game back in the day and we would play a couple rounds but it would quickly devolve into just trying on the rings over and over. I kept the blue ring for a long time and Annie says she still has the black ring tucked away with some heirlooms from our grandmother. I thought about the game randomly a week before Jocelyn's party and found it on Amazon, so I'd been looking forward to playing the game with them again, but also passing it down to the next generation. After all of Jocelyn's classmates went home, we played a couple rounds together before we had to leave to get Peanut home for dinner. 

My last goal for this week was to get my Animal Crossing island fixed up and gorgeous so I could make a dream of my island for people to visit. Animal Crossing New Horizons came out right at the end of Spring Break last week and I had been looking forward to it for 2 years or something. Then we got the word that school had been suspended indefinitely due to the pandemic and Animal Crossing became the thing I did everyday during quarantine. I love Animal Crossing. I've been playing it since the GameCube and it's actually the only reason I ever buy a new gaming system, but this game was different. Besides being the best version of Animal Crossing so far, I don't know what I would have done during quarantine without it. It definitely would have been a different kind of summer. So it felt like the perfect tribute to my emotional life-preserver if I took a little snapshot of my town after building and rebuilding it for a year. If you'd like to visit a dream of my island, here's the code.


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