Holiday Gift Results

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We opened holiday presents last night and let's just say things went well.  Actually, let's not just say; let's elaborate.  Here are the things I got for the holidays:

  1. $15 gift card to Sharper Image
  2. $25 gift card to Borders
  3. Box of chocolates.
  4. $50 in cash.
  5. AN IPOD TOUCH!!!

Yes, that's right.  I got the touch.  I've already loaded it with tons of music and podcasts, and I've bookmarked all kinds of webapps for productivity, travel, entertainment, reference, etc.  This iPod will not only serve as my PMP but also my PDA.  It has all kinds of cool features beyond just playing music.  Of course, I'll almost never be bringing it out of the house, except for long car rides and vacations.

Now you might be thinking: Why didn't Eric get any Star Wars stuff?  Well the truth is, there isn't much Star Wars stuff that's out right now that I either a) don't already have or b) can't buy on my own.  An example of the latter is a Star Wars novel, which I would never ask for as a holiday gift unless it was insanely expensive.  Soon enough, there will be a new Star Wars game and several expensive books for me to ask for.

Anyway, the presents listed above account for most of my family.  My aunt is always a little late in sending gifts, but my mom told me that she has plans to get me something anyway.

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Back from Vail

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Oh boy, am I tired!  Our flight yesterday was supposed to take off at 3:45 PM MST, but because of the weather it kept getting delayed.  First it was pushed by to 5:00 PM, then 5:30, then 5:40.  Luckily we were at DIA, which has free Wi-Fi.  Unfortunately, the signal strength was very low and I wasn't able to get a very good connection.  That, and it was ad-supported; it's got to have some catch, right?  Finally we left at 6:00.  I was terrified that we'd slide across the ice on takeoff!  Luckily, we made it to Washington okay and I'm safely ensconced in my room again.  I only have a few more days of school-free, care-free, and homework-free enjoyment.  Then I have to start working on a major history class debate for which I'm barely prepared.  And it's next Friday!

Tonight we're opening holiday presents since we haven't already.  I expect great things to pop out of those boxes...

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Nothing new to report

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Surprisingly, not a whole lot of news in my life since the first day we got here.  Every day is the same routine.  Anyway, tonight is our last night and we're going out to a pizza restaurant for dinner.  Tomorrow we have a 3:45PM (mountain time) flight which gets in at 8:56PM eastern time.  Maddie will be at home by then, having been picked up tomorrow by our housekeeper before we arrive home.  Every time we get back from a trip, Maddie is, to say the least, ecstatic to see us.  This time around, we expect things to be no different.

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Arrival at Vail and a Technical Difficulty

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We just got to our hotel room in Vail.  To my knowledge it is the exact same room as we had last time (same building, same room #).  We had an initial fiasco with the Internet when my travel router appeared to cause connection problems.  Attempting to browse the Internet when using the travel router (as opposed to just plugging in) caused the browser to go back to the hotel's landing page every thirty seconds.  I called the front desk and must have scared them, because minutes later it was working fine.  (Knock on wood!)  Anyway, my mother and sister went out to rent their skiing equipment and we are deciding on when to buy groceries.  Exciting stuff, I know.  I plan on relaxing tonight, as I still have to adjust to the new time zone (two hours behind D.C.).  Look for more updates as the trip rolls on.

UPDATE: A few hours after posting this, the Internet failed yet again.  I called the tech support department of the hotel's ISP and they told me to spoof the router's MAC address to that of my computer.  I tried that and it didn't help, but a few hours later I got a call back from a different technician, saying that she had no idea why they would've told me to do that.  She promptly informed me that they were switching us over to the residential section of their network because it was more router-friendly.  And the Internet's been working fine ever since!

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Winter Break Plans

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For Winter Break this year, my family and I are not breaking tradition one bit.  We are going back to Vail, Colorado, staying in the same hotel, and doing pretty much the same things.  My mother and sister are avid skiers, so they will be going out on the slopes daily.  My father and I do not ski, but as was the case last year, we will be keeping busy regardless.  I am bringing my laptop and a travel router, because our hotel room has complimentary wired Internet access.  In addition, my sister and I will be going up to the ski resort's mountaintop "Adventure Ridge" at night.  The mountain has tubing, snowmobiling, and ski biking activities.  I did tubing last year with my sister and my mother's friend's son (who was also at Vail at the time).  I liked it a lot, so I will be going back.  Adventure Ridge also has some restaurants where we'll be eating.  The gondola ride up the mountain is especially beautiful at night.  Don't be surprised if I link to some pictures after I get back.

In fact, the only negative aspect of the whole trip is that last year, the Internet in our room was not very fast.  I hope it's different this time around!

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