Tag Archives: anthonyscheergwu

Summer Plans

Standard

By anthonyscheergwu.

Summer is right around the corner. This Thursday I’ll be done with my final exams and all my papers and I’m really excited so I’m going to take a break from studying and write about my summer plans!

From May 11 to 15, I’ll fly from DC to Denver and back. While I’m in Denver I’ll be meeting up with a childhood friend who I haven’t seen since 2014. I have no idea what we are going to do apart from a 14er hike, but I’m super excited to see him!

On May 17, I’ll officially say bye to DC and head to York in Pennsylvania again. I’ll be spending Friday night with my cousin to celebrate the end of my semester!

On May 18, I’ll take the train and arrive in NYC just in time to celebrate the birthday of a couple of friends. I’ll be in NYC till the 27th. During this time a bunch of my high-school friends are flying in and it’ll be fun to have a mini reunion in NYC. I’ll make sure to get a bagel while I’m there because I’ve never had one and apparently that’s weird.

On May 27 I’ll be flying out to Miami, and if you’re looking for me, I’ll be spending most of my time on the beach till June 3. Hopefully I’ll get a tan because that just isn’t possible in DC. 

On June 3rd I’m going to fly out of Miami and go back to LA (during Spring Break I fell in love with LA and I just had to go back). I’ll be in LA for 2 days, and then on June 6, I’ll drive out to Las Vegas. I’ll get their just in time for my birthday on June 7 and that should be fun! Hopefully, I’ll have time to visit the Grand Canyon during my 3 days there.

On the 9th of June, I’ll be flying towards San Francisco. I’ll have 2 full days to visit this city and I’m looking forwards to squeeze in as much as possible in this time frame.

On June 12, I’ll be on my flight back to NYC. I’ll be spending my last night in the US there with a couple of friends who’ll still be around.

On June 13 (the last day of my 30 day grace period) I fly out to Paris where I’ll be spending 3 nights there before heading back to my grandparents house to attend my family reunion just in time!

If you’re interested in following my adventures while I’m visiting all these cities follow me on instagram: @Anthonyscheercuzy, cause unfortunately, my exchange semester at GWU is coming to an end and which means that so is my run with this blog!

Advertisements

Tour of the DC Museums

Standard

By anthonyscheergwu.

In the midst of farewells, finals, and due dates approaching, I surprisingly found some extra time to visit some of the great museums in DC. Before I get into my observations and experiences I had in these museums, I have to say that Americans perfected the art of making museums fun. As a kid my parents brought me to beautiful museums around the world like the hermitage in Russia or the Louvres in France, but I was 11 and I wanted to go go-karting at that time. Going around the museums in DC, I was surprised at how engaged the kids were. Especially at the air and space museum, the activities made the kids have fun while they were learning and I thought that was great. I definitely think Europe could learn a lot about museums in America because I would have loved these museums as a kid.

So my museum tour of DC consisted (so far) of the Renwick, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Smithsonian Air & Space and Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (I do plan on visiting some more during my free days in DC after my finals).

I’ve been to the Renwick a couple of times to see their new exhibitions and I really liked this museum, it’s not too big and shouldn’t take more than an hour to get through everything. It’s a great place to go to after getting a coffee and walking around the White House.

The Holocaust Memorial museum carried a very gloomy atmosphere and left me quite shocked throughout the rest of the day. This museum is able to transmit the horrors of the Holocaust very effectively. The museum appeals to most of the senses which makes the experience that much more emotional. In particular, there’s a room where you can hear the actual voices of the victims explaining the horrors they went through during the war and you can clearly feel the terrors they carry in their voices. The part that probably shocked me the most was the model of the Auschwitz concentration camp which clearly displayed how the victims were transported into the gas chambers and the inhuman conditions which they faced.

The Smithsonian Air & Space museum was great because it shows the progress mankind has made from 1903 to today. It was amazing to see how in 116 years we went from a 4 second flight to reaching Mars. I loved how the museum had life-size models of the first planes to ever exist, because till then I had only read about the Wright brothers and watched their accomplishments on a screen. Seeing what they built and the chain of events that followed was super interesting and this museum exhibited this very well. As I was walking around the museum I felt this feeling of motivation and I loved how it showed that as humans can do great things if we put our hearts into it.

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History was also very impressive. Walking around the large hallways with life-size model of animals all around made me feel as though I was in a zoo in some instances. The museum displayed such life-like replicas of many different animals and I thought it was great, because for some of these animals I wouldn’t be able to see them this close, like the whale and the mammoth and it was an interesting experience. I loved this museum because it displayed the wonders of our planet and it gave me a newfound appreciation of everything that we take for granted in nature.

This weekend I’ll be going to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Portrait Gallery, and the National Geographic Museum. I’ve heard great things about these ones and I’m super excited!

Routine

Standard

By anthonyscheergwu.

My weeks are getting busier and busier because of a few factors. First, the end of the semester is near, therefore all my presentations, finals and papers are quickly approaching their due date and I have to keep up with all of them. Second, summer is coming and I since I got my flight back to Paris on the last day of my 30-day grace period, I have to plan my 30 day summer in the US. Unfortunately, prices of flights only get more expensive, therefore I have to book them as soon as possible but as I’m meeting up with a couple of friends, plans aren’t made easily and therefore it takes time planning. I wish I could do this after my exams but I can’t because I’m not a billionaire. Third, I’ve met great people during my exchange here and all the farewells are coming up and I want to go to all of them to see these people as much as possible. Fourth, I still have to eat, clean and work out (hoping to have my summer body ready by mid-may because I’m going to Miami). Fifth, DC is awesome and I’ve been visiting various places and the more I see the more I want to see, and therefore when I can I go tourist mode and visit the things I still haven’t seen in this amazing city. All those together have made me go crazy. So for this blog post I will talk about how a typical week used to be (I won’t talk about how they are currently because they mostly involved me working at Gelman and hearing the announcement that non GWU students must leave the library at 12:00).

Monday: Wake up at 11, clean my room till 11:30 to start off the week well organized. I eat a bowl of cereal and get ready for class. Go to class from 12:45 to 2:00. Walk from Elliot to Duques, and work on whatever homework needs my attention till 3:30. From 3:30 to 6:00 I have another class. After my class I stay an extra hour to work some more, and then go home. By 7:10 I’m home. I get changed into my gym clothes, I turn on the oven and put frozen chicken in it. From that moment, I have 1 hour and 15 minutes till my chicken is ready. I run to the gym, work out for an hour, and run back. I get back home and add vegetables on top of my chicken. I shower for 5 minutes and when I get out, my food is ready. By now its 8:45, I eat my food and chill with my roommates. I then cook my meal for lunch the next day, and go to bed by 10:30. I can’t sleep, and therefore this is usually when I complete non-school related task that need my attention (applying to jobs, speaking with friends and family). By 12 I’m asleep.

Tuesday: Wake up at 9:00, get ready for class. My class lasts from 9:35 to 11. I get back home at 11:10, eat cereal, and take a quick 30 minute nap. I wake up, go to the gym, get back home, and eat the lunch that I got ready the night before. By 2:00 I’m at Gelman, I work on whatever needs my attention till 6:00 pm. I go to my last class of the day from 6:10 to 8:40. I get out of class and go eat dinner. By 9:30 I’m back at the library and I work till 1:00 am. I get back home by 1:30 and I’m asleep by 2:00.

Wednesday: I wake up at 10, eat, work or complete chores that need my attention. I go to class from 12:30 to 2. After class I got to the library. Work till dinner, go eat at home, by 8:00pm I’m done with dinner. I take 30 minutes to rest and then I go to the gym. By 10:00pm I’m done with my work out and I’m in the shower. I try to get to bed by 12:00pm.

Thursday: Go to my 9:30 class and right after I go home, pack my bags and go on a trip, or relax and enjoy the start of the weekend in DC.

Thursday to Sunday: Enjoy my trip or hang around DC. Usually I didn’t have too much work because I completed most of it during the week, but if I did I would manage to make time during the weekend to work on what was needed.

Of course, all my weeks did not look exactly like that. I did stay in DC some weekends and enjoyed the great things this city has to offer. Some weeks, especially the few weeks after my mid-terms were very chill and I spent less time at the library. However, some weeks were so busy and I didn’t have time for anything else but work, and during those weeks the library would become my home (I don’t have a desk in my room so I always completed my work at the library). This was a very simplified version of what my typically week looked like, but the truth is they were never exactly like that because the various activities that happen around DC and at GWU kept me on my feet throughout the semester.

Although my exchange semester isn’t done, I would like to mention that I love it here and I really appreciate the energy people at GWU have because since January, I don’t think I’ve spent more than an hour being bored with nothing to do!

Now, for the next 20 days, if you would like to support me through my preparation for my finals and final assignments, a cupcake is always appreciated (I will be on the third floor of Gelman most of the time).

American Cuisine

Standard

By anthonyscheergwu.

Everyone has different reasons for traveling, for me, I usually travel for food. This is why I’m going to dedicate this post to American cuisine.

But before I would like to talk about this little promise I made to myself when I was about 10. Myanmar at that time had no internationally recognized fast food chains in the country and therefore, to eat McDonald’s I would have to leave the country; and as a 10 year old, persuading your parents to leave the country for a burger usually had the same outcome as talking to a wall. Therefore at that age I promised myself that the minute I arrive in the US I would try as many American fast food chains as possible.

And so here it is my critic of the great American cuisine.

McDonalds:

Rating: 2.5/5

In France Mcdonald is simply delicious. You can see families going there to enjoy the good food and atmosphere. In America, Mcdonalds is not the same. It’s super cheap compared to France but I realized why. The beef patties area super flat and dry, the bread seems stale and overall, even though America is the birthplace of the Big Mac, it’s probably the country that makes the worst one. I wouldn’t recommend Mcdonald’s here unless it’s 3 in the morning and you want to eat a 1 dollar McChicken which actually isn’t so bad.

Chik-Fil-A:

Rating: 4.5/5

For years now, I’ve seen post about the chik-fil-a signature burger with just bread, pickles, chicken and sauce, and for years I kept thinking that a burger that simple can’t be that good. And well, I was right. Their signature burger is not special it has no remarkable flavor and I was disappointed and ready to give this chain a bad rating. But I give it another chance and ordered some different types of burgers and I must say those are delicious (royal spicy sandwich). Also, the fries dipped in the chik-fil-a sauce is probably the flavor I will miss the most when I leave the US, so yeah go to chik-fil-a, get fries and anything but their signature burger, and you won’t regret it.

Shake Shack

Rating: 4.5/5

Shake Shack has the best burger in terms of taste. The burger is a great mix of juicy and crispy, the cheese is completely melted and it just makes a super savory burger. The first couple of bites are delicious, but the burger is so packed and oily that by the end it’s too much and I never enjoy the last bites. All in all, it is definitely the best beef burger you can find compared to all the other fast food chains I’ve tasted.

Burger King:

Rating: 3.5/5

Good burger and fries, but nothing exceptionally different. Worth noting that you can get 10 chicken nuggets for 1 dollar.

Five Guys:

Rating: 4/5

Go-to fast food chain when I’m super hungry. The food is great and doesn’t feel too oily. I love that they let you personalize the burger to your liking with the extensive choice of toppings they offer.

In-n-out

Rating: 4/5

In-n-out just felt like a better and more old school version of McDonald’s. I was expecting so much from this chain, and flew to the West coast to try it, but I was relatively disappointed. The whole meal was very basic, and because I was expecting something exceptional I was disappointed by my over-expectations. However I liked the short menu (it felt like the old school American experience) and taking prices into account, In-n-out definitely has the best price to quality ratio.

Dominos

Rating: 3/5

The type of pizza you eat with ketchup.

Other worthy mentions:

KFC: 3/5

Arby’s: 3.5/5

Jack in the box: 3.5/5

Taco Bell: 2/5

I wanted to keep going and trying more of these chains, but I’m officially not a fan of fast food anymore. I find myself craving food from Roti more than any of the chains mention above nowadays, so I’m happy that I did this experiment because I am now sick of fast food.

*I know there is more to American food than Fast Food, but for this post I wanted to focus on these chains because America is where they were all created.

Exploring DC

Standard

By anthonyscheergwu.

March and February were very busy months; with all the traveling in addition to classes and homework, I realized that so far I had visited more of the US outside DC than DC (I’ve visited more things in LA then I did in DC). In DC I have become very familiar with GWU’s Gelman Library and the rooms on the ground floor of Marvin that offer the most undisturbed and quiet study sessions ever. But outside of that I hadn’t seen much of DC.

Therefore I decided to spend the whole month of April in DC and visit this beautiful city — and what better time to start than at the beginning of the cherry blossom festival?

I started my discovery of DC by doing something people here talk about every day — “brunch.” In my 2 years in Paris, I don’t think I’ve been to a single brunch. I did hear people talk about it, but it wasn’t as big. In DC it’s probably the thing people talk about the most after politics.

I heard great things about Agora so I went there with my cousin who was in town. We were quite hungry and decided to go for the unlimited option of the brunch. The food was great, the restaurant was full and lively and yet the service was efficient and fast. I won’t talk about it too much, but I did take pictures of everything him and I were able to eat and so I’ll let those do the talking:

*As I said we were quite hungry!

We then went to the Washington Monument for the kite festival. The weather was great, and therefore everyone looked much more happy. There were tons of kites and people running around in attempt to untangle their kites. The atmosphere was great and it was truly appealing to see the sky full of colorful kites flying around.

At the end of the festival I decided to walk around the Tidal Basin to see in real life all the picture I have been seeing online of the cherry blossoms covering the shores of the water. The blend of pink, white and blue with the Jefferson on the other side was a great view. Taking a picture was a bit complicated because the path around the basin was stacked with people but I did manage to get a few pictures of the landscape and myself.

During this walk, I saw the Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Both of these places were impressive and rich in history. I eventually found myself following a Park Ranger who was talking about the history of DC, which helped me learn a lot about the history of this place.

On Sunday, I went to Union Market where throughout my time there, I kept asking myself why I hadn’t come before. The variety of food there was amazing (there was even a Burmese inspired restaurant). I ate oysters, a few Burmese dishes, and got ice-cream. I got full pretty fast that day which annoyed me cause I wanted to keep eating, but that just means I will go back there soon. Definitely recommend going here if you’re ever in DC and hungry.

To continue my exploration of DC, throughout the coming week I will be going to different museums I’ve heard great things about!

Snowboard trip (Whitetail Resort)

Standard

By anthonyscheergwu.

As I was in my bed Friday recovering from my Spring Break, I realized that the closest ski resort  was closing, and that the last skiable day was tomorrow (Saturday). I therefore got a ticket to spend the day on the slopes snowboarding. 

I booked my snowboarding day through a company called Sourced Adventures. I definitely recommend checking out their website and booking a trip with them because they have great customer service and are super organized. They have partnerships with companies around the area and as a result, offer very competitive prices.

I booked the day trip at whitetail resort and I absolutely loved it! My day started at 6:00 am since I had to be at their bus stop by 6:45 am. The bus was comfortable and I personally slept the whole way so it seemed very fast. By 9:15 am I was already sliding down my first slope (checking out my snowboard and receiving my lift pass took less than 15 minutes, and there was absolutely no hassle, everything was taken care of by Sourced Adventures).

So the first observation I had was that ski resorts are very different in France than in America (of course this doesn’t apply to every single one of them). To begin in France you can only go skiing in the mountains where there is natural snowfall. In America there are many small snow resorts around the area which are maintained by artificial snow which makes skiing much more accessible. Although this is great, it made snowboarding at Whitetail more challenging. The snow was much harder and therefore I was more careful in attempting tricks here than I was in France. The falls I had here hurt me much more than the ones I remembered in France last year.

Whitetail has 25 trails, of which the longest one was 1494 meters (4,900 feet) which meant that I usually completed most trails in about 5 to 8 minutes. It sounds fast but I actually liked this because it gave me time to rest on the chair lifts as I got back up. I was lucky because there weren’t too many people that day and therefore I never spent more than 10 seconds waiting for a seat on the chair lifts.

The snow-park was full of obstacles and had jumps for every level, therefore if you are a beginner or not you’ll have fun here. The runs had a great range too which was great because I started on the easy ones as I felt rusty at first, but then I got used to it again and moved to the harder ones and didn’t get bored throughout the day.

Since the bus left the resort to head back to DC at 4:30 I kept thinking that I should not eat and enjoy the slopes as much as I can because I only had 7 hours. By 1:00 pm I was exhausted and therefore took a half an hour break to eat. The food there wasn’t too bad but was pretty expensive. I got two hot dogs for 10 dollars and they really weren’t that good. But I was so hungry that it made it worth it. By 1:30 I was back on the slopes and by 4:00 I was drained out of energy and was all bruised up which meant that it was a great snowboarding day (if you don’t have one or two bruises after a day of snowboarding, you’re either a professional or you didn’t attempt anything new).

I slept through the ride back and by 8:00 pm I was in bed and I actually fell asleep before 9:00 pm for the first time in a few years. I definitely recommend doing a skiing or snowboarding trip with Sourced Adventures when the season starts again, I enjoyed every minute of mine and the only regret I had was not booking a trip with them sooner because I would have loved to go back there at least once or twice!

San Diego and Los Angeles (Spring Break part 2)

Standard

By anthonyscheergwu.

So after realizing that there’s not much to do on a Monday at Tijuana, we decided to head back to America and explore the West coast. As I expected, going back to America took much more time than entering Mexico. After being asked 8 – 9 questions I was able to pass the border. We went to an outlet that was basically on the border and spent a few hours shopping. Wasn’t the smartest decision cause our flight ticket consisted of bringing absolutely no luggages and at the mall I ended buying an extra bag to fit everything we bought (luckily the person checking us in for our flight back to DC was French and so we got through with no problem). 

That night, we were exhausted and decided to rest up. After eating a good dinner, and watching a movie, we got restless and bought on impulse a return ticket to LA. 8 hours later we were on a bus to LA and by noon we arrived. In the span of 5 hours, we walked through Melrose Avenue, the Walk of Fame, and went up to the Griffin Observatory. I then decided to take an Uber across town to go to Venice beach and was stuck in so much traffic that I stayed in the Uber for an hour and a half. It wasn’t too bad though, the driver had been to Myanmar before and so the ride ended up going by really fast as we talked throughout.

Venice beach was really nice, It was a shame that it was really windy but nevertheless I really enjoyed it and decided to come back this summer. I walked around the beach, watched skaters practice at the skatepark, watched people graffiti the walls around the beach, and saw muscle beach. I loved the atmosphere there because the many things to do at this beach gathered so many people with different interest and I thought that was really nice. I then took an electric scooter and rode all the way to Santa Monica Pier which was pretty fun, (It definitely beats dealing with traffic). After walking around the pier I went to pick up some friends at UCLA for dinner. The campus was huge and it looked more like a resort then a school. Therefore, I would like to congratulate the students at UCLA for getting any schoolwork done because with the beach not too far away and the LA weather, I would always feel tempted to do anything but work in a library!

The next day I ate at different places around LA and spent a few hours on the beach trying to get a tan. After a nice and relaxing day, I headed back to the station and took the bus back to San Diego.

In San Diego I visited La Jolla which was absolutely beautiful. We walked around the cliffs, saw the seals and ate at a UCSD restaurant which was by the beach. The views were great and luckily it was a very sunny day which made everything that much prettier. I went to eat at In-N-Out which was on my bucket list and had the best ramen I’ve ever had at this place called Raki Raki (go there if you are in SD). I then saw the campus housing of SDSU which did not make me jealous at all (they have jacuzzis and a swimming pool in the common areas)…

By the end of the day, the fatigue due to a lack of sleep throughout my spring break starting hitting me so I ended the day in bed watching Netflix and falling asleep at 11. The next day I headed directly to the airport for my flight back to DC!

I was able to rest on the flight and throughout the day Friday in my room. By 6pm I got restless again and booked a snowboarding trip for the next day which I will talk about in my next post!