Yes, like the old Walt Disney World commercials with the adorable little kid yelling that to his parents when the tell him to sleep, I too am far too excited to sleep.
Today, Wednesday August 17th, I start the multi-leg journey to Antarctica. It feels like I applied just yesterday.
Tuesday night I had to say goodbye to my dear neighbors, the Bakers. I won’t go into great detail, but the Baker family and I have been through a lot together and they hold a special place in my heart, and I will miss them dearly. Mike, Debbie, Meaghan and Jass (and Kayla) I love you all very much and I will miss you. I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for me.
I also got a chance to say goodbye to my sister Beth and youngest niece Reba. They are taking care of Phoebe, my sweet little doggy. Thank you for everything Poopsie! I love you!
So my plan is to wake up at 0300 hours (I know I’m a little not-so-normal), to double check all of my luggage, make sure that I’m not missing anything and to get ready to head to my parents house for breakfast with a side of tears. Yes, I’m excited (very very very excited) about going, but there is nothing like family. I am so lucky to have a family that supports my decision to embark on this journey. I knew that when my Dad e-mailed me while I was on my way to California in July and told me that he and Mom supported my decision 100%, I knew I was doing the right thing. Your parents know what’s best for you. If you’re a young person and you’re reading this, listen to your parents. If you’re an adult and your parents give you advice, listen to them.
Ok now that I have gone off on my little ADD tangent (ooh look! A butterfly!) allow me to get back on track.
I leave today at 1138 from the Brunswick airport. After a short layover in Atlanta, I fly to Denver. This is where I will first meet my future roommate in person. We’re both FNGs (*pronounced fingees – Ice terminology for New Guys. I’ll let you figure out the F part). Then we will spend Thursday and part of Friday at orientation at Raytheon before flying to Las Angeles. Once we get to LA, we have a brief layover (3ish hours) and then head on to Auckland, New Zealand. This portion of the trip will take approximately 13 hours. After arriving in Auckland, it is on to Christchurch New Zealand on a quick 2 hour flight. I get to relax a day and a half in Christchurch. The only major, yet rather important, thing I have to do there is obtain my Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear. THEN I, along with 100ish other people will board a C-17 (I will confirm this in Denver) and head south 5 hours to ANTARCTICA!!! Hopefully we won’t boomerang.
*Boomerang is the term for heading down to the Ice and then heading back to New Zealand before landing due to hazardous weather. If you boomerang, then you just have to try again later and hope for better luck.
So those are my travel plans. I will be headed to a place that most people don’t consider going to and I will be going there for 6 months. I am only taking two suitcases of clothes for weather that is nothing like I have ever experienced before.
Before I allow myself to ramble on any more, I am going to attempt to catch 40 winks. Good night/morning/afternoon to you when you read this!