Published: July 1st 2008July 1st 2008
What a nuts week of travel!
I've spend more time traveling in this past week than I have in a good long time.
Plane from lovely Brisbane to Los Angeles, to Boston (30 hours of travel there, not including driving time back to Jon's apartment, at least another hour and a half). Not a bad flight--I managed to sleep most of it, and had enough time between flights in LAX (even though my luggage was just about the last out of the plane, with Suzi's bags, and I had to perform the great baggage shuffle, making things at weight for travel in the US).
Time with Jon was short, but great. I basically slept for a bit, then we went to the Space museum and planetarium in Concord (good, but smaller than I expected. I learned that I'm glad I was not one of the first astronauts, and that the Russian space program moved fast but seemed rather haphazard and dangerous... not that early American space pioneering was any better). Jon cooked me some spectacular food (the first home cooked food since Casey's!), and I was very very happy indeed. We made a Walmart run to pick up
some water shoes for my research this summer, and a photo album so that I can keep the beautiful pages my mates made for me flat, and I can remember my time in Australia with my friends forever.
Bus from Concord to New Haven (6 AM is early, if you're just getting used to being on American East-Coast time...) for a 5 hour ride home. A long ride, but not too bad... as I traveled with Peter Pan buses, I rode 'Michael's Teddy' and 'The Pirate Ship' home.
One highlight of the week at home: Jon's parents finally met my parents! We've only been going out for 2 1/2 years, so we reckoned it would be about time. We ate a nice dinner at a restaurant that was about half way for both parents to drive to. Dinner was nice, and it was good that both parents met each other (finally!).
One of the best things about being home, however, was seeing my family. It was great to be with Mom and Dad and my siblings. It's funny how much you miss all of them, and don't quite realize how much
you really did miss them until
you get to be home again. It was nice to sit and play Scrabble with my family and get to enjoy the beach, hearing about their summers thus far. Additionally, last night especially was fantastic--I got to eat dinner with my grandparents, Aunt Julia, Uncle David and my cousins and my family--a big reunion. It's depressing to think that it could be the last I see of them for a year... Hopefully not! Jon and I may be coming to CT to visit family, and that would be spectacular. ^__^
Plane from Hartford to Philly, to Seattle, to the San Juans (again, another full day. I was up today at 4 AM EST, and arrived at 4 PM PST, or 7 PM EST O__o). Hartford was interesting--apparently my United flight was really a secretly disguised US Air flight, which I didn't know until I got some lady on the phone to explain it to me while unsuccessfully trying to check in at Hartford. I checked to the right company, ran thru security... and discovered that the bridge that normally connects the two terminals was closed for construction. A really nice security man told me I was the 3rd that
morning to do the same thing, and walked me to the front of the line in the correct terminal. The connection between flights at Philly was tight (lots of walking to get to where I needed to be) but I was totally fine time-wise. I got off in SEA-TAC and after the broken carousal was fixed by two befuddled looking maintenance men, my bags were the first two out. I then had a wait before my flight to the San Juans with Kenmore air, where I found out that the ground planes I was expecting to use had filled up... instead I was put on a sea plane (wheeeee!!!!!). It was a really fun flight-- the sea plane didn't fly too high, so you could see heaps under water in lots of detail. I think I may have even seen the orcas while we were around the bottom of San Juan Island. It was a beautiful flight and I got heaps of photos.
As of now, I'm unpacked (much thanks to Erika for a lift from town with my suitcases), and I'm meeting with Erika tonight. Met a lovely girl at supper named Hannah, who's also doing research here.
I'm taking my break to relax for an hour before I head off for my meeting. Can't wait to let you know what I'll be up to this summer. ^__^
By the way, Trent, if you read this: I owe you a birthday card. This week at home has been busy with family, and I still need to buy you one. But you've got mail coming--promise! Happy early birthday, Mate. ^__^
There are more photos below