Thursday, August 30, 2007

The following is just copied and edited from my travel journal, with a few notes at the bottom.

August 25, 2007 (Sat.)

“Like Phyllis Diller, she’s had a little work done”
Ohio/San Diego
Theme Song: More Bounce (In California) by Soul Kid #1

Dad and I left Cardington today right about 7 am (Eastern time). Our flight left from Port Columbus at 9:40 am. All of the passengers board the plane, and as we’re taxi-ing down the runway, the captain announces that we’re going back because someone boarded the wrong plane. It was an older lady who thought she was boarding for Oakland, CA rather than San Diego, CA. One of the flight attendants asked (with moderate sarcasm) if anyone else on the plane did not want to go to San Diego, that now was the time to exit the plane. It was kind of humorous. The pilot announced that we were going to hit turbulence in 2 spots long before we actually hit them. The first spot was not so bad. In fact, I didn’t mind it at all. The second spot was not fun. The plane lurched sideways before I had realized that it was the second spot in which we were going to be a little bumpy and pretty much terrified me. I had to keep reminding myself that airplanes like to be in the air; that’s where they were designed to be. All in all, I was very glad to get to San Diego.

After Dad and I got our luggage, the rental car, and got checked into our hotel, we decided to take a two hour harbor tour. When we got to the pier, I got to see the MV Explorer (the ship for SAS) for the first time. Dad and I boarded the boat for our tour and got primo seats on the top of the boat with excellent views that would be great for taking pictures. But little did we know, that instead of taking available seats on the boat, people were going to just stand at the railing and block the view of everyone who was sitting down. I was a little annoyed, but then decided that if you can’t beat them, join them. So I became one of the rude people blocking everyone’s view, but then most everyone else did too.

By the time the tour was over, I was so hungry I felt like my stomach was eating itself. The last thing that I had eaten was a Twix bar on the plane many hours before, and it was 6:00 pm (Pacific time). We ended up going to the first restaurant we passed on the way back to the hotel that we both liked: Olive Garden. It was delicious. Then we went back to the hotel for the night. While it was still pretty early Pacific time, Dad and I felt like it was actually 10 pm, and I had been up since 5 am.

August 26, 2007 (Sunday)
“What makes the anteater the healthiest animal in the world?… The amount of ant-ibodies!”
San Diego

This morning Dad couldn’t sleep past 5:30 Pacific time, and that woke me up, but I didn’t roll out of bed until 6:30. We got ready kind of slowly and headed to Denny’s for breakfast. We then came back to the hotel for Dad to get his camera. In the car, I accidentally popped the lens cap off my camera and it bounced off at just the right angle that it went into the front of the car in an impossible to reach location (underneath the gear shift). We had to take part of the inside of the car apart, and we still couldn’t get to it. We headed to the zoo with the intend to purchase a new lens cap after we left the zoo. Dad and I went through the whole zoo, which I think really wore my Dad out. I got a little sun and a LOT of new freckles.

When we left, we searched in vain for a new lens cap; we used the navigator in the car to search for camera stores and went to Circuit City and Best Buy, but it was all in vain. There must not be 46mm lens caps in San Diego. I did get a few extra passport pictures taken because mine had gotten wet in my luggage on the flight to San Diego. Then Dad and I came back to the hotel to rest a little before dinner. We ate at the hotel restaurant, and then we went to the harbor and took a couple of pictures of the ship. When we got back to the hotel, my dad repacked my things so that they fit into 2 suitcases.

August 27, 2007 (Monday)
“It’s in case of an unexpected ice age”
San Diego/Ensenada/Pacific Ocean

Dad and I got up, loaded the car, checked out of the hotel, and went to breakfast all by 7:30 this morning. Then we went to the hotel where the shuttles left from and waited for my boarding time. When I was finally able to get my luggage tags, Dad left for the airport and I waited to board my bus. I sat with a girl named Lindsay on the bus who goes to OSU. My carry on bag was searched at every point possible because of the mirror that I was carrying in it. Then I waited in the long line to finish the check in progress. Almost everything was cool. I sent Dad an e-mail with the one major snag. I had a little bit of trouble with the medical station. I had cardiac clearance from a cardiologist, but no EKG. Quite frankly, I still think it’s a little ridiculous that I was only informed 10 days before sailing that I would require cardiac clearance from a cardiologist. And I wasn’t even informed, just the medical director of the clinic I go to. After that was sorted out, I went to my room and one of my suitcases was already there, so I unpacked it and waited for the other one. After about 3 hours, my other bag arrived, along with my roommate Lauren, who is from California.

We had a lifeboat drill today and it required that everyone be dressed in long pants and long sleeves--in Mexico, in the afternoon. It was ridiculously hot, and it lasted for what seemed like forever. Almost everyone was sweating insane amounts. Just as the lifeboat drill was over, the Captain (I think) came over the loudspeaker and announced that there was a Code Blue and that it was not a drill. Someone had passed out from the heat and having to be dressed for winter. Shortly after, we departed out of Mexico. I had my first meal on the ship today, and I wasn’t really impressed.

August 28, 2007 (Tuesday?)
“We’re just like a plane, except if the engine dies, we don’t fall out of the sky.”
Pacific Ocean

There are 634 (or maybe 633 or 635) students sailing on this voyage. It depends on who makes the announcement as to the actual numerical quote you get.

It’s been meetings all day today, and they all run together. The faculty were all introduced today, and then there was a session where you could meet and talk to your professors or talk to a professor about adding his or her class. I talked to one of the history professors, and I decided that I really want to get his World at War class, but as of now it is full. I’m not giving up though; there’s hope that someone will drop it. If they don’t, one of his other classes has some openings, probably because it’s at 8:00 in the morning, but I’m thinking about taking it regardless. I met my Natural History professor, and she seems like she’s going to be very interesting.

We got to listen to a 45 minute lecture on the Honor Code. I feel like it was a little bit of a waste, as we all had to read and sign an Honor Code form. I suppose the administration probably feels (and probably rightly so) that people don’t always pay attention to what they are signing. We also got to listen to the Global Studies professor talk about his subject for quite a while. I got the impression that it’s going to be interesting; I hope that I am not wrong.

Yesterday I sent an e-mail to mom letting her know that I was not seasick. I spoke too soon. This ship is nothing like the one when I cruised with Uncle Jr. and Aunt Pat. It seems like it is constantly pitching and rolling--you are always aware that you are on a ship. I got really bad sick today right around lunch time, and didn’t eat. I took a nap instead, and it seemed to help. I’m feeling a lot better now.

On another note, the air conditioning in our room wasn’t working and like me, Lauren likes to be cold. She told the purser’s desk, and I think it’s working better now. It’s still maybe not as great as in other rooms, but we don’t feel like we’re boiling anymore.

I’m having a bit of a difficult time with the meeting new people thing. As I’m pretty shy and introverted, it’s been a bit of a challenge. I have, though, met a few cool people. I’ve actually spent a lot of time with the girl that I sat next to on the shuttle and with a girl named Sarah. I think that after classes and clubs and things get started that it’s going to be a little easier, but meeting new people and becoming instant friends has never been something that I am particularly good at.

Classes start tomorrow. I’m kind of excited for that. I’ve got Global Studies and Oceanography tomorrow, and then later in the evening, there’s an activity fair to sign up for the activities you’re interested in. I guess I should probably add that I am in the Bering Sea (it’s kind of like my ’wing’ of the ship) and my cabin number is 4087. My cabin number is very useful for sending me mail (which you should!).

August 29, 2007 (Wednesday? I think…) A1
“We retard our clocks one hour tonight.”
Pacific Ocean
Theme Song: Live and Learn by the Cardigans

It’s just 3 days into this, and the days have already run together. It’s very hard to keep up with something like the days of the week, when really all that seems to matter right now is that today is A day, meaning that I go to my A day classes, and tomorrow I go to my B day classes. I had Global Studies this morning. It was pretty much all review of other classes that I’ve had, but there were a few new things. The professor did a pretty good job of keeping my attention, and I think it might turn out to be fairly interesting. I also had Oceanography today. It was ok. We really just went over the syllabus and the field requirements for the class, so it’s hard to get a good impression off of Syllabus Day.

Last night I hung out with Lindsay outside on one of the decks, and also a girl named Julie. They’re both pretty cool. I had breakfast with Lindsay this morning, and we’re both going on the trip to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. We’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do with the rest of our time after the trip is over.

There’s a lot of down time at this point and I am not really sure what to do with it. I know it’s going to pick up, especially with the extra class that I add, but right now it’s a little strange. I think I am going to take a history class called Explorers, Missionaries, and Traders. It’s open and it seems to fit in well with my schedule now. It’s early in the morning (8 am) but I’d rather be in a class that was early that I liked than in a class that was in the afternoon that I didn’t really like.

I went to the involvement fair tonight and signed up for a few things, and then I watched Spirited Away in one of the classrooms. The film professor on the ship is showing movies on most nights from the countries we’re going to be in. Spirited Away was for Japan, and tomorrow night is Taboo, which is also a Japanese film. The movie tonight was really good. I almost didn’t go, but the professor actually lives just a couple doors down the hall from me, so on my way back to my room I almost bumped into him, and so I asked him where the movie was tonight. He was on his way up there, so I just followed him.

And since the internet is so expensive, I’m just going to add a few shout outs at the bottom:

To Karen: Thanks for your gift! It really meant a lot. I am going to be sending you a postcard once we hit land, but it is still a few days away.
To a certain RC (the one that wants to be a shark): I miss you a bunch! And I am in open water where I guess the sharks are (at least where you would be if you were one).
Little: I miss you a bunch too! Enjoy the whole chemistry TA thing.
Katy: Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve. It goes without saying that I miss you.
Mom and Dad: Thanks soooooooo much for helping me get here. It’s already a great experience and I am sure it is going to get much better. There are no words to express my gratitude. Love you.
Ben: I hope you’re enjoying your break before fall quarter.
Emily: Make sure to chortle a lot this year.
Erin Millar: I am going to be back in time to have Lost dates since it doesn’t start until January or something like that!
Miss Bak: You’re being weird and you should stop. (I know you are, even though I’m not around).
To my other AXDs: I miss you guys! Good luck with recruitment!

I can't believe I forgot this one!! BIG I miss you and I hope you're having a great time in Austria!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I’m actually on the ship, and I’m alive and well. I will be updating tomorrow morning (well, tomorrow morning to me). It’ll be massive, as it includes everything from San Diego until now.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Itinerary and how to send me mail

Depart Ensenada, Mexico on August 27 (that's Monday)
Honolulu, Hawaii on September 2
Yokohama, Japan from Sept. 12-13
Kobe, Japan from Sept. 15-16
Qingdao, China from Sept. 19-20
Hong Kong from Sept. 23-24
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from Sept. 27-Oct. 1
Bangkok, Thailand from Oct. 4-8
Chennai, India from Oct. 15-19
Alexandria, Egypt from Oct. 31-Nov. 4
Istanbul, Turkey from Nov. 7-11
Dubrovnik, Croatia from Nov. 14-18
Cadiz, Spain from Nov. 23-27
Miami, Florida on Dec. 7

To send me mail (which I would really like) address the envelope as follows:

Jessica Short
C/O: Explorer
Arrival Date
Port Agent Address

The link where you can find the address of the port agent is below. It also tells you the day you need to mail it by for me to recieve it.

I have one suitcase packed. I have one more to go, and I still have to pack my carryon. I fly out on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Just some quotes I like

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.~*Maya Angelou*~

The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.~*St. Augustine*~

He who does not travel does not know the value of men.~*Moorish proverb*~

Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of food, your closet full of clothes - with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That's not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating.~*Michael Crichton*~

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A little bit nervous, a lot excited

It's a bit strange to know that in just less than a month, my time at Panera will be over, and I'll be stepping on a plane to San Diego, and then boarding a shuttle to Mexico to board the MV Explorer. It's odd that as all of my friends and sisters are making their plans to return to school, I am making my plans to sail around the world. I've bought my books, and sent in my trip request form to SAS. I registered for 3, a trip to Pearl Harbor for one of my classes, Beijing/Xian in China, and Phnom Phen/Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I'm planning on traveling the rest of the time indy (for relatives that are worrying, that just means independent of SAS, not by myself).