Sunday, August 31, 2008

Honeymoon Over?

While New Orleans is being evacuated in fear of Gustav and McCain has effectively turned the presidential election into pitting a black man against a white woman, we sit on a bay in Puerto Rico blissfully unaware of all these events. We have much bigger things to worry about – such as – the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

That’s right. School on a Sunday. Our schedule of A and B days means that we alternate classes every single day that we’re at sea. Let me repeat: every single day we’re at sea. Right now, I’m taking Developmental Economics, The Rise to Power, and Biomedical Ethics. I need to choose between International Finance and International Health Policies for my fourth class. One would count for my major – the other for my minor. If you have any great advice, please send it my way.

That was enough about school.

My great decision of yesterday was to spend “just an hour” “tanning” on the top deck in my shorts and tshirt. Hahahahaha. Let’s laugh at the idea again. Hahahahaha. Yeah so I am now that girl with a beautiful contrast between beet red and pure white on her mid thigh. I think it looks like the Slovakian flag? I’m not sure though…the Olympics has told me that there does exist a flag that is white on top, red on the bottom though.

In order to alleviate this destiny, I decided that today I was going to tan like an all-star. I marched up to the top deck with my bathing suit, sunscreen and textbook in tow, ready to even out those lines and match the 25% of the ship that’s from California. (Who ever thought that I would have a hard time telling blondes apart?) But the Californians beat me: deck 7 and deck 6 were already crowded, leaving me and my roommate to start the tanning line on lowly deck 5. Like a dejected leprosy exile, pale from head to…thigh and beet red from thigh to toe, we set up our chairs to tan.

This is, of course, when the storm came rumbling in. Turns out the Californians had used their sixth sense to tell the weather and took advantage of our dock time (read: ship is not swaying back and forth) to fill the gym with their perfect California bodies.

As I write this I’m insisting that I can tan with the UV rays that break through the storm clouds and praying that my legs even out just a tiny bit. Oh and I’m of course reading my Econ too. J

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Adventures of Cory and Eli Part II

[Part I will not be mentioned on the internet, but it has to do with 2018 {my room} being the new 308 and Curtis (our ISA) not being the new Jimmel.]

Onto Part II.

The ship was exciting for all of two hours – after which we were done exploring all seven decks, had found the hilariously small “gym”, and had touched a toe in our pool that is the size of an elephant’s drinking hole. For one elephant. For one day. By this point we were unpacked and introduced to our roommates and bored. When they made an announcement over the intercom (I will curse the intercom before this trip is over. Actually probably before we even land in Brazil. There are speakers in every hallway and every room. Lest you forget the five minute warning that the all-ship meeting is about to start. Oh hi Big Brother. How art thou this morning?) that said students were no longer allowed to leave the ship.

Those of you that know me well know that I do not enjoy being told that I cannot do something. Neither does Cory.

So Cory and I were feeling claustrophobic and bored – and somebody had just told us that we weren’t allowed off the ship. So of course we needed to get off the ship. Cory came up with a fabulous story about how his hotel just called to inform him that he left a bag in the room. (Cory was elected for this because I was the mule in our first adventure.) It took telling this story to three different administrator before a person that I’ll call Nice Old Man fell for it and brought us off the ship.

As we were leaving a person that I’ll call Mean Young Woman started screaming “No students off the ship! No students off the ship!” Then Nice Old Man turned around and told her that we were with him so it was okay.


We made it off.

But for absolutely no reason and with no purpose beyond buying something in a bag so we actually had a bag to bring back to the ship. Two towels, face wash (we ran an errand for a girl that actually did have to get off the ship – but is not nearly as sneaky as we are), and two jars of peanut butter later, we didn’t have a bag large enough for everything to fit. Onto the Bahemian Rum Cake store where they had fairly large, opaque bags. Of course though, this required purchasing a pineapple rum cake in order to request the largest bag in the store. The pineapple rum cake will presumably be revisited in a post titled “Food Poisoning at Sea.”

Five minutes left – back through security check – meaning having our bags scanned and hand searched by a Bahemian soldier wearing a black beret – and swiping our IDs to get onto the ship, just in time for our lifeboat drill.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Last Post in the US

The 4:25 flight for Nassau just left. I'm unfortunately on the 5:25 one and there was no room for alas...another hour breathing clean US airport air and enjoying the cheap imitation of Chinese food found at the Chinese Steak Escape.

My last three days in the US constituted my entire "summer break." I'm not quite sure that I "breaked" enough to make up for my 72 hour no-sleep marathon I had leading up to my two final exams, but it was a blast. Started with the last lobster dinner of the summer at the lake house with the whole Hanover side of the family. I was nearly drowned by my very energetic cousins who couldn't quite grasp that Betsy was too tired to sit up straight, let alone swim with two girls on her back. (They're only entering first grade...their days will come.) Then onto a great mommy-cooked meal back at 17 Rope Ferry for all the Dartmouth kids that were famished enough to put down their books for a few hours and share a nice meal. The next morning I flew out to Buffalo to see that part of the family. I fit in all the Buffalo musts: pizza and wings, a beer before noon, a visit with Dawn, riding with my other cousin (who also seems to over-estimate my swimming abilities), and roast beef (with gravy, not on weck). I was also introduced to two new favorites of watching America's Got Talent with Grandma Susie and having breakfast with Grandpa. ...No idea how I've gone all these years without knowing that we order the same exact thing for breakfast (and those of you that know me well know that I do not change my breakfast order).

So these were all much needed - if not relaxing - visits to be had. Oh and there goes the plane to Nassau. Good bye plane to Nassau.


Today's Adventure:

Apparently my lacrosse stick is considered a club and, therefore, cannot be a carry-on. So after waiting in line behind all three other passengers at the Buffalo International (read: to Canada) Airport, I had to go back to the check-in counter to check my lacrosse bag. Cursing airlines and how creative they have gotten at making money (No, I will not pay $5 for a pillow, thank you very much.), I went up to ask how much it would cost to add a third checked bag. Turns's not even allowed. Something about international flights and laws and stuff like that. At this point I did what any newly independent-for-the-first-time-in-her-life-going-more-than-an-hour-away-for-a-term girl would do, and I called Mommy. That made things better.

I had to get them to recall my bags so that I could somehow stuff my lacrosse sticks back into them. I found a paper clip leftover in my tote bag from the useless greenprint terminals in Berry basement (honestly - why can they not just put a stapler there?) and used it to unscrew the heads from my lacrosse sticks. And tada! They all fit in my checked bags - weighing in at 49.5 lbs exactly.

I told you I'm an all-star packer.


Just got off the phone with my brother. If you want to win the competition for last phone call I make in the have 25 minutes...time starts NOW.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The hardest part is...


The directions from the Semester at Sea website tell me to "Lay out everything that you think you need, put back half, and then pack what's left." Well that's really too difficult for me and I'm sure that the Semester at Sea folks wrote that suggestion thinking about people that pack WAY more than I do. So I'll be fine.

Anyways...just to let you know, the purpose of this blog is to follow my adventures as I spend 108 days sailing around the world. I use the word "sailing" very liberally here. I'll actually be on a cruise ship with 800 other students and faculty and staff to support us along the way. I *plan* on updating the blog daily. It will be very informal and then I'll send out more formal, weekly emails. I'll put the time that I would normally watch Grey's/Desperate Housewives/Gossip Girls into writing updates so I'm pretty sure that will work out.

So...great. That's the first blog entry. I leave Hanover at 3pm tomorrow. I'm about a quarter of the way packed and running out of room in my suitcases already. I've never actually in my entire life spent this long away from Hanover and I've only been to four foreign countries. So there will be many adventures to be had *down under*.