Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another road trip

On the road again...Brien came to Tucson for a visit and I dragged him out to California for a quick road trip to see relatives. My main objective was to visit my beloved Aunt Ida, who has long been my inspiration to see the world.

She was the first, and only other person, in my family to visit Antarctica and she did it back in the 80s, long before I even knew the continent existed. My family always thought she was a bit wild and crazy for going to places like the Galapagos Islands or South Africa or Peru but I always thought she was the coolest person on earth and I wanted to be just like her. May I live to be 91 years old too and have as many stories as she has to tell.

After visiting Ida in LA, we then headed down to San Diego to see my brother Keith and his fiancee Irene (alas, I didn't get a picture of them on his Harley). We also we met up with the notorious Glen, a fellow Polie from our 2005 winter.

For those of you who know him, you'll be happy to hear that he's indeed alive, working a respectable job as a botanist and is not in jail. He's loving being back on his home turf and knows all the great places to hang out.

Brien and Glen at the South Beach Bar and Grill, home of the best fish tacos in San Diego.

And we finally got to see a koala. It wasn't quite the wilds of Australia, but it was still awfully cute for a captive. At least this little guy is in no danger of becoming road kill in New South Wales.

A real live koala at the San Diego Zoo

And it just figures that we Americans are no better than the Kiwis that I made fun of earlier in my blog. Why is it that no one seems to get it? At least the polar bear exhibit at the San Diego Zoo didn't actually group real live emporer penguins with the real live polar bears like the gift shop did. And by the way, we finally saw "Happy Feet"...very cute but I didn't know that the female emporers had cleavage and curves like that.

Now the three month vacation is nearly over. I head back to Denver on Jan 18 for training and orientation then start the migration south on Jan 21st. We'll lose a day and arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand on Jan 23 and if all goes well, I'll be strapped into a C-17 bound for the ice on Jan 25. After a few days at McMurdo for more training, I'm scheduled to fly to South Pole on Jan 30 but of course that's all at the mercy of the weather and we know how uncooperative that can be. Stay tuned...

Please feel free to leave comments! I had to add an edit feature to the blog because I'm getting spammed by Anonymous (who doesn't have the best English skills, I might add) and am sick of seeing ads for Vicodin and Viagra in the comments. If you post a comment, it will go to my email for my review first, and I'll post it if you're a real person. If you're a spammer, go away.

Oh yeah - I have no idea what happened to Jeff...maybe he's taken a vow of silence until the NFL playoffs are over.


At 5:23 AM, Blogger Neal said...

Good to see that you're still kickin'. I should be down to pole in a couple of weeks.
I think Jeff decided to do away with his blog after he left Antarctica.

At 5:11 PM, Blogger skua76 said...

Wow! I'm glad to see that GlenK managed to stay out of jail :) and get to be gainfully employed!

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Shannon said...

Hi Heidi,
What a beautiful picture of you and Aunt Ida.

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've traveled to so many places and had so many adventures! Do you have any advice for other people who want to go and explore? For many, traveling to distant countries seems like only a fantasy. How were you able to get a group together, did it cost you much money, and in what ways were you able to make it happen?

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Heidi said...

My only advice really for someone who wants to travel is to JUST DO IT! Don't say you want to...just do it. Even if it takes some changes in your life to free up the time and budget for it, it's still worth it because nothing really worth having in life comes without a little work and sacrifice. Luckily I have friends who are living the same life as me and we're all focused on travel as a priority in life. You can find people like that pretty easily and going to countries like Thailand or Cambodia where you can stay in a decent guesthouse for less than 10 bucks a night makes it not too pricy.

What did I have to do to get to this point in my life? Sell my house, quit my job at a busy ER, put my belongings in storage, have Mom and Dad adopt my cat and get comfortable living out of a backpack with very few personal belongings. It wasn't bad at all and the changes were totally worth it. I can't go back to former life just yet - I have some more stamps that I want for my passport. Anyone can do this - it's just a matter of taking the plunge and going for it. Good luck to you and remember, just do it!


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