Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Time's up, headin' south

It's been a busy few weeks since I returned from Thailand and I haven't stayed in one place for too long. As soon as I got back to Tucson, I had to fly out the next day to Denver for the psychological exam required for wintering in Antarctica. Depending on your point of view, I passed...or failed. In either case, I'm going back down... a reward or punishment?

Then another weekend I found myself in Minnesota visiting a dear friend post-op and the temps there were about the same as what South Pole was experiencing. I must say that tunnels and sky walkways are fabulous urban assets.

And as San Francisco was beset with cold, wet, grey weather and Tucson was having a cold snap with freezing nights and not-nearly-warm-enough days, Michael and I decided we didn't want to be bothered with more winter during our austral summer off.

So we went to Jamaica. It was back to sandals, shorts and sunscreen for another week of pure relaxation and most importantly, warmth. The most energy we expended was in trying to decide which jerk chicken stand to try but then we just tried them all and didn't have to make any hard decisions afterall.

There's not much to write about. My major accomplishment was reading back through all of the issues of Outside magazine for 2007, which my sister saved up for me throughout the year, while sitting on a lounge chair on the beach. Now that was work, reading about the Everest base camp circus or how to survive a cougar attack or one of the writers little experiment of working as a sherpa for a few days (hilarious).

Even though we did have access to the internet, I wasn't much in the mood for blogging.

And now like a student on the night before the start of school in the fall, I'm grimly accepting the fact that the summer vacation is finally over. I leave for Denver tomorrow to begin the deployment to South Pole for winter 2008. The journey will take us from Denver to LAX to Sydney, arriving in Christchurch on Feb 3. We're already planning on watching the Super Bowl at the Holy Grail, a huge sports bar near Cathedral Square. Then if the weather is good on Feb 5, we'll board the C-17 for McMurdo and Pole whenever we make it in.

I can't resist another sunset photo. As we watched the sun sink into the ocean on our last night in Jamaica, Michael melodramatically announced that it was our last sunset to enjoy, ever. I reminded him that we're soon going to have a month-long sunset starting in late March. Then he amended his statement saying this was the last sunset he would watch outside without a shirt on for a long time. True.

Actually we're both excited about going down for one more winter but the last three months of vacation have been so enjoyable, it's taking a little more psyching up this time. It will be interesting to see all of the changes that have happened around the station while we've been gone. It will also be fun to see some old friends again and it looks like we'll have a really good crew of vets and newbies.

Time to hit the road once again but I'll update when I can...


At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Tara said...

Omigosh! How long are you in Sydney for? Give me a call if you can! Would you have time to meet up?

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Neal said...

I'll stay tuned to see what's happening in the only (other) place worth reading about this winter.

At least Michael won't have to watch his team lose at the Holy Grail again this year.

At 2:41 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

Hi Tara - we have only an hour and a half layover in Sydney but I'm thinking that another visit to Australia is a good possibility for November. Hope you had a great time at the beach!

Hey Neal - hopefully no one will get kicked out of Holy Grail this time. Keep us posted on life in the Antarctic banana belt.


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