Saturday, February 4, 2006

Graduate School Tour Day 13 - Returning Home

    I easily made my flight this morning at 6am to Dulles airport in Washington.  When I got there I relaxed for a bit charging my ipod and napping in and out before my next flight.  My flight to Albany was delayed due to bad weather and other problems and we didn't board the plane until 45 minutes after the scheduled departure. 
        The flight from Dulles to Albany was a fun trip.  It was the most amount of turbulence I have ever felt in all my travels and the pilots kept apologizing.  Looking around the cabin I could see many scared faces.  It didn't help that the captain came over the intercom once everyone had boarded and announced to us all the long list of mechanical problems the plane had just gone through including a flat tire and almost running out of gas before landing. hahaha.  I loved it.  I love that feeling of fear/nervousness in my gut in situations like that.  It's probably why I love the sports I do.  When I got to Albany my mom was waiting there thankful to have me home again.   
        So in 12 days I had traveled to all 4 corners of the U.S.  I had flown from the Northeast to the Southwest, then drove to the Northwest and flew down to the Southeast only to return to the Northeast.  I had driven 2,684 miles between 2 cars, one that I wrecked.  I had flown on 6 different airplanes and had taken 3 ferries.  I had traveled to another country and even gotten trapped on an island in hurricane winds there.  I completed the whole trip eating fast food and only staying in a motel twice.  I had made no plans for accomodations before I left, leaving it all up to my resourcefulness.  I had been in many different climate zones and had seen a crazy array of animals - from being chased by an elephant seal to elk and then hoards of rabbits to end up driving past aligators in Florida.  I met a vast array of people with many different personalities along the way and was able to meet with most of the top faculty in the field of marine oceanography.  It was a terrific time and I got to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in America as well as visiting each of my top graduate school choices.  I returned home with 20 bucks in my pocket and only $3 left in my bank account having done the whole trip for under 900 bucks (including everything except the $500 deductible I now have for the accident).  It was a great time and a great adventure but it's also good to be home to rest up after it!


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