In the next hour I will leave my hotel and step aboard the MV Explorer for the first time! We have most of the day to get settled and run off the ship again if we need to. The ship will sail at 11:00pm tonight.
After a few relaxing days in North Carolina with Mom and Dad and a visit with Grandma we hit the road for Norfolk Saturday. Luckily a bit of rain on the way was all we experienced of Hurricane Bill and that is enough for me. After checking in to our hotel we went to the mall across the street for some dinner and additional shopping. After that we walked to the pier and I saw the ship for the first time. It was all a buzz with cleaning crews as the students and staff from the summer voyage just got of the ship that morning. It was a great moment seeing the ship that I would be calling home for the next few months. Bright and early Sunday morning mom and dad when to church and we got breakfast after. With that came the good byes and the tears as Mom and Dad started the drive back home. I spent the day making some phone calls and walking around the dock areas.
I am sharing my hotel room with 3 other staff members, Eddie, Grant and Bridget so as the day progressed it was fun to have a knock on the door and meet the new roommates - it was very "Real World". The Living Learning Team (formerly known as the Student Life Team) all met for dinner at a converted Abby here in Norfolk. While some of our conversation was not the most appropriate for an Abby but i imagine that its walls have heard worse. We also had a lot of laughs talking about all the baggage and things people brought. Ana brought 10 cases of water! Eddie brought 100 pairs of underwear (I'm still not sure if he is kidding, his amount of luggage would suggest that he is not) With a post dinner run to WalMart we picked up a few final things and the roommates and I came back to the hotel.
Eddie, Grant and I decided a round of drinks were necessary so off we went. A few hours, a few drinks and many laughs later the bar was shutting down and we were kindly asked to leave. I think this is a great start to my trip.
I have not gotten our training schedule yet but I expect to be pretty busy over the next few days so I'll update as soon as I can.