One more day…

Well tomorrow is my last day in the States before I ship out to Turkey. Luckily, I got to visit more family before I left. After leaving Florida, I flew off to North Carolina. I always forget how much I miss the South and the people here until I come back. It makes me realize that I could be okay setting here, but that would first require settling. 🙂

So I got to hang out on the eastern side of the state with my mom, sister, stepdad, and their chihuahua, Ella. We made cookies, played Just Dance, watched movies together. Overall, it was a very relaxing visit before the chaos begins. I know my family is having a bit of a rough time dealing with me going so far, so I’m super glad I got to spend time with them. Who knows? Maybe they’ll visit Turkey for Thanksgiving! (Sorry, pun intended.)

Yesterday afternoon I made my way to the Triangle area to visit my brother at Duke and some friends from college. I know today and tomorrow will go by super fast, so I’m trying to get some last minute stuff done and hope I don’t forget anything before I leave.  But by tomorrow evening, I’ll be on a plane and leaving for my next big adventure. As always, more updates to come…

Burns, Ants, and Hurricanes

The first part of my multifaceted trip is over: I left Colorado and took the two flights to sunny Florida to see family. I didn’t exactly get to sunbathe by the water much when I was living next to the mountains in a landlocked state, so of course the first thing I did was go to the beach to catch some rays. And it only took about two hours after leaving the beach to realize that my skin was not quite used to the sun and I had a sweet sunburn, which is still lobster red. But the beach was beautiful and I got to test out my new Nook. Luckily, I didn’t get any sand on it.

Lying out and reading with Grandma at the Emerald coast

After the beach and watching some Dr. Who episodes and swimming with the siblings, my dad and I went canoeing on the Bayou. Once we got the canoe in the water and got on our way, I realized that I’d conveniently stepped in a fire ant hill getting the canoe in and they were loving my feet. We had to pull over to a beach and rinse it out. So I got to add fire ant bites to my sunburn. Thanks to Florida, I’m looking super attractive.

Little did I know that there was an army of fire ants waiting to attack.

But overall it was a great visit: awesome weather, good company and good times. And I conveniently made it out before Hurricane Isaac met me there. After just a few days, I yet again found myself in the airport and on my way to North Carolina. More to come and adventures to follow…

Damn you, folk music and your rhythmic banjos

Sometimes the South, it just gets in your veins. It sneaks in like a virus that slowly infects your blood, your thoughts, your memories.  It calls to you in a scratchy voice and with a guitar and a banjo, it sings you a song of a home you never knew you missed. You begin to crave the smell—the distinct scent of pine and tobacco and wet air, somewhere between sand and mountains. It sings to you a song of family and familiarity, of comfort and pain, of hard work and friendship. When you were there, you wondered how you could stay and when you leave, even if you fight it, it draws you back, whispering promises with a twang that makes you smile. The sound of it pumps through your body and you tap your foot despite yourself. You share in the sorrow and the hope that comes with it, never separate.

Tut Tut. Looks like rain.

Good to know they're prepared

Today my Alma Mater was placed on lockdown because of a reported gunman near the campus. The city and campus police spent hours searching for him, including sending armed policemen to surround buses he may have been riding.  One building was evacuated, three local public schools were also placed on lockdown, and students were ordered to stay home.

They just now found the accused gunman walking on a street near campus. His alleged gun? An umbrella.

True, I’m impressed that the police were on point, prepared, responded so quickly (they haven’t always been known to do so), and am glad that everyone is safe. I’m grateful that something so scary and possibly deadly turned out to be a mistake… but honestly. This is slightly embarrassing. Not only did it make the local news, but thank you Huffington Post  for giving us national attention:

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=8434045

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/east-carolina-university-_n_1097382.html

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/11/e-carolina-u-on-lockdown-after-report-of-armed-man-near-campus/

Embarrassing moments aside (as this has not been the first and I am sure it won’t be the last), I am still proud to be a Pirate.