Packing, Visiting/Sleeping, and More Packing


Less than NINE days left until I fly off for the long awaited move to New Zealand!! Single digits now, another big countdown.

On Sunday this week my sister and I met up with our parents at Mount Rainier, and the day was stunning. I just drunk in all the thick forests, snow-covered mountains, and meadows abloom with wildflowers. We went on a short walk of about a mile to a waterfall, but didn’t do too much as I was still feeling a little sick (got a sore throat as soon as I stepped foot on US soil, that developed into a bit of a cold but am pretty much back to normal now).

We did stop at a lot of viewpoints and even saw a big old black bear down in a valley! I intended to go through my photos the day after, but have kept busy this week and hope to get to them this weekend so I can share. It was a great time in the mountains, but at the end my sister went home and I left with my parents, to visit with them and get ready for the movers.

That’s what this week has mostly been taken up with; busy, busy, busy preparing for New Zealand. I’ve just about finished going through all my old boxes in storage here from when I moved to Kwajalein, and we finally got the moving date scheduled today, for a week after I leave. I’m sad it couldn’t be any sooner in spite of our hurry to get the estimates once my Kwaj pack out arrived, but happy my parents will be able to take care of it on this end.

I also had time recently for a nice walk around my old alma mater, Central Washington University, where I got my BA in Geography 7 (!) years ago. The day after my graduation ceremony, I hopped in my new car and drove to Oklahoma, as I was that excited to go start my new life there as a meteorology grad student. Ah, the memories. Two of my best friends growing up came to see me, and we enjoyed checking out old haunts and seeing how things had changed around campus.

Now for more visiting and the final last little bit of prep. Got a couple more books about New Zealand that make me even more excited, though I hope this last week with family goes slowly and wonderfully. My Dad says I should just go there instead of reading so much about it…I told him I think I just will. 🙂

Categories: New Zealand, Ramblings, United States, Washington | Leave a comment

US Countdown: 6


Down to the single digits now, less than 6 days left on island, and the reality of leaving Kwajalein probably forever still hasn’t quite started to sink in. I don’t think it will until I’m on the plane, heading down the runway. Which by the way, I see the old DC-8s are coming for ATI in place of the C-17s this month (new planes, I think 757s, still not ready yet), so I think I just might have dodged the bullet of flying on a plane with no windows. Though the adventure of flying on a C-17 for the first time could be interesting. But also claustrophobic in spite of all the space. I love windows.


I think I’m just about ready to go; my bags are packed with the exception of a few sets of clothes (mostly living out of suitcases now), room is now thoroughly cleaned and ready for the final inspection (just have to avoid walking on the floors the next couple days…wish my childhood fantasy of walking on ceilings could come true, but then I’d just have to clean the ceilings), I have most of the signatures I need for my PCS (permanent change of station) clearance form, and my work is throwing me a goodbye party tomorrow, with pizza and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Just 3 more day shifts to go, and I’ll be finished working on Kwajalein! Maybe then I’ll take a bit of time this weekend to enjoy myself, and go to the beach and take a last bike ride around the island.

I officially changed my address today with the USPS, which also felt rather, well, official. No more mail to be received at Kwajalein. Now my postal address will be my parents’ house for about 3 weeks, before I find out what my first New Zealand address will be.

Yikes, I will be IN New Zealand in less than 27 days. Very exciting and just a bit scary at the same time!

Coming down the home stretch!

Categories: Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, Ramblings | Leave a comment

US Countdown: 15


I have my work visa and plane tickets, most of my belongings are nearly to my parents’ house by now (where I will have a second pack out to have everything sent to NZ), my bags are about as packed as they can be aside from the final prep of the last few days on Kwaj…and I’m counting down (15 days now!) until I get to go see my family for nearly 3 weeks. After the craziness of the last few months, I’m more or less just in a waiting mode now. I can’t even have any more underwater photo sessions, as my scuba and underwater camera gear has already been sent off.

So as I wait and enjoy looking out over warm blue tropical waters and watch out for falling coconuts, I thought I’d go back and share some of my previous adventures and photos, which I always meant to obsessively document at the time.

The next post I’ll work on will be about Roi-Namur, an island on the north side of Kwajalein Atoll, which I’ve visited twice and wish I had the time to see again.

Categories: Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, Ramblings | Leave a comment

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