Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada – August 27
Cadiz, Spain – September 4-8
Casablanca, Morocco – September 10-14
Takoradi, Ghana – September 22-25
Cape Town, South Africa – October 3-8
Port Louis, Mauritius – October 14-15
Chennai, India – October 22-27
Singapore – October 31-November 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam – November 3-8
Hong Kong / Shanghai, China – November 11-16
Yokohama / Kobe, Japan – November 19-23
Honolulu / Hilo, Hawaii, USA – December 3-6
San Diego, California, USA – December 13
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
|USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor|
|BUNGEE HONG KONG|
|SUNSET ON THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA|
|Peking Family on the Great Wall of China|
|USS Missouri Museum|
|Center of Shibuya Toyko|
|Ash and I in Japan|
|Carly and I at Pearl Harbor|
|The Entire Peking Family in Tienanmen Square, Beijing|
Thursday, November 25, 2010
HELLO FROM THE PACIFIC OCEAN!!!
Well its the moment weve all been waiting for, ED IS ON HIS WAY BACK TO BOSTON, and stopping in Hawaii, MARK YOUR CALENDERS I get into San Diego December 13 and will be in Boston on December 15!
Anyways on to Japan, It was UNREAL Not my favorite port, but still a great time! The first day we got to Kobe, home of Kobe beef, which costs an arm and a leg to order, $60 bucks for a small steak, but apparently well worth it. I headed down to Hiroshima, famous for where the US dropped the A-BOMB on Japan, it was wicked sad and powerful to grasp, but worth seeing especially since Im going be at Pearl Harbor next week and to understand the destruction of Nuclear weapons first hand. The city has one building still standing from when the bomb was dropped to serve as a memorial site and so that no one can forget what had happened there, then you go into a museum that has artifacts, a documentary, and a step by step depiction of the days leading up to, that day, and then days following the Atomic bomb being dropped in Hiroshima. That night a group of us headed out for conveyor belt sushi, a few drinks, and then Karaoke! FUN FACT: Karaoke is sung in private rooms per group not in a giant crowd as the States do it. We had some trouble using the Karaoke machine as it was all in Japanese and in effect we ended up being able to sing only two songs both on repeat, Dont stop Believing (a crowd pleaser) and Bad Romance (the only other English song we knew). Then we got half our money back for our troubles and called it a night
The next day I woke up and headed to Kyoto for sightseeing with my friends, that was cool, we interrupted a Japanese wedding (not intentionally) by taking pictures of the scenery right where they we taking their photos and then walked more around the city. All the cities tend to blend together after a while, Japan doesnt have distinct differences, between the cities other than the center regions. We walked around the river walk in Kyoto before we headed back to Kobe, that was a cool area because you got to see a lot of the locals down there playing sports, walking dogs, running (a big thing among all Japanese), or playing music. It was a nice peaceful day of just exploring then we sailed to Yokohama.
We get to Yokohama and hit the trains to go to Tokyo, crazy city, people dress in whatever they want so style is really in the eye of the beholder, We spent most of our time in the Shibuya and Hirajuka which is where most of the young people hangout. We continued explored all day saw the Imperial Palace, then went to TGI FRIDAYS for lunch because American food seemed like a great idea and then met up with our friends at the hotel, that night we went out for our friend Joshs birthday and ended up at McDonalds at the end of the night, seems to be a common theme for me in Asia, McDonalds, as soon as I get to the states I am never going to a McDonalds for years. The next day we all got up and explored more of Shibuya, which is one of the many districts within Tokyo, we went up to the top of an office building and viewed the impeccable skyline of Tokyo, unlike many of the other views I have seen, Tokyo is completely surrounded by buildings, very little parks and greenery were seen from the view we were at, the farthest ends of the city were that of the mountains, and that was impeccable to see. After that we did some shopping, before catching our train to Yokohama. The trains might I add was a process in itself. Unlike China there was less English around to help us get around, and the trains was one of the hardest places for us, the maps only had prices next to the stations labeled in Japanese, thankfully the people were so friendly and willing to help that they got us to where we needed to be.
Traveling in the Pacific has been rough so far, last night no one slept due to the rockiness of the ship, all our stuff fell everywhere, my roommate got hit in the face with stuff that fell off our TV and desk, I got sea sick, my classes got cancelled in our Union because it was too rocky to be there its been pretty bad
Well now its eight days to Hawaii, SPRING BREAK PART II, I cant wait to just relax at the beach, attempt to surf, jumping off waterfalls, and seeing Pearl Harbor. This is the life cant believe its coming to an end, but that means Im that much closer to be back in Boston!!!!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
|Me and Cassidy in the Forbidden City|
|Me on the old part of the Great Wall|
|The Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium, Beijing|
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Well it took about 26 and a half hours and three flights, but I made it back to the MV Explorer meeting up with my ship on its last night and my only night in Vietnam, I got here around 11:00 PM or the middle of the day for Boston on Saturday
Its good to be back though and continue this amazing opportunity that I am doing now not only for me, but my mom too.
So with the very little time I had in the country I utilized as much of the time here as I could. I first pulled an all-nighter due to the fact that in my mind it was the middle of the afternoon, while everyone was sleeping then around 7 AM, I headed to the Cu Chi Tunnels with SAS where we learned about the underground tunnel system used by the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. It was actually really cool to see how the Vietnamese would not only hide, but fight the Americans from these tiny places that would include small holes in the ground to tunnels miles long and no bigger that 4 feet tall, yes we had to crawl a lot. FUN FACT: Vents were put every half mile to ensure that no one would pass out, although if you werent near a vent it gets extremely claustrophobic fast. My favorite part though was when I got to shoot an AK-47 at the Vietnamese gun range. That had to be the most fun I had during the visit, but the entire site that we were on was amazing to see. Right when you walk into the start of the trail you see a giant crater from a bomb that went off and then right next to it a trap door that is hidden with bamboo spears in the ground to kill its enemies. I even got to go inside one of the underground passages that are not made for Americans or tall people, the size of the hole was no bigger than an air conditioning vent (Ill try and put pictures up when I get to China) and got to sit in one of the tanks that they have on site. The trip was so far the best one I have been on because it did a great job integrating the important history while engaging us with fun interacting things to do and explore.
After the tour, I headed off to the marketplaces to take advantage of the low costs thanks to the exchange rate I spent less than $200 American and bought the following:
a North Face winter jacket $36
DVD Sets $60 all together
CSI seasons 1-10
Mad Men season 1-4
Family Guy season 1-7
Two and a Half Men season 1-7
Nike Shocks $70 for two pairs
So in my opinion it was a successful day, minus the torrential downpours I got stuck in. But hey its a small price to pay, right now we are having some big swells in the ocean as we head for Hong Kong, I am bungee jumping my first day then its off to the Great Wall to hike it down to Beijing and then seeing Shanghai on my last day in China. Probably trying to find some good deals like Vietnam.
Well Thats Hit from the MV
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
So just before India, the ship took part in its tradition of Sea Olympics, and event where each sea, made up of different decks and areas of students, faculty, life long learners, and dependent family members participate in shipboard events that vary from dodge ball, jeopardy, lip singing, and banner making to name a few. My sea, the Aegean Sea, made up of all deck two, was considered the "forgotten sea" by our rivals, ended up taking second place overall placing in the competition.
|My Roommate Tom, Me, Archbishop Tutu, Aubrey, Lindsey, and Sulli reppin' the Aegean Sea at Sea Olympics|
After the fun, it was time for India, which for me was an abbreviated trip that consisted of a day in Chennai with my good friend Ashley, where we along with a few of our other friends braved a day of riding in a rigshaw and looking for stickers and shotglasses something we all seemed to be collecting... That night we made our way to a mall that blew the doors off of the malls in Massachusetts, and had a movie theater that was incredible. We wanted to see a Bollywood film, but all that was playing was "Despicable Me" in 3D so we did the American thing and went and saw it after pigging out at the malls Americanized food court, however I chose Indian Chicken Kabobs which were amazing..
|Me at the Taj Mahal at Sunset|
|Me at the Taj Mahal at 6 AM|
So finally I took a detour back to the states, to see the family, for those who don't know my mom passed away after battling lung cancer. She was a fighter and went peacefully and it was good to see my family and friends (who basically are family) at this time, and after 28 hours of flying and enduring American Airlines longest nonstop flight from Delhi to Chicago (15.5 hours) I made it to Boston. Now I am preparing to return friday to the MV Explorer in Vietnam and finish what I started not just for me, but for my mom too. Now after getting a Visa in less than 48 hours I am ready to go back, im hoping for some bungee jumping in Hong Kong, what can I say I'm an adrenaline junkie, but Vietnam I want to get me some Nike's for the day I am in the country...