Laura On Ice Laura's adventures at the bottom of the world... 2008-12-03T22:13:01Z WordPress Laura <![CDATA[A Good Season So Far….but uneventful.]]> 2008-12-03T22:13:01Z 2008-12-03T22:13:01Z Hi friends and family!

I know, I know, I haven’t written enough. There are a couple reasons for that. First off, I did get the megacrud and was laid up for a while, and in the course of the nasty cough that accompanied said megacrud, I managed to throw a disc in my back out of whack and lost feeling in my left foot and leg. I was afraid for a while that I was going to get sent home, but it is healing now and most of the feeling is back. I am also more or less over the crud. Second, I haven’t been writing because it’s been a pretty good season, but I haven’t really gotten out to many events since I work a weird schedule.

 The store is a fun place to work. I work evenings, so that means I get a leisurely morning and can stay up late. Most of this late time has been taken up with movies, although I did play the game LCR last night and had a ball (and won about $25.) I had the day off yesterday and cleaned my room and really got it decorated. It’s very homey now!

 I’m still having problems posting pictures, but I promise I’ll link to some eventually.

I haven’t seen any penguins yet, but I did see a skua totally dive bomb a group of 5 or 6 people and steal a sandwich.

Laura <![CDATA[Making History!!]]> 2008-10-28T08:18:01Z 2008-10-28T08:18:01Z This’ll just be a quickie entry (probably) but we had a historical event happen today. The C-17 (the really big plane we fly in on) broke once it got to McMurdo. Therefore, it had to spend the night last night! It’s actually going to be here for a few days while they get a replacement part. It’s the first time the plane has overnighted here. It’s interesting, because even though the flight crew flies here often, it’s the first time they’ve come to the station itself. Also, since they usually just fly back to Christchurch, none of the crew had overnight bags. Sooooo they were all in the store, buying up a storm today. Yay for shopping!!

 Hopefully the plane will be fixed by the weekend, maybe sooner. Either way, it’s a first! Even though it’s not exactly a positive one.

Also, a shout out to my friend Kish, who is not here this season, but is rockin the States right now. Kish, WE MISS YOU!! (the sound at Gallaghers sucked last weekend!!) Plus we miss your smiling face! (I hate being the only one who smiles all the time now!)

Laura <![CDATA[Diving Right In]]> 2008-10-22T01:44:54Z 2008-10-22T01:44:54Z Hi friends and family! Sorry I haven’t posted earlier. It’s been crazy starting up here! It was really hard to get into the swing at first because I was so not ready for the time change. Generally I’ve been working and sleeping. I finally got a little more stable schedule, so things have been greatly improving. I’m having my first day off today and it is nice. I got to sleep in a bit, watch a little bit of Pulp Fiction, eat a regular lunch, and now I’m writing email!

The weather has been really nice so far - not as cold as last year at this time. It’s been pretty sunny. We had the last sunset last night.

We’re really feeling the effects of the cut staffing, sadly. There have been a lot more injuries and I’m really trying to encourage my staff to be careful so they don’t overextend themselves. Everyone is really tired and we just got here. I think we in the Store will be able to settle into more of a routine, but some of the other jobs on station are having a really hard time.

The best parts of coming back are the fact that I’ve gotten to see a lot of my friends again and catch up, and that I have a much nicer dorm room this year. I have a roommate, but she’ll be leaving soon and my friend Anne will be coming in, and then she’ll be my roommate. I am looking forward to that a lot. I’ll post pictures of our room when we get it set up.

So I’m doing pretty well, but I am missing everyone a lot. The plus side is that I think the season will go by quickly. I’m sure it’s gonna be good, but busy.

Laura <![CDATA[Christchurch Denied!!]]> 2008-10-15T09:35:33Z 2008-10-15T09:35:33Z Ok, ok, I am in Christchurch. We made it in relatively easily with only a few hiccups: one girl decided to get completely wasted in Denver and continue the party in Los Angeles to the point where a) no one could find her and b) once found, she was so wasted the airline folks (wisely) wouldn’t allow her on the plane. I guess they were going to put her in the drunk tank, and then she’s got to find her own way back home. What a stupid way to throw away the chance of a lifetime, eh?

The other hiccup was that apparently New Zealand hadn’t given me a proper nine-month visa last year, so they had my passport flagged as someone who had overstayed her visa last season! This meant I had to sit in the immigration office for a while. Everything worked out in the end, though, and the people were very nice, which I am sure wouldn’t be the case in the US if the same thing had happened.

So to the denial of Christchurch: looks like we’re leaving for the Ice a day early. We got in and were able to check in to the hotel right away, so I changed clothes and got some Dmitri’s lamb souvlaki and an L&P and walked down to the Canterbury Museum, which I had missed on my previous visits. They have a great Antarctic exhibit and it was nice to walk around for a bit. Afterward I went back to the hotel and made the mistake of turning on the 24-hour horseracing channel, which immediately put me to sleep.

After snoozing for three hours, I decided to get up and take a shower and get ready for bed, only to find a piece of paper shoved under my door. Looks like we need to get up early with all our stuff and go to the Clothing Distribution Center, get our gear, and leave right after. I am unhappy because I had some shopping I wanted to do here and now it’s pretty late to be doing that. Oh well, guess it’s not to be. Still, I really wanted some cheese. Not sure if there’s a weather thing, or if the program has just decided to cut costs by rushing us through CHC. Anyway, it’ll make CHC all the more enjoyable at the other end, I suppose.

So wish me luck and no boomerangs on the next flight!

Laura <![CDATA[Counting Down….]]> 2008-10-09T16:26:16Z 2008-10-09T16:26:16Z Well, the time is growing near for my return to the Ice! Looks like I’ll be headed out on Monday. In the meantime, we’ve got a li’l family get-together happening on Saturday…the Amazing Fantastic Nuptuals of Dimbo and Stella!! It’s been great fun preparing for the big day, and it’s hard to believe it’s here.

 I’m more or less packed…it was MUCH easier this time. Having learned my lesson about sweaters (you really don’t need them) I have a lot more room in my bag for awesome things such as socks and cool hats and my Doctor Who sonic screwdriver. I’m also shipping a box to myself which will hopefully arrive sometime before I’m set to go home.

So rumors from the Ice are a bit unnerving so far…apparently the flights are pretty backed up and some people have spent as much as eight extra days in Christchurch waiting for the weather to clear. Now, I wouldn’t mind an extra day or two delay, but I’m ready to get to work, so I think if I were in their shoes right now, I’d be pretty antsy!

 I also heard from my pal Lou (who is already on the Ice) a few days ago, and I guess there have been a ton of injuries so far this year. Unfortunately, that’s what happens when you have a short staff and shortened season, but continue to expect the same amount of support from the folks you have. It’ll be interesting to see how we can pull it all together, or not.

Well, I must get back to packing and cleaning and whatnot. I look forward to seeing those of you who are coming to the wedding! It should be a great party!!

Laura <![CDATA[Laura On Ice - Coming Out of Hibernation]]> 2008-08-21T05:10:02Z 2008-08-21T05:10:02Z After a long summer of working and goofing off, it’s time to go back to the Ice!

I’m starting to think about packing up my stuff, preparing my boxes to mail, and how I’m going to decorate my room! I’m very excited for this season - I am looking forward to rooming with my friend Anne, and it’ll be great to go down and actually know my way around.

For those of you who haven’t heard, I’ll be working in the store this year. This means odd hours, but also means I’ll probably have a good chance to have some quiet time in the gym, and I’ll get to sleep in. Plus, less time to drink at the bar = smaller belly. So all around, it’s excellent!

Before I go, we’re also getting ready for Jimbo and Kristibo’s wedding! It’s very exciting and I’m so happy my little bro is getting hitched to such a great lady. My bridesmaid’s dress is apparently in at the shop, so I’m gonna try to snag it this week and see how it looks! (It is red, so it must be sexy!) I’ll be leaving directly after the wedding…so it’ll be crazy!

At any rate, stay tuned for more news on Ice preparations, and possibly wedding tidbits!

Laura <![CDATA[I haz a flavor]]> 2008-05-29T18:56:27Z 2008-05-29T18:56:27Z …and it’s sweeeeeet.

 Check out this article on a “miracle berry” that will make your tongue trip out and everything taste sweet. I’d like to try it out!!

Looks like my future on the Ice will be in the store! So I get first dibs on all the good stuff. Including chocolate. Stay tuned for more developments!

Laura <![CDATA[Belatedly Back Home]]> 2008-04-02T03:18:43Z 2008-04-02T03:18:43Z Hi all! As most you already know, I’m home! I had a great time on the Ice and traveling around NZ! Watch this space for more Laura adventures…off (and maybe later on) Ice!

Laura <![CDATA[Holy Fiordland, Batman!]]> 2008-03-08T05:26:51Z 2008-03-08T05:26:51Z Lou and I just got back from some fantastic days in New Zealand’s lovely Fiordland region!

 We started out by getting a hotel (our first since Christchurch) in Te Anau, which is a pretty little tourist town on a pretty lake surrounded by mountains. I really wanted to visit Te Anau because I’d heard there were caves there with glowworms in them! After showering and enjoying a big bed that wasn’t the ground, we moved on to a gorgeous campsite on Lake Te Anau. It was right up near the water in a small wood, and the lake water is so clear it is safe to drink (although we only used it for washing up - there is giardia here, and we didn’t want to get that!)

After setting up camp, we went in and explored the town, and set out on our first Fiordland trip. We took a boat across the lake and went to see the glowworm cave. They walk you into the cave, which contains a rushing river, and then put you in a small punt and turn off all the lights. Lo and behold, the ceiling is covered with these little blue lights, which are all glowworms! It was about the coolest thing ever.

The next thing we saw was Doubtful Sound. It was rainy, so though we had a wet day, we got to see this amazing underground power plant they have there, and got to cruise through the Sound, which is a glacier-carved fjord. We saw fur seals and dolphins playing in the water. It was wet but beautiful, and covered with waterfalls.

 Today, we just got back from Milford Sound, which is the most famous fjord. We had a lot better weather, and the cruise was amazing! The sides of the fjord were completely straight up, some incredibly high! It was a gorgeous day and an incredibly beautiful drive.

We’re off to find our new campsite, and tomorrow, we’ll go to Queenstown to hopefully catch up with friends.

 Ta ta for now!

Laura <![CDATA[Stewart Island rocks my world]]> 2008-03-04T06:39:25Z 2008-03-04T06:39:25Z Today we’re camping on Stewart Island - it’s an island south of the South Island and part of a wildlife preserve. We’ve seen a TON of wild parrots here!!!

We saw Mom’s cousins Nancy and Tom, and they let us stay the night, fed us a GREAT meal and let us pet their sheep!

Yesterday we stayed in Bluff and climbed up the mountain here. Lou’s forcing me to get in shape fast! We look forward to eating Bluff oysters when we get back there.

Lisa, you MUST come here. The bird life is truly amazing!! Seeing the parrots was worth the $110 round trip ferry ticket.

Will check in again as soon as we get more internet!!