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Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » Signing Out - Oct 12, 2006

Signing Out - Oct 12, 2006

We were up at 0600, getting dressed and loading the Saturn. Hugged the family goodbye and made our way out to the vehicle.  JoAnn drove us to Raytheon Polar Services HQ on her way into a workday filled with meetings.  We were leaving the country today, so anything that still needed to be taken care of, needed to be done today (in addition to training and taking a bus ride and a flight on our way out of the country).

When we got to the office, we (i.e. Chris) finished our expense reports, handed over some movies that we were donating to the program, and headed for final bits of training. In the training, we discovered that our original plan was foiled.  Our luggage/poundage limits to NZ were higher than our limits to the Pole.  We planned on carrying all our stuff to NZ and then using the APO post office to “guardmail” items over our poundage limit. We learned today that we would be unable to use the guardmail since we were to only be in NZ on sat and sun, when the APO office was closed.  We discovred this at about T-30min from the office.  Chris came to our rescue again and located boxes and tape.  We boxed up our “dense” items - mostly books and called for JoAnn to make a rescue run for our stuff before heading home at the end of the day.

With that, we loaded our stuff onto a bus and made some of our last minute calls (insurance adjuster, banker, realtor, and equifax/credit report bureaus).  Everything seemed pretty cool - our house sold on the 11th to a lovely couple that may or may not continue with a de Mayo party but did assure us that the yard would be put to use properly :) . We updated our credit alert and our Banker was keeping his eyes on our account for craziness. Shortly thereafter, we arrived at DIA.  We were at the airport for about 5 hours.  This left plenty of time to check-in, hit the post office with a few spare items (we hadn’t realized that we would have the opportunity to do that or we would have taken the newly packaged boxes with us), get through security, get some grubb, do some online business, make more phone calls, etc.  There were not really very many “spare minutes” during these final days.  With that, we boarded at about 5pm local and headed to LAX.  I don’t even think the plane had a chance to level off before I was totally cashed out.  I woke up for a glass of water, and went to sleep again.

In LAX, we walked over to the international terminal, and given that we didn’t have seats together, we made the mistake of heading out to the concourse to see if there was a chance to relocate seats.  The international terminal has nice restaurants out in the middle, but jack crap in the terminals.  We basically sat around, made a few phone calls, but mostly just sat around..waiting for the moment when Jason could cancel his cell phone and the craziness of the summer would be behind us…and then it came.  At about 9pm local time, cell service was cancelled and we officially “signed out” of ties to CA.  We were CO residnets now on our way to Antarctica without a trace of CA on us (other than the friends we left behind).  How sweet it was to take a deep breath and leave it all behind.

Some good flicks were on the flight, but, again, exhaustion caught up to us and I watched 1/2 of a movie before cashing out.  Dinner was delivered to Jason first, while still awake watching a crappy movie.  Apparently, the movie was bad enough that he couldn’t hold onto the glass of wine — and woke me up with a dump of chilled white wine all over my lap. In case you are wondering, it is a real crappy way to wake up out of a deep sleep.  I actually had a hard time trying to decide to be angry or laugh - First of all, I couldn’t figure out what happened, then, it was cracking me up watching Jason try to dab it up with a tiny airplane napkin.  It was clear that he felt bad…but it was cold…My new co-workers who saw the mid-dinner events said they were surprised at how calm I was and the fact that I even laughed through it…It was funny.  So funny - I couldn’t even stay angry during the brief seconds of realization when the cold drink hit my legs.

The rest of the flight was uneventful.  We had carried our pillwos with us, which proved to be incredible aids in the process of sleeping on the plane during a long flight after such a crappy week.  I was glad Jason had talked me into it.  We leaned against each other with pillows between and swapped seats mid-flight.  All in all we slept for about 8 hours of the 14-hour flight… Not bad!

Apparently our first trip to Aukland didn’t help us much in the transfer process the 2nd time around.  As you may recall, we missed our flight to CHC the first time we went to NZ, and if it hadn’t been for running sidewalks with bags in cart, it might have happened again.  We made it just in time, loaded up, and headed for CHC.


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