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Farewell, East Coast!

I wrote my first entry on the Fung Wah Bus two weeks ago, coming down from Boston to NYC for the first stop on my trip. So, I guess it's fitting that I'm writing my last entry from the east coast sitting in the Delta club in La Guardia waiting for my 6AM flight to Aruba. I've never been away from the east coast for more than 6 weeks in my life, having been born near Boston and lived around there my entire life. But in less than an hour I'll be gone from the near-confines of home and won't be back until early March when I return from India.

It's been a relaxing couple weeks starting my trip off in NYC. Mostly just hanging out with friends and sleeping in almost every day. Steve and I failed to go to Six Flags on Saturday (after staying out way too late Friday night,) which was mildly disappointing. I guess I can ride Kingda Ka next spring. On Sunday I actually got up early for once (yeah yeah, 7:30 isn't early, whoever you are rolling your eyes at me who gets up at 5AM and walks 300 miles uphill every morning to work, whatever, be quiet :P), and drove out to the Delaware Water Gap with Belle. We climbed Mt. Tammany (1550'), and found a geocache on the way up (Belle hadn't been geocaching before, so it was imperative that we found her a cache!) There was a wonderful view of the Delaware River and the rest of the Delaware Water Gap and its valleys and mountains from the top, and a very cool waterfall to punctuate the climb back down. All in all, quite a fun hike and a great time (other than the traffic on the GWB on the way back.)

I hung out with Lauren after that since I hadn't seen her in forever; I also hadn't had sushi in a couple weeks (practically a record for me!) so we went to Sushi Sen-Nin and had some very tasty sushi. The bluefin toro (fatty tuna belly) there is AMAZING. Buttery and melt-in-your-mouth just like it should be. We found a cool bar (other than the horrid music) with a huge beer selection afterwards with a friendly bartender dressed up in her full Oktoberfest regalia and hung out until late sampling a few tasty beers. (It was one of those cool places that'll just give you an ounce or two of whatever you want to try that's on tap, which is nice when you have to drive and when they have tons of great stuff on tap.)

Monday I spent going out to San Francisco for a 30 minute visit to the SFO airport. Mileage run! 25k+ miles for $250, and I need the base miles for status qualification. Same Song plane both ways, and I was even in the same seat. :) Unfortunately I totally slacked off today (well, Tuesday into today, I guess it's Wednesday now since I haven't gone to sleep yet) and just spent it relaxing, packing, taking care of various financial matters, and preparing for the rest of my trip. I was planning on getting up early and going into the city to take lots of pictures, but I failed and managed to sleep until 4PM. Oh well. I'll be back in the spring to wander around NYC being excessively touristy.

I'm really looking forward to the 5 days in Aruba; warm weather, great beaches, and good friends (my sister and several of my friends from Boston will be there, including JJP and Noam for those who know them.) Maybe I'll be ambitious enough to work on a scuba diving cert when I'm down there, because I definitely want to go scuba diving around the Great Barrier Reef whenever I make it to Australia next year. The hotel I'm staying at claims to offer a free basic scuba diving lesson weekly; hopefully I'll be there on the right day for that. I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun whatever we do; I definitely want to at least go kayaking and snorkeling at the very minimum.

So anyways, my flight's started boarding, so goodbye everyone on the east coast! I'll probably have limited Internet access while I'm in Aruba, but I'll at least be checking mail once in a while. And incoming SMSes are cheap if anyone wants to harass me. Then I'm off to Michigan and Ohio on the 3rd so I can ease the Internet withdrawal pains I'll surely still be in. Oh yeah, I AM working on my pictures, slowly but surely. Soon, soon, they'll be up! (Yeah, like anyone will believe me until they're actually uploaded. I certainly wouldn't believe myself. :)