Posted by Emily Block | 1 comments

Goodbye Loves!

Leaving the ship was one of the most bittersweet moments of my life.  I was so excited to see my parents, but hated to leave the amazing SAS community.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Before that, there was more packing and celebrating.

SAS does this neat thing where the graduating seniors get to participate in a commencement ceremony.  Since I am a graduating senior, that included me.  Andrea was also a graduating senior so we had some hang out/goofy time before the ceremony.

We are special.  :0)

The Captain gives a speech.  

The Dean gives a speech.  This guy was absolutely hilarious!  

The much beloved Global Studies professor gives a speech....

....and demonstrates how not to take pictures at tourist destinations.

And my bum food.
The family and I had our last bunch of meals together complete with the usual shenanigans and heated Doctor Who discussions.

I must have said something hilarious here.  I am quite funny you know.  

Ok, maybe someone else said the hilarious thing.  

As usual, Josh uses his facial expressions to convey how we all feel.  In this case it is how we feel about signing abazillion maps.

Josh's pen 

Josh knit this with sewing thread and tooth picks.  I want one!

We had our last pre-port the day before we arrived in San Diego and it was a hilarious spoof of the usual pre-ports.  The deans' and the staffs' kids or students dressed up like them and gave a silly version of their usual pre-port shpeal.

I stayed up quite late that night swapping photos and getting in last minute fun time.  And more last minute packing.  And picture taking.


And then it was our last day on the MV Explorer.  We started out the day with a breakfast with our sleep-deprived comrades.  There were many a laughs and a general air of denial that this was all going to be over soon.

Then we headed out to the deck to watch San Diego come into view.  I think for a while we got caught up in the excitement waving American flags that someone passed out and signing along to Neil Diamond's America.  As we came into the port, these bouncy little specks materialized into parents who were jumping up and down to greet us.  After some searching (and shoving through crowds) I spotted my mom and dad.  They too spotted me once I started waving my crutch and there was much frantic waving.  

After that adrenaline rush was over, we had about two hours to say goodbye before we started disembarking.  I don't think so many people have cried so hard ever.  In history.  We almost had to call Noah in with the flood of tears.  Ok, I may be exaggerating, but it was a really heart wrenching two hours.  

I spent most of it sobbing into my friend's shoulders as we bear hugged each other goodbye.  We thanked each other for making this journey as amazing as it was.  I know my voyage would not have been the same without these wonderful people at my side.  I kept wondering how I was supposed to go back to "normal" life without seeing them every day.  I still am not sure.  I could write pages and pages and it would not come close to expressing what each of my friends meant to me.  It is hard now with us spread all over the country (and world), but I find happiness in knowing that we are friends for life.  

In between tearful goodbyes, I took some last photos with people.

Last roomie picture  :0(

Professor Bass and I.  This lady is one of the coolest people I have ever met.  I certainly learned a lot from her!

I knew I would miss Crispen's sign!

Cripsen, my cabin steward and I.
Too soon they were calling my sea to disembark and I frantically shoved the last things into my suitcases and headed out.  I wish I could say I had gained some composure by this point, but no, I cried all the way out the door and into the terminal.  Stepping off the boat that last time felt more frightening than the first time I set foot on the MV Explorer.  I wasn't sure how this real life thing was going to end up.  I'm still not sure.

It reminded me of a quote I have in my digital quote collection: "The truth is, I was afraid the day I walked into Stanford.  And I was afraid the day I walked out."  ~Carly Fiorina  
Insert "MV Explorer" in place of "Stanford" and it's golden. 

All of my sadness turned abruptly into joy the second I turned the last corner of customs and saw my dad.  I hobbled up to him and cried some more as more bear hugs ensured.  Then my mom, and my brother leaped out from the car to surprise me.  It was great seeing them again!  My tears rapidly dried as I took off talking at the speed of light about my trip.  I was really happy that my family got to meet my ship parents and ship grandparents before we pulled away from the dock.  

For the next twenty four hours I was all excitement.  I had fun exploring the familiar San Diego surroundings, meeting Andrea and her sister for lunch, and catching up with my family.  

After 110 days of pining after it, I finally got some of my chocolate "jumping cow milk"

And Mexican food that isn't Taco Day

Since then it has been a roller coaster of emotions as I am adjusting back to civilian life.  More on that later.  :0)

1 comment:

  1. Glad you got to see your wonderful family but also the chocolate :)


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