Real time.

Friday 7am. We are back on East Coast time now approaching Norfolk. We had to pack last night. Our “checked” luggage gets lifted off the ship by crane. We carry the stuff we need today and tomorrow, plus any fragile items. We reunite with our bags after immigration and before customs.

We are allowed to bring $800 of personal purchases in without tax. Sorry for you potential gift receivers, I came in well under that.

Today we have commencement for those students who actually finished their degrees this summer. And we will still be in the lab as folks are busy trying to stuff more photos onto their already full hard drives.

The mood on the ship is a mixture of excitement about getting home, and sadness of leaving new friends. Everyone is talking about what they will be doing inĀ  the next few days. Especially what/where they want to eat. I think the ship does a great job with the food, but after 10 weeks, we are all craving something. I’m thinking corn-on-the-cob, or perhaps a red curry with lots of crushed red pepper.

Many students purchased world maps and they are having friends sign it like a yearbook. It’s a cool idea. Up on the wall you get to see where your friends are and what they wrote. Better than a yearbook closed on a shelf.

Tomorrow morning we dock, and exit the ship in groups. We have purple tags and exit 4th. We have tickets for the airport shuttle and a 5:30 flight to BTV through Newark. We should be home by midnight.