Friday, December 14, 2007


As I sit here typing this in our empty apartment, Matt is taking his very last final. In fact, he's taking the very last final, for the very last graduate school class, for the very end of BOTH of our graduate educations. How awesome is that? In just a few short months, we'll be able to FINALLY tally up the total amount of money we owe to Sallie Mae, who everyone knows is NOT getting a Christmas card this year.

Anyway. Matt's last final. Empty apartment. People, do you know what this means? It means that tomorrow, TOMORROW, we’re leaving Pittsburgh. We are LEAVING PITTSBURGH. This kind of news deserves all capital letters because that’s exactly how I feel about this fact.

Now Pittsburgh, don’t get your panties in a bunch. We still love that you put fries on everything, and we’re a fan of your football team and your bridges and rivers. We like that you can put on a show for winter, and that you have the best fireworks we’ve ever seen. But Pittsburgh, let’s be honest here: we are not friends. And tomorrow, we part ways amicably. You go your way, we go ours. And from the way I see it? Our way is SO much cooler.

Here’s how things have been since I got back from Africa: the weekend was surprisingly active, but we didn’t manage to get a whole lot done for the trip. Monday was spent avoiding the fact that we were supposed to be packing. Tuesday was spent actually packing. Wednesday we loaded up the UHaul, drove our stuff to Ohio, and unloaded the UHaul into a storage unit. Thursday we drove back to Pittsburgh from Ohio and Matt pretended to study for his final while I pretended to clean our empty apartment. And now it’s Friday. I’m really anxious for Matt to finish his final because then he can feel what I finally felt on Wednesday night after Matt and Tom squeezed the last item into the storage unit: excitement. I’m so not even kidding. After all of the worry and planning of the past few months, after feeling ambivalent about everyone and everything, after even wondering distractedly if we should even go on this trip, I found myself surprisingly excited on Wednesday night. I slept better on Wednesday than I have in weeks, and ever since Wednesday, I’ve been just itching for Matt to finish his final so that he can feel excited to. This is it! We’re SO doing this.

These are the people without whom this week wouldn’t have been possible:
Tom and Amanda – my rockstar in-laws who have been an immeasurable help to us ever since we started planning this trip. We can’t even think of ways to adequately thank them, because it’s really hard to thank people for just being the wonderful people that they are.

Saul and Ciera – our friends in Pittsburgh who are letting us stay in their apartment while ours is empty, and who are taking care of Tinker while we’re away.

That guardrail in Augusta, Maine – thank you for not hurting Dan. A seriously hurt Dan would have made this week a lot harder. (It’s okay if you don’t understand this one, the person to whom it is directed will get it.)
Lee and Char – because they gave us Starbucks giftcards for Christmas and even when it seemed like we just couldn’t pack another box, the sheer force of caffeine was bound to get us through.

FedEx – thank you for sending our packets of information through the mail to all of the people who needed them. We feel great comfort knowing that the people who need to know exactly where we are in the world will know exactly where we are in the world, and will be able to help us out if we need help from halfway around the globe. – thank you for having free shipping! I’m really psyched to try out my new flip-flops.

Those of you out there who read this blog – I can just tell, all the way in Pittsburgh, that you’re reading these posts and feeling excited for us. Some of you have emailed to tell us that you’re excited, others have called. But really, I can feel the power of the Internet working in our favor over here, and it’s really nice. Because just when it feels like I’m about to engage in the real-life equivalent of stepping off of a fast-moving train, you guys are there with mattresses and cushions all spread out on the ground, ready to cushion my fall. Thanks for that. It’s really cool.

In the next few days, I’m hoping to put up a few more blog posts. There are a few things we really want to write about before we leave, so we can address them again while we’re gone without giving you a long and unnecessary backstory. So look for such interesting topics as “holyshit we’re really doing this” and “traveling to far-flung lands with a chronic illness that hates your intestines” with a dose of “ohmygod we’re leaving tomorrow” and perhaps some “does Matt really think I’m only taking one pair of underwear with me?” thrown in for good measure. I know you’re excited. I sure am. And in exactly two hours and fifteen minutes, Matt is going to be right there with me!


Cris said...

yay! yay! yay! although i think you should stay in pittsburgh long enough to receive our adorable holiday card, which was mailed yesterday. i'm sure its cuteness would get you through any tough moments on your trip. not that there are going to be any tough moments. but it might get you through charlotte withdrawal, which is a certainty.

Steffers said...

YEEFREAKINGHAW!!!! Graduate school is almost over for BOTH of you!!! We couldn't be more excited for you two! And that guardrail is a teeny bit happy, too.

Matt said...

Dude, I'm done. I finished my final an hour early. Luckily, it had one question: "Why?" My answer: "Why not?", and I'm spent :)

Andy said...

Way to go Matt!
PS Today is the 96th anniversary of Roald Amundsen's reaching the South Pole.

Amanda said...

Hooray for all of the wonderful things in your lives right now! It was great to see both of you before you leave. We'll be sending you lots of good wishes every single day, and we can't wait to hear all of the amazing things that you'll learn about yourselves, each other and the world on your journey.

Matt said...

Andy, that is quite an auspicious day. I wonder if Dec 18th is the anniversary of any great exploration.