Saturday, December 24, 2005

New Year's Resolution

Well, for the past week I have been doing a lot of thinking about things. I have been thinking about what I have accomplished in the last year. But then there are so many things that I wanted to do but didn't do.

2005 accomplishments
• Backpacked alone across South Africa including surfing for the
first time!
• Drove from Texas to Miami in 2 days
• Drove from New York through the Appalachians to Atlanta then
Ft. Lauderdale
• Went to St. Kitts, Nevis, all the USVI and BVI
• Spent an entire summer in The Hamptons in New York and New
York City
• Spent a month in Boston
• Went on a Safari and was chased by elephants
• Started doing yoga classes in NYC

Things I didn’t accomplish

• I didn’t start a new travel business
• I didn’t run a marathon, 10k, or even a 5k
• I didn’t return back to Texas
• I didn’t see anyone in my family for an entire year ?
• I didn’t go back to school for my MBA
• I didn’t lose (or gain) weight
• I didn’t go to church
• I didn’t go to medical school

Things I want to do in 2006

• Take yoga classes in Thailand, kayak in Antarctica, and hike
across New Zealand
• Visit all my friends on the West Coast
• Visit all my friends back in Texas
• My first triathlon
• Ride a bike across Africa
• Sail across the Atlantic

So here are my new years resolutions. We'll see how this goes and if I can check them off my list come 2007!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

St. Thomas USVI

Headed to St. Thomas today. The thing I love about doing deliveries is that I get the chance to just think. We are on the water for days at a time and I have nothing to do but think. I think about what I want to do about my future, I think about my past and sometimes I just enjoy the present. Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. The sun was out, there were no waves the water was like glass. When we arrive it will be Christmas day and then we have all day to just hang out, exchange presents with the crew and eat Christmas dinner that the chef made for us. I can't wait. Sometimes I hate my job, but today I couldn't ask for anything better in the world.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Leaving Boston, back to the Caribbean

The past month has really been a bad month for me. It started out with much happiness and anticipation at we left on the boat for Ft. Lauderdale from Boston. As we headed south, Hurrican Wilma headed north toward us leaving behind a destroyed Ft. Lauderdale. So as we waited in New York City at Chelsea Piers for Wilma to pass and FLL to reconstruct, the owner of the boat came on unexpectadly and we all had to work after hoping for a leisurely delivery down. So we ended up staying two weeks in NYC. I didn't mind as one week we had off of work and we spent exploring and tearing up NYC. Best of all, we got to spend Halloween off work in New York. Wow! You haven't seen All Hallows Eve until you've seen it in NYC!

We got the OK to head to Charleston, SC, to get us a little closer to FLL but then again we were caught off guard as the owner requested us to Atlantis Marina in Nassau, Bahamas two weeks before Thanksgiving and when we were planning to go there. Even though the entire crew hates FLL we were all so looking forward to seeing old yachtie friends back there even if it meant we were stuck in Lauderdale. What's worse than being stuck in Lauderdale? Being stuck in the Bahamas when you would rather been in Florida. I know, it's a tough life, But I was expecting to meet my best friend Rose in FLL and had to call off her vacation to visit me at the last minute. Thus is the life of a yachtie I suppose. One thing I miss about land life is seeing my friends when I want to see them. I would give anything to be able to be roommates with Rose again. We had the most fun!

Anyway, I managed to get a little sun by the pool at Atlantis. Hey, I haven't seen the sun in 8 months! I spend everyday inside the pit of the toilets! I know, it's hard to sit by the pool drinking Pina Coladas on your day off. But if I didn't, who would drink all the rum?

Finally after Thanksgiving was over and the owners were off the boat we made a bee line to FLL where I was greeted by noone as all my friends have all left for St. Martin in the Caribbean. :( Now one of my best friends on the boat has quit suddenly and don't have a party friend anymore. Ahhh. I can't wait until Christmas. Christmas in St. Thomas should make up for the last month.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Night out in Boston

Last night Tara, Jason and James and I went out for Jason't birthday and our last Friday night in Boston. The first place we went was The Living Room. I would describe it as a lounge and martini bar. They have every type of martini you can think of and if you invent one they'll make it for you. The apple martinis are good, but I can make them better myself. The bartenders there are gorgeous. One in particular, Mike, could be described as beautiful. After a few rounds at The Living Room we went to Gypsy Bar. The line was two hours long but James having an adorable Australian accent got us in in 2 minutes. Large screen TVs all around the bar had films of sexy runway models on the catwalk and a DJ at the front entrance of the bar played some excellent music. The bar was huge and filled with lots of beautiful people. I was a big fan of the place though. Too crowded, too meat market. Tara and I left early taking a taxi back to the Boston Harbor Hotel but the guys ended up staying out the entire night. We all slept in this morning so we missed the Rowing Reggata on the Charles and the All-American Rejects. Oh well. Last weekend in Boston and I'm nursing a fierce hangover. Well, there's always next year

James, Tara and Jason

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Travel Detox

When I quit my last job after 6 months I was afraid that it would mean that I wouldn't have the chance to go on my Thailand trip planned for January. Well that still holds true, but today it hit me that I won't be up for my vacation days for another 6 months at my new job. That means I will not have traveled to a new country for over a year. Yes, I realize that my job requires travel sometimes to new to me countries but that's work. I want a real vacation. And I need to meet my goal to go to all 7 continents soon.

Today I started dreaming again of all the places I want to go and still haven't been. First of all I still want to go to Asia and Antarctica and once I have been to those places I am allowed my frivalous trips. Which include but are only limited by my imagination.

• I think it would be fun to travel Central and South America by motorcycle. Probably really dangerous too! But I am dying to go to Machu Pichu.
• I want to travel the entire continent of Africa. This will take at least a year to travel the perimeter plus Madagascar. I think I will start in Spain and go down and clockwise. Why? Not really sure why, but why not?
• Then I want to return to Europe and take the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow.
• Of course I want to sail across the Atlantic and spend a summer in the Mediterranean, preferably Greece and Croatia
• I would love to see the Taj-Mahal
• Budapest and Prague are also cities I would love to see. But as I was doing research on them I noticed that I want to go to every country in Europe. I wonder if that’s possible. OK. I’m up for it.

Where am I going to get the money for this? And who wants to go with me?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Newbury street in Boston

So yesterday as I said in my previous blog Tara and I went to Newbury Street. We mostly just window shopped and took pictures of ourselves. As we were walking down the street we saw a crowd and wanted to know what was going on. Turns out an a cappella group was singing, "Shout" and they were so fun and charismatic! We got some pics and Tara somehow managed to record them with my camera.

Upload videos at Bolt.

Then we wandered to the Armani Cafe in the Armani store and had the best french fries of our lives! We decided to bring them home to Syd (the boat's chef) so he'll make fries like that for us. But we forgot. Accidentally eating them before we could show Syd.

Thinking about Syd we called him to find out what he was doing and if he would meet up with us. He was already headed over to see some friends play at a little bar so we took the subway to meet him. He brought with him Owen Plant who is an incredible musician that opened for the band we were about to see in Tucson AZ. The band playing was called Ryanhood and was made up of two very talended guitarists. I would recommend anyone to listen and buy their CDs. I did and am now a fan. You can go to

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Kristina is coming to Miami

My friend Kristina from Cali (aka ubercool travel girl) is coming to visit me in Miami Dec 2-4. I haven't seen her since she came to visit me in Dallas November 2003. We met in Australia way back in 2002 when we were studying Biology in the Daintree rainforest and spent all our time searching for didgeridoos in the trees. Turns out that didgeridoos are not animals but in fact musical instruments. So after we couldn't find those we searched for Australian boys, but never found one of those either. As I recall, Kristina did in fact find a boy in Sydney but he was English. Then when she came to see me in Dallas we searched for cowboys at the rodeo. I think that the rodeo turned her off to cowboys, Texas country (we saw Pat Green in concert) and BBQ and on to animal rights however. This time I'm sure when she visits Miami our goals will be the same, get drunk and search for boys!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Blue Ridge Parkway

Driving solo from The Hamptons to Miami via the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville, North Carolina, then on to Atlanta the home of the Braves and my dear Rose. Overall, it took me 4 days to get from Long Island to Miami not including the 3 days in Atlanta and a slight deter by a hurricane.

Above the Clouds

Small Pond

Where does this path go?

Appalachian Mountains

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Letter to dad:South Africa

Hey Dad,

OK you asked for it. Here's the whole route I took in South Africa. I started in Cape Town flying in 24 hours from Atlanta with a layover in Johannesberg. Not really having a plan when I landed I decided to rent a car and drive from Cape Town to Jo'Burg which quickly became more of a chore than a luxury as I realized that they drive on the left side of the road and I rented a manual car. So after nearly getting into an accident in the Hertz parking lot I switched to an automatic car and drove off the parking lot while the employees laughed at me from behind.

I stayed at hostel called Ashanti converted from an old mansion. It was voted the best hostel in Cape Town and it really was amazing and so many people were there. I was the only girl in my room of 16 beds. It smelled like sweat and at night all the guys snored in unison even though they all spoke different languages

My first full day in South Africa I went on a winelands tour in Boschendale. I was all by myself but met a girl from the US who had been traveling for 4 years straight. We got totally hammered together. Best way to make friends! But don't worry. I was safe as always. I know you're already worried after my first day!

My second day in Cape Town I met Martin who changed my life forever! Martin is an incredibly outgoing, funloving guy from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Martin and I met two others and we all drove out to the Cape of Good Hope for the Day. It took us 5 hours to drive 30 miles as we had to stop and get out to take pictures of everything from townships to wild ostriches. Finally, when we made it to Cape Point the view was outstanding. I couldn't believe how fortunate I was to be there. My favorite part of the day was to go see the warm weather South African Penguins in Simon's Town. I loved them so much except when we would get up close to them they would turn around and poop on us! It was hilarious!

The day ended and so did my time in Cape Town. The next day Martin and I headed separately to Port Elizabeth where we met up at another hostel and met a new friend, Thomas, a German guy backpacking his way on the same route as us. We only stayed the night in PE and headed to my main destination, Coffee Bay, in the heart of the Transkei. Nelson Mandela's homeland and the poorest area of South Africa.

Thomas, Martin, and I only meant to stay in Coffee Bay one night but as soon as we stepped out of our car and saw the view we wanted to stay a lifetime. The backpacker we stayed at, The Coffee Shack, was very earthy and owned by a fabulously friendly couple and staff. The area was so welcoming and the first night we went for sundowners on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Locals played their drums for us while their children danced for us. Again, South African bewildered me and I was so inspired by its culture and land.

Thomas, Martin, me and our new Belgian friend Mattias, left Coffee Bay too soon after three nights and headed to Hluehlue-Umfolozi reserve North of Durban. The trip from Coffee Bay to Hlueblue wasn't as beautiful as the ride along the Garden Route from Cape Town to Coffee Bay unfortunately.

The backpacker we stayed at also wasn't as nice as the one in Coffee Bay or Cape town but the setting was entirely different. We were on a game reserve and I was terrified I was going to be eaten by a lion! Then I found out that lions couldn't get to me there...too late I was already afraid to leave the cabin.

We went for a day long safari which although was incredible to see the "Big Five" I wouldn't recommend driving on your own. I would have rather had a tour and not had to worry about self-guide. I was crabby that day as Martin and Thomas would tell you. Poor guys! I'm sorry I yelled at you for speeding!

The next day we went to St. Lucia wetlands and went on a hippo safari which was pretty cool but to me, nothing could compare to Coffee Bay.

Our last major trip was a bit of a detour as we headed to a whole other country, Swaziland. I loved the Swazi people and couldn't believe the statistics I heard about the AIDS epidemic there. More than 50% of the population is infected with AIDS and it is only getting worse. I cried when I could see the people who obviously had it and were dying and then hated myself for not doing more to help.

Swaziland changed me forever.

Finally, Thomas, Martin and I made it to Jo'burg where once again I found myself living in fear. This time not fear of lions but fear of crime. I heard so many horror stories about burglaries and murders in Jo'Burg. My fears were only enhanced by the huge barracades around the houses which kept the South Africans hidden safely (or not) behind the walls afraid to venture out into the streets. I parted ways with my new, dear friends Martin and Thomas and we all promised to keep in touch.

When I got back to the states, Thomas wrote me to tell me his roommate in J'Burg died in his bed at the backpacker and noone noticed for 2 days because everyone just thought he recovering from some heavy partying. Well, maybe he was trying but just didn't recover. How weird is that?

Ok. I love you! Come visit me. Oh...and my next trip is to Thailand and you're coming.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

More South Africa

Well, I have driven North East from Cape Town through the "Garden Route" through a town called Port Elizabeth where I stayed for a night, then to Coffee Bay in the "Wild Coast" in the Transkei heartland where the Xhosi are from (the ones who click when speaking!). It's the poorest area of SA but the most beautiful. It's where Mandela's tribe is from. I stopped at a nice backpacker hostel right on the ocean and was going to stay one night but ended up staying 3. I learned how to surf which I am now in LOVE with! I'm now in Zululand actually Kwazulu-Natal which is where the HluwHlue/Imfulzi national reserve is.

Yesterday we went on a Safari and were attacked by a herd of Elephants! They had their babies which were SO adorable! It was so cool. I saw a ton of giraffe, lions, buffalo, zebra, baboons(!), etc. Unfortunately, no leopards or cheetahs. ;o( Anyway, today I am in the St. Lucia wetlands searching for hippos and crocs. We did a walking tour but before we left our guide had to warn us that there is in fact the danger of being attacked by elephants, buffalo and hippos which made the trek all the more worthwhile. I realized what a lucky girl I am to have this opportunity. I think this is how people should live their lives. Exploring and adventure. Times likes these I feel my life is most worthwhile. It's actually kinda cold here. Such is winter I guess.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Surfing in Coffee Bay, Transkei, South Africa

I went surfing yesterday in Coffee Bay a famous surf spot in South Africa. And from now on I am officially a surfer and no longer a hurley poser like I was in college! But today I am incredibly sore everywhere but most oddly in my fingers. Paddling I guess. But yeah, I am hooked for life!

I've hooked up with a guy from Argentina and a guy from Germany and we are all heading to Jo'Burg. We picked up two lady hitchhikers in the Transkei who told us that they were from Mandelas tribe and met Oprah Winfrey last time she was here! There's much more to tell, but my fingers are really hurting right now! More later!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Driving to South Africa

So Friday I began to drive the 10 hours to Atlanta from Ft. Lauderdale to stay with Rose and catch my flight to South Africa. After driving 30 mins in the wrong direction as in South to Cuba instead of North to Georgia, I decided that was a sign and headed back to Ft. Lauderdale with my tale and my tail between my legs.

Begin day two of my trip to South Africa entirely so far spent NOT in South Africa. Finally, after learning from my mistakes and knowing through experience which direction to head out of Ft. Lauderdale, I made it safely to Atlanta, only to get lost and make Rose come and find me. My trip to South Africa is not starting well at this point. Rose gave me keys to her house as she was going to work and she told me to not open the door to anyone, or talk to anyone, and to park behind the house. As usual, I was like ok Rose whatever you say. I didn't question her at the time because I was too tired. As I was asleep around 10pm in Rose's house of no shades and it was pitch black outside, someone knocked on the door, and knocked, and knocked for I'm not kidding, 30 minutes. I texted Rose and our texts went like this:

Jerri: Someone's knocking on the door. What do I do?
Jerri:It's hard to hide in a house with NO blinds!
Rose: Then a statue!
Jerri:Should I be afraid?
Rose:I'll explain later.

So after standing like a statue for an hour and thoroughly freaked out I decided I was going to have to make like a tree and run for my car. When I finally met Rose later after checking into a nice safe hotel she tells me she thought I was joking about someone knocking on the door and there was absolutely no reason why I should be afraid. To make up for it she bought me a beer (knowing full well I don't drink beer) and then promptly in typical Rose fashion drank it herself!

To be continued tomorrow...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Checked out of retirement community, now going to South Africa

Today I checked out of the retirement community (I'm not quite ready to retire) and moved back into Mary's Crew House. Oh, also have a new job but don't start until May 7 where the boat will fly me to Nassau where we'll do a delivery to NYC. So until then, instead of hanging out in Ft. Lauderdale at retirement communities I'm going to South Africa for two weeks. I guess I'll chill out in Cape Town, go to Mandela's jail cell, and head up to Jo'berg and then to Kruger. No set plans yet, as I usually don't have any plans and it usually works out ok. Why ruin a good thing with planning? Oh, but upon my dad's request I guess I'll get some shots and stuff. Just in case I get Malaria which I imagine might suck.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Now living in a retirement community in Hallendale Beach, Florida

I quit my absolutely horrendous job on Friday and decided that I owe myself a vacation so I checked into a retirement community accidentally. I looked up health spas online and thought I had found this really cool spa where you could do yoga all day long and sit on the beach and get three meals a day which are vegan. I now realize that the "Yoga" classes actually mean light stretching for those with arthritis and vegan meals means prechewed food as people here have no teeth to eat with. Why does this happen to me? Now I am afraid to go outside my room as everyone is 100 years older than me and look at me like I'm crazy. And I believe they are old enough to know it's true, I am crazy. What have I done now? I think I might be losing it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Back to Ft. Lauderdale, but I got to meet some celebrities

I've had the strangest last week. First of all I have officially left Keewaydin in order to pursue more career opportunities. So I disembarked from Keewaydin in Key West Florida and proceeded to Ft. Lauderdale to find another job, which I did the next day. So I started a brand new temporary job on the worlds fastest boat while the boss was down for the weekend. He brought the worlds best hockey player and a few of his friends. At first I was so so stressed out thinking ok these guys are going to be so super cool and I'm so not. But they turned out to be some of the nicest people I've ever met. They were such gentlemen. The coolest thing and this will sound so weird, but they treated me like a friend, the flirted but not disgustingly and overtly. One of them, the best one, told me I was pretty. How cool is that? But I think they thought I was like 16 though because their nickname for me was little girl.