As soon as we landed in Canada, my first impression was: lots of lush green landscape, grey skies, and COLD! As soon as we got into customs though, I realized how nice Canadian airport officials are .. then the cab ride .. then the hotel staff .. restaurant owners .. grocery store clerks .. consensus: Canadians are very friendly people!

The flights were nothing too out of the ordinary, except that my flight from Philly to Halifax was probably 95% other SAS’ers. I was too exhausted to really chat anyone up, but for the most part everyone seems friendly and just as excited about the summer as I am. I saw a couple of girls that I met a few weeks ago at Ohio State. Oh, get this – one girl’s luggage was lost!! How incredibly TERRIBLE! She came in yesterday and the luggage is supposed to be here tonight, so hopefully she gets her stuff. We have 10 straight days at sea, so it’s not like the luggage can even be delivered to her before we reach Barcelona.

Speaking of luggage, I have to point out that the hotel staff said my mom and I were the lightest travelers they had seen all day – by far! It left me a little worried about bringing enough stuff, but I really did take people’s advice to heart and packed only essential items that I wear/use frequently.

 (Mom & Dad – you can’t be upset about the huge suitcase of souvenirs I plan on bringing home now!)

My mom and I had a town car come scoop us up from the airport, and it was so nice! It had mints, hand sanitizer, and bottled water in the back for us!

(Since I’m such a tourist, I took pictures)

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The ride was actually about 30 minutes and we had a (surprise, surprise) very nice driver! There were some cool bridges in the cityairport 4 am .. ew 007   airport 4 am .. ew 005 and actually, the city is cooler than I expected! Since it’s right on the water, there is a lot of different levels of elevation to the buildings, and the pictures I took just don’t do it justice!

My mom and I were tired and hungry, but hunger came first! I spotted a cute little Lebanese place about a mile out from the hotel on our ride in, so that was the stop! If I’m ever in Halifax again, I would definitely go back to Anna’s Cafe.  The owners were adorable and speaking Arabic, which my mom could catch but I was only getting every few words! Time to dust off the Arabic books .. I gotta practice my skills for Egypt!

Now, hopefully you’re still with me, because this is the BEST part of the post! The room my mom and I are in overlooks the water .. and what’s outside of my window?????

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Oh, just this little ship called the M/V Explorer that will be my home for the next 10 weeks. (!!!!!) I can’t even tell you how excited I was to have a room with a view this amazing, seriously!

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I’m going to try to set up an online photo album so that I can share more pictures with everyone, because facebook eats up internet time on the ship which is limited. Once I’ve got that figured out, I will post up the link!

  • Stamps in passport: 1
  • Books read: 1 (Food Rules by Michael Pollan)