shipping up to boston

Boston was a whirlwind.

A week after getting settled in, and just beginning classes, I got The Call from my mom. Come home, this is it. I packed in a daze, borrowed Adam’s ipod car player, and jumped in the Jeep to return to Annapolis. A week later we were setting my Granddad to rest with his relatives and saying good bye. Reading at the funeral was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Luckily, I have such wonderful friends and Rachel Wells, best friend since infancy, jumped on a plane almost as quickly as I jumped in my car and spent a few days with us; and my GEP friends kept me in the loop at school. After the madness there wasn’t anything keeping me around and so I drove back to school, intent on enjoying my last months with the GEP.

And for a spell I was successful. We had cook-outs and picnics, took trips to the beach (I went skydiving with Ale in Ocean City!), and went to summer concerts. Adam’s friend Dave was out east working for Ween as a sound guy at the Disco Biscuits Camp Bisco Festival. We spent nights in the city (and on a trolly in route), and had parties on campus (love the rubic cube theme!). We even had a pool party with a temporary pool that Chris, Ashley, and Katrina got. We went on night time walks with the Dugout Crew. We cooked dinners, had chili-cookoffs, started families (Love you Robert Plant, Grace, and Eleanor), and went camping. Tabi had Liam, and I visited Chela in Oswego, NY. And we played Soccer.

And that’s when I fell into madness again. Playing Soccer one evening, I tripped, rolled, and broke my arm. I had to have surgery to fix it! Now I have a plate and seven screws in my wrist. This was the last week of the program. Again, my wonderful GEP friends stepped up to the plate. I will be forever grateful to my group that finished the presentation and got their act together for the end of our consulting project. I couldn’t have finished the semester without them. I spent the last two weeks totally stoned on pain killers.

And then, it was the last night. We had a touching intimate closing ceremony in the afternoon. We played one last soccer match (I even tried to join in, kicked the ball around a few times, but decided explaining to the doctor how I broke my JUST set arm would be too difficult) and we took a bus into town for one last party. We partied like Geppers do, but no matter how hard you party eventually the night turns into day. And as hard as we fought the dawn, it arrived just the same. Many tearful goodbyes later, and I was again in the Jeep heading home to Annapolis. Only this time I was being driven home by another good friend, there for me when I needed him- Reid.

Apparently parents don’t want their children driving nine hours by themselves with one arm, a hangover, and a bottle of painkillers.

So thats that. That was my year around the world. I partied with more people, in more places, and made more memories than I ever thought I would. I am forever changed because of it. Even now, four months later and finally finishing the story, I am overcome by emotion. I would give anything to have the entire group together again, but there is nothing I have to give that would make that happen. Instead I’ll smile, tell the stories any chance I get, and work on some new ones in between. And when I can, I’ll keep traveling.

Like now, on my European Tour, trying to visit as many Geppers as I can in the next month.

Ganbei!

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