The vacation is part of a larger excursion: I'm leaving Mpls Tuesday Nov. 22nd (unless the airline changes flights again) to spend Thanksgiving with my brother in Washington DC. Friday the 26th, my mother and I are going to fly to Miami to meet up with the Lindblad tour. Itinerary as above. On the way back, we're staying in Miami with a friend for a few days. Thence back to Mpls.
This is my first time off N. America in more than 30 years. I'm looking forward to it.
Antarctica in Nov/Dec is summer, and the temp should be in the 40s during the day. Nonetheless, the tour provides you with a parka. It's not as good as my Mpls winter coat in many respects, but it's a fine layered coat and it's bright orange so we won't get mixed up with the penguins. There are no piers in Antarctica, so from the cruise ship we take Zodiac boats to the icy shore and leap in the shallow water. Not a big deal, but I need waterproof boots and pants.
I've always wanted to go to Antarctica. In college, I discovered that McMurdo Station has a zip code, an army FPO number out of San Fransisco, 96598, though apparently APO 96598 will work too.
I used to mail RAPS and Two Magicians and other zines to "A science fiction fan" in that zip code. Never heard anything back. For all I know they became instant penguin cage liners, or maybe never got there. Still, if I meet anyone from that era, I'll remind them that it's never too late to loc.
The South Pole station has its own cancellation mark as well. I don't know if we'll be going to any station with a post office, but if you want me to mail you something from the pole give me a snail mail address. No guarantees.
I've had my doctor's checkup -- to prove I'm healthy enough for the trip -- and took care of passport and other useful things. Still looking for a good set of binoculars (though I have some okay ones on tap, including a 10x50 from jiawen). Am bringing camera plus batteries. Mom is bringing her camera plus laptop so we can download and edit pictures on the fly, but I might invest in another xD chip. Have a lot of reading to do, apparently.
I went on two out-of-state trips this year. Perhaps next time around I'll visit Antarctica in July and Mississippi in December.