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A Return

“Where has Brandon gone?” seems to be the recent (ie: last month and a half) question that the ~2 people who actually read this blog have been asking.

So where have I been?

As I mentioned, my parents/brother came to visit for 10 days.  We hiked the 19.3 km Tongariro Crossing, explored the wine regions of Napier, and saw rainbows at Castlepoint.  But mostly it just rained.  A lot.

And then a day later, Katrina came.  We flew off to the South Island, froze our butts off at Mount Cook, hit the Southern-most point on the NZ mainland, got stuck in the mud an hour from civilization and got pulled out by a Lord of the Rings tour-group, saw two amazing sunsets, climbed up a glacier, skydived, crammed for an exam, and went to the emergency room.

Saw graffiti.

I had a week of recovery from my >103° F fever while my wisdom teeth moved and infected my mouth…while studying for another exam.  A four-hour hike in the rain before packing.

32 hours of travel, including 2 overnight flights (4 flights total) and a 9-hour layover in LAX, back to Pittsburgh.

I fought jetlag (doing a bad job at it), got a haircut, cooked hotdogs over a fire, and spent a day of eating bad wings and bowling with Selina.

Took a trip to the Pittsburgh Regatta with my little cousins (where they got a kick out of the fountain at PPG Place).

Saw fireworks.

Moved back up to PSU where I’m doing research building a graphene biosensor.  Went through a heatwave, but got some cooler weather for the Central Pennsylvania Festival for the Arts: PA’s huge cultural jamboree with vendors from all over the country and three music stages (and an excuse for most college kids to have a huge party over the summer).

So that’s why I haven’t been posting.  That, and the sheer overwhelming quantity of everything that’s looming over my head.  You know the feeling–the more things that pile up, the tougher it seems to be to even take a crack at it.

I have nine sets of pictures to post (one for each of the paragraphs above).  I took thousands of pictures that I whittled down into just a few hundred.  I have 22 pages of journal entries from my trip with Kat, and many memories and stories for everything else.  Oh, and a video of skydiving.

Now that I’m back on track and life has slowed down (much to my dismay), you can expect nearly daily entries at least until I finish posting all of this stuff.

I’ll leave you with the amazing sunset that I witnessed on Lake Te Anau in Te Anau, Southland, South Island, New Zealand.  Just a teaser.

  1. Matt
    July 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Welcome back.

  2. July 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    First picture of yours that I’ve seen from the South Island trip. My excitement just went through the roof, you have no idea.

  3. Selina
    July 15, 2010 at 3:31 am

    I also became unreasonably excited for the return of your posts. YAY! Pictures, pictures, pictures :)

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