Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back in Alaska 4.11.10

We left Palm Springs on Wednesday, flying up to Ketchikan with a quick stop in Seattle. We’ve always prided ourselves on how little we actually need with us. In the past 3 years we have traveled in our own vehicle and boat and it seemed like we had so little! Well….our flight brought us to reality! We had 3 bags weighing 50lbs, 1 ‘overflow’ bag with about 25lbs – and 2 carry-ons each. That’s a total of 8 bags! Haha… And NO….before you blame me for bringing a ton of clothes, I brought just what was needed….well, and 5 pairs of shoes! Haha… But we did pretty good. I’ve only found one item I forgot so far that I can’t replace here – a type of dental floss that is not sold here, go figure! I’ll have to order it and have it shipped up I guess.

The flight was fine, we chatted away with the passenger beside us on the first flight – the entire flight! It turns out him & Michael had a lot in common, grew up in the same area, went into the Military at the same time, etc. And it all started because he was reading a book written by the same author that I was. I don’t think I have EVER talked the entire flight with the passenger beside me!

The airport ferry to Ketchikan

Once we arrived in Ketchikan, which is on Gravina Island, we took the ferry over to Revillagigedo Island and John, the owner of the company we work for, picked us up and brought us to the apartment we are staying in this season. John & Jillian had us over for an incredible dinner of geoduck clams & linguine (YUM!!) and we chatted over a great bottle of wine for the rest of the evening. It was nice after the hectic day to just relax & catch up.

The rest of the week we have been getting the apartment in order for the season & getting settled. We left a box-o-goodies here last season with some of the items we needed but there’s always lots of ‘staples’ that are needed. You know – paper towels, Ziploc baggies, coffee filters, groceries, etc. Plus this season we splurged on some items that will make our place more like home - two desks, chairs, our requisite pan that we seem to buy every year, and just homey stuff. :-) We’re all unpacked, the apartment is cleaned, & the fridge is stocked!

We went into the office on Thursday and Friday and have a lot of work in front of us! What were we thinking?! Haha… I’m sure it’s ‘normal’ but the first day and even into the 2nd day I was stuck thinking I had SO much work to do….but not a clue where to start! Luckily, John & Jillian are patient with us as we get back into work mode! It’s quite a change from cruising life! We even have to wake up to an alarm clock!

On Friday, we participated in a ‘Fam’ with Carnival Cruise line, which is a familiarization tour with the shore excursion managers & directors who are working both on the cruise ship and in the corporate office. One of the Ducks was brought down to the dock and a group of 10 Carnival employees boarded. We had snacks & beverages and toured the town on the duck, explaining how the tour worked & answering any questions they had. It was fun & nice to meet the folks we will be working with this season.

The weather has been COLD! Temps haven’t gotten any higher than 45°! Brrrr!! We arrived and it was snowing. It has snowed every day since (except today).

Luckily, it isn’t sticking so no worries driving. Of course, Michael is still wearing his shorts. He refuses to wear long pants the entire time he’s here. And you can imagine – folks around here look at him and say ‘You’re not from around here, are you?!’. Haha!! We were walking into the grocery store the other day and someone looked over at him and turned to his wife and said ‘Geez!’ We’ve also had several comments about how tan we look and since we’ve been back in the U.S., I don’t think I’ve seen the sun more than once! Funny… But today it’s sunny and 50°. In our apartment we have a wind chime that has a mini solar panel that spins the middle spinner and makes noise when it sees sun. Today is the first day we’ve heard anything! Layer, layer, layer – that’s my mantra.

So after all that complaining – I’ll tell you too that I sure missed this place! We’ve missed our friends, the breathtaking views, trees, natural beauty, & lifestyle.

One of the views of the Tongass Narrows

We have reconnected with a couple friends from last year and have a list of others we need to track down. It has been fun to be walking through the grocery store or driving down the street and seeing & catching up with friends from last year. And we’ve only been here 4 days! :-)

Most of the downtown merchants are still shut down for the season but there is a TON of work going on in the city to prepare for Cruise season – less than a month away! The docks are getting spiffed up – new pylons & planks – the bollard ropes are getting their spring pressure wash cleaning, buildings downtown are getting spiffed up, part of the town is getting a new sewer pipe so the streets are torn up right now, but will be finished soon.

The bridge at Creek Street

So that’s about it! In a nutshell – snow, cold, moving in, setting up & WORK! Haha… It’s all good…

More to follow!


Blogger Sandy said...

Snow?! Yikes!! Its finally warming up here in MX. We are in La Paz for a couple weeks. Both of us have colds (1st in 3 years!) and the boat has elec issues (waiting for electrician to arrive) but the weather finally seems to be returning to "normal". Hey! If you happen to have an overabundance of Halibut when you get ready to head south again we'd be delighted to take a few fillets or steaks off your hands! :-) Have a great summer. Sandy & Chris

April 19, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

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