Sunday, April 24, 2011

Welcome Back! 4.24.2011

"Welcome Back!" That's the phrase we've heard the most since arriving. Friends & acquaintances, checkers at the grocery store, co-workers, you name it. It's great to be back 'home'.

Jeez, we've been here for 3 weeks already! How time flies when you're having fun, huh?! Oh, and Happy Easter everyone!

We've been in work, work mode since arriving. We had the thought of 'easing back into work' when we arrived. Yeah right! Our ferry arrived on Sunday morning and we had an interview scheduled for Sunday afternoon! haha... It was because the person was going out of town and this was the only day & time for 2 weeks. When we arrived at our apartment we were welcomed by an basket of goodies, flowers, & a card. We're so lucky to work for such incredible people! :-)

A nice gift basket with lots of goodies!

It took a week or so to get our hands wrapped around the tasks, namely hiring the rest of the team for the season and preparing everything for the beginning. It sure is a lot of organization and work! Ordering supplies, setting the schedule, trying to think ahead to anything we may need, training the employees - whew! Work.

Michael's wheels during the summer

But we've been playing as well, as usual. Daylight is about 14 hours and increasing everyday so it's light when we wake up and sets around 8'ish which gives us plenty of time to play. We've had birthday parties and dinners with friends and lots of 'let's get together for a drink' offers.

Yesterday, for Easter weekend, we decided to do our first hike. We started up Deer Mountain, a landmark here in town. The Forest Service labels the hike as extremely difficult but we figured it couldn't be that difficult, right?! We did fine for the first 3 minutes....and then the stairs & switchbacks began. Before we knew it we were huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf. It wasn't pretty. I guess we should have started with a milder hike, being our first one of the season. haha!!

A view from the Deer Mountain Trail at the 1 mile lookout

But oh, was it worth it! At the 1 mile lookout, we were rewarded with this gorgeous view of the Tongass Narrows & surrounding islands.

A view from the Deer Mountain Trail at the 1 mile lookout


A view from the Deer Mountain Trail at the 1 mile lookout

We rested for a while, searched in vain for a geocache, stepped on my brand spanking new sunglasses & broke them in two (CRAP!!!), met a bunch of other hikers on their way up or down, and just took in the sunshine & beauty.

Our legs were rubbery when we first arrived at the lookout but after resting we decided to push on and hopefully make the summit. Right before we turned back, the snow was up to 2 feet in depth and the deciding factor for turning back was that Michael's hiking boots had absolutely no grip (it's time for a new pair of hiking boots!) and it was getting a bit treacherous. Downhill was easy, after we got out of the snowline, and we cracked a bottle of celebratory water when we were finished. (The wine came later) haha... All in all a great day.

On the Deer Mountain Trail

We cruised around town and caught sight of a group of eagles on a log - how many do you count?

Eagles on a log

The 1st Cruise Ship arrives in port in two weeks from today, on the 8th of May. This week and next is full of training for the employees, getting all of the licenses & passes secured for all the vehicles, completing the schedule, paperwork, blah, blah, blah. WORK!

Then the fun begins. The 8th kicks off with a bang with both the Disney Wonder (new this year) and the Carnival Spirit arriving in town. Sundays will be our longest days with the 1st ship coming in at 7am and the last one leaving at 8pm. Ugh...I'm not looking forward to such long days.

Next week is 'Tourist for the Day' on Friday and Saturday where the locals can try out some of the tours that are usually not available to them during the season for extremely reduced prices. I have high hopes of going snorkeling and ziplining. Whatever I end up doing, I'll be sure and share!

Here's wishing everyone a very Happy Easter!
More to follow...


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