Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Escape from AK!

I haven't left Juneau since I rolled off the ferry in October 2012- more than 15 months ago! If you wanted to nit-pick, I suppose you could count the ferry trip I took to Haines (60 miles away) to visit a friend for the weekend. That's not exactly what we would call getting out around here. In all honesty, I haven't much desired to leave our little temperate rainforest paradise since I got here. I'm absolutely IN LOVE with Juneau. I simply haven't felt like I needed to get out. That's not to say, however, that I don't miss plenty of things from Down South. Juneau is lacking in a lot of areas. I'm also not saying that I'm not looking forward to this trip because I definitely am.

My dear grandma Helen is 91 and lives in Sun City, California (in Riverside County, SoCal). We've had a family tradition of visiting her in January or February every year since I was a little kid. My parents brilliantly decided to fly me down for this years' winter visit - though lately it has just my folks that make the cross-country trip from Massachusetts and not my sisters.

Grandma, my sisters and I in California, 2010

Yes, I too was a baby once. Here I am with Grandma Helen
So yes, I am very excited to be going to see my parents, grandma, some aunts and uncles, and also to enjoy some warm sunny weather in Southern California - although we're having one hell of a warm, un-snowy winter. Someone switched our weather with the rest of the country this year apparently. 

After such a long stretch in Juneau, I'm curious to see how I react to things in California. I have some predictions, but I'm sure after the trip, I'll have a revelation or two. Some things I think I will be shocked by are traffic, crowds, weather, options and noise. I have a laundry list of shopping stops I must make. We're seriously lacking clothes shopping here so I have saved a bunch of money for Target, REI and a haul of fresh produce. I signed up for Alaska Airline's Club 49 - available to Alaska residents. One of them main perks of Club 49 is that if you're flying in/out of Alaska, you get TWO FREE CHECKED BAGS. TWO. So my plan is to pack a duffle bag into another bag on the way down, and to fill it with a haul of clothes and produce to bring back to Juneau. We can't get tomatoes worth a damn here. I hope to bring back lots of tomatoes and citrus. I told a friend about this and they replied, "Hahaha, you are a real Alaskan now... planning to drag back produce and clothes." 

We've also got a list of foodie stops... In n Out, Shabu Shabu, Mexican... We like food in my family for sure. We'll be spending some time in San Diego and Los Angeles, but we'll also be doing a lot to help Grandma. Of course, I'm quite excited to see my parents. They came to Juneau in June for a week so it hasn't been too too long, but still. I miss them terribly. 

I'll be sure to check back in with my revelations, if there are any. I'm pretty sure I'll have some culture shock. I can't wait to see what, in fact, surprises me. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Puppy Mama at Last

So sorry for the lack of posts in the last month. I've been... pretty busy.

On December 13th, Butters the Border Collie puppy arrives in Juneau via Alaska Airlines Flight 62. I'll keep the text portion of this post short because the pictures will mostly speak for themselves. She's an amazing puppy, and I feel very lucky to have her. She is definitely challenging at times - mostly when she doesn't want to be asleep in her kennel late at night. We had a dog when I was kid, but my dad was the one who really did the training and hard work with him. Being responsible for Butters is a new experience.

While I'm lucky to have her as a puppy, I like to think that she's lucky to have me as a mom and also to be here in Juneau. She gets a nice run on Sandy Beach every day on my lunch break, and I get to take her to even more adventures on my off days. She turns 3 months old tomorrow. Hopefully we can celebrate with wins by the Seattle Seahawks AND New England Patriots!! That will be a subject for a whole other post, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, meet Butters. She came from Midnight Border Collies in Washington.

Our first selfie - 10 minutes after being introduced

First day home - toys: acceptable

Riding a Musk Ox

Paying our respects to Romeo the Wolf

Kameko is *okay*

Wiped out

At the coffee Drive-thru