Some pics of Anchorage


This is a picture of Denali 400 miles from Anchorage. It's the highest peak in North America. It takes approximately 6 hours to drive there. AND YOU CAN SEE IT FROM ANCHORAGE -- its the white peak in the middle of the shot.

The pictures below are from the parking garage next to my office where I park every day. The pics are of Anchorage at 5 PM yesterday. The last pic is of my office.


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First Venture Out -- First Sick Day


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Ha ha. Yes, in my past this would have been directly correlated, but alas it wasn't. Friday, I went out on the town for the first time. I was really scared and super nervous, but with a little help and encouragement from some friends everything ended up okay. I went to a bar down on 5th Street called Humpy's. No, it's not what you think -- it's not named after hump back whales either -- it's named after a type of salmon. Anyways, I walk in and there are no seats at the bar so I just hover for a while downing a beer quickly. I felt like a complete dork! Just when I was about to go home, Traycee T calls me from DC, so I go outside to hear her and smoke. And right after I hang up the phone with her-- bam -- I meet some people. YAY. Anyways, they were really fun people and I had a great time.

The next day I thought - oh no I had WAY too good of a time. So I did the hang over thing, drank lots of water, eat greasy food etc. It wasn't really adding up -- a few drinks -- don't make someone this sick. When I wasn't getting any better I started to get worried. The next day same thing sick. Monday - same -- and my first sick day here. Now, I know I am getting older, but one night and a few beers does not make a 3 day hang over. I went to the doctors and they said I had a cold that has been going around, I was dehydrated and exhausted. Woohooo! How super diva of me..right? I only thought famous hollywood starlets got sick from dehydration and exhaustion. I am a SUPA STAR! ;)

Anyways, I came in for a half a day of work today. I am feeling a bit better. If I feel better this evening, I might go to pub quiz. I don't know though. I am not trying to push my luck. Anyways, the pictures above are of my office and me right before I went out for the first time.

Hope all is well with everyone.

Oh I almost forgot -- Congratulation shout outs!

Congrats to Joy and Justin on their engagement! Rawk!

Congrats to Amy and Erik on their engagement! Rawk Rawk!

Congrats to Karen on moving to the Hole! I am coming to visit girl!

Current high temp in Anchorage: 25 degrees F

CRAP! I also forgot to say -- I found an apartment! It's a two bedroom so people have a place to stay when the visit. I won't get to move in until the middle of November, but I am super excited! YAY!

Until next week...Savor the Flavor and Drink the Blue Kool-Aide.


Just Trippin' with My Gnomies

Here is Pacer!

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Anchorage to Denver and Back

Since my last post, I have been to Denver and back. I had a really great training class in Denver. There are two sides to my new job - Collections and Expeditures. I was pretty strong in expeditures, but weak in collections. This class introduced me to the collections side of the program. Now I feel really confident that if I don't know the answer off the top of my head - at least I know where to find the answer. I also meet up with some good friends in Denver. I saw James and Kristina, whom I love dearly. I was in there wedding the past spring. I also got to see Jimmy and Marissa whom I also love dearly! It was a great trip.

I came home to a very snowy Anchorage. People assure me the snow is early, but I am dubious. I spent the weekend hanging out with Kirsten and Nancy. We did some shopping and checked out some local places in Anchorage. When y'all visit I have a GREAT place for brefeast! John, my boss, also invited us to see his son play hockey. It was my first hockey game. It was pretty cool!

Most of last week was spent getting my barings and looking for an apartment. I got my hair dyed and cut. It feels good to at least have a hair dresser! Now I just need a place to live!

I went on Friday to get my temp plates for my car and ended up getting real plates. It's a long story. The DMVs were closed for Alaska day execept for one location. I spent most of my afternoon waiting in line - 5 hours of waiting actually. But at least my plates are up-to-date and on my car.

This week I want to get a down payment put on a place and maybe explore some of the social scene. I will report back next week.

Here are pictures from the last two weeks:

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Until then...Savor the Flavor and Drink the Blue Kool-Aide.


Anchorage October 9, 2008 -- Yup, Its going to be a looooooong winter.

Still in Denver, going out tonight with friends HOWEVER when packing my stuff to leave....I check the weather and see this! Yes, it's going to be a long winter. This is Anchorage TODAY!


Sunday Funday? NOT!

I woke up at 5:00 AM to check out of my hotel in Anchorage. I then got lost driving to my bosses house so I could leave my car in his drive way while I was way for the week in Denver BECAUSE all my stuff is in my car. I am living out of my car!

Then I get to the airport and hour before my flight but because there was a BLUE million teenagers from Sika (spelling) in front of me, security took FOREVER and I missed my flight by one minute. Booo. I got on the next flight an hour later, but then had to sit in Seattle for 3 hours instead of 45 minutes.

HOWEVER, the Seattle airport is RAD! I got a mani while I waited for my flight and it was only 20 bucks!!! They also have a massage bar that I might check out on the way back. Now thats the way to kill time during a lay over.

I am now in Denver, CO chillaxin in my hotel room. It's super nice! So much nicer than my hotel in Anchorage. I might need to change the place I am staying!

Marissa and Jimmy texted me today. I am really looking forward to seeing them this week. I also hope to catch up with James and Kristina.

Anyways, I have to be downstairs at 730 (530 Alaska) for class tomorrow.

Until next time...Savor the flavor and drink the blue kool-aide.


So Far...So Good

It's a rainy day in Anchorage today. Thus, no new pictures again. Kirsten and I are going to this BIG REI sale after work. I am super excited!!! John took me around the neighborhood I want to live in this morning. It's SUPA cute. I am excited about finding a place when I get back from Denver! Living in hotels sucks.

So I guess since the trip is over, I should start only blogging like once a week. I think I will pick Sunday nights to blog. I will make sure I take pictures and let everyone know what is going down in the great Alaskan Adventure.

I will be making an appearance in Washington, DC the last full week in January. Mark your calendars and call to get on my schedule ;) haha. Then flying off to Denver...again!


First Day at AKRO

Today was my first day at the Alaska Regional Office. It was pretty cool and overwhelming at the same time. I think I spoke to more people today than I did in the last two weeks! I have a sweet new cube with an amazing view! I found out that I have to move out of the hotel when I go to Denver...which is a complete bummer since I kinda unpacked a little last night. Oh well. John offered to let me keep my car at his place so it's all good.

I went to dinner again with Kirsten. I tried Halibut for the first time. Yuuuummy! I am glad I like some type of fish. Tonight, I spent most of the evening uploading pictures and blogging. The hotel computer is WAY slow at up-loading so I am doing the best I can. It's about 11 PM Alaskan Time right now, so I might need to call it quits. I will try and get more done tomorrow night. I didn't take any pictures today, but I will make sure to do so tomorrow.

Until then...Savor the Flavor and Drink the Blue Kool-Aide.

End of the Road...Anchorage, AK via Wrangle-St. Ellias NP

On Wednesday, October 1, leaving Tok was exciting and scary at the same time. By the end of the day, I would be in Anchorage! I took off. No weather problems this day. I sailed on through the country side of the interior of Alaska and was amazed.

Ya know in the Simpson's movie when they drive into Alaska, the actually drive into a post card or a painting or something like that...yeah that's what its TOTALLY like!

I drove to Wrangle-St.Elias (spelling is questionable) to visit my friend Wayne, who is the Chief of Maintenance there. ((Yup, got an Alaska Regional Stamp Kristen and Justine!)) He was excited to see me as I was him. We had meet back in 2002 when I took the NPS Fundamentals Class. He wanted me to stay so he could take me up in an air plane to see he whole park! I was really sad to have to turn him down. I will definitely be taking him up on the offer in the future!

I continued on my route to Anchorage. I happened to look over at one point and saw what I thought was a big river in the mountains...actually it looked like a GIANT river in the mountains...except frozen into place! It was a GLACIER! I saw my first glacier! I just had to pull to the side and just stare...and take pictures of course!

The whole glacier sighting put me behind. I finally arrived in Anchorage, AK around 6:00 PM. I drove around a little bit and realized quickly they have NO zoning laws in Anchorage, AK. It's hard to describe. Things are just haphazardly thrown together. Anyways, my first impression is a good one. Later, I meet up with an FMLP student, Kirsten. John is her mentor, so she is up for the week. We went to Moose tooth and had some amazing pizza!

Here are my pictures from my day:

Until next post...Savor the Flavor and Drink the Blue Kool-Aide.

Canada, the AL-CAN Highway, The Yukon and Near Death

Tuesday, September 30, started off like any other day on this road trip. I got up, got washed and got in my car. The AL-CAN Highway has a rep. A baaaaaaaaaaaaaad rep. It's only partially paved and often VERY dangerous. This day was no different. After I met Aaron on the boat, we decided that the safest way to make through the AL-CAN is if we kinda caravan our way through the Yukon. It was a good idea in theory...then in started to snow. I am getting ahead of myself though. SO the reason why the AL-CAN is so dangerous is that there is NOTHING on the AL-CAN. It's over 200 miles from one gas station to another. Another reason it is so dangerous is that the weather is often VERY cold and snowy -- specially in the fall when the weather is quite unpredictable. Yet the final reason is that the road conditions often are less than desirable -- big dips, unpaved in places, and steep drops off the side that would leave you in a big ditch or off a cliff.

The trip started off well. Got into Canada with little fan fair. My papers were in order and as the last couple days on the boat had been...it was over cast and rainy. Aaron had gotten the road report earlier and everything seemed to be okay on the AL-CAN. However, just after we passed the sign that said YUKON all hell broke loose. It started to snow. Lots of snow. It was just icy at first. So I turned on my 4 wheel drive (the best purchase I have every made to date!) and went a little slower. The conditions worsened and I was in about 8 inches of unplowed and untreated slush. Aaron was from Colorado, so he kept speeding on...but that is a story I will get to in a second. I slowed down considerably. Going about 20 miles an hour, trying to keep my tires in the established tracks. I almost skidded off the road at one point so I just flat out stopped to regain my composure. Aaron continued on. I finally got myself together...fish tailing for over 150 miles...A plow came at one point, so I drove on the wrong side of the road most of the day...right before the plow though -- I saw a set of tire tracks that went in a complete circle...yup...Mr. Colorado later told me he did a 360 on the highway! I took a picture of the road at the safest and best conditions...its in the slide show below. OH what happens when a car comes when you are driving on the wrong side of a half plowed road? You jump the snow mound...and pray that you don't fall of the other side of the road...wait for the truck/car/semi to pass then you hop back to the other side of the road...hoping you don't fall of that side! Fun times...fun times. I finally got to Haines Junction where the road conditions finally started to improve. I saw my first glacier lake and some beautiful mountains.

At the US boarder, the boarder patrol guy thought I was SUPA happy to be in Alaska. I just told him that I was happy to be off the AL-CAN and that it was snowing in the Yukon. I got back into the USA!!! I ended my day in Tok, AK. I was STARVING. Thank GOD my co-workers had given me a bag of food for the trip. There was no where to get food all day. I had been eating pretzels most of the day. Each gas station was only selling gas! The waitress at Fast Eddies (the only place to eat in Tok -- literally and figuratively) said that today was the first snow...that's why the road sucked....I just think it was Alaska hazing me. I had to prove that I was worthy!

Here are the pictures for this day:

Until next post...Savor the Flavor and Drink the Blue Kool-Aide.

Haines Your Way

Monday, September 29, I got off the boat and traveled the 5 miles to my hotel in Haines, AK. Aaron (the guy I met on the boat) and I headed to the hotel where we both had reservations. We then went to see the "local color" of Haines. We ended up at this bar where we played pool and ate dinner. The hotel was super creepy! I didn't take many photos this day. Above are the few I did take of the super creepy hotel.

Best line over heard in a bar in Alaska: Spoken by a "grizzled" older gentleman, "I don't give one rats ass the color...we alls got cold noses here. Cold nose and working hard is alright by me!" I think I love Alaska.

Until next post...Savor the Flavor and Drink the Blue-Kool Aide.

Das Boat!

So last Friday I set sail towards Alaska. Actually, when I got on the boat I was offically in Alaska! I was on the boat from Friday, September 26 thru Monday, September 29. We stopped at Ketchican(grossly misspelled), Petersburg and Juneau. The boat trip was a nice rest from the constant driving. The first day I struggled with some sea sickness. Nothing too bad...just slept the rolling of the boat away. That night I met some people in the bar. They were nice enough guys. We proceed to drink too much. We were on the boat...what else was there to do! The next day left me wondering if it was the boat of the rum and cokes that left me a little queazy.

So I basically chilled with this guy I met at the bar and walked around the boat for three days. Here are some pictures!

Until the next post...Savor the Flavor and Drink the Blue Kool-Aide.