Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cabin Camping In Alaska

Camping. I love sleeping in a tent, late night bonfires, the smoky taste of campfire food, warm coffee on a chilly morning.  I love all of it.

Beach views on the hike to the cabin. 
I've been nervous about camping in Alaska ever since we moved here.  As a midwesterner, I grew up without the threat of bears.  Bears are a very real threat in all of Alaska though and it is something I have felt fearful about since moving here. That being said, I was so happy to get the opportunity to do some rustic (no plumbing, no electricity) cabin camping a few weeks ago.  It spared me my fear of bears and still allowed me to do some camping!

Hiking about 1mile from our cabin location.

Great friends and a great weekend!
Renting a USFS cabin in Juneau costs a whopping $35/night.  These cabins go QUICK so you have to be speedy to snatch one up from the Forest Service before they sell out (think 6+ months in advance).  This has been the first time we've been able to score one of these cabins.  Sooooo worth the wait.

Breakfast and coffee on the cabin stove. 

Alaskan Gothic.  Can you spot the photobomb??
Cody, myself, and two other friends (and two crazy dogs) took a short hike to a cabin in the woods near Juneau and spent a glorious weekend hiking, camping, cooking, and exploring.  It was one of the best weekends I have spent since arriving in Juneau two years ago.

View from the hike back to the car on Sunday afternoon. 
If you ever get the chance to try out a USFS cabin in the Juneau-area I highly recommend it.  The cabins are beautiful and well-maintained. Some amazing memories were made in that cabin :)

Do you like camping? Why or why not?
Have you ever camped in a bear-heavy area?
Where is your favorite camping location? 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

An Alaskan In Hawaii

Aloha! I am one lucky girl. My dad and step-mom invited me to go along with them to visit our family that lives in Hawaii. So, The past eight days of my life have been spent lounging, tanning, beach-combing, and just generally living the island lifestyle.

My sister, Sara, lives in Hawaii with her three children and husband.  They were stationed there with the USMC two years ago and have been living the island lifestyle ever since.  They are incredibly lucky to live only a ten minute walk from two picturesque beaches.  We had incredible weather the entire time so we were essentially glued to the ocean.  When we weren't swimming we were checking out lava fields (on the beach), building sand castles, and looking for creatures in the tidal pools.

Our other (non-beach affiliated) explorations took us to a true Hawaiian luau at Paradise Cove.  We danced, laughed, ate, drank, and experienced the beautiful Hawaiian culture.

 We also checked out North Shore Marketplace and all of its shopping glory, which was pretty exciting for an Alaskan girl who hasn't seen a mall in two years.  Another cool place we stopped was Waimea Falls and Botanical Gardens.  Definitely worth the hike if you are ever in Honolulu!

Towards the end of our trip we visited the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites.  We toured the museum, USS Missouri, and the USS Arizona Memorial.  It was such a sobering feeling to stand over the USS Arizona.  Not much can compare to this historical landmark.

This trip was one for the books! I am happy to be back in Alaska but I will certainly miss being with my family in paradise.  Perhaps we will have to make it a tradition? A girl can dream!

Have you ever visited Hawaii?
If not, what was your favorite vacation?

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Wow! It has been over a month since my last post.  I apologize to my readers about the lengthy absence I took from the blogging world.  Unfortunately, I have been up to my ears in work and being "plugged in" while at home hasn't really been high on my agenda.  I've been focusing my time and energy on my family and being outdoors.

One of the reasons for my absence is that the school year is quickly coming to a close. There are only four weeks of school left! Work is incredibly busy as we wind down.  I also accepted a job subbing for our year-round Montessori school (school district affiliated) to keep me busy over the summer.  This way I can work part-time and Cody and I can save some money for fun stuff (like vacations). Woo-hoo for saving money!

 Another big reason for my absence is that my job situation is pretty up in the air for next year.  Huge budget cuts have really taken their toll on our schools this year.  The school district has said that they will cut up to twenty jobs next year, which is better than the originally projected thirty jobs.  My position is grant-funded but the grant hasn't been renewed as of yet and hangs on the school districts decision.  I have thrown a bunch of job applications out into the world (all over the country) in hopes that if my classroom doesn't exist next year I will have other offers on the table. It's a crazy time to be a teacher!

I promise not to take so long of a hiatus from the blog again.  I have a few fun posts coming up in the next week or so.  We've been doing a lot of camping, hiking, etc. The weather has been pretty spectacular too so expect a picture overload.  Happy Friday!

Have you ever taken a blog hiatus?
What is your current job situation?