Friday, June 9, 2017

Traveling Back to the Lower 48

Summer has officially begun for those of us who teach for Lake and Peninsula School District. Before it officially started though, we had a few things to do. The first week of summer vacation we spent in the village. Cody and I spent quite a bit of time with our friends, and I even got the opportunity to learn to paddle board. One of my good friends, Sue, has a paddle board in the village and she offered to teach me one afternoon. I went over to her house and tested it out on Loon Lake, which is the lake behind the school and my house. I was pretty wobbly at first, but it was such a blast. How many people can say they've had the opportunity to learn to paddle board while living in rural Alaska? Probably not many!

At the end of the week, I was sad to see our little village disappear in the distance as we flew away, but we were also a bit spoiled with gifts and well wishes before we left. We had quite a few people call or stop by to "visit" to tell us they'd miss us and to have a good summer. I was also gifted a beautiful beaded bracelet from a student and her mother, and then our good friends Al and Sue gave us amazing glass floats.

Even though I was sad to leave the village, I was also filled with excitement because I knew I'd soon be seeing my family and I hadn't seen them in ten months. Before heading all the way to the Lower 48 we first stopped in Anchorage for a few days. Cody and I both had doctor's appointments and the dogs needed health certificates from the vet in order for Alaska Air to let them fly (this has to be done for all dogs on commercial flights and it has to be done no more than 10 days prior to the flight date).

Our trip to Anchorage ended up being pretty fun too because we got out and did some exploring. My favorite place we went was Flattop Mountain. Flattop is a very popular hike in the Anchorage-area and I've been wanting to try it out for awhile. The trail is a little steep, but the views are fantastic and it's relatively short. Cody and I were up there on a very windy, clear day. The temperatures were a little chilly that high up, especially considering it was late May, but it was still totally worth it.

Finally, after nearly a week in Anchorage, we boarded a red eye flight bound for Chicago. This was our first big, commercial flight with the dogs and I was a mess dealing with them in the airport. TSA made us take them out of the cages in order to "check" them, plus the act of just not being able to see them for the duration of the 6-hour flight was stressful (for them and me I'm sure). However, they arrived in one piece and I'm sure they're infinitely happy that they don't have to board another airplane for at least another 10-11 weeks. Solid ground is their best friend at the moment.

After all the excitement, we are now all just relaxing in the Midwest. We have plans to visit Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, Washington DC, Florida, and possibly Missouri this summer, so it's going to be a busy trip. I'm so excited for a summer of fun and adventures, and I know that Cody and the dogs are ready for it too. I will still be posting this summer and covering some of our adventures, in the Lower 48, and then I'll be back again in August with posts about the new school year and our lives back in our little bush Alaskan village.

Your turn...Any big plans this summer? Tell me about them! 
Currently listening to...Kick, Push - Lupe Fiasco