Tuesday, January 6, 2015

First weeks in Juneau

Well John and I have settled in pretty well and have not once second guessed our decision to move here or come up sooner than May. We got in last Monday around 4:45 am on the ferry and got John some breakfast and a quick catnap, since he had to work that day. The ferry ride was pretty adventurous and beautiful. The first day and a half was rough because we never docked and we went through a big storm with 15 foot waves. Most of the crew and regulars were saying that this was not normal and John said it was definitely worse than his first ride lol. The pups were able to get out of the car, but not out of the boat so they (and all of the other dogs) didn't understand that they could go on the boat. They were troopers though and did great! On the second day, we docked in Ketchican, AK and we all got to get out and stretch our legs. The puppies had way too much fun and Mili even did a little happy dance...literally.

Sunday went much better because we stopped in three different towns before we got to Juneau. Seeing these little towns in random parts of the state was pretty interesting and cool. All of them were far far away from the closest town and had beautiful scenery. We spent most of our time in the observatory room in the front of the ferry and on the side deck taking pictures. We also met two new friends who were moving to Alaska, one of which is in the Army, and spent a lot of time chatting with them. Although we enjoyed our time on the ferry (most of it anyway), we were happy to get off and settle into Juneau. The very first day, we got the keys to our new condo and John was officially checked out of his hotel. Em got to spend her time checking out her new home and taking the pups around the neighborhood.

Not long after getting into the condo, we started many trips to Fred Meyer (we've saved an average of $.30 on gas), found out our brand new fridge/freezer didn't work, and Em scraped her brand new jeep on the post of our car port. Never been in accident before and got too excited with the ability to see out the back and boom. Nice bill for her. John says we're even now! Fortunately the damage was mostly paint and the bumper was not affected. The balcony has been a great fridge for our food (although not a freezer like Pullman would have been). We missed the huge snow storm and frigid temperatures the west coast experienced recently. We should be getting a new fridge within two weeks and for now we found a deep freezer on sale that we wanted to get anyway for all those big fishing and hunting trips :D Emily rapidly started exploring trails and places to take the pups. There is absolutely no shortage of them! Less than two miles down the road is Sandy Beach, which is basically a place for all the dog lovers out there to take their crazy mutts and let them run (or swim) their legs off. It doesn't matter how good or bad the weather is, there are people on the beach with their dogs. Behind the beach is a dirt trail with an outdoor museum of old mining equipment because there was previously a gold mine in its place. The buildings and equipment are in their original place and look really cool! There are a lot of birds that hang out on the shore that Mili and Ammo love to watch. The first time we went, Ammo went full fledged into the water after one of them and literally stopped in his stroke realizing what he did and how cold it was. He promptly turned around and has since only gone up to his chest to see them. That is the only time he has voluntarily gone swimming and Em was so proud! Today we went again and saw a big shipping barge coming into town, we're hoping it has our stuff on it!

 We had a wonderful New Years together and hope you did too! We walked down to a local restaurant 10 minutes from our place and enjoyed their delicious pizza and our awesome waiter, Israel. He is from Mexico and has an incredible accent! Em loved hearing him and John share stories about Mexico City. However for the first time in Em's life and maybe John's we did not make it to midnight. We crashed out around 10:30, must have been all that excitement over the last few weeks! The diversity in Juneau is amazing. Em loves seeing so many cultures throughout the town playing, working, and enjoying each other's company. All this racial tension that we hear about doesn't seem to exist here. Like any place I'm sure there's some, but we have not experienced any and there are a lot of cultures represented in Juneau! It's pretty awesome. Em has also noticed multiple people with disabilities at the store, which reminds her of Moscow, ID. It's really awesome to see so many faces in town and a part of the community.

 As you can see the animals are not enjoying their new home at all :)
 Our backs really enjoyed getting new couches and the friends we bought them from. We had dinner with them the other day and will be going for a hike with them Saturday. They have both lived in Juneau their entire lives and have raised three kids here.
 Have you ever known a dog(s) to have their own room?

Yes the days are shorter and yes that takes some getting use to, but we already seem to be more energized than the first week and actually enjoy having candles lit more often. We've made sure to enjoy the sun when it's out and play a lot! Where we are located is REALLY windy (our neighbors dirt bike fell over 3 times) on a regular basis (today was the first day in a few that we haven't seen any wind at all), but we're protected by a lot of trees and we're a middle condo. The funny thing is over in the valley where John works, there is hardly any wind so if you want to get away from it for a while, you can. On Sunday when the power went out we decided to spend the morning at the Glacier until it came back. That's the price we pay for our incredible view in-between mountains :)
We've gotten a gym membership that conveniently has two locations making it perfect for both of us and we've started getting mail! 

I'll save you the energy of me talking more and post our recent pictures later. John is continuing with his ham radio stuff tonight and he and Hal were able to connect the other day. Both of them were ecstatic! Em is enjoying getting through "fun" books and getting ready for school to start. Keep your eye out for some awesome pictures and videos of this past weekend!