July 30, 2011


It's official, I leave for Alaska in less than a week. Now is the time to really buckle down, make plans and start freaking out... or take a vacation. Y'know, whatever!

My impending move to Alaska still doesn't quite feel real to me and rather than spend my last full week in the lower 48 double and triple checking that I have absolutely everything that I will need for the coming months (I am still missing bug spray and a can opener) I decided to cash in some of my frequent flyer miles and hop on an airbus to Los Angeles to see my best and closest friend, Stephanie.

Maybe it wasn't the most responsible thing to do two weeks prior to relocating, but it was exactly what I needed and talk about an amazing time! I should put down the disclaimer right now that I do not vacation the way that most people do. I'm not a "lie at the beach and work on my tan" kind of girl, I am a book worm and a history nerd and we nerds love to hit the road, slather on some SPF 60+ sun screen and head to the closest museum. And that's exactly what I did...

Since Stephanie lives in Koreatown, this vacation was interspersed with amazing Korean food and a great trip to Little Tokyo for yummy mochi and a bento style lunch. There was also a visit to the beach in there and an attempted trip to Griffith Observatory that was thwarted by a Sugarland concert, but all of that is a hazy memory because on this trip I discovered my own personal heaven: The Huntington.

The Huntington was once the home of Henry Huntington, a railroad tycoon and private collector. What did he collect, you ask? Well, for starters, his home has the most comprehensive botanical gardens that I have ever visited. The Japanese garden was sadly closed for maintenance and renovation but the rose garden, herb garden, Chinese garden, sculpture garden, desert garden and lily ponds (just to name a few) provided Stephanie and me with hours of enjoyment.

Beautiful gardens are great and all, don't get me wrong, but there was also the small matter of the Huntington library. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this slice of heaven on earth, the Huntington Library houses over 4 million rare books and manuscripts including letters from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, original manuscripts of Walden, original quartos from multiple Shakespearean plays, a copy of the First Folio, the Ellesmere Chaucer, one of the 27 remaining copies of the Gutenberg Bible, and the 13th amendment to the US constitution.  I can now die a happy woman.

The Ellesmere Chaucer
And as if everything weren't enough, my trip concluded with a visit to the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) for a viewing of the Tim Burton exhibit. Tim Burton has long since been at the top of my list of both favorite directors and favorite artists, so being able to walk through and see all of his concept art and personal sketches was the cherry on top of my vacation.

Stain boy from The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories
I returned from LA with a little bit of a tan thanks to the gardens and a short visit to Santa Monica, I expect it will be faded by the time I make it to Scammon in mid-August because that's just the way my fair skin rolls. You can bet that I will heading back out to LA for a longer visit next summer!!

July 08, 2011

The One With An Alaska Update

I haven't posted about Alaska in a little while, so I though I would let all of you lovely readers know what is going on there.

Truth is that I haven't found out too much more about what is going on with my job in Alaska since my initial contract signing in April. I still don't know what classes I'll be teaching, what the daily schedule looks like or what kind of supplies will be waiting for me. My living situation is a whole different story! I guess I'll start in the beginning and continue from there; that always seems to be the best plan.

My awesome-tastic roommate! Whom we shall refer to as M =)

In May I began emailing back and forth with another new teacher to Scammon Bay from Oregon. Through hundreds of emails (not even a little bit exaggerating with that number) we discovered that we were both the same age with similar goals and hobbies, and were both totally in love with football. Rather than leaving our living situation to chance, we emailed the retiring instructional leader and asked if we could start planning our trip as roommates.. he agreed.

Since then we have both plunged into the craziness of packing. We've been comparing our Amazon purchases and recommending winter clothing to one another... a difficult thing to locate in the throws of a hot Colorado summer.

Monica will also be bringing her dog, Rylie, to live with us and I am thrilled! I am leaving the trusty side-kick dog Sadie, who is 15 and too old for the journey, and my 5 year old kitten, Pi, at home with my Dad. Truth is that Sadie is actually my Dad's dog and I doubt he'd let me take her even if it were possible.

I leave for Anchorage the evening of August 4th, less than one month away! When I arrive in the city there will be 15+ hours of sunlight each day, which I'm sure will completely decimate my internal clock and make me feel like a road weary traveler before my journey has even really started.

I will spend a little more than a week in Anchorage doing shopping and in-services before traveling the last few hundred miles to the village where I will stay until my trip home for Christmas.

My job here in Colorado is done next Wednesday and everything is actually starting to feel real! My paperwork is in, my airplane tickets are purchased and I officially do not own any summer clothing save for three T-Shirts.

Alaska, here I come.

July 03, 2011

Oklahoma Wedding

Last week I traveled to Tulsa to celebrate my younger cousin's wedding. I should tell everyone reading this that I have the best family ever. I know you may think that yours is pretty great, but my family takes the cake. Family celebrations are epic no matter the occasion, but this week we did have great reason to celebrate: a beautiful wedding, a great toast by the best man (awesome job Ryan!) and a new addition to our family =)

Congrats you two, have a great honeymoon and a safe move to Ft. Rucker!