I don’t know the best way to approach this first post, so let’s jut tackle it Q/A style.
How is the weather in Alaska? Most of the day the weather feels like I always want the first college football game of the year to feel. You know, where you can comfortably wear jeans and a sweater and there is a crispness in the air announcing the arrival of fall. Except that it is late June here. And the locals are miserably hot by late afternoon when it finally hits 70 degrees or more.
What about all that sunlight? There is indeed a lot of sunlight. Every flight we took on Monday was delayed until finally we missed our connection. This had us flying into Anchorage at about 1:30 am. Sleeping on a plane is not among my talents, so after a fitful 45 minutes of dozing I flipped up the window. And it was daylight! Actually I think the sun was officially setting and was fully set by the time we landed. However, it never gets all that dark.
Has it messed with your sleep? Not yet. Chalk it up to complete exhaustion. Last night we went to bed at 9:15 pm. We do not have blackout curtains. We all slept just fine, but I felt a little out of sorts this morning because I had no sense of what time it was. When I checked my phone we had slept until 6:15 am. Not too shabby.
How is Anchorage? Like other towns but with a superfluous amount of mountains and greenery and water. They have a really nice mall. That is about all I had time to do in the short time we were there. Random thought: I did not know Hot Dog on a Stick was a real place. I was extremely impressed. They are like In-n-Out. They do just a couple of things but they do them really well. While in Anchorage I sometimes had to stop and remind myself I was not in Portland. It felt very similar.
How is Bethel? Friendly! Everyone is extremely nice. Everyone smiles and says hello. Everyone is happy to jump into conversation with you. Offer you tips on living here. Wish you luck. Most of the roads are dirt. The houses have a particular look to them that comes from existing mostly in the snow. The area isn’t as flat as I had anticipated. There are more trees than I expected. Sergio would have to fill you in on anything else. Rosalind and I walked to the AC store twice and Subway once. Sergio went all around the town a few times.
Does everything cost a lot? Yes. No matter how much you mentally prepare it is still a shock to the system to go to the store and face paying the prices in real life. $6 for a pack of hangers, $8 gallons of milk, cans of corn for $2.75, a whole chicken for $21. On the other hand, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream had no markup. Neither did coffee makers. We got a deal on some canned goods. Ground beef was not much different than back home. We have a much better idea now of what is and is not worth buying through Amazon. Almost everything.
How is your house? Adorable and tiny, much like the yellow house in Fayetteville. It has a large mudroom that leads into the laundry room. I can already tell this is a good thing. We are tracking in a lot of dirt from the road and I’m sure that only increases with the addition of snow and ice. Now we have two easy dropping points for all that stuff. We have no air conditioning and just use the windows. It’s pretty chilly in the house at the moment. Sergio will need a fan for sleep but then he’ll be fine.
Has anything been strange or difficult so far? I’m perplexed by the water situation. We have 500 gallons of water delivered once a week. We have no idea how to tell how much we are using. We’re trying to learn to conserve water. You would not believe how hard it is to stop flushing a toilet when you have done so your whole life. I find myself saying in my head, “don’t flush the toilet this time,” only to jump at the sound of the extremely loud water pump and realize I’ve already flushed. I think I’m going to learn to feel really bad about my past water consumption very soon.
How did Rosalind handle flying/traveling? As well as we could have hoped. She was very excited about the first flight to Dallas. She squealed when the wheels left the ground and was excited to watch us descend and stuff. After that she was pretty much over it. Our flights were delayed at every turn, she missed a nap, our eating schedule was all off. She slept the last half of the longest flight and struggled to wake up and hustle around the Seattle airport. She immediately fell asleep in the last flight and was great except when we had to wake her up. Overall she was a total trooper. We let her go to Build a Bear in the Anchorage mall. She chose the rainbow bear and dressed it in gaudy pink frills. She was well pleased. She named her Rainbow. She calls her Berry or Beary. Clever.
How did Eliot handle the flight? Poor little drugged out guy. He did fine because he had no choice. His experience sounds like the beginning of a Liam Neeson movie. I drugged him, stuffed him in a bag, and fled the state. Eliot says, “thank heavens for Valium!”
Have you seen any (insert Alaskan animal here) yet? We saw a caged reindeer in a yard in downtown Anchorage. The Mosquitos are truly quite large. One of the houses that share our little cul de sac area (all dirt road) have a scotty dog. Two stray cats. That’s it so far.
Does Dawn have a job yet? No.
What does she do all day? I unpacked yesterday and waited patiently for the cable internet guy to come. When he did he said he couldn’t drill through the wall without written consent from the landlord. Whenever I am able to publish this post you’ll know we’ve been hooked up and that I am watching the Food Network all day.