Monday, August 3, 2015

Moving (Again)

I started to write a blog post about my family coming to visit us here in Alaska, and realized I am way behind in blog posts and didn't ever write about our move West and North.
Another long few days on the road
As a quick summary of the pre-move happenings, the looming expiration of our rental lease in Maine happened to coincide with an alarming downturn in business for the company I was working for, so Nicole and I decided to explore other options by putting out feelers for a possible move back to Seattle.  The day after we made that decision I got a call from my old employer in Sitka, letting me know one of my old co-workers had passed away and asking if I wanted to come back to work there.
M is finally big enough
for her own seat on the plane
After a lot of talking between Nicole and myself and a lot of negotiating with the company, I accepted a summer position at their location in Juneau that would transition into a position in Sitka in the fall.  Unfortunately they needed me as soon as possible, and thus began another cross-country move with too little time to prep and travel.  Our moving scheme to get to Maine (not even a year earlier) had consisted of me driving across the country with a Uhaul trailer while Nicole and Madeline flew, visiting my family in MN along the way.  It worked out well so we decided to do the same in reverse this time, with the girls spending a few days with Nicole's family in Maine, flying to MN to spend a couple days with my family, then flying on to Seattle to visit friends before getting on the ferry together.
Summer fun with Seattle friends
The family visits were all nice, and our very short time in Seattle was busy with visits from friends.  When our time in Seattle was over, the truck and trailer were so stuffed with our worldly belongings that I ended up having to pack Nicole and Madeline in to their seats for the short drive up to Bellingham to catch the ferry.
Whale watching from our
cabin on the ferry
The next few days were quite enjoyable, letting someone else drive the boat while we relaxed, played with the other kids on the ferry, and watched the scenery roll by for a couple of exceptionally good weather days until we arrived in Alaska.
The apartment we were planning to move into in Juneau was still being built as we traveled from Maine, and the timing couldn't have been closer, as we stood outside the building the morning we got off the ferry waiting for the building inspector to sign off on the apartment so we could move in.
Play ground fun in Juneau
We had a day to move all of our stuff in before we got to celebrate Nicole's birthday, then a few days of unpacking, exploring Juneau, garage-saleing, and relaxing before I started my crazy summer work schedule.
For me, the next few weeks consisted of a lot of time spent at work.  For Nicole and Madeline the time was spent becoming acquainted with the libraries, playgrounds and parks in town.
M's first fish
A few weeks after we arrived was the kids fishing event in Juneau.  Several organizations work together to stock one of the local lakes in town with fish, then provide fishing poles and bait and let the kids loose for a day of fishing.  It was a pretty crazy event but Madeline managed to catch her first fish.
4th of July parade
A few weeks later was July 4th, and we lucked out that it fell on a Saturday, my only day off.  We planned to participate in as many of the events as we could, but having a toddler has pushed our chronic tardiness to new limits.  We got out of the apartment and headed downtown for the parade, but quickly realized we were already late, with no chance of finding parking anywhere close to the parade route.  Luckily there are two parades, one through downtown Juneau and a later one across the bridge in Douglas.  We opted to skip downtown and be early for the Douglas parade instead.  We played at the park, watched Madeline have fun in the bouncy house, ate cotton candy, and then headed up to find a spot for the parade.  Having a cute kid is definitely a plus for getting candy at a parade, so we made out quite well.  After the parade we found more junk food and spent more time in the bouncy house.
Ready, set, go
They had running races for the kids, and Madeline took second place for her age group, winning her fame and fortune (otherwise known as four dollars and her name in the paper).  After the race we checked out the sand castle contest and then decided we were all worn out and headed home.
Our next big event was my family coming to visit, but I'll save that for the next post.

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