Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Home Sweet Best Western

Just for fun, I have to share the map of the whole ridiculous road trip.  It's a staggering distance to see laid out in this way:

 That is one long-ass drive

Outside of Hawaii, they're probably the two U.S. islands that are the furthest apart from one another.  (not only in distance, but lifestyle and climate, too)  And I can't even fit it all on the map.  It's even more fun to see it this way:

This isn't even accurate. - I forgot to turn on the mileage counter until we were somewhere in Georgia.  So add about 850 more miles and that's more like it.

That's right.  16 states, 3 Canadian Provinces, over 8,000 miles driven, 1 lost house plant, 1 dead prairie dog...and we've arrived! 

We checked in at The Kennicott, the ferry that would take us on our really real last leg to Kodiak Island, at around 11:30PM.  And as I mentioned in a prior post, the sun had just set, so it was still kind of dusky out.  It didn't take long for us to line up our little Jeep along with all the other vehicles that were boarding and get situated and tied down on the vehicle deck of the ferry.  They used this crazy swiveling car elevator that fit 4-5 cars/trucks on it at one time to bring us down to the vehicle deck.  It was pretty impressive.  Cheety was not a fan.  

Our ride!  The mighty Kennicott
The ferry was bigger than I realized it would be, and it had all sorts of amenities and space to wander around.  We reserved a cabin so we would have a bed to sleep in during the trip. - That was key, especially on a night trip like this one.  

Hubby said the cabin looked like jail.  I thought it was
 totally practical.  Kind of reminded me of living in the dorms.
The cabin was just what we needed:  a bed, a sink, & a porthole window.  Just the basics, and it was about perfect.  Besides, who's looking for luxury and space on a 2AM ferry ride?  Not me!  This wasn't the first bunk bed situation we encountered on the trip, so I couldn't resist calling the husband Fred.  Or Ricky.  Or Ralph.  I guess it depends on how old you are whether you get that it's a reference to old TV shows where the married couple didn't share a bed.  You know, The Flintstones, I Love Lucy...The Honeymooners.  I'm pretty sure I just dated myself. 

Anyway, sometimes I get motion sickness, so I made sure to pop a few Dramamine before we got underway to counteract any possible sea-sickness scenarios.  I wouldn't exactly call it a restful night's sleep, but it certainly made the time pass quickly.  Nothing like multi-tasking by sleeping while you travel.  We're nothing if not efficient.

Once Kodiak came into view, it was yet another time on this trip where it felt like we were traveling through Middle freaking Earth.  It's just so lush, green, and majestic looking - I was just waiting to spot a hobbit or two.  The pictures don't even begin to do it justice.

They don't call it Alaska's Emerald Isle for nuthin'
Morning coffee & my first glimpse of Kodiak

In a predictably nerdly way, I brought my binoculars on the ferry to see if I could spot any Puffins or whales.  I wasn't disappointed.  I'm pretty sure I saw a whale, but it was really quick, so I couldn't tell if it was a whale or a dolphin, or something else altogether.  It was dark and huge with a big fin, so I'm pretty sure it was an Orca.  Guess I'll never know, but it was still cool!

We had a simple breakfast on the ferry and passed the time watching the fishermen, scenery, and wildlife pass by. - The boat zipped around pretty quickly and the water was calm.  Ideal for a 9 hour trip.  I don't know if you've ever been sea sick, but it's horrendous. - So, calm seas?  YES.
Kodiak in the background.  I had to harass a fellow passenger to take the picture.  We have so few with the two of us on this trip, so I'm loving this one. 

We docked in the Port of Kodiak to a sunny, beautiful day somewhere around noon, and were surprised to see a huge group of Coasties and their families from Base Kodiak at the ferry terminal to welcome all of the new arrivals.  They were no joke - it was like a big party.  They were grilling burgers and a had a big sign that said Air Station to let us know they were there for us.  I guess there were several other Coast Guard families on the ferry that day, too.  What a fun intro!  
After we left the ferry terminal, we took the Cheets on a nice long walk and grabbed some lunch from a taco truck we discovered on our way to check in to the hotel.  Another score on the lunch truck front.  It was SO good.  I went with a chicken taco and a fish taco (fresh Kodiak Halibut - OH, yeah!)  Both tacos were topped with fresh veggies and served with a side of tomatillo salsa, which is a tad sweeter and spicier than classic salsa, and is greenish-yellow, not red.  I'll definitely seek out that little gem again.  First meal on the island?  Superb.  

So now, we're calling the Best Western Kodiak Inn our pseudo-home base until we get our housing situated.  It's funny, we've never lived in military housing before, so this will be a first for us both.  (it's required if it's available when stationed here)  We've always lived out in the community where we were stationed, so I'm curious whether living in military housing will feel more isolated and uber-military since all of our neighbors will be fellow CG families.  (As uber-military as the CG can feel, anyway! - It's pretty laid back.)  Hopefully it's not baby central. 

We're expecting a call this week to go check out our options, and hopefully we'll be in our new home by next week.  We went stalking - I mean looking - at some of the neighborhoods that we'll probably end up in, and they don't look bad.  Definitely more cookie cutter and uniform than what we would choose if we didn't have to live in military housing, but not bad at all.  One of the communities is on a little lake, and the other had gorgeous mountain views, so it seems like it'll work out just fine either way.

So for now, I'll listen to the Tour de France in the background & enjoy my newest beer discovery (and possibly new favorite beer - I know, bold statement), Redhook Wise Cracker Wit, in the cozy confines of our Alaska-themed hotel room.  Think bear, fox, seaplane and fly fishing pictures.  It's Alaska-tastic.  It'll be Home Sweet Best Western, until it's Home Sweet Home for real.  Bring it.   :)

No comments:

Post a Comment