And well we have been for nearly 2 mos.
BUT what an adventure it was to get here.
We were to leave Abilene around the end of January first part of February. It was decided we would time it so that I would not have to travel on my birthday, but would be with a besty in Vegas who's birthday is the same week. YAY. We've been friends for 9years and this was going to be our first time to be together for our birthdays we were both very excited. We were to drive to Vegas then up to California to visit my nephew, his wife and their brand new son (my first grandnephew, grand ANYTHING). To add to this excitement a dear mission companion lives only about an hour away from them, so I was going to get to see her too. THEN we were to be off to visit M's sister and her fam in Oregon. The kids were so excited for cousin fun....then a short drive up to Seattle for a quick flight up to AK.
WELL ol' mother nature, had other ideas. Abilene was hit with RECORD cold and snow fall. Literally freezing us in for a week. The base shut down, we lost hot water in our lodging room, we even wound up trapped inside, well the children and I, M was trapped on the OUTSIDE with all our clean laundry, due to a broken door latch, which breakage was most likely hastened by the cold.
After all of that we were finally able to get out of town ON MY BIRTHDAY, which would have been awesome had it been remembered. We still had to get our car to the coast to ship it up to AK. It was decided we would still go to Vegas then on to LA since we could ship the car from there. Sadly the week delay made it so it was no longer possible to make the rest of the trip. We also decided to stop at the GRAND CANYON on the way to Vegas. Something neither of us had done before and we were so excited to share with the children.
That part of the trip went with out much complication. The canyon was gorgeous and the children had fun running around and playing. THEN we were in Los Vegas where we were able to relax for a few days and let the children play with friends. It was a nice visit EXCEPT for one very rudely behaving house guest. Our dear Toby who we were so happy to be able to take with us was NOT a good guest. Threatening his host kitties with all his street sense. Sadly we found out a couple days after we left that his bite is indeed worse then his hiss. Happily poor Marty was able to recover thanks to great docs, good meds and the cone of shame to keep him away from his wounds. The children still try to guilt Toby about it on occasion.
We wound up spending a little while in LA where we shipped the car (from a warehouse in Compton), we drove in one evening as the sun set into the valley, and then got our car squared away the next day. Much to M's sorrow we were unable to see any sites, but we did enjoy a posh hotel, complete with yummy room service and a nice pool. Following suit mother nature did send a LARGE (yet again reported as biggest/worst in decades) storm to us our last night in LA frightening some that air lines might be delayed.
They weren't so off to the airport!!! The flight from LA to Seattle is 3 hours then Seattle to Fairbanks another 4, so not too bad, other then the getting in at 11pm part. Still we were excited. We had already made contact with people on the base who were able to swing a pet friendly lodging room for us so that we would not have to worry about Toby being a horrible guest again!!! We'd been told BRAND NEW housing was plentiful!!! AND that winter was waining.
Still we came prepared for the snow and cold. I had packed a carry-on (frightened about lost/delayed checked luggage) with everyone's parka and hat, mittens for the children too. I had no gloves for myself, planning to buy some here, thought my husband would pack his own....silly man let the MOVERS pack them, still not sure what box they're in. But there we were in the baggage claim of the Fairbanks airport at 11pm dawning parkas and hats, I am sure we must have looked a riot. M was getting the rental car, which while they said it was a minivan sized vehicle it WAS NOT it was more of a wagon and we were unable to pack all our luggage into it, so now after we TRIED in the -15cold night to get it all in with the children hollering about how COLD they were, at 11pm he calls a cab to come and tote Toby and a few other things to the hotel. The hotel was only a few miles away and we got settled in to bed after all was said and done around 12:30am.
It was a Saturday night and we wound up with NOT enough energy to get down to the base (a 45 minute drive) on Sunday, so decided to stay another night. We had to go buy me some boots and so headed out that afternoon to get something to eat, some food for the room for dinner, and some boots for me, as the ONLY shoes I had were opened back. That afternoon it was snowing and blowing and we didn't think anything of it I mean it's Alaska, IT SNOWS right???
So the next morning M heads down to the base STILL snowing and there had been MUCH over night. After sliding of the road 3 times and having good Samaritans pull him out, each one telling him how CRAZY the storm was and how they'd NEVER seen it like this, he discovered that the parking lot for lodging wasn't even passable. He headed back to us. He'd been gone for 6 hours, and I was left alone in the room with 3 children my own preg hungry self and NO real food. We had a little left over chicken from the night before and the kids had some granola bars, BUT even the food I had packed with us wasn't going to help, as M had loaded up luggage to take to our room on base, so it was all with him.
He got back we got some food and wound up spending another night in the Fairbanks hotel. We learned that night on the news that indeed the weather had NOT been normal, BUT a rare storm unlike any they'd seen in nearly 100 years. There was 22 inches of snow dropped with in 12 hours that made it to the top 3 most snow producing storms of the past 100 years.
We were able to get down to the base on the next night (Tuesday) and were kindly invited to a home for dinner.
Our adventure does not end there, but I shall for now. Stay tuned to hear about our GRAND lodging room and house hunt (perhaps I'll get those posted BEFORE the baby, perhaps NOT as she should be here in about a week!! I am sure THAT will be it's own adventure)