Wednesday, December 29, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is...a House

Life always seems to get in the way of all my great intentions regarding this blog. Part of The Army Wife Life is being busy, I guess. Oh well.

After spending 25 days in the hotel on post, we rented a small, 2 bedroom furnished apartment off post, on a month to month basis to wait out housing. We moved in here on the 18th of December, and exactly 10 days later we got The Call. We have now accepted a house on post, it will be ready for us around the 28th of January! I can't tell you how excited I am! This little apartment is perfect for our short-term needs (and tons better than living in a hotel room), but it's pretty small and my kids need some space to run, especially as they can't really go outside and do it. So having over 2000 square feet at my disposal will be really nice!

That's the good news. The bad news...Chris won't be here. He'll be leaving either the day we move in or the day after for a month of training. While he *should* be able to help me move out of the apartment, he won't be around to help me unpack our household goods. Again. I swear, the man is paying somebody. He's never here for the unpacking. I'm lucky if he's around for the delivery. I have unpacked with the flu, in the snow, in the scorching heat, and now I get to add extreme sub-zero temps to my repertoire. The bright side to that is I get to put everything where *I* want it.

We had a great Christmas, I baked up a storm in my little apartment, I was just so grateful to have an oven! The boys were thoroughly spoiled and now our living space is full of toys that we don't have room for.... Santa brought Aiden a Batcave (think Barbie Dream House for Batman) along with assorted villains and accessories and Jack got what he was asking for all month long - a choo-choo and a dump truck. I got a free-standing wine cellar that I have a feeling will be coming in quite handy during the upcoming deployment!

All in all, life is good. I'm enjoying Fairbanks so far. It's not a big town, it's easy to get around and find stuff, and everyone we've met has been super-friendly.

Happy New Year to all of you!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lessons Learned on the Alaska Highway

Let me start off by saying that I'M SORRY I haven't blogged sooner. It really was my intention to keep as up to date as possible during our move, but it just didn't happen. To make a very long story short - we made it to Alaska.

Rather than tell the story in boring, minute detail, I've decided to compile a list of things I've learned from the experience of driving to Alaska. Even though I've PCSed five times now, each move is different and presents it's own unique challenges.

1) Your cell-phone charger is one of those things you should really make sure you put in your purse before the movers come to pack your stuff. Thank you Kristi for saving my butt. :-)

2) On a road trip of 3500 miles, no matter how many rest areas or gas stations you stop at, your 4 year-old son will have to pee about 5 minutes after you're back on the road.

3) 32 degrees is cold. -25 degrees is colder.

4) Canadians really don't understand the concept of a "rest area". To them, it consists of an un-plowed turn-out and a wooden porta-potty or outhouse.

5) Toilet paper DOES freeze.

6) If you bundle up in your warm coat, boots, hat and scarf when it's only 10 degrees outside, the natives will laugh at you.

7) "Highway" is a relative term.

8) In Yukon Territory, Miller Genuine Draft is their idea of an imported beer.

9) When the sign says, "Next Services 150 Miles", what it actually means is, "No Signs of Civilization Whatsoever for 150 miles".

10) There are still places in this world that are untouched by man...and cell towers.

11) Five channels in a hotel room is considered Cable TV.

12) Driving a fancy white Hummer and sporting an attitude the size of Jupiter won't keep you from sliding off the road into a snow bank if you drive too fast on the Alaska Highway. And when a 5-car convoy of soldiers comes along and pulls you back onto the road out of the kindness of their hearts, the appropriate response is "Thank you" and an effort to slow down. Because the next time we see you buried in the snow because you're an idiot, we're not going to stop.

13) Studded snow tires are worth every penny.

14) No matter how many times you hear the words "Are we there YET?", it's still annoying.

15) It's worth the hassle and preparation. Alaska is beautiful, and unlike anything else I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot.

We pulled into Fairbanks on November 24th and we're currently living in the on-post hotel awaiting a house. We're next on the list, so hopefully it will be soon. I'll try to update more often now that we're semi-settled.

Happy Christmas Shopping! :-)