Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

No Internet??? No Wi-Fi??? No Phone Service???

No, I have not abandoned you.

When my son asked about communicating with us from Alaska, I confidently assured him “oh, Alaska will be like Africa! Land lines are so expensive to install, there will be cell towers everywhere, and besides, my iPhone is covered everywhere! I can use the internet.”

Oh Pride, Intlxpatr, Pride. You speak whereof you do not know!

Our time in Juneau was a lot of fun. From the moment we arrived, it was just so smooth. The airport is small, like Africa. You can be in and out of the airport in minutes. We picked up our car; it was so easy, the reservation was waiting, and the car is out in the small lot. It is a car a lot like our own and we really like it. Not five minutes later, we are in our room at a nearby hotel, and it is a nice room, and of course it has Wi-Fi, that’s how I sent the earlier entries.

I called an old friend of my Mother’s, a friend I remember well from my childhood, she and my mother would laugh a lot together, and our families travelled together, out on a big old Coast Guard cutter fishing in Alaska, or out to islands where we would pick berries, or out, just out, because it was a beautiful weekend and when the weather is good, Alaskans go outside.

We planned to meet up for coffee, and when we did, she was just like the old days, only older. I laughed and told her I am now older than when I knew her before. She laughed at AdventureMan’s jokes, and she had a beautiful living place near where my family used to live, with a view to die for. It reminded me of Kuwait. I could lose hours looking out her window, if I lived there. Eagles flying by, cruise ships coming in and out, the weather changing on the mountain across the way – it was a magnificent location, and it was all made even better by good coffee, good conversation and a great deal of love based on old relationships.

But we needed to go! We had things we needed to see!

This is the view from our friend’s house in West Juneau:

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My old school:

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Alaskan Indian art, painted over a garage door:

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The beach we used to go to, called Sandy Beach. Occasionally a dead walrus would wash up there, causing no end of excitement to us young people.

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AdventureMan found a piece of the sea glass I love:

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I thought this school above was a lot bigger than this . . . . I remember it being a lot bigger . . . LOL!

This is our old house, many many years ago. It used to have a much bigger front yard, before they widened the road. It also seemed farther from the little grocery store near the bridge that my Mom would send me to, but it’s gotten shorter!

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This is the Baranof Hotel, where my parents met. It used to be a very grand hotel, but it is now a Westmark hotel, and while it pretends to still be grand, it is shopworn and tired, and needs a major overhaul to be back in the game. We ate lunch there – to honor my parents meeting – and it was also a very mediocre meal. The very chipper waitress, Holly, tried to make it nice, but the Capitol restaurant needs better lighting and brighter colors. It was very, very dark.

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Some public art. Later as we passed the same location we heard guys call out “The police are coming!” and saw them approach three men who looked like maybe they were drinking or drugging.

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AdventureMan is so patient with me. When I spotted a quilt shop, he said he was going down the street and to call him when I was finished. πŸ™‚

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The best part of the day was picking up our friend for dinner, and hearing her stories. We loved hearing about Juneau in the old days, and hearing her laugh.

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August 24, 2013 - Posted by | Aging, Alaska, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Travel

4 Comments »

  1. Have an aunt who recently visited Juneau on holiday. She was flabbergasted by the insanely beautiful countryside from Vancouver all the way to Alaska. Must be something else, innit?!
    Reminds me a little bit of the Scottish Highlands.

    Comment by Smegmaliciously theirs | August 24, 2013 | Reply

    • I’ll look for your aunt, BL πŸ™‚ The scenery is a lot like Scotland – and Germany – and here in Homer, AK, it seems also very Swiss, with green green meadows like Heidi lived in, if you remember Heidi from your childhood literature πŸ™‚

      Comment by intlxpatr | August 25, 2013 | Reply

  2. Nice post…I have lived in my cabin for over a decade with no phone, electricity, TV or running water, but thanks to my neighbor down the hill I can WiFi to her place (barely/sometimes) and find out what the big deal is with the internet.

    Comment by Pete | August 25, 2013 | Reply

    • Pete, you are the type of rugged Alaskan I admire so much, and your story reminds me how much Alaskans rely on one another, and look out for one another, while remaining stalwartly independent πŸ™‚ I really love being back in Alaska, but . . . I need a few creature comforts . . . like electricity, and running water, and oh, please, an indoor toilet!

      Comment by intlxpatr | August 25, 2013 | Reply


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