The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Things I (re)learned in Alaska

on January 11, 2009

I’m home and done thawing out from my historic trip to Alaska. And I’ve had some time to think about the trip and here is a list of the things I learned. Or in some cases, re-learned.

1. I am not cold in Washington . . . I’m simply not hot.
Holy crap. I don’t know how else to put how cold it was there. 27 degrees below zero is quite the experience. I was okay with it for the first day. But then when you have to wake up at midnight and then again at 5:00 a.m. to go start your rental car JUST so it will start in the morning, it gets old fast. I’m pretty sure not one day we were there did it even get up to zero degrees.

2. It is socially acceptable for all age groups to wear pajama bottoms in public.
Really? You couldn’t spare the 30 seconds it takes to put on jeans? I saw more pajama bottoms in one day at the grocery store than I’ve seen in my entire life! I even talked to the lady at the front desk of the hotel we stayed in. She says it’s gotten worse in recent years. Trust me, there is NO WAY a thin layer of flannel is keeping anyone warm in the subzero temperatures.

3. I thought I saw Sarah Palin about 200 times.
Ya wanna know why? Because there are about 200 look alikes running around southcentral Alaska. PEOPLE!! Get an original thought! Really! The puffy bangs, the up-do and the knockoff Kazuo Kawasaki glasses. The girl at the front desk (at this point, a dear friend) said she thought it was just the style . . . .

4. Every local commercial must use the word “Alaska” somewhere in its sales pitch.
It was like I was listening to propaganda. I clued my mom in on it and she was just as amazed as I was. I don’t mean to be mean, but do they really think they’re advertising in New Jersey and need to make 100% certain that the people on the Jersey shore know that the phone service is only for Alaskans? Provided by proud Alaskans. In Alaska. Serving Alaska for 20 years.

5. I will never complain about my hair again.
Between the hard water that I could smell and the exceedingly dry weather, my hair pretty much gave up the will to live. Instead of being mad at my hair for not behaving, I felt sorry for the ol’ girl. She was trying so hard. It felt good to come home and wash all the hard water residue right out.

But by far the biggest thing I learned in Alaska is this:

6. I’m never going back.
It’s the plain and simple truth. Things happened and I realized I have no reason to ever go up there again. I love my friends, but I keep up with them just fine via e-mail, phone and Facebook. I had some wonderful get-togethers with a bunch of friends that were truly a gift from God. But my life is here. Alaska is unhealthy for me and boundaries need to be drawn. It’s sad, but oh so liberating.

Now I just need to concentrate on getting school up and running. That’s my job for this rainy Sunday afternoon. The kids have had 4 weeks off from school and getting back in the groove will be interesting. Don’t worry – I had already scheduled them a 3 week break for Christmas and added the fourth week. They were just caught up when we stopped in mid-December. So now we’ll just do double school once a week for four weeks and they’ll be all caught up. Easy peasy!!


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