Wednesday, July 23, 2008 Alaska

I've got 7 days and counting until my next big adventure. While I'm jumping ahead a little as far as blogging chronologically is concerned, I think it's important to plan ahead for major events, therefore I should blog ahead for them too.
Next Thursday, I'll hop a flight (first class, thanks to all my frequent flyer miles) to Seattle. In Seattle I'll stay the night with my business associate (and hopefully new found friend) Rene, and then hop the train to Bellingham the next morning. Once in Bellingham, I'll have the morning to look around and then I'll head on over to the docks to board a ferry bound for Juneau, Alaska.
I've wanted to go to Alaska my whole life. When I was little, and unreasonably petrified of thunderstorms and other bad things that come along with them (like tornadoes - which I'm still unreasonably petrified of), I fancied winter as my favorite season and reasoned that there was alot more winter in Alaska, therefore that's where I should be. I read books about Alaska, looked at maps of Alaska, hell, I even drew a remarkable map (freehand nonetheless) of Alaska and plastered it to my bedroom door. I can't recall exactly when I decided that summer was really where it was at, but I inevitably let my obsession with the state slip and focused on the numerous positive aspects of bright, sunny, HOT days.
When I started my job here at AAHPERD, it became apparent to me on day one that I'd have to put in my fair share of business travel. There were alot of people all across the country that I should probably meet and work side by side with in order to do a good job, and to support them in the job they are trying to do. Partnering well is what makes my program so successful. I'm not gonna turn my nose up at travel cause I really enjoy it. Even trips to places that most people would groan about are viewed by myself as opportunities to see new places and meet new people and if I hate it, well... at least I had the experience. My first trip was to Overland Park, Kansas - so you can plainly see that it's not all glorious. I've not been to L.A. with this job, nor have I been to NYC, Vegas, or Miami. Regardless, I've been to those places on my own, and the random business travel gives me the chance to see places I wouldn't choose to spend my own money going to. All of this brings me back to how I'm going to Alaska next week - on a business trip.
Our North West District is holding it's annual convention on a ferry boat this year. This is a curse and a blessing. It's a curse because the number of convention participants will undoubtedly be considerably lower due to the increased cost of taking the ferry. The blessing is that those of us attending will have the opportunity to see some amazing scenery, travel to a place we've probably never been to before, and learn about health, physical education, recreation and dance (not to mention Jump Rope and Hoops For Heart) in a unique and memorable setting. We'll be on the boat for 2 1/2 days, departing at 6pm and getting in to port in Juneau at 3:45am - at which point we have to GET OFF THE BOAT. This is probably the most miserable aspect of this trip.
I've booked myself at a hotel that seems to be within walking distance of the Juneau dock, and noted to them that I'll need early check-in - very early check-in. From there I've got a whole day in Juneau where I've planned to see what's there in town and then take this cable car thingy up to the top of the mountain to see what I can see from up there. I'm hoping to make a friend on the boat, so I don't have to do all this sightseeing alone, but we'll have to wait and see what happens on that end. After all is said and done, I hop a flight back to Seattle and then Seattle back home (which is where the real joy in first class is sure to take place). It's sure to be exhausting, yet wonderful, and I'm honestly looking forward to it (even the part where we get off the effing boat at 3:45am).

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