Friday, February 27, 2009

Counting Down

It is 56 days and counting until we leave for Anchorage. The anticipation is building and we are looking forward to flying across the country to a wonderful adventure.

Below is another photo of our past trip. Is not Alaska the most beautiful place??? But the beauty is not really appreciated until you see it in person.

Until next time - have a great weekend! Pamela

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We're Not Going Alone!

Nope, we're not going to Alaska alone! Another friend of mine from high school that I have recently reconnected with (thanks to Facebook) and her husband, are also moving to Alaska and working on the train. Charlotte and Mike Robinson (pictured below) will be jumping coasts with us! Charlotte has been hired as a car manager, like Rennie and I, and Mike is a fantastic chef.

Rennie and I are so excited that not only will we know one person in Anchorage (Kim, our boss) but two others as well. It would be wonderful to live in the same apartment complex and be scheduled on the same train so we can carpool (that's if we can find a reasonable car to purchase), but there are no guarantees. is walking to work, riding a bike, or taking public transportation. More than likely we'll be walking or riding our bikes to be at work by 6:30am - either way, we will be exercising some pounds off. The only thing I dread is the walk home late at night after being on the train for two days straight - but....that comes with the territory and others have done it successfully before us!

Our biggest task at hand is going through tons of stuff here at the house, packing things, and making room for Adam's roommates. Anyone interested in some scrapbook supplies (very cheap!!)? I have sooooooooooo much to get rid of! It is amazing how much supplies one can collect - or should I say hoard - over the years. I could almost open up my own store. Along with scrapbook supplies, I have a tremendous amount of middle school and high school curriculum. Little by little I will whittle away at it - at least I have Spring Break coming up soon.

More later..........Pamela

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Little Did We Know...

Little did we know that five years ago when we took a vacation to Alaska, that we'd be returning for a totally different reason. In April of 2004, we took a wonderful vacation with our friends, Dan and Debbie White (pictured left to right: me - Pamela, Rennie, Dan, and Debbie - we were on top of a glacier) . We first flew to Seattle, Washington, for three days, then to Juneau, Alaska, for an additional ten days. What an adventure! We rented a SUV, drove all over Juneau and its surrounding areas; took a helicopter ride over glaciers; saw so many amazing bald eagles; took a ferry ride over to Haines, Alaska, for a couple of days; went Salmon fishing; played in the snow; and took tons and tons of photos. Who could not fall in love with Alaska?? We even went to this mans home - a native - who sets and films avalanches for a living as well as trains gray wolves and other animals for the film industry. What an interesting character he was!

Since then, Rennie and I have always wanted to return to Alaska but never thought we would have this kind of opportunity. In late 2008, I reconnected with a high school friend on Facebook. She had moved to Alaska five years ago to work and loved it so much that she decided to move there on a permanent basis. Through our conversations, she said she was hiring for the company Holland America, that provides tourist train rides and excursions from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Rennie and I became more and more interested in working for her and the more we talked about it, the more we wanted to give it a try. To make a long story short - we have been hired to work for Holland America, The McKinley Explorer, "Luxury Rail Travel in the Last Frontier." We will be leaving Jacksonville, Florida, at the end of April, 2009, to work over the summer months - returning to Jacksonville some time in October. Native Floridians working in Alaska - who would have thought?

Thus the reason for this blog, "Renkie and Panda", (a name my nephew, Jared, gave us one Christmas) - we will be sharing all of our adventures while in Anchorage. More to come soon...