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...

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