Monday, August 4, 2008

Hello again, Alaska.

We are in Alaska for a week for Josh's 10-year high school reunion. Already, this trip has sent me down memory lane. So, a little personal background before I launch into our trip: I grew up in Camarillo, CA. My parents are divorced. When I was in eighth grade, my step-dad's job transferred him to Alaska. My mom, sister, and I moved to Kenai, Alaska about a week before I started high school. I lived in Kenai for four years and spent the summers with my dad in Camarillo. Josh and I went to high school together (he was a year ahead of me). Our friend PJ (who now lives in L.A. also) was Josh's best friend in junior high and high school. PJ's mom and my mom became best friends, so we spent a lot of time with PJ and his family in the high school days.

We arrived in Anchorage at around two in the morning on Sunday. My mom was in baggage claim waiting for us with both of her Yorkies, one in each hand. We hugged, gathered our luggage, and went outside to find Doug who had pulled their new camper around outside baggage claim. Now, I had mocked the camper when they bought it (I'm not exactly the camper type), but I must admit, it was a very comfy three-hour ride back to Kenai. My mom brought two bottles of wine and snacks, and we drank wine and chatted while Josh snoozed.

We pulled into my mom's driveway at five in the morning, and Josh and I headed to bed. We woke up at 11:00 a.m., got dressed, and headed out to pick up PJ who got into town Wednesday.

Doug let us borrow his pick-up truck. The "Anyone Can Become An American, But You Have To Be Born a Texan" bumper sticker has since been replaced with "Bush/Cheney '04" stickers. When I said I needed to borrow some Goo Gone to remove them, I was told that he would bring me a magic marker to change the 'o4 to '08. Scared at the thought, we peeled out of the driveway and headed "for town."

Mom and Doug now live in Soldotna, but when I lived here, we lived in Kenai by PJ's parents. We drove through Soldotna into Kenai, and both Josh and I could not get over how everything was pretty much exactly the same. It was ... surreal.

We arrived in my old neighborhood. I have always been very nostalgic for the house we lived in during high school. Josh and I even had our first kiss in the garage of that place. Bug and I were devastated when mom and Doug decided to sell it. We're sappy like that.

We arrived at PJ's house and met his mom's new puppy, Bonita. She is half Chihuahua, half Poodle. PJ calls her a Beanie Baby. She really does look like one.

PJ in tow, we drove past Josh's old house and then north to Nikiski where a new brewery has sprung up since we were last here: Kassiks. PJ has raved about the beer after his last trip to Alaska, so of course, it was one of our first stops.

And, the verdict was ... two thumbs up!! We tasted all of their beers on tap, and then selected growlers of our favorites for the bbq we were having at PJ's house in the evening. We are apparently not the only fans. The place was packed!! We ended up having to wait awhile to get our beer. I passed the time by taking some candids of PJ and Josh.

I captured Josh in the middle of a rant about beer. This picture cracks me up!

We left Kassiks and headed to Carrs, the main grocery store in Kenai. To call Carrs a grocery store is really inaccurate. It is more like town square. This is the place where you will inevitably run into people you know (or who know you) and where high schoolers come to hang out (or at least did "in our day"). There is no mall in Kenai, so if you were an aspiring mallrat in the 1990s, Carrs was your place.

Luckily, we escaped Carrs without seeing a soul we knew, stopped by the liquor store, and then headed back to PJ's house where we had dinner, played Wii, and then played a card game called "Screw Your Neighbor." I suck at this game.

Around 10 p.m., we started to fade, and headed back to my mom's house to sleep. It was still light outside, which was pretty wild.

This morning, I was up early to log in and do a little work while everyone is sleeping. My mom's new house is on the Kenai River, and the office is on the second floor with a gorgeous view. Somehow, it made work feel less work-like.

While I was working, Josh dug through my closet and found his old football sweatshirt he gave me when we started dating.

Yes, that says 1994. Jesus.

I am going to crank out a little more work this morning, and then start the day. More soon ...


*** said...

Omg, the bumper sticker comment made me laugh in the middle of lecture... Glad you are having fun!

California Girl said...

Wow, what a nice trip down memory lane. I'm glad you two are having a good time :)

Moviegirl20 said...

How very fun! I love reading your blog Jenny! Especially since I'm unable to attend the reunion myself.
Bobbi Deal (Hyrman)

WeezerMonkey said...

Bonita es bonita!

Kitt said...

Again...I state that PJ looks like Wolverine in the photo's with the dog. So powerful and yet so troubled.

Arian said...

Having gone to Kitts 10 year reunion in 2002, I can't wait to hear how THAT goes. :) Looking forward to reading the continuing saga... :)

dapotato said...

you guys are too cute. that dog is so freakin' cute!

H said...

I want a Beanie Baby doggie!

Nanette said...

That dog! So cute! What a fun trip! :)

Ashley said...

Ah, Memory I talked to Mak tonight...I can't wait to see you and Josh! Give me a call on my cell if you get a chance. (252-8865) We should catch lunch or coffee or something! See you soon!

Winnie said...

That dog is too cute! I want one of those :)

R said...

Um...I graduated in 94. You're making me feel old.

Your trip sounds like fun so far. I hope it continues!

wan-nabe said...

i'm melting at the sight of that adorable puppy. how you didn't pack him up and steal him away, i don't know.

um, i'm on my 20-year-reunion committee. TWENTY.

angel said...

wish i was in alaska!! the view of the lake is gorgeous and so peaceful. enjoy your time away! xoxo

amber said...

i love getting a glimpse of the early days of you and josh :)

Sarah said...

I still wear my Kenai Kard's Cross Country skiing sweatshirt when we go camping . . . and my cheerleading sweatshirt whenever I'm sick. Somehow I think it makes me feel better to remember that I have a shirt with my name on it. Even though I won't wear it out of the house! :)

Have fun in Kenai! I miss it . . . sometimes! :)


PS - When you guys return, let's have a game night at our house!