Sunday, August 30, 2009

Recouperating... ok, not really...

When I work on the weekends, I take the stance of "I'll go in when I want"... I'm not scheduled to be there, and the bosses aren't ACTUALLY telling me that I HAVE to work, so they don't get to dictate when I'm there... If they said, "Jen, we need to you work on Saturday, at 8:00" that would be a different matter altogether.

I'm usually the one who says I have to work on Saturday/Sunday... I know that I won't be able to finish everything during the week, and I feel like I can get a lot more done on the weekends (you know, because there are no distractions, nor additions to my work load). I usually set aside all the "non-priority" tasks to Saturday, and try not to work more than 4 hours at a time on the weekends.

However, this doesn't usually happen...

Like, this weekend...

The biggest downside to taking a 3-week vacation is the sheer amount of work you see on your desk when you return. I am not exaggerating when I say that the stack of work on my desk was over a foot tall... Combined with the other "usual" tasks that I have to do, it was approx. 2 feet tall...

I returned to work 2 weeks ago, but hadn't even attempted to tackle "the stack" until this weekend. Why? Because I couldn't put in the extra hours (1-2) per day that I normally put in during that 2 week period.

So now, after working 6 hours yesterday, "the stack" has been tamed... I, however, am working again today to meet a deadline this week. This time, though, I am working from home. I decided that if I worked another 6 hours at the office today, I would be too tired to do anything when I got home (you know, necessary things like laundry, dishes, etc...). So I brought home everything I need to finish my project and will work on it in between loading/unloading the washer/dryer, dishwasher, scrubbing the toilet, etc...

Good luck to me... I forsee a nice long soak in my tub at the end of this day... So much for Sunday being the day of rest... ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Goodbye to Grandma D

I just got back from taking Grandma D to the airport for her flight back home. We had such a lovely time with her here in our home. We were able to do a lot of things that most tourists aren't able to do. Some of the bigger, more "touristy" things, were weren't able to do (whale watching tour, Tracy Arm tour, White Pass/Yukon RR, Taku Lodge, etc), and they are on the list for next time.

We tried to do the Taku Lodge thing on Tuesday. We had our flight booked and took the time to go downtown to catch our flight, only to have our flight canceled due to weather... Bummer... We were expecting a nice seaplane flight to the remote lodge, then an excellent salmon dinner (Aaron and I have done this before and it was WONDERFUL). Instead, we did one of the local salmon bakes here in town. It wasn't as good as the lodge would have been, but still tasty...

Here is a list of things we did/places we went with Grandma D: (Some of these may be out of order)
1) "Out the Road" - Drive to "Auke Rec" while we waited to pick up Noni
2) Dinner at "The Hanger on the Wharf" - just the 3 of us
3) Dinner at "The Twisted Fish" - dinner the night Aaron's parents arrived :)
4) Dinner at "The Zephyr" - Aaron's birthday dinner
5) Gelato at "Juneau Gelato"
6) Juneau Ice Field tour on our way to Skagway, where we shopped and ate lunch
7) Mt. Roberts Tram, with lunch at the top
8) Mendenhall Glacier, twice :)
9) Helicopter Tour & Dog Sled Ride (this one was just Grandma D & Aaron's Dad)
10) LOTS of shopping downtown!
11) "Out the Road" - Drive to Echo Cove, at the end of the road, north of Juneau
12) Dinner at "El Sombrero"
13) Flight to Hoonah
14) Saw humpback whales feeding off the shore
15) Dinner at "The Island Pub" on Douglas Island
16) "Out the Road" - Drive to the end of the road on both sides of Douglas Island
17) Dinner at "T.K. McGuires"
18) Dinner at the restaurant at the Breakwater Hotel (It has a name, but I don't remember what it is... It used to just be "The Breakwater", back when it was a nice, semi-fancy restaurant... Now it's turning into some stupid kind of bar/restaurant/pub type place...)
19) "Out the Road" - Drive to the end of the road, south of Juneau, to Thane
20) Dinner at "The Thane Ore House"
21) Dinner at "Donna's"
22) Beautiful Sunset viewing on North Douglas - This was last night :)
- and I'm probably missing quite a few things...

The weather has been gloomy at best, ever since Grandma D got here... It's been typical Juneau weather of mostly cloudy-overcast, with rain... Yesterday started out much the same way... After our flight got canceled on Tuesday, I expected it to be just as nasty yesterday. We were pleasantly surprised. By the time I got off of work, it had stopped raining. By the time we left the house to take her last box to the post office, we could see patches of blue sky. By the time we left the barbershop, it was clear! We took a nice, pleasant drive to the glacier, so she could see it on a nice day. Then we went to dinner, and had really good pot roast at the "local" restaurant here in the Valley. I say "local" because it is mainly for the locals. The tourists don't usually venture down here... After dinner, we took a drive out to North Douglas, where we stopped at the boat launch and walked out over the floating dock to get some beautiful pictures of the sunset. It was even clear enough last night to see stars!

Thanks go out to the Alaska Airlines staff here in Juneau. The ticket agent was wonderful, in assisting Grandma D to have her bag checked all the way to ABQ. She has a pass for her connecting flight from SEA to DFW to ABQ and we weren't sure that they would check her bag all the way since she doesn't have a ticket for her continuing flights. They also made sure that there is someone to assist her in SEA with a wheelchair, and gave me a pass so I could accompany her through security to her gate. They are awesome at accommodating you when you need assistance.

I said goodbye to her as they were wheeling her out to the plane, she got to be boarded first! I hope she had as much fun here as we did having her here. She's only been gone a half hour or so, and I already miss her. I can't wait to spend time with her again!

I hear an airplane overhead! That should be her on her way home. Have a great flight!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I love scheduling...

Aaron's schedule at work has been flipped... Meaning that he is now working the 2nd half of the month... Which is both good and bad...

Good because that means he will be home on the 1st... Yay!

Bad because that means that he will miss my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our Anniversary, etc... All of those are at the end of the month...

There goes our holiday plans... We are going to have to celebrate early or late... But that is not uncommon in this industry...


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Life is crazy...

I had decided shortly after starting my blog that I would be "incognito", giving initials for the people I talked about on my blog (friends, family, etc...) where A=My husband. Well, I have re-evaluated that and will clue you all into us. I will not be changing my previous posts, so you'll just have to "figure it out". I won't be using other people's names without their permission.

Aaron (my husband, for those of you following along) is going back to work tomorrow. He was supposed to be off until the end of the month, allowing him to be home (or at least with me) for 40 days. About a week and a half into our vacation, he got an email from work advising him that they needed him back a week early. Whatever...

His grandmother is still here, and will be until Thursday. So, I've worked my schedule a bit to allow me to spend at least the afternoons with her. Tomorrow, we plan on going to the Alaska State Museum here in Juneau. We also have some last minute shopping to do downtown. I think we'll have fun with each other.

I'll probably be doing all my after vacation "catch up" on blogs and the PWC site after grandma goes back to ABQ. So I hope you all haven't felt abandoned, I've just been really busy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to normal... sort of...

Today is the first day back to work for me. A is still on "vacation" and his grandma is still with us. We have been having so much fun showing her all over the place. Yesterday, we went to Hoonah and she got a "back country" tour from a friend of ours. Luckily, we didn't see any bears, but we did get to see some humpback whales feeding just off shore and then a stream full of salmon. She didn't expect to see any of that. Not sure what the dynamic duo have planned for today without me, but I'm sure it will be fun...

Now, on to the massive amount of work on my desk, as well as delegating between our accountant and our auditors... Oh joy ;)

Monday, August 10, 2009

We are now home...

It was brought to my attention that I didn't post that we are now home... Oops...

Well, we are. We made it back on Friday afternoon. We picked up Noni (who was very happy to see us...) and then went to dinner. Saturday, we picked up A's parents and have been going ever since.

Yesterday, was A's birthday. We made it very special for him. I'm so glad his family was here for it.

Today, we are flying to Skagway, via the Juneau Ice Field. I'll take some pictures and post them when we get back. In fact, I better get going so we can get on the plane :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Salt Lake City

We successfully picked up Grandma D in Salt Lake City. We are leaving
this morning for Bellingham, on our way home.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunrise in Walsenburg

We are leaving this morning for Salt Lake City. What a wonderful sight
on the way to the plane.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The "Full On" Vacation Post

I am sitting at my aunt's computer, able to blog comfortably (and accurately, for that matter), so I am taking the opportunity to do so. There will be no pictures, as I am not going to hook up my phone to do so, so you'll just have to imagine it :)

We have been having a wonderful time on vacation. Our first stop was Bellingham Washington, where we hooked up with an old friend of A's from back when he was flight training in Texas. He took us to Semiahmoo Resort for dinner and breakfast the next day. Well worth a second trip on our own if/when we can afford to fly down again. I would love to stay at the resort.

When we left Bellingham, we stopped in Tacoma for lunch, to meet a friend from Hawaii. I love it when we can land and eat at an airport on the airfield. The restaurant that we stopped at is owned by a retired admiral in the navy. The food was pretty good. We also could see the Tacoma Narrows bridge on the approach and departure. I tried to take some pictures in flight, but they didn't come out well on my phone. I hope I took some better ones with the real camera.

Arrival in McMinnville Oregon was interesting. We were told by the ramp guy that it was 104 degrees... Oh joy... We secured a crew car for the night (an old "black & white" police car... how cool is that?) and headed off to the hotel for some much needed air conditioning... We ate at the Golden Valley Brewery, which was very good. The waitress that we had was excellent in suggesting beer or wine to go with our meals.

The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is awesome. That was one post that I blogged about a lot from my phone. I won't repeat myself. I will just say that we were so exhausted from looking at everything there, in conjunction with the heat, that we got back to the hotel and didn't even have the energy to order dinner to be delivered... Well worth the trip.

My family reunion was so much fun. We had activities planned practically every minute. When we had free time, I hung out with my brother and his family or I napped... I was very tired most days. In fact, the day we went to Cedar Breaks, I got ill on the mountain. A collaboration of altitude sickness (elev. 9,800+), heat, and not eating for hours (breakfast was at 8:00 am, lunch was after 1:00 pm) and I was out for the count. My father, step-mother, and a few of my cousins decided we were "done" and headed back to our dorms earlier than everyone else. They were all having fun playing football and singing in a meadow behind the picnic area.

I really enjoyed spending time with with my various nephews and cousins. A and I were "dorm parents" in charge of the older boys (age 11-18). We had to prepare the meals for them (other than dinner) and keep them in line. We were told by one of my cousins that we were "cool" dorm parents. We had a blast, and only had to tell them to be quiet so the "old people" could go to bed a couple of times. ;)

Unfortunately, we had to leave Cedar City earlier than originally planned, due to the weather forcast for the afternoon. I'm sad that we missed it. Maybe next time we will be able to stay for the whole thing.

We made it to Walsenburg around lunch time. Our long awaited and much anticipated BBQ was made and smelled wonderful. We ate our fill, then took naps. There is no place on earth better to take a nap than your grandma's. :) Today, we got up when we wanted, had some breakfast, and generally enjoyed the quiet. Dinner today was pot roast with all the fixin's. After dinner, we went for a drive. We took my uncle over to see the plane (and so A could make sure it is still ok after thunderstorms moved through the area yesterday). On our way there, we picked up some cantelope and watermelon from a road side stand. THAT IS THE BEST CANTELOPE I HAVE EVER EATEN!!!!! They are sending some home with us. I expect that the cantelope won't even make it to SLC...

We will be leaving for Salt Lake on Tuesday, so I will return to phone blogging then. We should be home by Friday.

What a GREAT vacation so far!!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Departing Cedar City

We had so much fun with the family in Cedar City. It's too bad the we
have to leave early and miss today's activities. When they are calling
for thunderstorms in the afternoon when you originally intended to
depart, you gotta get while the gettin's good. Now on to Walsenburg
and really good BBQ. :)