I’ve officially moved back to Alaska. I have some amazing friends and support system up here which made the move a lot easier. Many people offered a place to stay until I found a place of my own, a vehicle to drive, help moving stuff out of storage, and assisting me with finding a car to buy. Words cannot say how thankful and grateful I am to have these people in my life. The above photo is from my friends place where I stayed the first few weeks I was in Alaska.

I started my job and am enjoying it greatly. The first couple of weeks were pretty mellow since I was learning my job, trying to find a place to live, what I needed to buy, and a way to get around. However, I still managed to have a few. I did go to a Super Bowl Sunday Party at a friends place. Most of the ladies enjoyed chatting and hanging out with Little J while the guys enjoyed the game. I was happy to have somewhere to go on Super Bowl Sunday even if I’m not a huge Football fan.

I also joined Meetup. Have you heard of it? How fun is it that there are random groups filled with people (some who know each other and some who don’t) that plan activities that people can join in on. I know this may surprise everyone since I lead groups of up to 50 strangers at a time on adventures throughout Alaska; however, this is out of my comfort zone. It’s outside of my comfort zone because this time I’m not in charge of the leading. I’m following and for some reason when I’m following a group of strangers it always makes me a bit nervous. However, I’m so very glad I decided to join this group. My first Meetup was with the Women Beginner Hikers Group. About 10 of us met up at Simon & Seaford’s for Happy Hour. Though I have spent 5 summers in Anchorage, I have never been to Simon & Seaford’s. So I got to Meetup with some amazing ladies and I got to try out a new restaurant. Take a look at the view in the back. Simon & Seaford’s has an amazing view of the Sleeping Lady aka… Mt. Susitna. Come to Alaska and I will tell you about the legend surrounding this mountain.

I have also found a place to live. I had a few requirements: It’s in a decent neighborhood, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, it’s not too far from work, and I needed somewhere that had some space. I have moved in; however, I have not finished unpacking. These guys helped me move stuff out of the storage unit and into the apartment.


I love to try out new restaurants. So when a good friend of mine got back from his adventure to Bali we celebrated at the Rustic Goat and ate Nachos. It’s what we do when we get together. It’s a tradition that started almost 3 years ago on a 2100 mile road trip.

I bought a car and it’s fancy. At least it’s fancy for me. Especially if you take into consideration that I haven’t owned a car in over 6 years. I’ve given my parents, sister, and one of my brothers the grand tour of my car. A friend volunteered to go with to test drive the car before I bought it. I’ve already been back to the dealership as I was having issues with the Key. I also had to check the air pressure in my tires as a warning light went on. I hadn’t bought an air pressure gauge yet…go figure. My car also has summer tires on it. It travels fine on the snow. However, once the snow gets slushy and then freezes and it creates divots in the road then it sometimes gets stuck and the tires just spinand spin. I’m 0 for 2 and both times my wheels were still on the road. I’ve had to call a a tow truck as my passenger tire got stuck in one of those divots and no one was around to help me push the car nor did I have cardboard or a shovel with me. Another time it involved a 60 or 70 year old woman pushing my car. So winter tires are a must up here. No worries though I now have a shovel and a piece of cardboard. Alaskan’s usually have winter tires and studs. They also do not salt the roads and I haven’t figured out the plowing schedule yet. I’m learning…sometimes the hard way. Now to figure out my best option for snow tires…


On a brighter note, I had my very first visitor. Brooke and I lived next door to each other over 5 years ago in Juneau. We both made our way to the interior working seasonal jobs. Brooke is another adventurer. She was able to stop over prior to flying down to Cordova where she works with a Heli-Skiing Company. Basically people jump out of helicopters with their skies already attached. I haven’t skied since I was 12 and I wasn’t any good at it. So you won’t see me jumping out of any Helicopters anytime soon. It was great to see her. She is pretty much amazing. She just finished a solo trip in Africa. Check out her Podcasts that she recently started.


A few days ago a friend and I went to Arctic Entries. I love storytelling and it has always been a big part of my job. It’s the second one I’ve gone too. There was live music as well. We had a great time.

It was a big decision for me to come off of the road and stay in one spot for a while. Even though I’m excited to be able to unpack and have a somewhat normal life I know I still need to have adventures. Apparently I’m getting the hang of this adulting thing and it’s kind of terrifying.



Let the Good Times Roll!!


Turtle Hospital

Florida holds so many wonderful memories. My first stop was to visit Casa Frita and his two kids. Casa Frita and I worked together years ago at Disney. He was an artist and I was the person that sharpened the pencils. Lol. He is Columbian so once in a while I would say a random phrase in Spanish to him. My most common phrase was when I was trying to say “What’s up home fry?” in Spanish. My translation was “Que pasa case frita?” If you know Spanish at all then you most definitely know I was not saying “What’s up home fry?” Little did I know I was saying “What’s up fried house?” For months I’d say this to Sebastion and he would just smile or laugh. Other friends that also spoke Spanish let me continue on for months as well. Finally I had to ask why they found it so funny. After he explained we had a good laugh and then we continued to say it to each other. Eventually we shortened it down to Casa Frita…aka…we call each other fried house. We all thought it was funny. So yes, I call some of my Spanish Friends Casa Frita and they say it right back to me. He sent me this meme a while back. And this meme says so much about our friendship. Lol.


My absolute favorite part of Florida was getting the chance to visit my cousin Andy, his wife Ashley, and their little guy Shea. Andy and I grew up less than 10 miles from each other and was one of my closest cousins growing up. It was my first visit with Andy and Ashley in 3 years and my first time meeting Shea. I’m sure glad that Shea and I became fast friends. He is an absolute cutie with his Dad’s personality. This may be my favorite picture of us. We visited the Turtle Hospital and an animal sanctuary. I was not ready to leave when it was time for me to go. I hope all of our paths cross again before to long.


Then I was off to Symposium. This was my 7th Symposium in a row. I look forward to this event every year. The first two years I went to try and find jobs. Every year since I have gone for the reunion. As I like to tell people “These are some of my favorite Humans.” My first year I was a volunteer Human Arrow, worked my way up to a Super Volunteer, and then a few years ago I was invited to join the ITMI Team at Symposium as the Coordinator of Volunteers. This years Symposium sent us to Cozumel by Cruise Ship. It was my first ever cruise. Since I’m the Coordinator of Volunteers this involved a lot of time studying Deck plans and trying to figure out where and when I needed people to assist. I was also representing Premier Alaska Tours during Marketplace. So the added challenge of this Symposium is making sure volunteers were where they needed to be and when even though I couldn’t be in multiple places at one time. So first off I have to send a huge shout out to all the volunteers that assisted us and the people who stepped up to the plate last minute and volunteered. We couldn’t have done it without you. We were able to greet people onboard the ship wearing t-shirts and sailor caps. I saw some wonderful friends, met some amazing people, and had a lot of fun representing ITMI and Premier. I’ll be honest, I never did make it off the boat to Cozumel though I had every intention of roaming around the city. However, I did catch a lot of R & R on our free day.


One of my favorite parts about Symposium is our final night. I love themed parties (though I’m not a huge fan of Halloween). This years theme was Disco. As you can tell I tend to go all out for my costumes. Since I was working most of the Cruise I didn’t take many photos Our next Symposium is in November in Tuscon, AZ. I look forward to seeing you all there. I’m already wondering what our theme for the final night will be.

Can you tell it was a Disco Party!!

My flight home was an added adventure; however, a wonderful one. Not many people would say that on a delayed by almost 24 hours flight. My flight was delayed due to a break in the Hydraulic Line. Eventually the flight was canceled due to the Hydraulic Line and blizzard conditions in Minneapolis. Myself and two other ladies seemed pretty relaxed while everyone else was in a near panic. A few things I have learned traveling as much as I do. One: you should always leave yourself some leeway when it comes to flying. As in don’t have every moment of everyday planned. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time / date then perhaps you should fly in a day sooner. Two: If you fly in the winter to Minnesota you should already be well aware that your flight may very well be delayed. Three: a plane is just like a car. Sometimes they break down even if you take good care of them. I don’t blame the ticket or gate agents for this. There is literally nothing they can do and getting angry at them due to mechanical issues or weather will serve no one.

Delta Agents at FLL Airport provided us with sandwiches from Jimmy John’s. There is a first time for everything. Thanks for feeding us Delta. My delayed flight got delayed hour after hour until it became a 5:45Am flight. I watched as many people walked up to the Gate Agent and changed their flights. However, I was watching MSP’s Twitter account and I realized that almost all flights would be canceled. I’m glad I didn’t switch flights. A mechanical issue delay involves a free night at a hotel. A weather delay involves no such compensation. So even though my flight was delayed and then canceled and rescheduled for the next day and then delayed again I was able to get 2 free meals (Jimmy Johns and a Nacho Bar at the hotel) and a free night at a hotel. While all other flights were delayed and canceled due to weather they did not receive any compensation. Yes, I had places to be and things I needed to get done; however, I knew the risks I was taking trying to fly into Minneapolis in January. So I rescheduled what I could. The best part of the delay is that my sister and her husband would be in the Cities heading home and could pick me up at the airport. Which meant no shuttle. It was wonderful spending time with the two of them. I was glad to finally get home about 24 hours after I should have been.


New Orleans


26904476_10111291846431170_8933456240915735569_nNew Orleans was a lot of fun. Though I’m sure Mardi Gras would be amazing I’m glad I got to visit New Orleans when it wasn’t unbelievably busy. Between a Cemetery Tour, Plantation Tour, and of course some Burlesque shows we took in as much as we could in a short amount of time. Julie (a great friend from Alaska) and I barely scratched the surface of this fascinating city.

Even though I’ve traveled a lot I rarely have someone at the airport to pick me up. This time I had someone waiting for me at luggage claim, was holding up a sign with my name on it, and was dressed up in a suit and tie. It’s the little things in this life that I love. Stanley is amazing. I recommend everyone book Stanley as their driver when they visit New Orleans. Besides being an amazing driver, he knows everyone at the airport, has a wonderful personality, and knows a lot about his city.

Stanley gave us a mini tour of New Orleans and lots of wonderful suggestions before dropping us off at The Banana Courtyard Bed and Breakfast. I love Bed & Breakfasts for so many reasons. They are usually run by amazing people that are inviting you into their home, the B&B’s have a fascinating history, the Innkeepers know their city inside and out, and you are oftentimes treated you more like family than a guest. I would know a good B&B as I have stayed in many and I used to manage one. Which means I can also sympathize with the challenges that come with inviting strangers into your home.

The Banana Courtyard is just as amazing as you’d think a B&B could be. It was built in the 1870’s, used to be a bordello (brothel), is a few blocks from the French Quarter, and has a courtyard with a 40 foot Banana Tree (hence the name of the B & B). I’m staying in the servant quarters…of course they have been refurbished and remodeled. Julie is staying in one of the old parlors. Take a look.

Banana Courtyard Tour


Everywhere in this city there is a lot of charm and lots of friendly people. Julie and I’s first stop of the day was at Lafayette’s. It had a disco ball and Bloody Mary’s…hence why we stopped in. It was our first stop on our first full day and our last stop on our final day in New Orleans. Our Bartender was eager to talk to us about the history of the bar and New Orleans.


Below are some of my highlights.

We were able to meet up with a great friend of mine, Robin for dinner and a drink. She suggested that we meet at a wonderful restaurant called the Orleans Grapevine. We sat in the outside courtyard. If you are ever in the French Quarter check it out. I don’t know if there is such a thing as bad food in this city. Then we headed to the Black Penny for a drink. I enjoyed Bourbon Street during the daytime during the week. On the weekends and the evenings it was just to busy for me so the Orleans Grapevine and the Black Penny were more my style. We had a lot of laughter and a lot of fun.

We went on a tour to the St. Louis Cemetery where we learned all about some of the characters that are buried there, we saw Nicolas Cages future tomb and learned about his bad luck, and learned that Caterpillars can kill.

We went to the Whitney Plantation. Everyone should visit the Whitney Plantation. This plantation tour is given with a focus on slavery. It is definitely an emotional rollercoaster. However, it’s a story that needs to be told. Thanks Stanley and Robin for the Recommendation.

Cafe Du Monde for Beignets. We did try Beignets however we skipped over Cafe Du Monde due to the size of the line. We did learn about a sort of secret window. If you walk thru the cafe to the back on the left there is a to go window with no wait time. The window only takes cash. However, if you want to skip the main line and a long wait then head over to the To Go Window. We told some other guests at the B&B about our discovery. They told us later that day that they went to the To Go window and they were so happy we told them about it.

We saw two burlesque shows: Whiskey & Rhinestone’s and Sobe’s Burlesque Brunch where Bella Blue performed. If you are a Burlesque person you know that Bella Blue is in the top 50 performers in the world. She is an amazing artist, designer, and dancer. Who has ever heard of a Burlesque Brunch? It was amazing.

When our adventure came to an end, Stanley was there to pick Julie and I up and drive us back to the airport. He’s a Football fan; however, he was still willing to skip out on part of a playoff game. New Orleans Saints were playing the Minnesota Vikings in what turned out to be a very exciting game. He actually texted me a few days before and said “ Who Dat”. I said it was Haley. Apparently I don’t know Football chants all that well. So we had a good chuckle about that on the way to the airport. He was sporting his football gear and told us his whole family was home watching the game so we didnt want to take up to much of his time. We made sure he was home in time to see the last half. Sorry that we had to win Stanley. As I parted and gave him a hug I promised that I would give him a call if I ever found myself back in New Orleans.



Change is Good



January is a very busy and exciting month. I’m going to start it off by watching the Rose Day Parade at home with my family and in my pajamas. It’s a simple pleasure, yet one I have always enjoyed. In a few short days I’ll be heading out on an adventure. I know I should start packing as this week is filled with all sorts of errands and appointments; however, right now I’m just going to enjoy. Later, I can start packing.

In less than a month my life will be changing. Change is good. It challenges us, it helps us learn and it causes us to grow. As I once read “Without change there is no adventure in life.”

In the next few weeks I’ll be heading to New Orleans, FL, Cozumel, and Alaska. Why these places?

Well, all of these places are either important in my life or have people in them that are important in my life.

I’ve never been to New Orleans and I have a few friends who live there and a friend from Alaska that is going. So why not join in on the fun. I’ve got my flight and hotel booked and that is about all for the moment.

Then off to Orlando, FL to visit Casa Frita (it’s an inside joke I’ll share with you eventually). He is one of my closest friends. I can hardly believe we have been friends going on 10 years. I made him a promise the last time I was in Orlando that I would visit him and his family before his oldest went to Kindergarten. I always try to keep my word.

Then from there I’ll be on my own adventure for a day or two. I’ve got some ideas up my sleeve. If I had a bucket list most adventures would include animals. However, you’ll just have to wait and see what I have planned.

Eventually I’ll be meeting up with the ITMI Team as I venture off on my first ever cruise. It’s the ITMI’s annual Symposium. This year though it’s a “Seaposium” as we are holding the first ever Symposium at Sea. I’m excited and nervous. I tend to get motion sickness on the open Sea so we will see how well I handle this. I’m putting out some major positive vibes into the universe so hopefully that helps. I’m the Coordinator of Volunteers for this event and I love every moment of it. It is a lot of go, go, go. I cannot wait to see some of my favorite humans, reunite with some wonderful friends / Alumni, and meet some new friends and colleagues.

Then back home for a few days to recuperate from my adventure, unpack, and repack as I begin another major life move. I’ll be moving up to Alaska…in January. Many of you may already know and for those that don’t I have taken on a more permanent role with my company. I’ve been with them for over 5 years and am very excited to start a new chapter with them. So yes, I’m moving to Alaska in the middle of winter. I have quite a few friends that live there year round and a great support system which will make a move in the winter a lot easier. Though this won’t be the first winter I spent in AK.