From Alaska to Alabama: Week One

(blogging today from Huntsville, Alabama)

Today marks one week that I left Alaska for a long-awaited and much needed excursion down South.  It has been a whirlwind of a trip so far, catching up with family and close friends, eating a ridiculous amount of Southern food, and marveling at the warm winter temperatures.

Traveling from Alaska to Alabama isn’t always easy.  This trip included the “milk run” out of Juneau, which took me through rural Southeast Alaska with stops in Petersburg, Wrangell, and Ketchikan.  I then traveled to Seattle, took the red-eye to Atlanta, and a short hop over to Birmingham, Alabama.

Regardless of the jet-lag, it is so much fun being back in The South.  Here’s a photo synopsis of my trans-continental travels and my first week in Bama:

All aboard the Boeing 737-400 Combi aircraft in Juneau!  This is a combination cargo and passenger aircraft with all passengers way in the back.

It never fails.  The moment I depart rainy Juneau, the sun starts shining!

De-icing the plane in Petersburg, Alaska.

Petersburg Airport.  Not to be confused with St. Petersburg Airport.

Wrangell Airport

Ketchikan International Airport

An Eskimo and the moon.

Deplaning at the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport

First class fruit plate. 

Watching "The Dark Knight Rises" and drinking champagne during my red-eye flight to Atlanta.

First stop in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport : CHICK-FIL-A!

Catching up with my good friend, Eduardo, who wore a Nome Ice Golf Classic t-shirt in honor of my visit. 

Noshed on a Krispy Kreme Doughnut Milkshake at the Flip Burger Boutique in Birmingham, Alabama.

A little bit of Alaska at the Anthropologie store at The Summit in Birmingham, Alabama.

I wasn't expecting it to be this warm IN THE WINTER.

The weather was so balmy and hot for me, we had to drive with the windows down.

Sassy shoes!  Glitzy stilettos = a fixture of Southern couture.

I'm not sure if this is practical in Alaska, but it sure is cute in Alabama!

You know you're close to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center when you see Astronaut Ice Cream for sale.  (I think I prefer Eskimo Ice Cream now.)

Catching up with my very good friend, confidant, and mentor, Audrey, who also happens to be a big reason I moved to Alaska.  This woman has changed my life!

Finally able to wear my sunglasses - something I don't do very often in the temperate rainforest of Juneau!

Scoping out Alaska fish condition and prices in Birmingham at the Whole Foods market.

Milo's, it's been too long!  <gulp, gulp>

Shameless promotion of my site at Whole Foods.

Yes, this happened.  Why I'm not working for them, I do not know.

Celebrated my best friend Carmen's 30th birthday with a Murder Mystery Party.  Unbeknownst to me, my character was cast as the killer!

Took part in an OUTSTANDING Christmas service at a new place called Church of the Valley.  I partook in communion and was pleasantly surprised with their use of disposable communion sets.  What a neat idea.

Two Southernisms: "Bojangles" and a fast food discount for going to church.

Stopped in to see "Mr. Jerry," a great family friend.  Jerry Swanson is the founder of Alabama Orthotics and Prosthetics which provided artificial legs to my Dad throughout the course of much of his life.  It's always a pleasure visiting with Mr. Jerry and his wife, Bonnie.

Had a lovely visit with friends, Deb and Tim.  These folks ooze Southern hospitality, and I enjoy soaking up time with them.

There isn't a Target store anywhere in Southeast Alaska.  Needless to say, I was beyond surprised to discover Target is collaborating with Neiman Marcus now!