Updated Plans

Gosh...it's been a while since I posted. Let me catch you up...

First off, after calculating the price we have decided that we will not be going on the Alaska Marine Highway at all. It is going to cost us roughly $8000. YES~ $8K! That is just too much!! I was bummed at first, but now I am ok with it. There is still so much to see and do.

We've also started to figure out what we are going to see. We went over to Connie & Kent's a few weeks ago and spent several hours discussing AK with them. Kent has worked up at Denali NP the past several summers and Connie (who retired in the spring) joined him this year. They had a lot of great tips and suggestions for us. I hope to get together and talk with them again as we basically just covered the first half of the trip with them. One of the best things they told us is to purchase a booked called The Milepost. The Milepost is a mile by mile guide of Alaska, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and British Columbia. It a very thick guidebook, but it covers EVERYTHING! They publish it each year, so we will order ours when the 2010 edition comes out in March. C&K did pass on several guide magazines that they've received in the mail, which have a lot of info also. Eric just finished up his last final yesterday and plans on using the time between semesters to do lots of research on AK and map out the whole trip.

Last week we sold 2 of our vehicles~ the Porsche and the little red pick-up. It's so nice to have our driveway open. Eric's parking the Jeep in the garage. He's also doing lots of work on the Jeep...routine maintenance and some other stuff. He recently purchased the a tow hitch so that we can tow the Jeep behind the RV. So we have officially decided that the Jeep will go along with us. We also purchased a kewl bikerack off Craig's List that hooks between the hitch & the RV. We need to gather some rugged bikes for all of us to take with us. I'll be keeping my eye on Craig's List for that. Don't you just love CL? BTW~ the funds from the sale of the 2 vehicles will used to get braces for Jake.


Making Plans!

Yesterday I called the 800 number for the Alaska Intercoastal Ferry. I got a lot of questions answered and we are prepping to make our reservation. We just need to get some information/documents together. We've decide to reverse the direction of our trip and will drive across the US to Washington State first and take the ferry through the Inside Passage up to Alaska. Then we will explore the state before returning home via the Al-Can Highway.

I am also reading though journals of other's trips to Alaska. Many of the journals I have found are from people who got to spend MONTHS up there, but it's still good to read through to see what there is to do. We plan on getting together soon with some friends of ours that go up and work at Denali in the summers. I am sure they have lots of good advice.

Such Excitement!



Eric wants to tow a vehicle with us to AK, so he bought a Jeep Cherokee. I am not completely sold on towing a vehicle...I mean driving 35' of vehicle is certainly a chore! This means we now have 5 vehicles, so he is going to sell his little red truck and hopefully his Porsche too!


You asked and I finally...

People have been asking when I am going to post pics of the rig. Not sure why I put off taking pics...but I finally got my act in gear this morning as Eric was leaving to take it to his dad's for the winter. We were going to try to camp this weekend and then take it up in a few weeks, but we realized there were a few maintenance issues that needed to be taken care of first. Eric's dad has been anxious for us to bring it up so he can tinker around with it. Earl, be my guest!


We got the RV!

On Tuesday we went and picked up the RV. These were the views out the mirrors all the way home. It's HUGE! Seriously very big. We have it parked in our driveway and the neighbors are definitely curious. A few have asked if we have company visiting. It's been cold & wet since we got it and we've just not taken the time to take pics of it. It's going to sit on our driveway for about a month and then we are driving it up to Eric's dads lot to store it for the winter.


Big News!

Today we put down a deposit on the motorhome we want to buy. Before I give you the details about the home...let me back up and tell you how we got to this point.

When we decided to go to Alaska we researched how much it would cost to rent an RV. We were surprised to see that it was going to cost $6-8K. It's not much cheaper if we were to fly to Alaska and rent one there...because we have plane tickets x 5 + rental costs + extra to rent sheets, towels, etc. We started looking into the price of used RVs and found that we could get a decent motorhome for $8-10K. So we though why not get one and then sell it when we get home? Certainly the difference would be a lot less than $6-8K!! So we decided we would purchase one because we can bring all our own stuff from home (sheets, towels, etc) and just be more comfortable knowing what's going on. It's really a buyer's market right now, so we decided to look for one now and then store it at Eric's dads for the winter.

We've seen several that we like, but haven't been in the position to quickly purchase one. When there are ones that are a good deal...they tend to sell fast. About 3 weeks ago we went and drove a class c motorhome about 45 mins away. A class c is one that looks like a truck/van in front and has a cab over the driver where someone can sleep. This motorhome was in decent shape, but we thought it was priced high. A few days later Eric saw a big motorhome listed here in town. The ad have very little info and when we went to take a look at it we really liked it. It was more $$ than we planned to spent, but we thought it was a good deal. After closer inspection we realized it had some electrical issues. We decided not to get it afterall and were glad we didn't put any money down on it.

Yesterday Eric found a class a rig that is similar to the one we almost bought for a little cheaper, but way nicer. I googles the guy and then called him. Everything he said on the phone matched his resume online. Turns out that he had a verbal offer, but no deposit. He said first person to get him a deposit gets it. (We ran a carfax and did some other checking to make sure this wasn't a bum deal!) So I ran up to FedEx and quickly sent off a check for $1000 for a deposit. He said someone else was sending a deposit too. Well...ours arrived today and he called to say that we get it!! I know...some of you might think we are CRAZY for deciding to buy it without seeing it. The guy is just holding our check and will return it to us when we come to see it/get it. He said if we don't want it afterall he will offer it to the next person. We'd like to go this weekend to get it (it's 2.5 hours away), but our funds won't be available in the bank until Tuesday morning. So Eric is taking off work on Tuesday, we will hit the bank when it opens, and then we are driving over to Indiana to inspect it and pick it up.

So here's the info. It's a 1994 Winnebago that originally cost over $11oK. It's 35', diesel, and very nice. It has a washer/dryer unit and 2 TVs. YES...it's bigger and more luxurious than we planned, BUT it's a good deal. We should be able to sell it after our trip for close to what we bought it for. So much better than paying $6-8K to rent one.

The bathroom sink reminds me of wheel of fortune. I'm thinking we will walk in and hear those chimes that they play when a new puzzle is reveal. Hopefully Vanna won't jump out when we someone is in the shower!! LOL!!!

Let's Celebrate!!

20 years ago today on a Saturday at 32nd Naval Station in San Diego, Eric & I met at an outdoor concert featuring Kenny Loggins. I was volunteering at the concert since it was being put on by MWR (who I worked for) and Eric was there to meet up with some gals he and his friend met at the enlisted sports bar the night before. Eric's friend didn't get up to go with him and he never found those reservists. BUT~ I was bound and determined to meet at guy at the concert that day...and I did!! I sent someone over to introduce is and the rest is history!!
Here we are that first week we met.Here is a recent pic of us.
We had a short courtship and many family members were skeptical about us getting married so quickly. We got a lot of advise to wait...but we didn't. I know the odds were against us from the beginning, but today kicks off our year long celebration of 20 years together. We are very much in love & lust...lol and I am very proud of us!

To mark 20 years, we've decided to take a big trip. We started the discussion on where we were going to go back in June when we passed the 19 year mark. We've had Costa Rica, Hawaii, China, and Europe on our list. Since we have TONS of frequent flier miles we started looking at our flying options. We lived in Hawaii 1990-94 and went back and visited 8 years later. 2010 would be 8 years after we were last there and thought that going to Maui would be nice. After looking at flight options and talking with an flight agent that handles the FF miles, we've realized that finding flights are going to be next to impossible for the dates we want. She said that flying in Sept or May is the best time to use miles...to go anywhere. We went to Hawaii in May 2002 on miles, but we cannot take the boys out of school in May this time. So we were back to the drawing board and came up with the idea of going to Alaska. So after a few months of discussing, we have decided to purchase a motorhome and drive to Alaska. We will be gone about a month or so. The plan is to drive all the way up using the Al-Can Highway and then float back down on the Alaska Marine Highway and drive across I90 to get home.

We've been spending a lot of time on CraigsList and eBay looking for a motorhome. Most of the good possibilities have been in the Chicago area. The good deals seem to get snatched up right away and we've just not been ready to purchase. We have 8 months before we leave, but we know that better deals can be found on used motorhomes in the fall. People don't want to keep paying for storage and are just ready for change. We have gone and taken a look at a few, including one locally that we really like. We want to purchase it, but have discovered a few 'issues' that must be fixed first. Meanwhile, we will keep looking. My father-in-law (who lives 3 hours away) owns land and will allow us to park our RV for FREE! Yea!! We will need to do some practicing camping in before our big trip. The HS youth trip for church is supposed to be June 6-12, so we will be leaving for Alaska on June 13th or 14th...which is actually after our anniversary. But who says a celebration has to be one day?? We will be celebrating here over the next 9 months!!

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