Saturday, February 15, 2014

Trip to Anchorage

At the end of my last post I mentioned that I was in Dillingham in the bunk house waiting to leave for Anchorage the next day for the special education conference. Friday morning I woke up to 60mph winds in Dillingham. We weren't sure if we were going to fly but of course we did. The plane was shaking while we were boarding on the runway and it was a bumpy ride up. Once we were in the air it was bad and was very pretty. As we began our descent into Anchorage it got VERY bumpy. We were getting sucked up then dropping down and shaking all over. I do not like to fly so this was not a fun trip for me. I traveled with the special ed director Robin, two other guys from district office, and the other two special ed. teachers LeEsia and Sue. I held Robin's hand most of the way and then when it got very bumpy was clinging to the poor guy's coat sleeve next to me. Finally we were on the ground safe in sound in Anchorage.

Sunset in Dillingham Thursday night

Robin got a rental car and we were off into the big city! Robin treated us to a delicious lunch where I got to have a hamburger with all of the fixings on top. We went to a mall where I got a smoothie and looked around. Then we checked into the Hilton which was where the conference was being held. I got my own room but was happy LeEsia was right across the hall. That night we went to WalMart and got McDonald's. I had a crispy chicken ranch McWrap with a chocolate milkshake and fries. If you can't tell by now the food was the most exciting part of this trip! I was trying to eat one of everything I can't have in Twin Hills and won't get to have for another four months.

Where Robin took us to eat
 Mountains in Anchorage

 Kodiak bear at the mall

My room
 My view
Polar bear and Grizzly Bear in the lobby

The next morning we began the conference. It was very interesting and I learned a lot. I also got to meet a lot of other teachers in rural parts of Alaska. We all did a lot of shopping and I was able to buy a lot of touristy things to send home to my family. And of course, I continued eating! On Sunday I got to have a late lunch with Meghan and Andy and their friend Kim who used to teach in Togiak. It was great to get to see them again before they left. LeEsia and I also went out to dinner with the VPSO in Manokotak which is where she teachers.
Giant stuffed animal moose

 Sue, LeEsia, me, and Robin by the chocolate fountain

View from the 12th floor of the Hilton

After a lot of eating, shopping, enjoying an occasional drink, and learning a lot at the conference it was time to go home. I was very anxious for the PenAir flight to Dillingham since the one to Anchorage was so rough. This was a smooth flight at least. After a quick stop in King Salmon we were back in Dillingham. We also lucked out with a very short wait time at Alaska Island Air. I met a state trooper who was flying out to Togiak with us and he wants to come out and do an assembly with the kids in Twin Hills next week. It was -5 when we flew out to Twin Hills. It was a little bumpy but was a beautiful flight. Matt, the pilot, tried to point out a moose to us but I couldn't see it. Finally, after a long busy week, I was back in Twin Hills with Piper. I was very happy to see her and missed her a lot but I'm glad I went to Anchorage and had that experience.

Pictures from my flight from Dillingham to Twin Hills:

Click the pictures to make them bigger :)

Here is a video one of the teachers in another rural village did with her students last year and shared with us:  Some Nights- Eskimo Style

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