Okay...so it took us longer than we thought to update this. But! We're in Skagway finally! And there is just so much to tell! It's been about 5 days since we blogged last. We'll just do a day at a time....
Oh, Thursday! Thursday was quite the adventure! We drove a lot and life was life until we stopped for gas. You see...Tom has this stuff he was putting in the gas tank to get better miles or something. He rolled down the back window to get the stuff, filled the tank, paid, and then we were on our merry way. Seemingly uneventful, right? Yes...we thought so, too. About 30 minutes later this very nice man signaled to us that our back window was open. I was so worried that we had been losing things all over the highway. But...no. We just lost one thing. One very expensive, essential thing. Tom's sleeping bag.
Well just think of it this way, somewhere between Calgary and Edmonton tonight there is a very warm, very happy homeless man snuggled up behind a curling rink.
haha. Oh, Thomas. :)
So Later that day in Grand Prarie we stopped at a Costco for gas. I went in to get a cash card because they don't take Visa there. Inside I learned a horrifying thing. The whole trip we were operating under the delusion that the U.S. dollar was worth more than the Canadian dollar. Not so. So everything was more expensive than it already was.
I flipped. I became the dreaded "Grumpasaurus Rex". I was already stressed about money and then Tom's sister told us that there was a 5 cent difference and my heart sunk. Every Canadian turned into somebody who wanted to rip me off and steal my money. Although....that isn't much different than how I feel in the U.S. so no surprise there.
We got to Fort Nelson and stayed there that night.
Friday there was just a lot of driving. We did talk about a lot of different things, but nothing that all of you would really be interested in. *wink*
As soon as we got into the Yukon territory Tom turned into Tour Guide Tommy. I'm not sure if he even noticed he was doing it for awhile, but it was adorable. I was getting the famous Tommy Tour...for FREE!
Well, day one was pretty much a bust for animal spotting, but we had a little more luck on day two and three.
Woot! :) Tom continued his tour all the way into Skagway. We pulled up to his house and then it was time to call the fam. As soon as I heard Grandpa's voice I started to cry. I didn't realize how hard it would be to be so far away. The weirdest part was that I was excited and heart-broken at the same time. Tom took me up to the "look out" so I could cry without too many people noticing (he's such a sweetheart) and for awhile it was really confusing for us both. I was alternating between laughing and crying. I would be laughing at something stupid that one of us had said one second and the next second I was sobbing. Then...Tom showed me the Disney Cruise ship! I guess it was the first time that it has ever been in Skagway. And the first time I'd ever seen a real honest-to-goodness cruise ship in my life. It was HUGE! Even from the mountain. Once I had calmed down enough we went down to get a closer look and to see some of his friends.
As we stood there watching the ship, it cast off and sounded it's loud horn, which blasted "When you wish upon a star" which echoed loudly through the valley as the big ship pulled away and sailed back down The Inside Passage.
Today we were tourists for the day, we walked around Skagway, and I showed Callista some of the sites, we wandered down to the depot and got some great pictures.
Rotary Number 1...The snow plow train. :)After that we went to the Fire Hall so I could get my gear and get set in a locker. It took forever, we had to drive to a shipping container 6 blocks away. And we had to go back and forth like 6 times to find the right key. but we finally got it, and I put it in a locker marked Gusse W. (Who the heck is that any way?(Sorry Walker)).
It was really cool for me to see this little town from a tourists point of view. Especially with Tour Guide Tom to help me. We wandered through a few of the stores and looked at stuff. If I wasn't so worried about money, I would have spent everything I had left. The firefighter gear was an adventure for sure. Tom gave me a little tour of the fire station and then (after we ran all over the world to get his gear) one of the tourists came in. He was a firefighter from Arizona and he wanted to buy a shirt and learn more about the station. It was adorable to see how much they loved talking about it all. :) Later that night were driving somewhere and I saw a sign that said "Dyea". Which...you should is pronouned "Dye-ee". My curious little self popped up and said, "Can we got to Dyea?" And off we went!
Dyea is a ghost town left over from the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. Although the word "town" is a little more than it deserves. All that's left of a town of 20,000 in 1898, is a false store front and miles and miles of regrowth forest.
But that's not ALL! Because............we saw SEALS! Yep! Real, honest-to-goodness seals. Like 20 of them! I was so excited! They were playing around in the ocean and it was just so adorable. I'd never seen a seal before. We took some pictures and then drove around so that we were on the shore. We took some more pictures, I touched the ocean, played with nasty seaweed (I never liked sushi...and if I did- I wouldn't anymore), and we just had a good relaxing time.
Callista and Sweetums in front of the Ocean.After our nice drive we headed back to my house and watched 1776 the musical, I had never
seen it before and it was really very good.
He loved it because I made him. ;)
Not true...I did like it! Didn't I laugh? I thought it was funny.
Church day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was kind of nervous at first. I'd never been to a branch before and I wasn't really sure what to expect. We walked to church with all his roomies. Including Adrienne who isn't a member. Church starts at 10. The first thing I noticed was the size. The whole branch has about the same number of people as my primary class did back home. (Okay...so that's a tiny exaggeration. My class only had 5....) It had a down-home-family-loving feeling. It was fast and testimony meeting for them and every person that got up said something about how the branch was their family. You don't see that in Utah as often. People call their wards their "ward families" but I've never seen any of my wards be this connected to each other. Ever! Every person in the room knew and loved everybody else. It was really cool. We all had sacrament and Sunday school together and then we broke off into Relief Society and Priesthood. We all HAD to bear our testimonies about our mother's. It was pretty neat to see how all of us new girls were a) far away from home and missing our families and b) mostly all from Utah. :)
Church here is a little different, in the winter the branch is only 30 members, but in the summer it's 130 with all the kids from Utah and Idaho coming up here to work.
That afternoon Callista took a much needed nap, and I spent time reviewing my tour material. (Why does traditional Irish stew have only 239 beans? Because 1 more would be two farty!)
We wrapped up the day with some pasta (not much of a surprise there...) and then got everything ready for Monday. It was the first day for both of us at work. I was super nervous!