Since I still can't fathom how I'm going to drive myself out of town and over the Baycrest hill, leaving the mountains of Kachemak Bay behind, I've started playing a little game with the kids. As we think about how it will be to live in California, we are finding some amusing small-town-Alaska details of daily life that we have gotten used to.
We will miss seeing the bald eagles at the dump...but we will not miss loading up our stinky trash in the back of the Pilot to get it there.
We will miss catching up with friends in line at the post office...but we are excited to have mail delivered right to our house.
We will miss our favorite Safeway cashier (Carolyn!)...but we will not miss spending at least $25 every time we walk into the grocery store.
We will miss having the extra income (cost of living allowance!) to buy good quality outdoor gear...but we are so looking forward to not having to wear at least 3 layers every time we leave the house, or packing snow pants or rain pants in the kids' backpacks for school. Where they also need an extra pair of "inside shoes" because their outside shoes are almost always rain or snow boots.
We will miss the Homer Spit trail...but we are looking forward to not having to drive to get to a paved surface for our bikes and runs.
We will miss being able to let the dog ride around everywhere with us in the car...but not the wet dog smell that seems to happen every time he comes along.
We will miss our weekly "surprise" box of fresh produce...but we will not miss having half of it show up unusable from its long journey to get to us.
We will miss our favorite restaurants...but we will not miss being limited to three places to choose from when we go out to dinner.
We will miss the Alaskan wildflowers...but we are looking forward to growing flowers in our own yard nearly year-round.
We will miss going pretty much anywhere in jeans and hoodies...but buying a summer wardrobe for the first time in several years will be fun!
And on the game goes. We will be fine once our adventurous trip south begins, and probably even by the time we get to Anchorage to ship our second car and pick up the Traveling Nana, but getting over that first hill will be quite a challenge.