Welcome to My New Blog!

by Britta on 24 January 2009

in General

Britta’s Holiday Letter (if she had written one):

Greetings friends and family! I hope this letter finds you well and prosperous. I am well; prosperous is another issue.

This year found me in many different places, although I hesitate to call it travel. Even heading North to Alaska isn’t travel when you’re heading to your hometown. That’s not a poor reflection on Seward, though; I got so many great pictures this summer, I think anyone who’s not from Seward would think I went on safari. And, almost all were taken in our yard. The summer of the bear, it was indeed! (Or maybe it was the summer of Trooper, considering he spent a good amount of time chasing bears from the yard!)

I left Hawaii in May. It was kind of a bittersweet farewell, a surprise since toward the end of my time there I found my situation increasingly unbearable. I longed for cold weather again, and a dose of wilderness, but Hawaii’s unique, so I knew there were things I would miss once I left. One of those things was my Christmas palm tree, that ugly, kitschy, cliche that I put up every year because it just never felt like Christmas (even in Hawaii they paint snow on the shop windows). Turned out it had worked its way into my heart, and I missed my flip-flop and plumeria ornaments!

I took one last whirlwind trip around the islands before I left I had yet to go to Molokai, so I hopped a plane and spent a day on the island before heading to the Big Island and the top of Mauna Kea. Molokai was languid and tranquil, had great coffee and sweet bread, and a deserted beach I spent a chunk of the afternoon on. Ah, paradise. I rendezvoused with Aubrey on the Big Island, and made it to the top of Mauna Kea, the tallest peak in Hawaii (though not the biggest mountain that distinction belongs to Mauna Loa), played in the snow & took a little hike (difficult at 13,000 feet). Our frantic drive out to see the lava before the park closed turned into a night of stargazing and photography, since we didn’t make it before closing. On the way to Hilo we explored a lava tube, and then headed to UH to see cousin Thora, who I’d still never met, even after three years in Hawaii.

Then, north. There was still snow on the ground when I got back to Seward it was still snowing, as a matter of fact. I spent the first month freezing, but after that I got acclimated. Either that or I was too busy to be cold. The B&B took off this year; we were full much of the summer and I worked hard. Really hard. But I’m not complaining. I did have a few hours to myself this summer, after all. But the B&B was a success, and I’ll be back next summer to make it happen again (though I might hire someone else to do the cleaning…)

Now, I find myself in California, staying with and helping to take care of Grandma, who’s ill at the moment. After the frenzy of the summer, it’s a little disconcerting to be moving at the pace we move at here, which is quite slow. Actually more like most-days-I-never-leave-the-house slow. But, she needs me, and apparently I needed this, considering I spent the first few days catching up on my sleep. Grandma’s spirit is strong, though, and she never complains, but she’s uncomfortable. I wish there was more I could do.

I’ve started a blog to keep you all updated on my exploits (few as they are at the moment, but writing about nothing has never been a problem for me, as you know!) and to stay connected. This means no more group emails when I realize I’ve forgotten to write back to everyone in my address book. Plus, once I start traveling, the Where is she now? question can be answered by a quick visit to this page. I plan to celebrate my 30th year with a year of adventure (that will hopefully extend indefinitely). Perhaps I’ll live in Europe for the year. I still haven’t been to New Zealand that’s on the list too. Or maybe I’ll buy a round the world ticket and see all of it! That’s why you should read the blog! I’m also open to suggestions, so don’t hesitate to weigh in on the places you’d like to see me in!

That’s all for now. Happy 2009!

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