Friday, June 17, 2011

Nikki and Zeke's Great Alaskan Adventure: Part 2

Time: 10:54pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana
Next Stop: Dawson’s Creek, Canada

We spent two full days and three nights at my parent’s house in Mtn. Home Idaho. It was a beautiful couple of days with the temperatures averaging around 75 degrees and so we spent most of the time sitting in the backyard watching the dogs play and talking about everything from our time in New York and my sister’s baby. At first Zeek and my dad’s rottie, Harley, were ok but did not play but mostly barked and growled at each other, Harley was doing most of both. By the second day they were used to each other and were almost inseparable. I also noticed that Zeek was acting differently than I have seen him with other dogs before. He did not seem to be too jealous when Zeke or I would pet or play with Harley. He also would cuddle up to her with his head against hers and at times she would allow it but others she would growl at him and he would back off. He made a friend while we were there.
As most already know, my sister is pregnant with a girl and is due July 31st. Every chance I got I was rubbing and touching her belly hoping to feel my little niece kick or move. Little Ina seems to like it when you rub Bree’s belly for sometimes you can feel her push up against the area that you are rubbing. Zeke took a chance to feel Ina too and we took my mother’s stethoscope to hear her move around. Its crazy what a new baby can do to a family, even the family dog. I witnessed the family rottie, Harley, cuddle up to my sister’s belly and kind of “talk” to baby Ina. Harly “talks” to us in a weird way that would scare almost anyone. She growls when she is happy and we call that her “purr.” She does this when you pet her or rub her belly, and also when you cuddle with her or just when she is happy or talking to baby Ina. I do have a video I want to put up on Facebook of her doing this. If you know why she is growling these videos that I got are the cutest thing.
Yesterday we all drove to Boise, Idaho which was an hour away to go to the range and the mall. Zeke and I have been looking at guns since we have made the decision to move to Alaska and we wanted to get our hands on a few to try them out and also to talk to some experts for advice. My mother recently purchased a handgun and wanted to shot it at the range for the first time. We rented two guns, a Glock 9mm and a Ruger .357 revolver. Personally I hate Glocks and the 9mm felt like a brick in my hand, not heavy but the way it felt to handle. I fell in love with the Ruger on the first shot. It has the power I wanted and was delightful to handle. My only issue was that it was difficult to pull the trigger so I have two options: get used to the pull or get a trigger job done and just always carry it in a holster, which is not a problem in Alaska. I also tried my mother’s 380 Bersa which was awesome to hold and I felt like it was molded for my hands but it did not have the power I was seeking. I also received some advice that living in Alaska I should not go below the power of a .357 because of the frequent threat of wildlife.
A special announcement: My sister has told me that she would like Zeke and I to be Ina’s Godparents! I am thrilled and honored and not only am I an aunt but also a Godmother now! Thank you my dearest sister, we love you all so much and had such a wonderful time with you.
Now we are in Great Falls, Montana. Our goal was Calgury, Canada but by the time we reached Canada the banks would be closed and we would not be able to exchange money in order to pay for a hotel and gas. Once we do cross into Canada we will not be able to use our phones to call or text so this will be the only update some of you will get. For my mother and Zeke’s mother we hopefully can use hotel phones for contact. From here up will be the drive of a lifetime, with so much to see. Also check in my Facebook later to see more pictures and some videos. I did not have the time or battery life to put any up tonight.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nikki and Zeke's Great Alaska Adventure: Half Way Idaho

Time: 12:29pm 6/14
Location: Mother's House, Mtn Home AFB, Idaho

We got into Mtn Home around 6pm yesterday after a short day compared to the last two on the road. Today was a little over 600miles and about 9 hours.

I really thought Nebraska was the worst of the trip but by the time we reached the end which was known to be the flattest and most barren of the state it was already dark and we could not see the landscape anyway. Driving in Wyoming on however I started to wounder what kind of crazies would live in a place like the North West. After living in a place like New York City I really noticed how pathetic a small town like Mtn Home really is. Driving through town I thought everyone had died or some kind of zombie apocalypse took over. There was not one person I saw walking around town, which after seeing hundreds of people out and about on a daliy basis is defiantly not a normal sight that I am used to.

Although I resent this small town in the middle of nowhere it was relieving to see my family again. It was hard for me to leave to New York since I have always been so close to home before. Everyone looks so well. My brother has changed a lot since the last time I was here. He is about the same height as me and he will be 13 in august. I was also not used to his now deeper voice and he sounds almost like my dad. I still cannot help but talk to him as if he is still 8 years old and its hard to realize that my kid brother is now a teen. My mother is doing well and is almost happy and always a comedian. My sister is huge!!! She is due at the end of July and she already looks as if she is about to pop. She has already picked out a name for her soon to be baby girl: Ina Romea. I'm just waiting to feel little Ina kick. Like always I will take pictures and everyone can see them soon.

Zeek has been able to get so much exercise and play time with the family rottie named Harley. He is out in the backyard almost all day and refuses at times to come in. I am so happy he gets along with her and my mothers chihuahua Bella. He has nipped at her a few times but it was a playful nip.

We plan to stay in Mtn Home until Thursday morning then the next stop will be in Canada. Canada is tricky and I will not be able to text or call anyone via cellular device once I cross the border.  I am also unsure if hotels in Canada have wifi but I will update whenever I have the chance to do so.

World's Largest Truckstop, this truck is inside the store.


Flat Wyoming

The Hills Have Eyes in Wyoming


Utah Mountains

Idaho rainstorm

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nikki and Zeke's Great Alaskan Adventure: Day 2

Time: 12:34am
Location: Laramie, Wyoming
Next Stop: Mountain Home AFB, Idaho


Today we traveled about 1,156 miles for a total of 17 hours. We had to catch up from yesterday since we did not make it as far as we wanted to. So far we have hit New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming. What a long trip! Nebraska took most of the day and was 454 miles worth of the total miles covered today. Nebraska had the highest speed limit also. Up to Nebraska it was anywhere between 55 and 65 mph speed limit, dropping to as low as 45mph in construction zones. Now we are given a speed limit of 75mph and we are happy to see it especially in such a long state. I can also say we went into Colorado as well since Zeke missed an exit so we had to detour into Colorado to come back to Nebraska.
Nebraska is nothing but farmland from what I saw and was so flat I could see the optical illusion of the curve of the world. I have only every seen that happen in one other state which is Texas.
Below are the pictures that I have been promising to put up. They are from the two days of traveling we have done so far. The ones I decided to post are only few of many that I took but only a chosen few made the cut to go on the blog only because I did not want to spend hours putting  them up after an already lengthy day. The rest of the pictures will be posted onto my Facebook profile under Alaska Adventure so take a look and feel free to comment.
Back in Iowa we stopped at what was advertised as the “World’s Largest Truckstop.” I am not sure if that was an opinion or a statement of fact but either way it was the biggest I have seen. Zeke loved it and was able to check out a Kenworth truck that was sitting inside the store. My great uncle is a truck driver and so I have seen inside a truck, but Zeke never has and he was amazed at the setup of the whole thing. He looked at me from the driver’s seat after glancing at the back and said “it’s like a living room back there, its huge.” I couldn’t help but chuckle and ask if he would live in something like that for two months. He then stated it was more room than our studio in New York. Almost true.
Out of my boredom today I decided to play hunter and see how many deer I could spot. I did not realize how many were out here and quickly noticed how badly I want to go hunting. I lost count of the number deer I spotted that day but I was able to entertain myself for a few hours.
Zeek did a lot better today. I am so happy he is a quiet dog. Sometimes it is like he is not even in the car. Most of the time he lays down and chills out. Tomorrow night he will be able to really stretch out and get some exercise with my dad’s rottie. She is close to 5 years old but she still thinks she is a puppy so this will be interesting to see how they interact. My mother also has a 2 year old tea cup Chihuahua, I have no idea how that one is going to work out. Again look for pictures and hopefully I can get a cute video to put up on Facebook.
Well it is late and I still want to put up pictures. And possibly that poll that I forgot about yesterday. Until tomorrow, good-night!
Zeek trying to sneak up front

I was bored enough to dress him up

he is my model

Ok I was not able to upload the pictures from today. Sorry all. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nikki and Zeke's Great Alaskan Adventure: Day 1

Time: 11:46pm
Location: Fremont, Indiana
Next Stop: Cheyenne, Wyoming

We did not leave until noon today.... it was a very, very long good-bye. Since it was such a late start we were not able to get to where we wanted to be tonight but with a little bit of motivation and Starbucks we will hit our next stop no problem. Besides, we are not necessarily in a hurry so its not a life or death situation.

Today we drove about 600 miles and 11 hours. We stopped multiple times to stretch our legs and let Zeek do the same. The first four hours or so Zeek would try to sneak into the front seat with me, and for a 56 pound dog it wasn't very sneaky but don't tell him that. Eventually he got confertable and calmed down.

Twice we hit terrible weather. Thunder storms in Penslyvania and Ohio and the rain was pouring down so hard i had no idea how Zeke could see the road. Thank God he was driving and I was not. Penslyvania was beautiful, full of trees and rivers but toward the middle of Ohio things started to flatten out and get really boring. Out of our bordom Zeke and I scanned the local stations and had a little karyoke sing off. Who knows what I will do tomorrow to kill the time and my bordom.

I was told by a mutual friend of Zeke and I that I should publish a poll on when people think Zeke and I will kill each other. If I can figure out how to do this on my blog I will and honestly im curious to see what everyone thinks. If you don't see a poll by tomorrow morning leave your thoughts below and I will tally them up throughout our trip.

Since we were not able to make it to our planned first stop, we stopped at Fremont, Indiana at a Holiday Inn Express. I was not too happy about the prices and the pet policy but once I walked into the room I forgot the whole thing. Very beautiful and roomy. Worth what they charge. I should ask for a free night for my promoting their establishment.

Well im hungry and exausted and probably forgot a ton of things I probably wanted to say but lost it because of my 19 hour day today. Good night all.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nikki and Zeke's Great Alaskan Adventure: Long Journey Ahead

Time: 6:59am
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Goal: Chicago, Illinois

Zeke and I were packing and loading up the car until about midnight last night. After the longest Friday of my life, we still woke up at 5:00am and had to get started right away because we still had a few things to stuff in the car before we take off. Right now the boys (Zeke and his brother Jordany) are doing a "quick" oil change before the family and a friend goes for breakfast. I know I said that we were leaving at 5am but really I said that to trick Zeke into getting up early so that we will be on the road around 8am or so. See if I would have told him that my plan was to go at 8 then we would be leaving around 10 or 11. Make sense? We may not have been married for long (2 and a half years) but I already knows how he thinks.

I felt so bad for our puppy Zeek yesterday and last night. On a quick side note I am aware he has the same name as my husband but we did not do that, he came with the name, from the shelter. He is a German Sheppard mix and about 15 months old. Well he didn't know what to think when Zeke and I were packing everything and moving it all out of the house. First he would follow me all around the house, and every time I stopped he would squeeze under my arm or leg to get my attention. This is just how it starts. Then he starts sitting by the door and sometimes does not budge when we have hands and arms full of things to put in the car. When the house was almost completely empty he cannot sit still, pacing the entire house, and pulling himself onto my lap when ever I sat down. Last night when Zeke and I went to bed he still would pace until I told Zeke we should let him in the bed for the night. It was a peaceful 4 hours and he seems to be a lot calmer. Now just to see how he does on the road.....

I am sure by now the boys should be almost done.... I gave them an hour. So its off to breakfast and my double espresso for the morning, thanks New York for corrupting me. Speaking of which I left a voice mail for my Aunt this morning and I played it back to myself, I didn't even recognize my own voice... in the year and a half I have lived here I would never imagine picking up such a popular and distinct accent as the New Yorker accent. Give it a year or so in Alaska and maybe I will sound like Sarah Palin. Now I know some people are going to give me hell for that joke. So if you are dying to tease me or to just say hello leave a comment below or I'm sure you know where my Facebook is. Hopefully our stop will have wifi and I can update you lovelies on the day. Look for pictures!

New York I had fun and an experience of a lifetime that I never dreamed I would have. And all of you brave and tough enough to live this life everyday in the craziest and most amazing city in the world I applaud you. You are doing some thing I could never do and that is why I am moving. My list of firsts here include: My first homeless guy, deli, crazy person, dead body, death look, road rage, and I'm sure there are a lot more I cannot think of at the moment. A crazy part of me will always love this city.... Thanks for the memories.

I wanted to take a minute to quickly speak directly to a group I know is following my little adventure. Before I start I'm sure I will tear up by the end. I want all of you at Bay Ridge Honda, the kindest and most honest dealership and group of people I know, to know that you were all like a family to me. In the biggest city when I felt I almost did not have anyone besides Zeke and his family I had all of you. It may sound corny but I is true. I learned so much from all of you and I will miss you all the most. Most of you did more than you had to and you recognized my hard work. You will all be in my thoughts, prayers, and heart. I do hope I keep in touch will most of you if not all. Sincerely, thank you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nikki and Zeke's Great Alaskan Adventure: Packing Wars

So this is my very first blog post, yay! Everyone else is doing it so why not? If my best friend jumped off a cliff would I follow? Yes! Seriously its 2011 and everything is about what is trending, who is following who, who is your friend on your web page, and who do you ignore constantly by clicking one simple button. Times are simple. Times are easy, socially speaking. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogs, have all made it possible for the entire world to interact with one another through cyberspace.

I decided to start this blog because I just don't want to put in the effort of creating a scrap book. This is especially why I have decided to create a blog at this specific time of my life. I am about to embark on the greatest adventure of my life and I want to journal about every day and every picture so that one day I can share this with my children and maybe my grandchildren. Why not create a photo album? Its 2011 and who does that anymore? It's way more fun to design a layout and post on your blog than it is to scrapbook. Duh. Also, A lot of friends, family, and New Yorkers (yes they get their own category) that are interested in my adventure because most of them do not understand why I made this decision in the first place.

Zeke (my husband) and I have decided to move to Alaska. 5,500 miles from New York, by the route we are taking. And yes we are crazy and are driving all 5,500 of it. A quick run-down of the route is first we travel cross country 2,500 miles to Mountain Home AFB Idaho to see my mother, brother, and sister. From there we travel northeast into Canada for the remaining 3,000 miles on the most famous highway next to Route 66. The Alaska Highway is traveled by thousands of people throughout the year and has some of the most amazing views and wildlife in the world. We have planned a dozen of stops along this route including Liard River Hot springs, Watson Lake signpost Forest, Dawsons Creek, Banff National Park, and many others. I do plan on taking a lot of pictures and hopefully if we can find a hotel with Internet every night i will post about the days trip. Where we have been, what we saw, where we stopped, etc. I can barley contain my excitement!

This Great Adventure will kick off Saturday morning hopefully 5am. But before anyone travels they must pack, and since we are making a permanent move that entails packing all of our belongings and stuffing the car before Saturday. For the past week I have been packing little by little, shoving clothes into space bags and taping boxes. Going through papers and unopened mail to see what is important enough to keep. Calling Netflix, Insurance, T-mobile, etc to change our address. Its all ready been a long week and I still have two days to go, half a house to pack, and one last final exam tomorrow before we can even think about leaving Saturday morning. Today on the to do list: pack the rest of the clothes, pack all knick-nacks and decor from my tables and entertainment center, give away some things like dishes and furniture, take cookies to work (one of the owners fixed my computer and saved me $200), and have a good bye dinner with my now ex-coworkers. I have a very long day ahead of me. Lets see how much of this I really accomplish.