Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A "vacation"

When normal people go on a short vacation, they usually go and do something relaxing. We aren't normal. Our most recent trip was a short 48 hour tour of Juneau. We took the fast ferry, Chenega, over on Sunday arriving at a respectable 6pm. And the unbearably slow ferry, Malaspina, back yesterday leaving a 2:45am. The hours between ferry rides were spent shopping.

Shopping is funny here. I grew up in a place where a person could buy pretty much anything, in person, with minimum of driving. We now live on Mars where it's hard to find things or if it actually exists in a shop here it's gut-wrenchingly expensive. You learn to adapt. Everywhere we go we pack an extra bag or plan on shipping a cardboard box full of stuff as luggage. Our luggage in Portland was a box full of ducting. I have flown home with a range hood and a kitchen sink. We have been to Juneau 3 times and loaded our poor, poor Toyota pickup nearly to the point of breaking.

That was house stuff, now for food stuff. We have very well appointed grocery stores. They are also the gougiest gougers who have ever gouged. Juneau has a Costco. I guess this was our Little House on the Prarie moment. We managed to buy almost 20 pounds of cheese. It was all very basic cheese. By the time we got to the store with fancy cheese, read; Stilton, gureyre, etc, I had spend enough money. I have a picture, but not online yet. That much cheese looks sort of gross.

We managed to buy a woodstove, 400 lbs of slate, tile backer board, countertops, ducting and insulation. The list goes on and on and on. At least I bought dry-aged, thick sliced, fancy bacon to console me.

Also, Juneau has the best hole-in-the-wall fish and chips shop every. It's called the Sand Bar, located in the industrial part of town. The Halibut and chips are otherworldly.

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