Christmas Vacation

So I’m not going to lie my Christmas Vacation was amazing! I have often found myself after a difficult week at school dreaming about the cruise and the sunshine and longing to go. I mean, really, I’m not picky I’d go anywhere. Anywhere where there is sunshine! For Alaskans the winter is really long and hard. I mean I go to work in the dark and I come home in the dark for most of the winter (thank God the days are getting longer)! While Alaska is truly a beautiful state I was thrilled when we left the state for sun, sand, and water!

So we flew to Florida at the end of December and left out on our 5 day cruise the beginning of January. All I can say is it was amazing! We went to two of my favorite places Grand Cayman and Cozumel! I faced some fears about being in murky water with big fish and standing in waist deep water with stingrays! Honestly, the dolphins where incredible that was an amazing experience, however I screamed multiple times like a little girl when the huge stingrays came around. Lets just say it was fun but I would never do that again. Haha! We then went to one of my all time favorites Xplor park. We went zip lining, paddle boating through caves, I risked my life in the back of an amphibians vehicle as two 14 year olds drove me through caves and narrow rope bridges. Anyways, I survived and so did everyone on the trip!

Enjoy some pictures from my vacation =)

 

Before I left I was able to hang out with one of my old students Xavier and his family for Christmas

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Now on to Florida, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel

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Then we returned to Alaska on January 8th and celebrated my birthday!

 

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3 Months, 4 Countries, and the beginning of Year 2 in Alaska!

It’s amazing how fast time flies when you are having fun and loving life. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better year in Alaska. I’ve made amazing friends, I’ve learned a lot about myself and the ways of another culture, which I have definitely fallen in love with. I’ve learned a lot about teaching, coaching, and living life in rural Alaska. And now, I can’t believe I’ve not only completed my first year of teaching, but I also enjoyed my first work free summer and was able to do what I love: traveling the world!

Mexico was a lot of fun! It was my sister’s first experience in another country (I mean I think she had cross the border when we were kids but you didn’t need a passport at that time). Regardless, we were in our tropical paradise for a week. I think for my sister it was a bit of a culture shock. She had never been somewhere where people spoke a different language and who got really close when having a conversation with you. It was definitely a blast to explore Mexico with friends and family. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip!

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Wow! Is all I can say. A life long dream finally came true. I was able to travel to New Zealand and Australia. I met up with a group of 25 others and began a 3 week unforgettable journey in the North Island of New Zealand and up the Gold Coast of Australia. Countless beaches, beautiful sunsets, and long bus rides filled each and everyday and many memories were made with new friends along the way!

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I’ve been all over the world but, until this summer, I had never been to our neighboring country, Canada. It was by far the best road trip I have ever taken, or perhaps, I just took it with some pretty spectacular people! Regardless, our 5 day adventure with much wildlife to be seen, spectacular views, and our awesome playlist were some of the best days of my summer!

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DSC_0013DSC_0980Night at Chena Hot Springs

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Of course, I also enjoyed my time in Southwest Missouri and spending time with friends and family. Between the fish fries, late night sonic runs, drive in movies, swim parties, travels and camping adventures I would have to say this summer has been the best summer yet. But, you could say after four countries in three months, I’m definetly excited to be back in Alaska and begin my 2nd year teaching in my new role as a Kindergarten teacher!