My husband was born in Anchorage, Alaska and lived there until he was 11. We have talked for years about going to visit, but it never was very high on our priority list. A beautiful beach somewhere, seemed to always win over a trip to his home state.
This was the case until one thing changed. The US Army stationed my Son in Anchorage, and that fact, moved Alaska to the #1 spot on our destination list.
Time to Plan A Trip…
Going to Alaska was an opportunity to see the places my husband had talked about for years, and to spend time with our oldest. Being a Military Mom I have learned many things, but one of the greatest lessons I will take away from this experience is… you cannot waste one minute. You cannot let excuses, doubt, or fear, rob you of one minute with your family. Knowing that our time with him in the US is precious, I set to planning, and Alaska began to take shape.
We needed Flexibility…
Another thing I have learned from the US Army is that we need flexibility. Chase’s schedule changes by the minute, literally. We thought we could make plans, knowing he had weekends off. The problem was that at anytime he could be called in for an extra shift of guard duty, or any other assignment that came up. Good or bad, Chase is essentially owned by the US Government, and that makes planning impossible.
As I tried to book hotels and plan fishing trips, it became clear that we needed another form of lodging, and transportation. Booking hotels, and then trying to cancel if our plans changed without penalty was not going to work.
Booking an RV…
Coincidentally, Lalani was going to be in Alaska at the same time as our family. She had planned a big RV trip for her extended family and recommended I book an RV also, so we would have the flexibility we needed. Lalani is a good Travel Friend to have!! She was right, and it was the perfect answer!
If you followed my Instagram posts from Alaska you were able to see we did some amazing things. We chartered a fishing boat, rode with the Iditarod dogs, flew in a float plane, hiked, went to the top of Mt. Aleyska, saw glaciers, and took in everything Alaska had to offer.
The only thing out of this whole trip we preplanned was the chartered boat. My Dad flew into Alaska to see Chase also, and so as a family we spent a Saturday fishing in the Gulf of Alaska. Everything else we planned last minute. We were able to move our RV, find a park to sleep in, and go to the activities that had availability.
In the moment, it took some calls to find open options, but it always seemed to work out just perfectly.
I have learned that life is not always easy. Sometimes it is downright difficult. The question is, what will you do in these difficult times?
I could have spent all my time complaining about Chase’s schedule and the Government as a whole, but who, and what good does that do????
I chose to find the positive in my day no matter what. Not easy, but worth the effort. And honestly, the more I strive to live my life like this the easier it is.
Check my notes for a few need to knows pertaining to the RV and Alaska, but I will tell you with firm conviction that the RV was a blessing. We were disconnected. We were able to stay with Chase, on base in an RV park where he could come and go to work easily. My kids played cards, and talked around a picnic table, and didn’t spend hours watching tv in a room. We woke up to F-22 fighter jets flying overhead, and bears In the campground. I spent hours talking to the families around me, and learning of their families and their military stories. It was just what I needed, and my family needed.
I loved that RV. I loved the closeness it gave to our family, and the memories that became even sweeter because we were a party of 6.
Love you friends,
In Alaska during June and July, everything sells out!! I am not kidding. RV parks sell out, RVs sell out, hotels sell out, rental cars sell out. You have to have a few things preplanned.
Next time. I will book a few RV parks ahead of time knowing we will be able to cancel if we cannot go, and if we can’t cancel forfeit the @$30 in comparison to a the cost of a hotel room. I really love hook ups to the RV, so the chance of losing the space rental is worth it to me.
Lalani mentioned this in her Alaska series, but they really are the way to go. Great Alaskan Adventures holds the market on RV rentals in Alaska. Our RV was new, had low mileage, and their rental program was flawless. They are very quick to turn over their fleet, keeping their inventory new, and reliable. Go Great Alaskan!!
Book Ahead of Time…
If I could have pre booked all our excursions before I went, I would have. There were a few activities that we wanted to do that didn’t have availability, but with a little effort, and a few phone calls I could find availability doing something. If you have the ability to plan a few core activities, I definitely recommend doing so.