Tomorrow morning it will have been one week since I drove off the ferry. Because it was New Year’s Day, not many places were open. I called the Inn at Creek Street, where I reserved a room for two nights (later extended to three), and Jose asked me to meet him at New York Cafe. The Cafe was closed, but Rafi and Elizabeth very graciously gave me a cup of coffee and later a serving of good-luck soup called hoppin’ john, made from black-eyed peas, pork and spinach (and other things, I’m sure!). It was a lovely welcome to Ketchikan! Jose showed me to my room, which looked out over the harbor and Gravina Island beyond. I stopped by Tatsuda’s IGA for provisions for the next few days, and relaxed.
Monday was observed as a holiday by most businesses in Ketchikan, but Marna from Coastal Realty Group met me and we visited the apartment. We stood on the balcony and chatted for some time while enjoying the beautiful view. On Tuesday the city was a much livelier place. I arranged with the local utility company for electric, internet, phone and TV for the new place, visited Parnassus Bookstore and talked with owner Charlotte–who used to work at the library–and had a nice dinner at the Good Fortune Restaurant on Creek Street. My fortune read, “Now is a good time to explore.” Can’t argue with that!
On Wednesday I moved into my new place. It is a beautiful apartment south of town with views of the Tongass Narrows, Pennock Island, Gravina Island, and (on a clear day) Prince of Wales beyond. The inside of the place is still a little cavernous–my furnishings are not due to come in for a few weeks–but I inflated my mattress, purchased a folding chair and small table from Walmart (I’ve been frequenting it a lot this past week), and unpacked my car with the essentials.
Thursday started well with a meeting of the First City Rotary Club at the Cape Fox Lodge. The members couldn’t have been more welcoming–I miss my friends at the Middletown Rotary Club but I was very heartened to receive such a warm welcome at First City. Michelle, a member who is also District Governor, talked with me about becoming a member and I’m pursuing it. At 9am I attended my first library staff meeting, and I am excited about working with such a great group of people who are so well thought of in the community. After the meeting I went to the DMV and got my car registered as well as taking the test to get my Alaska driver’s license. (I passed!) After lunch I attended a planning meeting for the Alaska Library Association Conference, which takes place in Ketchikan at the end of February. My last stop on Thursday was to have been the City Council meeting, but embarrassingly, I couldn’t figure out how to get to the Council Chambers. (It may have been in part due to tiredness on my part.) By the next meeting I will have figured it out!
Friday I got hooked up to internet and TV–the KPU person who did it was very efficient and helpful. I was going to go out later that day, but it had snowed all morning, and I noticed that cars going up the hill in front of the building were having a lot of trouble. I decided to stay at home and relax instead.
Today I put my new Alaska license plates on the car (yea!), got groceries for the week, and took care of some logistical stuff. I start work on Monday!