My husband just got a job offer in Alaska and as crazy as it may seem to some, we are strongly considering moving there (we are currently in Washington State where there is no work available in his trade, hence why we started to look elsewhere).
I have wanted to visit Alaska for years and the idea of living there (to me) is exciting. I know there is an adjustment period (I had moved and lived in Germany for three years with my ex who is still active military), et cetera. Nothing that intimidates me. My husband on the other hand, is finding all of this a bit overwhelming.
So, we are very grateful to have found this site and are hoping we can tap into some of your experiences and knowledge to be better prepared for our move. Moving on with many questions:
1. We have been told to utilize the ferry that goes from Bellingham, WA to move there with our vehicles and a few belongings we can't part with. Is this the best way to move there, or is driving there better? If we did drive, is the road paved now? Is it mostly an uncivililized road (no lodges, gas stations or restaurants for long stretches)? The thought of driving is a bit daunting with three young children, so we most likely won't, but just in case...
2. My husband and I plan on making a trip there for four to five days to touch base with his potential future boss and to check out the area. Does anyone have any suggestions on a cheap, yet nice hotel we can stay at in Anchorage? MAybe a B & B?
3. We were also wondering how much the current recession has affected your state. We were informed that Alaska is a more self sufficient state than your typcal state in the grand ole USA, therefore there has hardly been any affect there. I was wanting to get more than just one persons POV on this to be sure.
4. Also, following the same train of thought, my husband installs flooring and has for over eleven years (residential and commercial). Can anyone tell us how that field of work is doing right now or how it typically does there? For instance, would he be busy for most of the year?
5. We were told that the best place to find a descently priced home to rent near Anchorage was in the valley. Are they refering to the Palmer/Wasilla area? Are those areas descent places to raise a family? Does anyone have a better idea on where to look for rentals besides Craigslist (where they are currently experiencing problems with fraud and hoaxes)?
6. I am currently attempting to homeschool my kids and was wondering if anyone knew of any homeschooling groups I could tap into? Or, if I did put my kids into a school there, does anyone have any suggestions on a good elementary school or district? Is there such things as the WASL (Washington Assesment of Student Learning) there like we have here?
That will do for now....lol. I am looking forward to hearing back from some of you in Alaska and can't wait to come and visit!