Greetings from chilly Alaska! It's been a few months since my last post and ten months since I decided to turn my life upside down. A lot has happened, so this post is just for bringing you up to speed.
From mid-May to mid-September, I lived in Denali State Park working at a small lodge. I started out as a housekeeper and quickly moved into the kitchen as a baker and line cook, and then I also took up serving. Additionally, I took a night job at one of the big corporate hotels. The corporate hotel had so many employees living on the grounds (over 300!) that they had a bar specifically for employees, and I worked as a barback there.
Both of my jobs were incredibly fun but occasionally difficult. I learned a lot but best of all, I met many interesting people and made friends from all over the world. I definitely didn't make as much money as I had hoped to make, but for me the experiences were worth it. When I had time off I tried to get out and see as much as I could. I went hiking and canoeing around Byers Lake, hung out with the locals and ate delicious food in Talkeetna , and drove up to Denali National Park at least a dozen times. I even took a helicopter tour of the park!
Denali viewed from a helicopter
Which brings me to another important change...I'm officially divorced. I am also the happiest that I can ever remember being. Although it sounds like a plot from a romantic comedy, I am now in a happy, healthy, loving relationship with my best friend, the man that I have been secretly pining for these last seven years. Seriously. We've already had a ton of adventures this summer (he arranged the helicopter tour, and we flew into McCarthy on a four-seater mail plane, among other things) and we have more planned for this winter. We'll be in Boston, the Virgin Islands, L.A., and on a 14-day cruise to Hawaii!
Until the traveling starts this winter, I'm still working as a substitute teacher and living with my incredibly gracious mother. She took care of my kitties this summer (the gerbils lived with me in Denali) and spoiled them rotten! Isn't that how it always works with grandmas? :)
There is a huge change as far as the blog is concerned, too. After much consideration, I am no longer vegan. While I do maintain a mostly vegan diet, I can't be called vegan anymore. I plan on continuing to only post about vegan food and products, but wanted everyone to know up front. I also don't plan on discussing the change again on the blog, but if you want to talk about it feel free to e-mail me.
And that, my friends, brings you to present-day Tara. Each day I feel a little stronger, a little braver, and a whole lot happier. I'm happy to be back in the blogging world.