Story last updated at 7/10/2012 - 1:17 pm
Nicole Sherrill was sitting on a long wooden bench just beyond the loading walkway to the Holland America boat upon which she had traveled to Juneau. Her extended family had gone up the Mt. Roberts Tramway, but Sherrill is afraid of heights.
She also hates plane rides, with one exception: the flights she took from her hometown of Dalton, Ga., to take her cruise.
"For almost seven years we've been wanting to relocate to Alaska," Sherrill said. "We wanted to come because of the nature, the beauty, the clean fresh air."
This is partly in reaction to Dalton's claim to fame as the "Carpet Capital of the world." The town of 28,000 residents, she said, is full of exhaust and other pollutants. It's also a reaction to a long-standing obsession with Alaska. Though her family's cruise was for pleasure, Sherrill was also using it as a scouting trip.
"I'm so pro-Alaska," Sherrill said, who went on to list all the Alaska reality shows her family is addicted to. "Deadliest Catch, the trooper shows, Ice Road Truckers and Sarah Palin's Alaska. There's another one, Gold Rush. That's my kids' favorite."
Sherrill, who is 32, has two sons, Brody, 6, and Colten who is 8.
"I feel lucky. [My] sons are easy going; they love the nature and outdoors," Sherrill said.
Back in Dalton, Sherrill has a rat terrier suffering from hemorrhoids. She also has two other dogs, two cats and two fish.
"If we moved here we would bring them all," Sherrill said. "They'd all become Alaska residents."
As Sherrill was explaining how she'd lost her spleen in a bad car accident and that she's the kind of person who talks to everyone, her husband Matt walked up.
"This is my new best friend," Sherrill said, pointing to me.
"She's in trouble then," Matt said jokingly. Sherrill asked her husband to pull up his shirt to show a recent "war" wound. He had just had a bad run in with a wheel-barrow down in Georgia.
"The handle caught me in the stomach," Matt said. "I landed on my eight year old son."
In five years Sherrill sees herself moving to Juneau. She hates the Georgia heat. She claims she loves rainy weather and cold temperatures. Though she's trained as a surgical nurse, she wants to substitute teach in the Juneau school system, garden, and volunteer for programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Sherrill is talkative, cute and easy going.