In June of 2013 I spent a week in Alaska, visiting with family, some of whom I hadn’t seen in nearly 20 years (It’s the first vacation I’d taken since 2003). My previous visit to “The Last Frontier” was in 1993, during Christmas of my senior year of high school. I have two sisters, one brother, four nieces, one nephew, three grand-nieces, and four grand-nephews who call this state home. I stayed with my sister, Sue, in Palmer.
90 degree days greeted us in the Valley, while the cooler temperatures of upper 60’s provided pleasant weather closer to the mountains. The Midnight Sun, our constant companion, kept any bad weather at bay.
Without coordination, my brother Bill who also lives here in Washington, came to visit at the same time. His kids surprised him with it at Christmas. Sue hosted a large family get-together, which included her husband’s family. I met my niece Brittany and my nephew Jeff for the first time.
Both of my sisters, and my sister Joy’s daughter, Brittany, and I spent a day visiting the Portage Glacier, Whittier, and shared an amazing dinner at The Double Musky.
I’ve never spent a day with my sisters. We laughed until we cried, we teased each other, and on the drive home Sue took us to places where she and Joy grew up. It was such a special day for me. Even now, a years later, I tear-up thinking about that time together. My brothers are great, and I’m glad for my time together with them, but there’s something special about sisters.
I didn’t know it until we went there that I’d been to the Portage Glacier outside of Anchorage once before, when I spent a summer with my brother Marty in 1990. I didn’t remember much, except watching a movie about the glacier in a nearby observatory; the movie talked a lot about ice worms.
Despite the constant beauty, I’d been smack dab in the middle of a creative funk that summer, and didn’t really find a zone, but visiting the little town of Whittier woke me up a bit. The local fishing boats tethered in rows along the docks charmed me; it’s well worth the half hour drive, down a one lane road, one way tunnel, THROUGH A MOUNTAIN!
Cruise ships make this town a port of call, and one was in port while we were there.
Time didn’t permit us the opportunity to check out the creepy, abandoned mental hospital in town, but the image of the dandelions in a beer bottle made up for it.
That week last June filled me with so much peace. Allowed me to relax completely. And, filled me with a lot of love for my crazy family.
*recently I was reviewing a draft to post, and came across this little gem. I didn’t realize I’d never gotten it on my blog!