Thursday, August 26, 2010

Way Up North

Maternity leave is not vacation . . . but we try to make it look like one.
Long nights of walking the baby, early mornings, feeding schedules, toddler tantrums, and everything else involved gave us plenty to keep busy with this summer. Nonetheless, our long summer of family bonding gave us the courage to venture out on a second family trek during the month of August. This time the destination was Alaska, to visit old friends and breathe the clean air.

Our trip was not ambitious. Linden's mother "Ama" joined us as part of her annual August visit, and with her help we had the confidence to forge onward.

We tried to keep our kids happy and well-fed, and ourselves just this side of sane. Instead of sightseeing, we often settled for a good public park and most of a good night's sleep. This being said, we could not have made such a journey without the kind invitation and hospitality of our hosts in both Anchorage and Homer.

In Anchorage we stayed with the generous and helpful Baer family. This is not a joke. Linden has old family friends by the name of Baer (pronounced BEAR, in case you missed that) who moved to Alaska 40 years ago and never left. The photo above is not a family portrait, but something taken on a wild game conservation preserve outside of Anchorage.

We adjusted to the change of daylight and enjoyed Anchorage for a few days before renting a car and heading down south to Homer. We have close friends, the Larson family, who work and live seasonally in this little town at the end of the Kenai Penninsula. They operate a pizza shop on the Homer Spit, and I had not been to visit in eight summers. That is a long time to wait for a slice of margarita with coppa.

Jude and Ada both enjoyed the change of scenery, and Jude especially loved playing on the beach. The Larsons have a little boy who is also two years old as well as Finn, their 9 year old and namesake for Finn's Pizza. We enjoyed having the rental car, and kept our own schedule filled with shoppnig for dinners, trips to the beach, lunch around town, and enjoying Alaska. There were a few days of wet weather, but by the end of the week it was nothing but beautiful blue Alaska skies.

Jude discovered this shovel and crane on the beach near the pizza shop and played with it for as long as we would let him. I say "played" but you can tell by the look on his face that he is very very serious about his work.
This is a pretty good categorization of both our kids this summer. They are both working hard to move on to the next stage of life. Ada is laughing and smiling and playing with toys, and Jude is talking and running and figuring out how the world works.
We returned home happy to see Portland again, but satisfied with the family adventure up North.
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1 comment:

Davidko said...

I can't believe you visited Bjorn, but didn't ride a motorcycle . . . or did you?