Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Time Flies...When You're Having Fun!

Sunrise 3:46 a.m.   Sunset  11:48 p.m.

Howdy!  Well, when I was talking to Dad tonight he informed me that he was waiting, none-so-patiently for me to update the blog.  He's right, I haven't updated in quite a while, so I'll hit the highlights.

Mom and Dad came to visit!!!  They arrived on June 17 and stayed until June 27.  We wanted to show them everything that we loved to do.  Unfortunately the weather, and time constraints, and JET LAG rained on our party.  Just a little tiny bit.  But all-in-all, we found a little time for fun. 

We decided that splitting up and hitting the highlights for each parent was the best way to go about things.  Easiest, and more fun for all of us.  Dad and Brent hit the not-so-dusty trail seeing Coal Mine Road, Ken's Pond and a little bit of neighborhood the first couple days.  Mom and I headed for North Pole and Fairbanks.  We stopped and browsed and snacked on ice cream at The Knotty Shop.  We listened to others tell Santa where they hailed from at the Santa Claus shop, and we hit up all kinds of little shops in downtown Fairbanks.  

Mom and Dad celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary while staying with us.  What a treat!  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!! Here's to many, many more years!!

On the Sunday following their arrival we headed bright and way too early, to Valdez.  It was Father's Day and to celebrate we decided to take our time getting to Valdez, site seeing along the way.  Above is a photo of Mom and Dad at Thompson's Pass.  It's lovely and green this time of year, but I'm not so anxious to take the same photo 6 months from now.  

The drive to Valdez is lovely.  We cruised off the beaten path to check out some historic sites.   Along the way we stopped at a couple of the many waterfalls that greet visitors along the road.  This is Brent and I are Horsetail Falls.  We hiked up to take a photo with the water, me in flip flops, none-the-less.

Once we arrived in Valdez we headed straight to the Totem Restaurant for some breakfast. After we had finished our delicious grub we headed to the pier to check out the fishing reports.  We were ecstatic to learn that Brent and Dad's charter had brought in the largest halibut for the week.    After checking with the locals the guys learned that their charter was one of, or the best, charter in Valdez.

Oh, if only.  If only they hadn't risen so early to make it to the pier on time.  If only they hadn't spent so many hours on a boat, if only it was called catching instead of fishing, as my husband reminded me.  If only they hadn't gotten SKUNKED.  Skunked.  You heard me.  Not one flippin' halibut.  PFFFFFFFFFFFFT.  They said that they captain worked hard, kept them out a couple hours late in attempt to get them some big fish.  But nothing.  Not. A. Fish.  I dare say I was extremely disappointed and relieved that I hadn't joined them on the charter.  

While the boys were off fishing, Mom and I caroused the town of Valdez.  While it's a nice little town, there isn't a lot of shopping to be had, and we were hard pressed for good wholesome entertainment.  We managed to find a few laughs, dodging the maids, trying to stay awake during some horrible Lifetime movie.

While we were waiting, freezing-our-buns-off waiting for the guys to return from their "fishing" trip, we met a nice couple from Hilton Head, SC.  They, and their young son, were traveling the US in an RV.  They spent some time in Alaska last summer and couldn't resist so they came back to end their year long adventure in the wilds of Alaska.  We thoroughly enjoyed talking to them, spending our time, trying to capture the eagles.  That was the draw for all of us.  Magnificent bald eagles.  I managed to capture this guy, as he flew in to grab some halibut leftovers (in his talons) through a flock of seagulls. 

When we got the guys back, and had enough of Valdez we headed for home.  We were all exhausted from the jet lag, the fresh sea air, the late nights, early mornings and well, we were exhausted.  It was nice to have a little time at home.  For all of us.  Brent and I had to go back to work for a couple days, so Mom and Dad putzed around the house, oh, who am I kidding, they washed my windows, mowed my lawn, cleaned my house, did my laundry, all while they were on vacation.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it didn't seem fair to me.

After a couple days rest, we threw in some drives, exploration, more fishing, more fishing, more fishing, and flower capturing.  Mom picked me a lovely bouquet of irises, we listened to the glorious, and eerie call of the Loon.  My first Loon experience here in Alaska.  Mom and I snuck in a little more shopping, and to end it all. WE PARTIED!

Because our house is small, we tend to party in the summer, when we have outdoor space.  Well, the weather wasn't quite as cooperative as we would have liked, but we partied anyway.  Rain or shine, nothing scares these Alaskans (and two Minnesotans).  LOL.  We invited friends whom we share our time with here in Alaska to meet the parents, and just spend a little time getting to know others.  I think a fine time was had by all.  We're looking forward to doing it again.

This is Tara guarding her bird nest, which her brother demolished later.  And her new friend, Charlie.  Charlie is new to Delta Junction, and moved her from Alabama.  Oh, and she brought along her mom and dad too. LOL.  

The meal wasn't fancy, but it seemed to suit the bill.  We had tacos.  Why not, right?  And even turned some non-fish taco eaters into fish taco eaters.  We did it up right with beef, chicken and fish tacos.  We were hoping to have halibut tacos, but we substituted some mighty fine tilapia instead.  Better luck next time boys!

When the evening was over we cleaned up, quickly and headed to bed.  Dad and Mom had a 3:30 a.m. wake up call, and I lucked out at plopping a hat on and running at 4:20 a.m.   We drove the windy road to Fairbanks and were greeted by loads of wildlife.  What a send off!  5 moose, a fox (we think) and Mom saw a wolf.  Lucky lady!

Their visit was lovely, but too short.  We're looking forward to their trip next summer.  Right, Dad?!?! LOL.  We'll see...but we are looking forward to their return.  

What have we been doing since they left?  Sleeping.  Ha!  Just kidding...I'll be back with later! Happy Summer!!!