Once I overcame my fears and realized that the stereotypes were comically bs, it opened up a whole new world for me. I got to see Alaska for all of her beauty and wonder. Not only did I live day to day in The Last Frontier, but I embraced her and soaked her up for every drop she’s worth. I witnessed a bald eagle soar over the mountains and moose grazing in my yard, I’ve seen where the snowcapped mountains kiss the sky and where they dip into the ocean, I’ve smelled the Springs first shower and Winter’s first snowfall, I’ve experienced the Aurora Borealis as she danced across Winter’s night sky.
I’m now in survival mode, so the fact that we’re actually relocating from Alaska to Oklahoma has yet to hit me. I’ve had the lump-in-the-throat and the pit-in-the-stomach, but I haven’t had the breakdown moment, the “Oh Dear God, I’m pulling up our roots I’ve grown and created for my babies and sending us halfway across the country”. I’ve been very uneasy. Everyone feels the need to give me their opinion on Oklahoma --some negative, some positive, some scrunched up their face like a troll and shake their head, but most just smile and say, “You’ll enjoy it!”. Though everyone’s opinions differ, I do know this… I know that I want to hop back on that boat and hightail it back to Alaska, but at the same time, I want to trek into the unknown and see what’s in store for our future in the southwest. Going back and forth between happy and sad, excited and reluctant, optimistic and pessimistic has left me completely scatterbrained. But I’m sure the longer we travel to our destination, the more everything will fall into place. We’ll be creating a new chapter in our lives, and I can’t wait to write it.
Before I turn the page, I want to wrap up our last few days in Alaska.
Since living in a hotel over the past two weeks, we’ve shifted our schedules to fit our living out of suitcases and sleeping in strange beds traveling lifestyle. Summer brings extra doses of sunshine, so we’re basking under the rays into the double digits of the night… 10pm. You heard right, we’re at the park enjoying the Midnight Sun along with many other families who had the same great idea.
We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.
The last school field trip of the year was to the Alaska Zoo. And Krysta was over the moon about this one. For weeks it was all she talked about. “Mom how many more days until Zoo Day?” she would say.
William and I tagged along as chaperones. He stared wide-eyed at every animal we crossed and very kid that raced by trying to be the first one to spot the various animals.
Llamas were hands down our favorite exhibit. Mainly because we could practically reach out and touch them or maybe it’s because when I look at them I think of the Disney movie Emperor’s New Groove and laugh. You know you the part where he’s quivering his lips and cries out “Llama face!!!” --yeah funny stuff.
Anywho, moving on...
The Saturday before heading out, Krysta and I took some Mother-Daughter time to venture out to the Farmer’s Market. We didn’t get anymore $10 strawberries, but we did pick up a few other treasures to remember our Great Alaskan Adventure.
As we were zigzagging through the white tents, Krysta spotted the horse rides. We hightailed across the parking lot so my girl could take a few laps on Fireball’s back.
It was love at first sight...
I’m not the type to gush over my relationship with my husband because it comes so naturally, so normal, like breathing, but I felt like I should mention that Ron and I celebrated our ninth year wedding anniversary. That’s right, we've been married for almost a decade! *Applause* And it’s true what they say, “time really does fly by.” We’ve grown together, learned together, and have become stronger through building each other up. We’re each others better half, a wing-man of sorts, and a right hand man.
We got all gussied up to dine at Simon and Seafort’s --a restaurant with an amazing view of the Sleeping Lady, delicious food, a wait staff in black and white uniforms, chandeliers that hang from the ceiling, and huge paintings and old photographs of Anchorage adorned the walls. It was a combination of Old World and Alaskan lodge, and I loved it.
I couldn’t imagine a better evening bringing our ninth year to an end and a kickoff to our tenth year, around a table full of laughs with our babies. It’s like the Superbowl, but for married couples only.
Since we had such a blast at Knik River last week, we had to go back and get a double dose of goodness; this time we were armed with swimsuits and flat rocks for skipping. We weeded through the camp goers and the kayakers, and nestled ourselves into the perfect little river bed spot, where it was just us and the sky with mountains and water in between.
It was a gorgeous day and the perfect way to fill our remaining time in Alaska.
Remember here, when Krysta was so upset because she couldn’t skip a rock?
Ladies and Gents, without further ado, Krysta proudly skipped her first rock. Multiple times, she skipped one right after the other, going bop, bop, bop, bop gliding across the water. Each time was just as exciting as the first. You could see the happiness pouring out of her.
Krysta declares this day as being her favorite memory while living in Alaska, as do I.
Alaska has been life changing. I can only wish upon a thousand dandelion's and all the stars in the sky that Oklahoma has the same soul stretching effect.
I'm anxious to find out.
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