|Mendenhall Glacier-Juneau, Alaska|
I think I know where and why the phrase "once in a lifetime" came about, particularly when used as an adjective to a family vacation. It means, should only be done once in a lifetime. Let's see-broken wine bottle in a suit case, misunderstanding of what travel agent said was and was not prepaid adding hundreds per family of unplanned cost (but was clearly in the printed material and we had accounted for it in our budget), teenager thinking mini bar was included, packed shoes in luggage taken off ship leaving one member without any footwear on departure day, and a left suitcase in the disembarkation center, with a $43 cab fare to get it to the airport all were part of the fun of unnecessary stress. Ironically, none of theses issues were with my family. We are home and relatively unscathed from eight days of togetherness as as part of an extended family. Heavily aided by a few cocktails along the way, I managed to get some good time with my immediate family, and keep my mind gripped during the full on group of 17. To be honest, I think the others felt the same way-we aren't exactly total peaches to spend a week with either.
This was for my mother in law, and important to her. We had a lovely birthday celebration for her on her birthday itself. That night she sat with all her kids and in laws, plus two oldest grand daughters due to table arrangement. The next night she sat with just the grand kids. One of the little guys, who hasn't really spent much time with DS in his short 5 years, found a new best friend. Yesterday at the airport in Seattle, he sat on DS's lap until it was time for us to board. DS was on a different flight of course heading back to LA, and had to take a shuttle train to another terminal before catching his later flight.
|One of my favorite animals, these sea lions were catching |
some rest and giving me a good photo op.
I don't know if I'll get back to Alaska in my lifetime. There are so many other places and wonders I want to see. Even though we were planning on this trip anyway, it made my MIL happy to be able to gift the bulk of the trip to her family, and have everyone come along. Back at the airport, she allowed herself to use the wheelchair service. While she departed the ship at each port, she avoided stairs on board, and it was clear the physical strain had taken its toll. Seeing her in the wheel chair was the first glimpse of recognition that she is slowing down with age. However, slowing down but not quite done with her own adventures. She has a trip planned with the town senior center for Nova Scotia next month already.
|Falls from the mountais were all along the scenic coast |
and interiors of Alaska.
|Not the best picture, but saw the tops of a family of humpbacks.|