Saturday, August 18, 2012

Denali

A few entries back, I told everyone to cross their fingers that my parents had a fun (and safe) time in Alaska on their cruise. I've been following my mom's occasional updates as to what they're up to on facebook with probably unseemly interest. Despite Jack London doing his best to heavily imply that Alaska should only be visited by people who are not me and my family members (none of us are sporting the somewhat gigantic beards all his heroes seem to wear so easily), I'd love to go see Alaska myself.

My parents are having a blast.

Mom even sent me this postcard:


They saw Denali! Or, to those who like to use the name the Americans imposed upon it when they decided they didn't much like the idea of things having been named before they got there (by the Koyukon Athabaskan people and later Russians - who just named it the Russian translation of Denali), Mt. McKinley.

Obviously they did not climb Denali (and weren't so close to it as the buses in this photo), but I think just getting there is seriously cool.

Actually, thanks to what I've seen (and the bit I've heard) of their trip so far, I am adding Alaska to my list of Places I Want to Go. Mom has taken photos of moose and caribou and had coffee and seen a glacier, and I know I'm forgetting some other interesting things, too.

Also, she has really good handwriting.


I'm really glad they seem to be having such an awesome time. When they come down to SC for Thanksgiving, I'll hopefully get to see piles and piles of pictures and hear stories until my ears bleed, except that hopefully my ears will not actually bleed. But I may hug my parents until they cannot take it anymore, at least.

Have I mentioned how grateful I am, endlessly, to finally have a job wherein I don't have to scramble to figure out how to get enough time off to see my family and friends?

I'll get to (finally) see Illinois again at Christmas, to see how tall my niece has gotten and hear her speeches detailing what she's been up to, see my big brother for the first time in way too long (he lives in Texas, and when I worked in the call center I wasn't able to get to IL the last time he was in the state because the call center thought a personal life was something you had when you were unemployed, and to ask for vacation was tantamount to treason).

I'll get to congratulate my brother-in-law on finishing his awesome canoe and taking it out on the water. Maybe I'll even get to see the canoe itself.

Most importantly - I'll get to see the already deeply charming baby girl my cousin Josh and his wife Beth had. It's their first child, my aunt and uncle's first grandchild, and she is a sweetheart from the photos I've seen. I just received the first 'Stella postcard' with a photo of her face. She looks just like her daddy, except Josh isn't really into hairbows.

My parents being in Alaska has, oddly, made me super homesick for Illinois. I think I just want to hear their stories about it in person, see their photos, see them.

I loved getting this postcard, though. You can't really tell from my photos there, but I have rested the postcard on Sova Zena so that I can look at it all day at work.

Especially during the humid late summer, it's kind of nice to look up and see a mountain just absolutely covered in snow, and think, in other places there is cold air. Maybe not here - at least not now - but in Alaska, their mountains have snow, and my parents are there.

They've been talking about this trip at least since I was 18, and they are there.

Even if I don't think my mother's going to bring me home a caribou as a souvenir.

Not even a baby one.

What is a baby caribou even called?

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