Here we are in Alaska!
Five years ago we flew to Rhode Island and rented a car for a road trip through New England so I could add all of those states to my life list, which brought me to the near-complete number of 49.
Meanwhile, I continued to live a 3.5-hour flight from state number 50. I figured soon enough we’d have enough time for another road trip, this time through British Columbia to Alaska.
But then we were at the beach, and Linsey heard Dusty tell me he would have the opportunity to visit his 50th state—Maine—when he started his new job with a New Hampshire company the following week. Linsey, knowing my 50th state was Alaska, quickly chose up sides and started cogitating on a plan to get her mother-in-law to Alaska first. She grew up (from age 9) in Anchorage; her parents still live here and her mom works for Alaska Airlines.
Fast forward a week to 9 p.m. Thursday (two evenings ago). I got an e-mail from Lins saying she checked and her mom has enough standby tickets that would cost a fraction of the regular fare. So if we want to go, she and Pete might like to come too, to show us around. So I walked to the other room and asked Mauri what he thought of the idea of changing our plans from riding the Bridge Pedal again (like last year) to flying to Alaska. After all, he had already arranged for others to lead worship on Sunday morning.
“Wanna go tomorrow?” I wrote back to Linsey.
I took a video of us landing in Anchorage but I’ll spare you that. You’re welcome.
I posted “50!” on facebook, and several friends wished me a happy birthday. They were just being kind.
It stays light way into the night up here. In the summer, that is.
After a night of sleep in our lovely accommodations (thanks to Linsey’s parents) we set out for a day of sights and fun.
“Flat Top” refers to the landscape, no one in the picture.
The other direction gave us this view of Anchorage.
We learned that “roaming” data on our phones cost us dearly in this state, so we were happy to stop at a coffee shop to check e-mail on their wifi.
Dear cousin Hannah saw on facebook that we were in Anchorage and quickly issued an invitation to her home in Wasilla, a 45 minute drive north. My co-travelers were up for it!
We endured this scenery all the way there and back.
It happened to be Lilly’s 2nd birthday! That’s her daddy, Mike.
She and Pete made friends.
I can’t resist including so many cute pictures for Hannah’s sister, who will probably see this post. (Hi, Lydia!)
And this fun shot from Mauri’s vantage.
Bear with me now, I had to take and include this picture to use with the following retro picture:
…a picture I took of Hannah as a pup, being entertained while her mama baked. You can see the resemblance to Lilly, can’t you?
We met Linsey’s family (mom, dad, brother, sis-in-law, their sweet two-week-old daughter) for dinner. I got to hold two babies in one day!
After dinner, a drive to a scenic ocean overview for some family pictures.
Did I mention we’re in Alaska?!?!