Saturday, July 2, 2011

The beginnings of my Alaskan summer

I'm not sure where to begin posting about my last month and a half.  It's been busy here with long work hours, visiting relatives, soccer practices and games, trips to Seward and Homer for hiking and tide pooling.  My emotions and strength to deal with life have been a bit on the raw side and I've felt more in the mode of going with the flow then trying to mold anything constructive out of the chaos.

Shortly after my last post, school came to an end and the kids have happily been enjoying a carefree life of Wii Harry Potter Legos, reading and drawing and writing as they are apt to do.  We took a Saturday trip to the Exit Glacier near Seward with our friends Gary and Heather, their two daughters, and some new friends, Michael and Amy with their two daughters.  That was a nice relaxing day.

On June 9, Tim's brother Eric and his son Michael traveled up here from Illinois for a couple of weeks.  Eric and Michael and Tim took a fishing charter for a half of day on the Kenai.  Eric then joined a group of his friends in Anchorage for the next 10 days or so and traveled around the state seeing the sites while our nephew, Michael stayed with us.  He is 13 like my Ciara, and we very much enjoyed having him around.

One trip we did with Michael was to take him to Bishop's Beach in Homer at low tide followed by having a treat of a late lunch at a small bakery near by complete with hot chocolate and a choice of a baked good.  We discoved a lot of ocean critters in some rocky places such as hermit crabs, regular crabs, anenomes, starfish, echinoderms and interesting plant life.  I was in another world with seagulls flying around me.  The tide too soon ended our explorations as it quickly and quietly sank our Atlantis and left us scurrying to stay ahead of it before it closed our way of escape.  The bakery was near the parking area, and they obligingly allowed us to come in out of the cool wind to eat our homemade sandwiches and chips (with prior permission) in a side room, and drank their delicious cocoas topped with whipped cream in real mugs.  After our lunches, I let the kids choose from desserts offered like strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, lemon bars, chocolate or lemon cream-filled cupcakes, carrot cake cupcakes and chocolate mousse.  To my surprise and disappointment, none of them chose the oversized cinnamon rolls dripping with melted icing...  I didn't get any, but did get a taste of each different thing...

Other trips the family took with Michael and some with Eric while I was working or home with a sick child were a canoeing trip to Swanson Lakes, a hike to see the salmon climb the Russian River falls, and another trip to Exit Glacier.  Eric came back and spent 5 or 6 days with us before they returned and also took Michael on a whale-watching expedition with a charter out of Seward.  They saw whales, orcas, seals and sea lions.