I cannot remember a more euphoric time for my family. It was the last trip we spent together truly blessed for being able to travel. I had been waiting years to embark on a cruise- let alone one sailing from Seattle all the way to Alaska. As the days got closer to the trip, I was on edge counting the minutes until we could forget the troubles of reality.
As we stepped onto the plane at the Los Angeles Airport, I was so zealous just to be able to go on a plane. As we took off, I was sitting next to my dad. I was in awe of the clouds and the view outside the window. It had always been harder to see a smile on my dad’s face, but the excitement on my facade was directly reflected onto his. With him not worrying about the life we were leaving behind for a week, I did not once look back to think such hardships.
When we arrived on the Norwegian Star cruise ship, I raced my brother to the suite. I was in amazement of our room. The enchanting colors mixed with the bronzed wood heightened my imagination. Jumping up and down touching the ceiling, laughing at how lucky I was to relax in such quarters with a surrounding view of an endless ocean made my escape even better. After I finally composed myself, we went to the main level of the ship to discuss excursions for the trip.
I remember wanting to spend my time in Alaska living in adventure. I begged my parents to take my brother and me white river rafting. Despite my mother’s strong loathing for getting her hair wet, she was finally convinced when on the sheet of expeditions was a beginner’s course. During the duration of the bus ride to the lake, I snuggled close to my mom looking out the windows into a completely different lifestyle. As the bus driver discussed the history Skagway, I was shocked to find out the newest restaurant was a hut that could serve three families at a time. When the bus stopped and we slowly walked over to the boats, I recall seeing bald eagles flying over us. I was amazed to view such a sight. I was forced to sit in the middle of the raft. The stronger men and women sat closer to the outside paddling. Even though, I did not do much to move the boat, I had an amusing time looking at the scenery surrounded by trees and being splashed by calm waters. As the excursion came to an end, I realized that this had been the most superb day I had spent in a long while.
Days followed watching movies and comedians in the Stardust theater room, laughing at trying not to fall into someone when large swells would crash into the boat, long walks through preserved forests in Ketchikan and Juneau, and most importantly, spending time with the most important people to me-my family. Even though it was only a week, I was able to learn more about myself. My mom always said I was a California girl, who needed a mall in a short driving distance to survive. But I realized that I didn’t need a mall- being in touch with nature was a far more beautiful way to live. Even though, we no longer can afford trips and my dad is slowly but surely getting sicker to an incurable disease, I am still content that we could have one remarkable trip together.
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