Best Birthday Ever - My Family Travels

           I believe I am the luckiest girl in the whole United States. How cool is it to spend your 13th Birthday in Alaska. Yes, I know what you are thinking snow, ice, darkness why there. I will tell you why there because, depending on where and when you go it is not bad at all. I think the worst thing there was the black flies. Yeah, living in mosquito heaven for all your life tends to make black flies on the end of the list of things I can live without. We drove to O’Hare Airport at 7 in the morning on the day of July 9th oh it was hectic. We are roughly two hours and something away for the airport after parking getting all nine of us in and out of lines it was like a circus had come. We had bags it felt like up to our ears.  I live in a small town so we are not packed on each other I like my space to walk. We checked our baggage in and began the long wait I swear it took hours more than what we planned. Which it did we did not have to leave until four or so that just great before a 9 hour flight. Now that I look back I would have waited all that time just to see the beautiful country. We arrived in Anchorage at 3 in the morning Alaska Time form there we took a Taxi to the RV park. Nine people in a RV for Two weeks not fun you want to go crazy. I love my family but after those two weeks of being so close I wanted air. We then slept for a few hours or so before going to Fairbanks. I did enjoy RV travel. I would lay up on the top bunk facing out the front so I could see all of Alaska as we drove. I really could not believe that all the area was so green. It was full of flowers and wild life we saw moose, elk, and even doll sheep. It was awesome truly it was I have traveled my whole life nothing compares to Alaska yet. We decided to stay at the Sam’s Club or Wal-Mart in Fairbanks for the night. Just so you know Alaska is six hours ahead of us.  

We decided to go fishing the next day which was July 11th my 13th Birthday. We had been on a cruise the day before and saw orcas right beside the boat. Seagulls everywhere I tell you looking off the end of that cruise boat I could have had a personal seagull feather coat.  We saw bald eagles, dolphins, puffins, seals, and oh I loved every minute of it. I have seen some pretty country being a traveling girl but nothing like that. We went for a hike after dinner up Marathon Mountain we only made it just about a third up the path to the one waterfall. We were laughing and talking having a grand old time when we turned to our left slightly and saw a black bear. We were like ok walk away slowly we don’t want to provoke him. He was about six feet from us. Luckily for us he figured we were not interesting and turned and walked away we said Hike some other time and went back down. I have to say I was not scared I have no rhyme or reason for why I just take it as God protecting us was there and move on. We spent most of the rest of our trip that day looking at shops.

 On July 11, 2003 I turned 13 on the back of a fishing boat. I caught some halibut, yellow eye, rock fish,   and spiny dog shark. So cool the lady got bite but she was ok. I have to say they clean that Stuff out of the fish fast. I have the fishing bug as my dad calls it I don’t like catching anything under ten inches now. We went on driving after catching our 300lbs. of fish. We had nice fish chowder and a little cake to celebrate when my uncles, cousin, my dad, and I got back. My cousin and I had not realized in all the excitement that my Uncle Ken had left the CD players on the boat. We called and called they did not answer finally they said they had them and when we returned to Fairbanks on the way back we could have them again. So it was off to see the sights.

The rest of my days were kind of in a blur. We say a museum where it talked about all the animals in Alaska, famous people, and so on. Then we went to Dali national park we took a bus trip for a day to see all the sights such as Mount Saint Helens. We saw a Grizzly Bear there eating soap berries. Totally neat to see for a safe bus distance remind you bears can sometimes be not friendly do not pet or feed them. We saw the different lakes and so on along with the Iditarod trail. We then traveled to see some glaciers and walk on them for a bit cold. Best part of the trip was the ice museum I have to say. I have never seen anything like it. Everything is hand crafted out of ice. There was everything you could think of. We spent the better part of one day there. Oh it was fun we slid down this ice slide they had in one of the rooms. I have to say if you do go don’t wear shorts and tank tops. We got froze in the Alaska at 30 Degrees below zero room. We had fun and someone got us out. It tends to happen sometimes or so we were told.

We spent most of our trip on the road side we hiked through the country at times played in the water falls. Horse Tail falls and Bridle falls were cool. I also liked Horse Shoe Lake but not connected in any way to the other two. We took pictures of us in and on the falls.  Just goofing off and having fun. Our family is very close knit so this was a great time for us to reconnect. We had gotten money from my grandparents before they passed to go to Alaska because that is where my grandfather wanted to go. They had passed away three years prior to this trip so in memory of them and everything being said and done we took the trip.  I have been on many family vacations. I have seen 35 states in a short 18 years. Though you never think that one trip can mean the world to you until you get there. My dad and uncles were funny when normally you cannot get them out of the teacher mode.

We had a wonderful week when we had to get another RV yes we had two. It was much bigger so nine people was not so bad. We had one day were we spent our time at a camp ground. I have missed camping with my family for some time. We spent the night making hot dogs and smores. It was neat and I kind of missed electricity to some extent.  We had some but you could not use much of it. We did have only one problem the whole trip which was when we were going to Valdes. A construction worker ran into the mirror on the RV. Not our fault he just wiped by and clipped the mirror. Luckily we were tourist and had cameras. We took many photos to show what happened and went to call in a police report. We were kind of in the middle of nowhere at the time. We called it in and were on our way again. Other than that we had a great time.

It only rained on the last day. I think Alaska was sorry to see us go. That day we spent getting ready packing up and figuring out what we needed where. It was hard to stay out of the way.  We decided to give Marathon Mountain another try so up we went to go again. We made it farther this time. I was glad when we saw a moose that had two babies though she was not so happy to see us we decided to leave. Before I left I got my CD player back with all my other stuff. My cousin was not so lucky she lost a few CDs to the boss’s son who was not there at the time. She did not want to fight about it though.  After that we returned to Fairbanks the day before we had to leave. We put the RV in the park for the night staying there it was along days wait to finally leave.

We arrived back in Anchorage to take our flight home by 10 pm we got home about 7 am in the morning the next day. I was excited to be back but warn out form traveling so late. I did not want to sleep on the flight home. I was to energize it only being my second plane ride ever. We got back to O’Hare and found our bags and got a van. My cousin and I slept the whole ride back to my house. I have had many trips but Alaska is the memory that I will keep for a long time. I had the most amazing two weeks. Best birthday I could wish for that is why I want to go back to Alaska someday in the future and see all that I have seen again. Hopefully with no bears being within six feet of me on the mountain again though it is a lasting memory.

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