Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Plus who turns down the chance to go to North Pole, AK and meet Santa Claus - not me!
Jared, Conner, and I on the trail
Fun on the Tram across the River
Also we headed out to Bob's cabin (my cook from last year) and took a little cruise around the lake on a beautiful evening and enjoyed his wonderful cooking and oversized campfire marshmellows that made the biggest smore's I've ever eaten.
Sea Life Center and Iditarod Puppies at Jeff King's House
Viewing of the Alaska Pipeline
Flight up to the Artic Circle
Read the sign closely:
Please Don't Climb on the Pipeline, it is difficult to maintain your footing and you may fall - not that it's actually dangerous for the pipe!
Denali National Park - Tundra Wilderness Tour
Caribou and Moose
The Grizzly Bear and the state bird - Williow Ptarmigan
(don't pronounce the P in Ptarmigan)
I was only in Alaska less than a week before I was on a plane back home to celebrate two things. The first is that my cousin Amy got home from her mission to McAllen Texas, and the second was that my dad graduated from Gonzaga University with his PhD in Leadership Studies. Everyone came into town and it was so fun to spend time together - of course I wanted more but I had to get back up to Alaska for my first tour!
It was so good to see Amy and it seemed so completely normal right away. I'm so glad that she's been able to have this amazing experience but I'm thrilled that she's only a phone call away now and that we can still have many more adventures to come.
The graduation was a typical ceremony, although I thought both the speakers were "interesting." The first promised to be brief but droned on about nothing that really related and the student speaker seemed like he hadn't even prepared - it was rough. However we finally waited and cheered Dad on as he received his doctoral hood. Then in true Munson (my mom's side of the family) style we headed out for loads of pictures.
Finally we all went home and called Ryan on his mission and just had a great time. Amy spoke in church the next day and after lunch everyone kind of headed their own way and I went straight to the airport for the land of the North. I also pretty much said goodbye to the house because a new family will probably be there before I get back. At least we had one more great weekend together all at home!
This family was so nice they not only housed us but also gave us food, took us on multiple tours of the town, insisted we go to the town auction, watched american idol with us, and introduced us to some boys from their home ward. And come to find out the Dad is SANTA CLAUS - seriously in the winter he dresses up like Santa for the local mall- complete with Reindeer and he had some great stories. He also invented a brand of Cheetos that they only sell in Canada too - so crazy.
Yeah he invented these, and we tried on the Reindeer Bells too!
Now we didn't just take and take, we were able to clean and polish their cabinents after we insisted on doing something, also got grease off the ceiling and wiped off the blinds. And Hana was able to call her sisters in for help too - their daughter was living in Texas and needed a ride for her board examinations for dental hygine school and Hana's sisters lived on either side of her so one picked her up and took her to the other's house for the weekend and got her to her test on time too. Now up here in Alaska we were able to pick up their niece from the airport to get them on a bus up to Denali for their summer jobs and swing by and say hello as well. The connections have just been crazy but we were so appreciative of the help.
The rest of the trip ran smoothly, driving up the Alcan and into Alaska - we saw lots of animals and did pretty well on gas and although we were a little stressed we all made it in time for work.
1) Josh buying the new Double Chicken Sandwich or something from KFC, which is like cheese and bacon between two huge pieces of chicken (gross) AND then making everyone try at least one bite to get back into the car!
2) Getting to the beach house and Josh "surpervising" the rest of us weed his personal house! (J/K he helped a little bit himself and it went pretty fast for the "forrest we found).
The RV behind me makes great tacos!
4) Having the kids do a fund run and meeting two of the newest kids like "cousin amigo" - (we have a volunteer bring down her 5 yr. old son who watches Dora the Explorer so that's what he calls Iban!)
Cousin Amigo - Iban and the Group photo
The Calm and The Storm
Sarah takes no mercy!
Calling finish (he got hit right in the face 3 sec later)
Oh yeah we got to clean up everything too - surprise!
7) Leo's birthday party where we had great food - fun games (the Americans vs. the Mexicans and we won the first one so we got to paint their faces with charcol)
Leo making his way to the surprise (I'm pretty sure the boys just hit him in the nuts right before this picture - happy birthday to you!)
We love it when we win!
The hugging game - group of 3 (down to the finals)