With summer on its way out and fall just around the corner, I'm getting really excited for some weather changes. But that also might just be because it's been 100 degrees over here recently, with 80% humidity. I die.
Between evening classes and life just being generally busy, there have been quite a few summer activities I haven't gotten around to doing yet this year. Fortunately, my sister-in-law is visiting us this week and was up for a visit to the zoo! Our first 10 minutes was spent searching for an animal (it was so hot they were all hiding), and it pains me to report that a squirrel digging through a garbage can was the first one we saw. The seal tunnel (with A/C!), however, made up for those initial disappointing moments. I'm not an animal person - never have been, never will - but that seal tunnel was pretty sweet and definitely something I could regularly visit.
We have a few festivals going on this weekend and we'll probably hit up a local burger joint in between! Gotta get all of these summer activities in before it's too late. :)
An Alaskan cruise made its way on to my list of things I really, really want to do someday about a year ago, so I'm sure you can imagine how stoked I was when things lined up perfectly and I was able to go recently. (Definitely jumped online and purchased a waterproof jacket before tickets had even been booked, ha.) It's probably a good thing we booked it just a few weeks before departure and I didn't have too long to get excited and ready for it, because I'm really awful at waiting around for exciting things to happen! I love spontaneous trips and activities.
Sorry for the blurry cell phone pictures mixed in!
On Saturday, I met my mom and grandparents (who just celebrated their 60th anniversary!!) in Seattle where we got on the ship. We explored the ship, ate some good food, discovered brownie cheesecake, went to a show, walked laps around the ship, read, slept, read, ate, dealt with some (minor) motion sickness, read, slept some more, ate, went to a show, ate more cheesecake, walked laps around the ship, read, and went to bed. Basically, we ate and slept non-stop for a day, and it was definitely relaxing.
Monday morning we woke up in Ketchikan, Alaska!
It was such a quaint fishing town--yes, quaint!--that I couldn't help but fall in love with the brightly painted buildings, greenery, and that small town feeling. We jumped on a tour bus and rode around the town (There are 3,000 residents that live there and it's the 5th largest city in Alaska! Crazy, huh?) before heading over to the Saxman Native Village Totem Pole Park. Honestly, I didn't expect the totem poles to be very interesting, but I was pleasantly surprised. They were taller, more intricate, and more colorful than I was expecting, and the stories behind some of them were so interesting! If you ever find yourself in Ketchikan, take a few minutes to walk around the park and snap some pictures.
After some souvenir shopping and fish tasting (no fish for me!), we jumped back on the ship and I quite enjoyed laying out in the sun with a book before we headed off to dinner and a show. We ended the evening with a treat, a few laps around the ship and some reading. I was thrilled about having so much free time to read - I don't take near enough time at home to read "fun" books.
In this old world, all of us get a little nicked and
scarred, beat up here and there. We become damaged in some
ways, and we probably do more damage to others than
we’d like to think. Along the journey, we become a
bit jaded, weary and wary, and it’s easier to
mistrust than trust, easier to abandon hope than harbor
it, and perhaps for good reason. We have to protect
ourselves. It’s a part of life, unfortunately; part
of what we all experience.
Maybe that’s why we all need to hold a newborn every
so often. Looking into the eyes of an infant, all you can
see is peace and innocence. And if you look a little
deeper into a baby’s eyes, perhaps you can see hope
and sweetness in the reflection of your own face. Babies
give us the chance to leave one world and enter a better
This little one belongs to a friend of mine from church. She was born last week and is the sweetest thing! Taking her photos was so much fun. . .and much easier than trying to get photos of a toddler! ;)