Well, we have been back for a week and I am still in denial! Alaska was absolutely wonderful! From start to finish we had a great time. The ship was great, the cities were fun and just being together was simply amazing. 7 days went by so fast; I didn’t even have time to miss home. I cannot overstate how nice it was and just how physically and emotionally rested I feel. We had a chance to recharge and just be together. Some of the highlights include:
- Whales- While working out on the ship we had a panoramic view of the ocean and kept seeing fins of whales or porpoises when all of a sudden we saw a complete whale breach (I think that is what it is called when they jump out of the water) and then a few minutes later we saw a tail fin. Crazy! Who knew exercising could be so much fun!
- Reading- I finished one book and read three more.
- Eating- the food was incredible. One of the people at the gym said that cruisers gain an average of 7-10 pounds while on board- it is easy to see why.
- Nothing- we could do nothing at all if we wanted. It was strange how quickly I figured out how to take advantage of that situation.
- Excursions- while in the ports (Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria) we had a chance to go on a cool hike, dry snorkeling and zip-lining. Each was super fun in their own way. The cities themselves were really neat and it was fun just walking around.
So, there, enough of that. One of the best things about this vacation was what happened while we were away. Before you think I am going to get all mushy about missing the kiddos, don’t worry, it is not going to happen.
Josh’s parents, Paul and Lila, graciously offered (that is right- offered) to watch the kids while we were away; 7 days- enough said. By now you surely realize what an amazing gift that is- watching OUR kids for a week is not for the faint of heart. Good thing they are pros with 8 kids of their own- they just jumped right in. As Paul would say, this ain’t my first rodeo! Well, this may not have been their first rodeo, but it was more like a circus combined with a rodeo. When we left on Saturday morning they were smiling so sweetly, but you could tell there was real fear underneath it all. I guess it would have been smart to take a picture. Before we were even in Seattle we got a call that the newest crib tent was done- Timothy had finished it off. So, they frantically found one in a specialty kids store nearby (which the last few times I have needed one they were out). From then on, Paul and Lila were on a mission to help Timothy proof the house. They sent out an email to our family who are graciously helping us buy Timothy a bed (which was found online by a super-sweet reader). It is on order now and we are trusting God to help us fund the rest. They had a contractor at the house for a few days basically constructing a room within a room in our garage, which is our playroom. It is incredible! He also installed cabinet locks that Timothy cannot (shoot! should I say that?) break, built a tall gate on our deck so the kids can go out there and play without us being right there as well as a few other things. Basically, he pimped out our house! By far though, our biggest gift from them is that Lila is going to come back for 6 weeks this summer! While Josh is studying for the bar she is going to come help us with the kids. This will definitely be a huge stress relief for us and will help our home be more relaxed with more hands on deck. I was and still am completely blown away by there incredible generosity. Already our home is a safer place for Timothy, which means less anxiety for us. It is incredible! So, Paul and Lila survived with only a few minor incidences. Who cares that there was a small fire, Madeline threatened a kid with a plastic knife at school and Sadie got a little bruised up? What else is new?