Alaska (2)

The other morning, Little Guy arrived in our bed for some snuggles and conversation.  Out poured his usual need for hugs, the toilet, and food….and then he informed us he wanted to go back to Alaska.  Thinking I knew what he would say (something about four-wheelers, big trucks, or flying), I asked why he wanted to go back to Alaska.

“I want to go see Ray-shull!  And Ray-shull’s kitty. I like Tuseedo (Tuxedo).  He’s a nice kitty.”  🙂

The memories are so different for each of us.  While we thought our kids would be forever impressed with the  beauty and granduer of Alaska, Little Guy just wants to snuggle a kitty.  And a special auntie-friend too.  And I love that!

As adventurous as it sounds to visit the wild land of Alaska, and as much as there is to see and do, we really didn’t just go, go, go the entire time.  There was a great mix of adventure and restful downtime – and yet somehow, we did everything, plus more, that we set out to do.  Our primary goal in going there was to visit and encourage our friends who make their home at a Bible camp/retreat center where they live on a mission of reaching lives, young and old, with the love of Jesus – and they do this with four great kids…which means our trip was never boring, and our kids had endless companions!

Talk about a kid’s dream vacation!

There were sleepovers,

DSCN7210Nerf-gun fights, fort building, exploring, hiking,

DSCN7230Four-wheeling,

DSCN7592Truck rides,

DSCN7586Horse rides, boat rides,

DSCN7073Sheep hunting,

DSCN7123Movie watching, Lake exploring, Hot chocolate sipping,

DSCN7203Wildness exploring, moose eating,

Wrestling,

DSCN7552Rock climbing/sliding,

DSCN7583Tree Climbing,

DSCN7566and intense bonding happening for two weeks solid.

DSCN7571There was the occasional argument, lots of silliness,

DSCN7132Singing in church,  trampolining, cheering eachother on, make-believing,

DSCN7091And establishing friendships to weather the distance of time and space.  I don’t know if there could have been a better setting to reunite these eight offspring after four years of seperation. It was a blessing for my heart to see kids…who’s parents have been friends since before they were born…be not just friendly – tolerating eachother – but BEING friends.  I love knowing that they will carry with them memories of a great traveling/adventuring kind of trip, but also an encouraging-the-soul kind of trip that lifted lonely spirits, brought laughter and companionship to long drives and waits, changed up the norm, and reminded all of them that there’s a bigger world than their own.

The memories are there, in every varied form, different for each of us, yet filled with the moments that grow us, encourage us, change us, and give us glimpses of what is and what could be.

And that’s why we travel.

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