First of all, a huge round of applause for all of the writers to filled in for me here at Bio Break while I was gone this past month: Linguistic Dragon, DDOCentral, Dots, Tyler, Iogro Merryberry, Faeldray, Murf, Chaos Constant, and Justin Lowe. Please do me a big favor and go visit their sites (where applicable) if you haven’t already.
Anyway, for about 10 days in late May, my wife and I waved goodbye to our four kids and sailed off to Alaska on a cruise. This was the first time that just the two of us had gotten away together for a trip in over three years, and as my wife put it, we spent more time together this past week than we probably have all 2016 to date (one on one time). Sure, we missed the heck out of the kids, but it was a great time to reconnect and share an adventure together.
We couldn’t have asked for a better trip, really. The ship wasn’t terribly amazing, but we’re simple people — we just wanted to eat, sleep, and watch the scenery roll by. I think this is what makes an Alaskan cruise so much better than a Caribbean one — you’re almost always in sight of land and have a spectacular vista constantly available from your balcony. It was quiet, relaxing, inspirational, and at times exciting (ooh, whales!). Plus, the weather was really great all week with no rain, which we were told was a minor miracle for Alaska.
It was sort of a bucket list goal to visit that state for a while now. I think I’ve always romanticized Alaska in my head, probably since it checks off a lot of personal preferences: remote, mountainous, small town feel, and full of beautiful nature. And while I certainly liked and appreciated it during our visit, I was surprised that I didn’t get that “oh I’m in love and I must move here!” moment that I expected. The weird daylight hours, the bears, and the mosquitoes were not selling points, and when people say that the cities are small, they really are. Even Anchorage was practically a small town by our standards here.
The week was perfect for putting a lot of things on the back burner: kids, work, and even gaming. I didn’t get the MMO shakes or anything; mostly I just read during the down time. It was weird not to spend nearly every waking minute doing something important, which made me feel occasionally guilty for just lounging about.
Sometimes at the end of a trip I get the post-vacation blues. That’s kind of this sinking feeling of knowing that you have to re-enter reality and a normal schedule when all you want to do is make the trip last. Yet it wasn’t like that with this cruise. We had a terrific time, to be sure, but by about day six, we were ready to come home. I think I prefer shorter trips for this reason — I’m just not comfortable being away from home for so long.
The sadness came not because the vacation was over, but because we got word that two terrific ladies in our church both went to heaven within four days of each other (one from cancer, the other from a sudden onset of medical complications). When that sort of thing happens, you want to be home with your extended family. Plus, someone sent me a note that long-time blogger buddy Ravious also has a very serious cancer situation going on, and my heart and prayers go out to him and his family as well.
At the end, it was time to come home. Time to transition into the summer, to turn 40 years old, to be with my children, and to look ahead to the future.