Back in Anchorage, and missing my family

I’m back in Anchorage, after spending a week in Portland with my mother, sister and son, who recently graduated from Lewis and Clark College.

I love Portland. It’s so very walkable, and so very green.

When I left Anchorage, the trees were bare. Three and a half hours later, I stepped off the plane to lush green and flowers.

Also love this guy, who has somehow grown from a boy into a man (how did that happen?).

After graduation, which was actually quite nice (the speeches were thankfully short and lively), we did the most exciting thing: We went to Trader Joe’s.

I know it doesn’t sound like much. But there are no Trader Joe’s in Alaska (imagine sad music here) and I was so excited that I couldn’t shut up about it until finally one of the nice employees gave me a free Trader Joe’s shopping bag. (I’m terrified to use this up in Anchorage. I’m sure someone will steal it.)

The next day, we headed out to Seaside to relax at the beach.

Ahhh, the ocean! And a real beach! With sand! And water warm enough for wading!
My mom and my son.
My sister and my son.
One of the best reasons to visit Seaside, OR: Chocolate covered Twinkies.
Second reason to visit? Indoor carousel, and yes, we all rode it, hee, hee.

I kept up my running and workouts though I did most at the hotel gym, for convenience sake. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my family, and if that meant forsaking a few long runs, so be it (priorities, people). I ran three days, swam three days and did the elliptical most evenings.

Wednesday afternoon, after my last swim, I took the light rail (so much fun!) to Powell’s bookstore and signed a copy of my book.

Me, sopping wet from the constant rain but happy to be surrounded by books (books!)

Traveling is odd, isn’t it? We fly from one location to another yet it takes our emotional selves so much longer to catch up. I still feel off-centered, part of me in Portland with my son, part of me in the hotel room with my sister and mother, part of me soaring through the air inside a metal structure that miraculously carried me from one place that I love in order to visit with people that I love. I still feel mushy inside, and soft, the way we always do when we fully open our hearts.

I read two books while on vacation: Old School by Tobias Wolff (loved it!) and Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café by Mary Simses, which was much better than I expected, and a surprisingly well-written and funny read. I recommend both, the former for a serious read and the later for a day at the beach.

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