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Alaska’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 12 Jul 2009

Location: USA

MapFor Saturday:
First… to the Saturday Market this am…..or so we thought! We, once again, woke up leisurely, knowing that the Market opened at 10 a.m. Enjoyed coffee, but held off for breakfast in order to save ourselves for the delicious Salmon Quesadillas discovered at a food booth at the Market. Unfortunately, OR fortunately, when we packed and got in the car to leave, the brakes went all the way to the floor. Along the way to Alaska, we had noticed upon occasion that the brakes shimmied when going downhill if I tapped the brakes. We also noticed a week ago, that the emergency brake light remained lit, even though it was not engaged. A Ford dealership sat next door on a one-way street. So we gingerly drove up and took a u-turn back to return up the same street and coasted into the service entrance to Ford. We left Mom in the waiting room, HER choice, sewing patches on Sam’s jacket, as Tracy, Gwynne, Sam, & I took a cab from the dealership to the Market, realizing we would be ‘killing two birds with one stone’. Our cabby going was from Kosovo, there since 1992. We chatted with him and his life in the short 10 minute ride to the market. We had our giant quesadilla and started shopping, finding all kinds of great buys ranging from foods to local crafts to imports to Russian wares to local singing/dancing acts to children’s rides to petting sled dog pups to trying on Sara Palin glasses for a great photo op….you name it, they had it! Our cabby returning to the dealership hailed from New Mexico and had been in Alaska since 1975. He seemed much happier, jovial, than his Kosovo counterpart. Mom was still in the same position we left her in and the car would be ready by 1:45. So, our schedule was not off that much, but maybe an hour or so. We headed out Turnagain Arm towards Girdwood, preparing to stop for a gold panning experience for Tracy & Sam. I just supervised, watched, and shot a few pictures while Sam & Tracy caught gold fever. In the end, Tracy felt she had been ‘hood-winked and bamboozled’ and said she could have spent that $30 buying souvenirs for Sam’s friends! Our next stop led us to Portage Glacier, where we usually indulge in a piece of Blueberry Pie and view the many icebergs in the lake fed by the glacier. Alternate years, we find that the ice is present vs. absent. Unfortunately, this year they weren’t there. We got to the ‘pie’ place at 4:59 and they were to close at 5! They were so nice to let us in and all had pie alamode. YUM! We opted out of the Wildlife Park we had so many times passed up before. I guess it will wait again for another trip. Pulling into Soldotna at 7:30 pm was a welcomed sight! We stopped at Fred Meyers (like Wal-Mart, but better) to do our grocery shopping for the next 2 weeks. Two hours and $400 later, we loaded down the back seat after wedging Sam into his seatbelt. We arrived in Ninilchik at 10:15, sure that the Jones’ s had gone to sleep for the night…..not the case. Bob & Carole both came to greet and welcome us ‘home’. We unpacked all the groceries, clothes crates, & other necessities and got to bed by midnight.
Note to Joe: Sam has been doing exercises (situps, push ups, leg lifts, deep knee bends) every morning with my supervision, helped load and unpack all the crates & boxes upon arrival just as you requested.