Fresh Air Could Kill You!

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Glacier from boat
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Mount McKinley seen from lodge
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Massive amounts of spruces.
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Another glacier seen from train

Hubby and I visited Alaska in August. Here are a few pictures we took.

What all did we do there? EVERYTHING! We went whitewater rafting (no, I didn’t fall in the water surprisingly) and sorry no picture of that. They had pictures to buy but I wasn’t in a one. Though you could see some of my hair hiding behind the good-looking guide. No, I didn’t have my arms wrapped around his neck, holding on for dear life. But I was hunkered down low enough to stop myself from falling in. It was so much fun! The scenery was breathtaking. Will I do it again?  HELL, NO! The wet suit made me look and feel like the Michelin man. Click here if you want to see a picture of him (The Michelin man, not the guide. HA!) – remember, no picture of me in that suit. Thank you, God, for small favors. Pun intended.

During our seven days there, we rode on a train twice, bus several times, van, plane, raft, and boat. Crazy, heh? I call it my plane, train and automobile and boat trip.

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Closer to the glacier (top one)
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Yes, a grizzly
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A plane similar to the one I crawled in and out of.
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SO WORTH IT!
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Yet another glacier!

One of the most exciting parts of the trip was flying in a small (and I mean tiny) plane around McKinley. It was so beautiful and mind-boggling.

I guess I’ll put more pictures on Facebook to share. I forget how many I took. Over 300 during the whole trip.

So beautiful. We even went 90 miles (end of the road) into the Wilderness on a school bus. Going in we were too fascinated by the wild life and scenery, and it felt like it didn’t take no time. But on the way back, they changed to a “new” bus that nearly shook my brains out. Geez! Everyone was saying, “Huh? Another bear? Forget about it! We want our comfy bed and cushioned chairs, let us get to civilization!” Speaking of civilized, out in the Wilderness, they had places we could stop to use the facilities, rather neat, but gross. They were commodes with holes in the ground. (Made me think of my grandparents’ house when I was a kid.) What can you say? It was the WIL-DER-NESS!

My hubby is in love (with the state). Being the sweet loving supportive wife that I am, I said, “Yes, dear. You can go and live in Alaska . . . if you work throughout the summer.” HA! He knew sending money back home was implied.

We met very few people who actually lived there. Most were from other states. They said they could make enough in the summer (May thru September) to live off the rest of the year. One couple was going to live in Hawaii during the winter months. Whoa!

Anyway, hubby is already planning another trip (I ain’t going). I told him I would be happy to plan a trip to Montana (he wants to go there sooo bad) but me and Alaska have broken up.  Beautiful place, but it takes too freaking long to get there.

Funny thing is I want to go to Australia and that’s a doozy. We’ll see.

Oh, speaking of plane. Flying back wasn’t bad. We left at 1:30 a.m. Yep, that was in the morning. We didn’t arrive home until 5:00 p.m. Sure a 3 hrs difference but that’s still 13 hrs.

Flying up there was the pits. A storm hit Dallas-Fort Worth before we landed and we were one of the last planes to arrive. Our connecting flight was cancelled. They lined us up for a direct but didn’t leave until 6 p.m. and that was after arriving there at 8 a.m. that morning. So it took us from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. to arrive in Anchorage.

Anchorage was a pretty city. One thing about the whole time there, my sinuses didn’t bother me one time. It was great breathing fresh, clean, cool, dry air.

I had a great time and met some nice people (hi, Judi and Jerry). Great vacation. That’s the way to do it.

New Year’s Plans

MC900444923If you’re like me, you rarely make New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the year. Usually, I find myself deciding in the middle of a year what to do the next year. I’m a firm planner-ahead person. Funny, considering I’m a pantser (write by the seat of my pants) writer.

This year I decided not to go to any conferences in 2014. This will be only the second time in ten years I haven’t been to a conference (National and/or regional). The last time was the year I received The Call (2011). That year all of my funds went to an entire Family Vacation. We try to do that every other year. This coming year though is a milestone for hubby and I. Our fortieth wedding anniversary and we plan to go on a train ride through parts of Alaska. Can’t wait!

Another plan is to self-publish three novellas that will continue The Circle series. Of course, I have other plans, but if you’re like me, there are a few we keep to ourselves. You know, to keep from having egg on our face if the plans fall through. I don’t know about you, but I rather eat eggs than wear them.

Oh, I will be at Heart of Dixie’s Romance Readers Luncheon and possibly at Southern Magic’s. But those are local and don’t cost me as much, though I will say I spend a lot of money on the basket I give away. For details about the luncheons, go to their websites: heartofdixie.org and southernmagic.org