Gee, we are going on vacation. A real, live, no-agenda vacation. Yukon suggested a few weeks ago that perhaps the rest of the family would like to join him on a business trip over spring break down to Seattle and Portland.
Make no mistake, traveling at any time with a toddler and a teenager, much less a teenager who takes any change in his routine as a crisis, is always stressful. Even when it is fun. But with the calendar saying "Spring Break", and, not seeing any visible signs of spring anywhere, I decided to embrace the standing invitations from family and friends and get us the heck out of here to the Great Outside.
I had better enlighten readers not from Alaska to the interesting terms used to describe other states in the Union. When referring to anyplace other than Alaska, the term "Outside" is used, as in "She lives Outside", or "We are going Outside for the winter", not to be confused with going outside to use the outhouse or going outside to feed the sled dogs, a merely temporary condition.
Another term, and one most used by those who have resided in Alaska longer than my lifetime, is "The States", as if Alaska were still a Territory. We personally like this one. It gives us an even greater sense of just how far away from the rest of the U.S. we are. Especially given our current unpopularity with the rest of the world.
So I am cutting boys' hair and washing their underwear and pulling out the "good" fleece to be sure we don't appear offensive on the trip South. I found the spring jackets and tennis shoes in a box in the closet downstairs, and took last Fall's nail polish off of my toes in case I have the opportunity to wear strappy little sandals in Seattle.
Wolf and I are coming to an agreement over just how much stuff grandma will be allowed to purchase for him at the Museum Store in the Mall, and how long he will be allowed to watch Spongebob when grandpa wants to catch Law and Order.
Bear is still trying to figure out who, exactly, we are visiting. With in-person meetings with family all to infrequent due to our locale and the extravagant cost to travel either here or there, Bear is going to have to rewarm to all the people he will soon be kissed and hugged by. Grandma and Auntie and Cousin ought to do the trick soon enough.
I only want to sit outside without a coat and breathe in the scent of almost spring in the Northwest. Even if it is only Skunk Cabbage, I'll take it.