The colossal V family adventure to Alaska was planned as a big, surprise 60th birthday present for my father. My dad’s parents lived in Alaska when I was a kid, and two of his brothers and their families still live there. We had not visited as a family since I was a kid.
Amid a host of adventures and a landscape where every forest and mountain range and glacier seems extravagantly beautiful, the best part of Alaska was being together with my whole family for almost two weeks.
We wanted to create memories of celebration and to explore together, and that we did. Having my adorable nephews along for the adventure did shape somewhat how long we could drive in the party van (Alaska is a big state!) or how many all-day exhausting excursions were planned, but showing the boys a taste of Alaska was well worth the modifications to our plans.
We also had some special family time, visiting the house where my grandparents lived and the beautiful piece of land where my grandparents spent a happy last weekend lunching on this rock before my grandfather died with this same view of the mountains.
We also visited my grandfather’s grave, a somber place for us, but an important one to remember. The tree my grandmother planted there flourishes.
Between all of the Vreemans visiting Alaska and just a fraction of those who live in Alaska, I was making dinner reservations for 26 Vreemans in Anchorage! We had a crowd to meet us at the airport and another to see us off. A loud, great, laughing group.
It was a grand family adventure with people who I love very, very much.