follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
I just spent this last weekend in Girdwood, AK with Terence and my parents! They came to Alaska to visit to celebrate my birthday! Yep. This gal is 26.
My parents had never been to Alaska before, and they said well, now we have the best reason to visit, you’re there! They flew into Anchorage and we showed them around Girdwood, AK. Girdwood is a super quirky and gorgeous little town about 45 min away from Anchorage. It’s got an amazing coffee shop that makes hemp milk lattes, a funky thrift store where my mom bought a tutu for Burning Man (yep we are going to the Burn! Anyone else?), a super-size chess board in the middle of its mini park, and is home to one side of one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. If you’re checking out Alaska, Girdwood is a place that will cradle you sweetly.
The weekend celebrations were hiking this beautiful hike in the gorgeous Alaskan wilderness, visiting a wildlife conservation center—with moose and caribou and musk ox and porcupine and fox and wolf and bear! No photos sadly, I found that I just wanted to experience the animals without needing to capture them in some way, and they were magnificent—flying over glaciers in a sea plane (one of Terence’s birthday gifts for me), playing chess and cornhole in a park on a sunny afternoon, eating one of the yummiest dinners I’ve ever had (Jack Sprat y’all), and having the funnest time with my parents. Feeling so safe, loved, and joyous being around them, and so deeply appreciative of how the four of us—mom, dad, Terence and I—get along so well. That is such a gift in itself.
After my parents flew back home, most of my actual birthday was spent driving towards Juneau--we just arrived by ferry last night! But I still got to do a few of my favorite things to celebrate ME: I slept in. I ate chocolate. I stretched and massaged my body, thanking it for its amazingness. I spoke to people I love on the phone. I shared intimate moments with the man that I love. I cried (yes, one of my favorite things). And I went through the day, as present as I could be. Breathing in the beauty of Alaska, of living, of growing, of learning, of each and every moment being an effervescent surprise.
About an hour before my birthday, I wrote to myself in my journal about the feeling of transition from 25 to 26. This is something I’ve done for a few years now, a transition writing for my birthday. And the journal I currently have is on its last page. Perfect timing. One more page to fill before I move into my new dark brown leather journal purchased from my favorite Barnes and Noble in Framingham Massachusetts—the Barnes and Noble where I have sat with my best friend for years to talk and drink Starbucks and drool over all the different leather bound journals. She is the one who first inspired me to journal, simply because her journals were always so rich with feeling, and I saw the value in having a sacred space for my feelings to pour when they can’t pour elsewhere. And now I have about 5 filled journals from over the years. And in this last one, now near its last page, it is written “I love the me that I am.” And I just thought, what an absolutely gorgeous birthday gift to have given myself this year.