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June 2000
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6-20-00

Dear Friends,

Summer is here and I'm having a blast! Mom and I took a long trip (over 3 hours) to her parents' house in Tess & Bonkers Sanger, Texas. I got to play with their 3 dogs every morning and I've even made friends with their cat. We stayed there until the end of May. Mom started taking me along with her to stores and restaurants since I have a jacket to wear now.

The real fun began on June 1st. Mom woke me up early early early that morning and the whole family drove to DFW airport. We were flying to Alaska to visit mom's aunt and uncle! The first plane took us from DFW to Seattle. I got to ride on the plane at Mom's feet. It was a long flight - about 4 hours - but I had some toys to play with and mom had a little baggie of milk bones for me. Being on a plane didn't bother me at all, although landing kinda startled me because it suddenly got bumpy. We spent the day driving around in Seattle: eating lunch on the waterfront, checking out the REI store, and exploring the Seattle Arboretum. That evening we drove back to the SeaTac airport and flew the rest of the way up to Alaska.

Tess with big stick

Cary's aunt and uncle live in North Pole, which is just north of Fairbanks. I like their house because there are trees all around and LOTS of sticks! There's also a lot of mosquitoes, but they haven't bothered me much.

I've gone on lots of tours with mom and the rest of the family. We've ridden a riverboat down the Chena and Tanana rivers (watched a sled dog demonstration), visited Tess in cockpit of T-28 the University of Alaska's Large Animal Research Station (lots of musk ox and caribou), and toured the El Dorado Gold Mine (got to ride a choochoo train and help Mom pan for gold). I've also been to the University of Alaska Museum, the Alyeska pipeline, and to an airplane hangar where I got to sit in the cockpit of one of the planes! It was a little scary being so high up in the air and I was glad to get back on the ground. I think I prefer the big jets that we rode to get here from Texas.

This past weekend we all piled into cars and drove down to Valdez. Mom and her family were supposed to go Me, Mom, & family at Alyeska pipeline halibut fishing, but there was a big storm out in the ocean, so they stayed on shore and we explored the town. We rode a bus tour out around the Alyeska pipeline terminal where the oil from the pipeline is collected and loaded onto big tanker boats. We also went through a little museum and explored some gift shops. It was chilly the whole time we were there and it drizzled on and off all day.

Catching snowballs at Worthington glacier On the way back from Valdez, we stopped at Worthington glacier. I got to run around there and explore. We were way up in the mountains and there was snow and rocks all over. Snow is a very fun thing to play in. I had a great time bouncing around and floundering through the piles of snow. I learned how to catch tennis balls several months ago, but I think snowballs may be even more fun to catch. Except if you miss and they land in the snow, they disappear. You can't catch a snowball more than once, either, cause they tend to fall apart in your mouth.

Today is the summer solstice, so we are going to drive Me & Mom at Santa's House into town for the celebration in a little while. The longest day of the year gets a lot of recognition up here. Mom says we aren't far enough north for the sun not to set at all. Sunset is at 1 in the morning and sunrise is at 3 in the morning tonight, so the sun isn't down for long.

We've only got a few more days here in Alaska before we have to fly back to Texas. I've really enjoyed my vacation here and I hope you enjoyed hearing about it.

Lotsa kisses,

Tess

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Last updated: May 17, 2002