Beyond Alaska

Family Fun, Food, and Memories to Last Forever

Finding myself emotionally drained this week after writing my last postI didn’t feel like I had anything very poignant to say.  However, the lesson reinforced by the events taking place around us is the importance of family.  

So I ‘m sharing a few thoughts on my family from a recent trip we took to Utah for Thanksgiving. 

beautiful Midway Utah

Family Tradition

Every two years, my immediate family gets together to celebrate Thanksgiving.  With parents, siblings, and their families plus our family, we now total 27 people.  Sprinkle in a few extra important guests, and the final tally is 31.

As we’ve increased in age and number, the mob of madness has outgrown my parent’s house.  So graciously, they rent a larger cabin to fit everyone in Midway, Utah.

Being born and raised in Utah, it’s one of my favorite places to go.  In fact, if we are ever crow-barred out of Alaska, we’d likely end up in Heber Valley.  (Although with our recent minus dang cold temps, maybe we’ll move back to Hawaii!)

This year, I felt it vital they we attend.  As time moves on, I just don’t know how many of these we have left.  It’s important to me to cherish remaining moments of family togetherness, and provide life-long memories for the kids.

So we paid the inflated ~$3,000 for airfare, endured two red-eyes, and made the journey from Anchorage to Salt Lake City.

Family Fun

My Family: brothers, sisters, mom, dad
Family, My Kids


By the time we left for Utah, Summer, Saige, and their cousins had worked themselves into an absolute frenzy.  Pre-trip late night texts, and face-timing caused a few sleepless nights.  It had been 1 1/2 years since they were in Utah with family.

Bridger delighted in the thought of an early season ski trip to one of Utah’s resorts with his cousin Hayden, Candace, and her boyfriend Rich (which they did at Solitude).

I’m always excited to see my daughters Candace and Haley who live and work in Utah, along with my parents, sister, brothers and their families.

In addition to us and luggage, we hauled 40 lbs of Alaskan Red King Crab legs down as a special treat for our land-locked seafood love’n kin.  (A few people, I’ve heard, did the crab anticipation dance of delight.)

Family Grandparents, Grandkids

A Thanksgiving to Remember

Thanksgiving was exactly what I hoped it would be.  For me, it was one of the most memorable times I have spent together with my family.

We attempted to take family pictures, which quickly disintegrated into a snowball fight.  The sun was too bright, snow was melting and there’s not one picture where someone isn’t pulling a face.  But we managed to capture a few for posterity!

Cooking was the main event!  Mounds of oh so delicious classic comfort foods we were all craving filled the buffet table.  And…there were enough leftovers to feed the herd for the whole weekend.

We talked, laughed and watched football games.  The kids swam, ice-skated, played table pool and board games, giggled and didn’t sleep.

I pitched the bathroom scale into the Provo River.

Family: Cousins

Family: The Girls
Family Snowball Fight

For the Love of Family

When we headed home, it was with warmth and gratitude in our hearts.   Tears were shed, long hugs exchanged and promises made for a longer visit next summer.

I’m truly grateful we spent Thanksgiving 2016 with the people I hold dearest in this world.  I love each and every one of them to the deepest depths of my heart.

There’s really only one word I’d use to describe the time we spent together in this postcard setting:  It was Magical.

Silver and Gold

  • December 15, 2016

    This is a tender post Janet. I love the photos. I also love that my hair turned a bright flaming orange in the sunlight. Just call me Heat Miser.

  • December 15, 2016
    Janet Bowman

    It’s strawberry blond Karen! You look beautiful as always:)

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