Spontaneity. A word I've felt far removed from in becoming a parent and yet, with a little forethought and preparation, Ken, Baby and I - along with our rambunctious border collie, Penny - embarked on our first family road trip this weekend! We got wind that "the salmon were running" along the Kenai River and decided it'd be really fun (and potentially challenging with a baby in tow) to try our hand at fishing, specifically dip netting, which is open only to Alaska residents. In a spirit of adventure, Ken put in extra hours at work Monday through Thursday, and we hit the road roughly five hours later than planned on Friday morning. I mentioned that we were bringing our 3-month-old, right? We eased into the drive by grabbing our favorite Starbucks beverages (mine: a tall coconut-milk latte, Ken's: a tall Americano with room, despite the fact that he does not add anything extra into his cup), and filled up our gas tank. Our giant dip net and extension rod firmly tied to the roof of our car, along with countless baby supplies, sandwich fixins', and camping needs stuffed into our car, and we were ready to take on the road ahead.
The mouth of the Kenai River where we planned to fish is about a three-hour drive from Anchorage with no traffic, and miraculously, baby girl slept the entire drive there, so we made it in about that time. Ironically, that same distance took us about six or seven hours on the way home, as Ruby did not sleep much nor did she enjoy being fastened in her car seat. To accommodate baby, we stopped along scenic lakes and took breaks as needed.
While in Kenai, we were blessed to stay at our friend's parents' house. We relaxed each evening in the comfort of our room and cooked meals in their lovely kitchen. It felt like a home away from home. It's hard to imagine what it would've been like trying to camp on the beach after so much traveling and fishing, with a baby. Thank you again to our generous hosts!
I had a blast watching Ken catch his first salmon in the Kenai River, and was equally impressed at his skill in cleaning and filleting the fish he caught. My Alaskan husband! Ruby was very proud of her daddy as well, and enjoyed the extra quality time we got as a family this weekend. Meanwhile, Penny's favorite part of the whole trip was most likely swimming in the lakes and catching sticks. She's easy to please in that regard.
Here are photos from our road trip! The views on this trip were breathtaking.
(Click to enlarge)