Twenty years ago this summer I fell in love with Alaska. After graduating from college and moving permanently to Atlanta with friends, I thought I had died and gone to heaven by escaping my small town life. My parents quickly threw a wrench into all the excitement by informing me we were going on a family vacation to Alaska - a week on a cruise ship. I balked, begged and pleaded not to go. I am the least 'outdoorsy' person in the world. I don't like to be cold and I don't like to be hot. My definition of camping is a night at a Holiday Inn Express.
We boarded the ship in Vancouver and spent the first night at sea. When I woke up the next morning and peered through the tiny porthole, I was amazed and astonished. It was the most magnificent scenery I had ever seen. The snow covered mountains soared above the clouds and the ocean looked so vast it almost seemed powerful. Since there are only about 4 hours of darkness each night, I woke up when the sun came up with as much excitement as a child does on Christmas morning.