Monday, September 17, 2007

Hello, and welcome to the "Alaska Nuts" blog! In an attempt to not inundate friends and family with photos and emails, we've decided to attempt a blog, and see how it goes. Truth be known, it's rare that we inundate people with emails, because it typically takes us about a month to respond to any emails we receive! So, here's a brief update of the Lybbert Family's lives in the Summer of 2007!

We returned to Skagway, Alaska, in mid-April, managed to do a mini makeover in the retail store that we own and operate in this busy tourist town (In the photo above, our store is the right half of the building)! Ella was helpful as we painted, built new displays, and completely rearranged our new and old merchandise.

Owning and Operating the store keeps us working each and every day, rain or shine. In the summer months, we are at the store every single day for 5 months straight! This year we cheated, and managed to squeeze in 3 days off! We had planned to drive up to Whitehorse after work for just an evening (Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon...about 2 hours away), but what was supposed to be just an evening, turned into 2 full relaxing days. The next weekend we had another breakdown when the weather got extremely warm (80 degrees for us is HOT!!!). We bought a little baby pool for Ella to "swim" in, washed the cars (which is an effort that seems a bit futile in Alaska), and then pulled out the canopy on our lovely summer home (yes, a beautiful travel trailer)! Other than those 3 days, we have been pricing, displaying, packaging, selling, and smiling at tourists since May! (Well, we haven't always been smiling...but that's another story!)

We've had only a few memorable visitors this summer (Wow! Does that sound bad, or what? Particularly because we see almost 1 million visitors enter this town each summer...hahaha)! One surprise visitor in our store included Merrill Osmond, one of the original Osmond brothers, who was performing on one of the cruise ships, and stopped in to make a purchase with his daughter in our store. I wish I could say we recognized him right off the bat, but it was only when we were asking him about where he was from that he leaked "Utah"...and one thing led to another. Jared asked for a photo, and he was happy to oblige.

Of course, our favorite visitors this summer were FAMILY! We love to share this portion of our lives with friends and family, and we were excited to have 9 of Jared's family members visit this summer. The Saville's have always taken the trophy in the past (Mom, Dad, Ben, Jenny, and Lara have all visited in past years), so we were excited to have Jared's parents visit again, and bring more family with them! When we first set up our store in 2005 (just 4 weeks after having Ella), Jared's parents drove up with Jared's uncle Terry (who hauled up our travel trailer we purchased in Washington), and while Terry immediately made a U-Turn to return to work in Quincy, Jared's parents were able to stay for several days and help us set up shop!

Anyhow, Jared's parents, grandparents, Aunt & Uncle Terry & Melissa, Aunt Jeanne, and 2 other relatives arrived on our busiest day of the week! Since they were on a cruise ship, they only had one day to see and experience this beautiful town! We picked them up early, showed them some viewpoints, and took everyone on a short hike to the Yakutania Point, overlooking our Fjord, the cruise ships at port, and the beautiful Chilkat Mountain Range! Here's Ella getting the best hiking view on top of Grandpa's shoulders!

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