A week with no TV, no email, and minimal telephone usage (I never even remembered to bring it with me) does a body good.
Alaska, as always, reminded me of two things: how much I love it, and that I couldn't live there full time. Six dollars for a pound of Tillamook butter? Sheesh.
On the other hand, I am rubbing my hands with glee at the sight of my freezer full of Juneau goods: 15 pounds of halibut and sockeye fillets; 10 cups of hand-picked wild blueberries and huckleberries; and 57 (!) spring rolls from my favorite Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall. I also came home armed with seven half-pints of marionberry jam with candied lemon. Due to a lack of space, I had to leave behind an additional six pounds of frozen marionberries and a pint of crab dip.
Juneau's weather is always a bit of a crapshoot, but we experienced the whole range of summer weather. Flanked by several days of constant drizzle were three days of glorious sunshine - on two of those days, it was actually warmer than at our home in L.A.
We hiked - two nine milers and the blisters to prove it; we ran (well, Mike did - passing a deer that stood and watched him from about 18 inches away at one point); we were eaten alive by mosquitos; and we ate. Oh, boy, did we eat. I inexplicably accompanied each breakfast with buttermilk bread, toasted and practically dripping with warm butter & jam. We fried chicken, we ate King Crab (more butter, of course), we feasted on filet mignon with roasted Yukon Golds and zucchini casserole...
On Saturday, we left Juneau early in the morning and met my sister & her stepdaughter in Seattle, where we navigated Pike Place like salmon swimming upstream and despite a week of meat overload, enjoyed a charcuterie-filled lunch at Le Pichet. Even the twelve-year-old agreed that the veal tongue was pretty darn good - and then proceeded to text all her friends to tell them that she had just eaten tongue. I took a deep breath and ordered my first ever boudin noir. Amazing.
...and then we came home to a patio garden bursting with ripe tomatoes, so we celebrated with yet another panzanella Sunday night. Back to reality.