Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Phil Takes On Alaska & Cody Takes On Phil

Unsure of how to preface this entry any other way, I'll begin here:

In August - after several conversations - husband Cody decided to do what no man on the face of the Earth has ever done before in documented history:

He traveled with my Dad to Alaska. 

And while that may not sound like much of a feat - or even blogworthy - let me give you a little background on traveling with Dad and also he and Cody's relationship:

1. I remember a "vacation" once when we never stopped for lunches. Dad packed a gallon of milk and some cherries (with pits) in a cooler and we ate that. 
2. I remember thinking as a little girl that we were rich because our towels had an embroidered "H" on them. "Howman"????.......nope, Holiday Inn. 

3. I remember "vacationing" in Turnip Hole,PA for goodness sake. 

Every trip with my Dad is a lesson. Or a series thereof. 
Dad made our childhood amazing. 

(Doing so will make you feel better about yours.)

4. Cody and Dad have been alone together very seldom since since we met. Generally, their conversations include Luke and cattle, both in words and presence. My initial thought when Cody told me he was going to invite Dad to the Last Frontier: 
"What on earth could Cody and Dad talk about 
for 6 days in the land of reindeer and rouge??"

Good news: 
They both survived. 
Cody and I are still married. 
I'm still in Dad's will (premature assumption).

Through the duration of this entry, understand this:

  • I will refer to Phil (Dad) and Cody as "Phody". 
  • I will also document this as told by Cody. 
  • I will use real screen shots. 

August 12:
Phody flies from Indianapolis to Anchorage, then rents this deal:

August 13:
Cody spent the day facilitating a showmanship clinic in Palmer with Alaska's youth. Phil disappeared with a guy named Rayne (pronounced "rain") to see the sites around the city. 

Mid-afternoon Phody headed to the Kenai Peninsula, where Cody would eventually judge the stock (beef, sheep, goats, hogs, yak and reindeer). At some point, Rayne told Phil to stop at the Portage Glacier. As true adventurists, they decided to do so along their trek and came upon the path to Whittier: a one-way tunnel shared with a  freight train. 

As Phody pulled up to pay their toll, the toll gate guy took their money.
Dad: What's on the other side?
Toll gate guy: Nothing. 
Dad: Then what the hell are we paying for?
Toll gate guy : I have no idea.........

Turns out, at the end of the tunnel they found a blue-collar-fish-town which may be Phody's personal version of Alaskan Heaven. Phil made friends with locals and Cody made sure they could continue their trek...which eventually turned into a bar crawl southbound on the Kenai Peninsula. 

They saw an Eagle snatch salmon, and Phil got a better look:

Phody arrives at the Captian's Retreat for the duration of their stay. (<- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

August 14:
Phody headed south to Homer for the day where Cody put on fitting clinic. Halfway through the clinic Cody realized Phil had disappeared. He found him off the fairgrounds at American Legion Post 18, making friends and telling stories of raising cattle in beautiful Indiana to the local men and women. Phody spent the evening at the Inlet Bar, continuing that story-telling. Can you imagine the number and extent of fishing stories?

August 15:
 It was on this day that Cody called me asking if I'd heard from Dad. 

JeanWhat? No. You're with him in Alaska. I'm at home. Why are you asking me that?
Cody: Well....because I  judged the stock all day and Phil was with me, but now it's over and I can't find him anywhere.
Jean: ...........hesitation. Do they have that big beer garden like they have the last two years? Right by the turnip display. To the left of the reindeer meat sausage deal. Did you check there?
Cody: ................I'm walking there now.............Oh boy...
JeanWhat?? I asked, maybe now a bit worried that Dad went on a self-guided tour of the Last Frontier
Cody: Found him.... in the beer garden.......with, actually, the most attractive women I have ever seen in Alaska, sitting around him......
Yeah, Phil! I'll take one - Thanks!

In the same breath that Cody had found Dad, he was ordering a beer with him - and the prettiest women of the Last Frontier. 
It was it that moment that I knew all was right with the world; and that I'd sleep better if I hung up now.

That evening Phody dined at Patty's Fish House (A FAVORITE) then bought beer. They enjoyed the local brews as the waves rolled in during the Alaskan sunset. Phil, 63, got his feet wet and cold. 

August 16:
Phody drove to Seward for a much-anticipated whale-watching boat trip. 

But the waters didn't cooperate and the pair was forced back to beautiful Anchorage early to shop for their wives.  

Legend tells that it took Phil 45 minutes to find something for his wife of 36 years.

Turns out, he may have found several things in that time:

After shopping, Phody enjoyed world-famous Moose's Tooth Pizza. As it turns out, there were leftovers. And - as you may have caught onto - Phil doesn't take leftovers lightly (one of twelve kids). He had the leftover awesomeness packed in a cardboard box, the night before Phody arose at 3:30 AM to fly back Indianapolis. 

(OOC = Out Of Control)
There is more...

Dad just really liked the pizza in Alaska. 

Cody says that he showed Phil the stuffed moose that he bought niece Bayler, and Phil may have felt a bit guilty that he didn't pick up anything for baby Oscar back home. So, as a last-minute souvenir, Phil packed a Delta blanket in his pizza box for his grandson. 

In August - after several conversations - husband Cody decided to do what no man on the face of the Earth has ever done before in documented history:

He traveled with my Dad to Alaska.

It was an adventure.
...One that is over. 
I'm grateful that, at 63, Dad was able to check one major thing off his bucket list. 

They've been home for a month and Cody still stays up late, telling me stories like he has just returned from summer camp. 

Also, he has yet to ask why we're still eating two-week-old leftovers. After six days "vacationing" with Dad, I think cody now 
gets it. 


  1. This is awesome...reading it as I drink a beer in the Salty Dawg looking for yours and Cody's dollar ;)

  2. Okay, Jean....this is your best one yet. Had me rollin', girl.