I arrived after three red-eye flights.
Ryan had been away in Alaska for half a week. And after several days, one of the men on the trip offered to use his sky miles to fly me up. Of course Ryan and I eagerly accepted his offer, and within hours, Ryan had booked me a flight.
I finally arrived in the one-room Kodiak airport at 7:30 am, hardly oriented to my surroundings, let alone to my own fatigued mind. I mazed my way through the room, stepping into the spaces between people, unsure of where the exit door even was as I couldn't see past the mob of people waiting to leave the island. I only concluded that the way of exit would be opposite of the door of entry, so I pushed hopefully towards the opposite wall.
Suddenly I felt a hard tug on the handle of my backpack - the backpack that is my front-row company to every adventure I've had around the world. I whiz around in total startle, and I see Ryan's smiling face. His beard, his eyes - it has felt so long since I've seen him. We embrace for a long time, and he feels so good. He takes all my bags, and guides me out to the car that his possey has rented for the week. A giant white 17- passenger van. He opens the passenger door for me, as he unfailing always does, and helps me climb up inside. "FISH!!" I shriek, "Oh my gosh this smells SO strongly of fish." He laughs as he climbs in the drivers seat. "It sure does." And the fish smell only makes the moment more endearing.
We drive through the streets of Kodiak, chatting endlessly, and I'm trying to take everything in. The forests, the rivers, the sunrise, the coastal houses, the boat docks, the fisherman's ports. It's all so expected for a tiny fisher town in Alaska, and that makes it only more desirable.
I look over, and Ryan keeps looking back at me smiling. "You are so beautiful," he says. "I have missed you." I lean over and kiss his cheek, beaming back at him. "I have missed you too!"
We arrive at the house they are renting, a perfect coastal house. The fishy smells, the sandy humid air, the slats on the house, sitting right on the river with the fishing boats passing by. Ryan takes me inside and begins showing me around. The house is completely silent as everyone is out fishing, save one man and his wife who are upstairs - the one's who generously flew me here. Ryan and I reacquaint ourselves after so many days apart with endless giggling, flirting, and touching. After Ryan has made sure I'm fed and comfortable, he heads out fishing. I spend the morning catching up on work, and then Ryan comes back with all the men to pick me and the other wife up for lunch. Two wives, six men.
We eat at a dive diner, and I love being with Ryan and all these men as they share their passion. I accompany them out to the lake for more fishing for the rest of the afternoon. I watch Ryan fly fish, and I walk around the little trails, admiring the such beautiful scenery.
After hours of relaxing in this beautiful, secluded place, we begin the drive back to town for dinner. Then Ryan and I are dropped off at a hotel on the side of town, where we will be able to share a bed and be more comfortable.
The next morning, Ryan leaves early to go fishing, while I sleep in and relax in the hotel room. He comes back for me when the men are ready for breakfast, and then I walk back in the Alaskan sun to the hotel room. I spend the day hunkered down in perfect solitude, completely tasks that are in my top queue - switching my email address in every online account, cleaning out my old email inbox to total emptiness, writing a heartfelt thank you card for all the wedding gifts from friends and family, and finishing up the documentation of my Philippines trip. I spent the next couple days in this same pattern, focusing on my tasks, taking walks through the town when I desired fresh air. And there, the air is the freshest. Each evening, Ryan and I would go out with all the other men for a meal. I loved listening them talk about their days and their passion of fishing. I loved the other wife who was their who served as the mother and doer of the group.
Finally the morning arrived when we were dropped off at the airport with boxes and boxes of freshly caught fish. Ryan and I flew home, filled with sweet rejuvenation. It was the perfect tucked away half week for me. Exactly what I needed.
I continually look forward to my life with Ryan, where each adventure with him is so restful to my soul, and each moment is so happy.
Upward and onward,
The hotel that I burrowed into, burrowed into the side of a mountain.
Finally home with BOXES of fish!!