Wednesday, July 31, 2013

We (again) interrupt this travelogue to give you some breaking news in the form of yet another travelogue--this one spanning 20 years.

A little family history:

  • Just over 20 years ago, I left my beloved Cedar City to serve a mission in California.
  • My brother (Robert) had left the previous year for a mission in Russia.
  • We got home close to the same time, and then three weeks later, I moved to Logan, making me the child living furthest away from the Cedar City homestead.
  • That was short-lived, as within a year or two, another brother (Jacob) left for a mission in Brazil.
  • And then Robert moved to Logan.
  • And then Robert moved to Wyoming.
  • And somewhere in there Jacob came home (and moved to Logan).
  • And then Robert moved to Denver.
  • And then yet another brother (Mark) left for a mission in Austria.
  • And then my sister (Becca) moved to Nebraska.
  • And then Mark came home, and somewhere in there Jacob moved to Salt Lake, but since this is all about being the furthest from home and Salt Lake is waaaay closer to Cedar City than Nebraska or Denver or Austria, we don't care so much about that.
  • And then my youngest brother (Doug) left for a mission in Brazil.
  • And then Jacob moved to Kentucky.
  • And then Becca moved to Colorado (but not Denver, where Robert was still living.)
  • And then Doug came home.
  • And after a few years, Doug moved to Ohio.
  • And at some point in there, Mark moved to Salt Lake and then to Springville, but again, we didn't pay all that much attention because we had Ohio and Kentucky to keep us busy, and Springville is practically a suburb of Cedar City when you think of it in comparison to the distance of other areas.
  • And then Jacob moved to Washington (the state).
  • And then Robert moved back to the promised land of Cedar City.
  • And then Jacob moved to Indiana.
  • (And then my dad got cancer and we were all really grateful that Robert and ShaLiece had moved back to Cedar City and were there to help out and keep us all in the loop about what was going on.)
  • And then Doug moved to Texas.
  • And then Jacob moved back to the promised land of Cedar City.
  • And then Becca moved to Arizona (Kingman, 4 hours away from Cedar City).
  • And then Mark moved back to the promised land of Cedar City.

And then yesterday, Douglas W. Corry DMD became one of the two newest practicing dentists in Cedar City, Utah, and has (obviously) moved back to the promised land!!!


!!!!!!CELEBRATION!!!!!!!

And now, after all these years, I am once again the child living furthest away from the Cedar City homestead.

Ahhh, it feels good to all be so close together again.




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Awesome ALASKA-quirky-ness abounding (part two--more words than pictures--WAAAY more words than pictures)

Here are the top six quirky moments/experiences of the trip:

(There is actually one more quirky string of events involving Eric's suitcase, but it deserves its own post, so you'll have to wait for that one.)

(Fair warning--some of these are probably of the "you had to be there" variety.)

#6--Becca & the Rubik's Cube:  So, at some point, it was mentioned that Becca had brought along a Rubik's Cube on the trip, presumably so she could figure it out in her off moments while cruising along the Pacific Ocean (I find this quirky in and of itself, but there's even more to the story). Anyway, a few days in, she had gotten the cube arranged so that all the oranges were together on one side. All the other sides were skiwampus of course, but the orange side was pretty much pristine, which was a nice little development for her. So you can imagine her disappointment when, later on in the day she looked at the cube, and noticed that what had previously been the orange side was no longer the orange side, but instead the mulit-colored side. Horrors! She accused her husband, asking him what had happened, and he denied ever touching the cube. She accused him again with the same result. She might have even done so again, but eventually Ryan's earnestness convinced her of his innocence. This left her only one other option, and she raised the cube in her hand, and in a gritty, "I'll get you for this" voice, she named the name of our (beloved, respected, much appreciated) cabin steward,

"NILO!"

(Note--I didn't actually see all of this happen, as Ryan was the only witness.  However, he told us all the story later on, and we all nearly died with laughter. Literally. Okay, not literally, we were all very much alive once we were finished laughing. No one really nearly died.)

#5--Six a.m. plumbing:  One morning, around 5:30, our toilet started spurting (clear, presumably clean) water out of this little hole on the side of the wall. So, we had about 4 different maintenance man working to fix it all up (which they did) while we were hanging out in our pjs. That was exciting. (Ship personnel called us four different times over the next two days to make sure that everything was (pardon me, I just can't resist) "ship-shape".  It was.)

#4--Smuggling Food: I shouldn't admit this story, but oh well.  When we were in Skagway all the other siblings went back to the ship for lunch before boarding a tour that we had scheduled (see below), while Eric and I and my parents spent more time exploring the city, and thus, skipping lunch. Turned out, we got hungry. So, using our handy dandy walkie talkies, and not realizing that taking food off the ship and into Alaska was against state law, we made an order for a bit of fruit and whatnot from the family members who were living it up at the buffet.

As it turned out, as they were all leaving the ship, smuggled bag of food in hand, two of them were eating ice cream cones. Ship security pulled those two aside, insisting that they finish their ice cream before stepping on land. Meanwhile, the others marched right by with a bag full fried chicken, sandwiches, cookies, and fruit for our dining pleasure. Covert Corrys, that's us.

#3  --Dawson Dolly: While we were in Skagway, we took a ride on Dolly's Wild Life Adventures. We were hoping to see some wildlife on our adventure, but all the animals were hiding on that particular day, and we didn't see any that I remember.

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However, Dolly herself?  Definitely wild, and a total crack-up. She had all our names memorized within 5 minutes of meeting us (as in, the fourteen members of our family and the four other people that were in our group). She had a real gold nugget that she let us all heft (gold is heavy!), after which she tucked it away in her bosom.  She recited poetry to us, sang songs to us, told us riveting stories (that may or may not have been true) about close calls that she had had with bears and other wild animals on the trail, the ins and outs of gold mining (she's a gold miner when she's not entertaining cruise ship tourists) and how she has found God and love (like, romantic love) all within the last few years. She told us interesting anecdotes about Skagway (they have a population of around 750 people, 4 churches, no doctors, and one nurse).

She told us a joke about two guys on a cruise ship who had misplaced their wives. Guy #1 was describing his wife to the other, tall, blonde, thin, etc., etc. Then Guy #1 asked Guy #2 what his wife looked like, and Guy #2 said, "Who cares?! Let's go find your wife!" After she got a smattering of courtesy laughter from all of us, she said piously, "I know that's not a very nice joke for me to tell . . .(and then with a not so pious as much as mischevious grin,) but I think it's kind of funny." That statement got a more sincere laugh out of all of us.

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Oh-and she had us all put on wacky animal hats and boas and stuff and then we got to get our picture taken with her. Quirky to be sure.

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#2--Alaska Robotics-In Juneau, after we had seen the Mendenhall Glacier we all took some time to explore the city. Wandering around in and out of shops with 14 people can get pretty unwieldy, so we eventually split up. Turns out, there was a shop in Juneau called Alaska Robotics, and Eric and I were literally the last people in the family to find it, despite being told about it by every family member (they've all got Eric's back, no doubt about it), getting directions from most family members, and eventually walking right by it without even seeing it, then radio-ing for help and getting step by step instructions, i.e.--walk ten feet, look up, you are now under the sign. I wish I was kidding. Navigation is obviously not an area where Eric and I excel.

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Funny thing--Alaska Robotics is not a robot shop, but rather, a comic book store. Which really--if you're Eric is just as good, if not better.

And finally, the quirky-est, funniest, most random thing that happened all week, I give you:

#1--Mark and the Elevator: 
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Not a picture of Mark and the elevator, but I love this picture of Mark, and it seems appropriate.
It was evening. We were on the ship, having recently finished supper, and were headed somewhere together, exactly where I can't remember. Mark's wife Krista had been feeling a little queasy/tired (being on a moving ship will do that to you) and ask we were getting ready to climb the stairs, Mark saw an empty elevator car with the doors just centimeters away from closing. Being the gallant prince that he is, Mark sprinted to the elevator, and thrust his hand and arm, spear-like into the miniscule crack between the doors, forcing them to open again so Krista wouldn't have to climb the stairs.

What happened next was a sight to behold.  As the doors opened, Mark gasped, and then unexplainedly and suddenly burst into uncontrollable laughter. I was further up the stairs than most of the others, and what I saw next was absolutely baffling to me. One my one, the rest of the family made their way into the elevator, and as soon as they got in, they all without exception immediately doubled over in uncontrollable laughter as well. I was completely perplexed.

Fortunately, when I finally made my way down the stairs and to the elevator, all was immediately made crystal clear. In the back corner, surrounded by (obnoxious?) Corrys, there was a saint of a woman, crying with (again uncontrollable) laughter. Turns out, the elevator hadn't been empty after all. Turns out, Gentle Teddy-Bear Mark's spear-of-a-hand had nearly given this woman a heart attack, and as soon as he made his way in the car, she crouched/crumpled down in fear, crying, "Please don't hurt me!", at which point Mark immediately felt horrible, apologized, and tried to explain himself, but they both started laughing so hard that he couldn't get anything of significance out. Then, one by one we all joined Mark in the elevator, which only added to the confusion and wacky-ness of the situation, and made all of us (especially Mark's poor victim) laugh all the harder.


Honestly, I'm dying here, just re-writing it all. Classic Mark right there.



Oh, who am I kidding?  Classic Corry.
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Yes--this is a cropped version of the same picture as you see above. It's the only picture I have of the whole family together on this trip, okay? Plus, it's quirky. So, how 'bout you just pretend you didn't just see it fifteen seconds ago okay? Okay.






Thursday, July 25, 2013

Awesome ALASKA-quirky-ness abounding (part one--more pictures than words)

Ketchikan, Alaska:  Because every self-respecting Pizza restaurant really should also serve Filipino Food. Surely you knew that?
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This sign actually makes a whole lot more sense when you realize that probably 75% of the staff on our ship (and presumably the other cruise ships docking here as well) are from the Phillipines.


We found this open garage on a little walk that Eric and I took. Yes, that's a car engine (I think ) just hanging from the ceiling of this person's garage. Fascinating.
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I just think this is cool. I mean, when was the last time you saw an Alaska Husky likeness on your local "clean up after your pet" sign? Probably the last time you went to Alaska, huh?
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We didn't sample the Reindeer meat. We're adventurous, but not that adventurous.
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These next two are self-explanatory:
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Victoria, British Columbia--a random winged hat. Tickles my fancy.
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Skagway, Alaska:  Love this tree that we found in someones yard. Can you tell what those globes are in real life?
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How about a few closer looks?
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I'm wondering what the story is behind this tree. I mean, who thinks to themself, "Hey, I think I'm going to build a bowling ball tree in my front yard!"

I have no idea--but I'm delighted that someone not only thought it, but then followed through with that thought. Stellar.
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Same house--in addition to the Bowling tree, there is also a bottle tree,
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A few random faucets on some stakes,
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. . . and a whole fence of randomness.
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The fence was so cool that it deserved two extra pictures.
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I almost snuck back to this store and bought this shirt for Eric. 
But, then I forgot.
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Awesome ALASKA--our home away from home

We sailed on The Golden Princess, a really large ship in the Princess Fleet. All Princess ships have a "godmother", the person (usually a woman) who christens the ship. Jane Seymour is the godmother of the Golden Princess. Given my father's fondness for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and my fondess for Somewhere in Time, I felt like that was quite fitting.

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Taking the time and space to describe all the fun aspects of this ship and tell all the stories of hijinks and levity that went on during our week here would make this post long enough that I personally wouldn't be all that interested in reading it, to be honest. So, I'm going to try to condense things a bit, (though I make no promises of actual brevity). So, with that bit of nebulousness, I give you some of the highlights of our ship:

Dancing
I'd been on three different cruises prior to this one, and on each one, I had wished that I had been traveling with a "special someone", primarily so I could dance with that person in the evenings. Well, on this cruise, that wish was granted in spades. Eric was quite happy to join me at four different dance classes (not kidding-not being sarcastic-love that man), where we learned the basics of the Merengue, the Cha-Cha, the Salsa, and the Waltz. Then, on the evenings when we weren't to exhausted from walking all over Alaska, we would head to one of the lounges for some live band dancing there as well. What a treat!

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Sometimes Eric and I would brave the classes alone (which was great fun), and sometimes some or all of our family would come as well (which was even more fun.)  Incidentally, I LOVE Melissa's face in this picture (the blonde girl laughing on the left.)
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In addition to Ballroom Dancing, there was Line Dancing (which Eric and I never never got around to attending, but the others did), and dum, dum, DUUMMMM . . . ZUMBA.

I've been wanting to try Zumba out for a couple of years now, but I've been too chicken. Images of me making a complete fool of my uncoordinated self while being surrounded by people, local people, people who I might possibly encounter in my real life tormented my imagination, and I never made the time/screwed up the courage to attend. Every once in a while I would check out a Zumba video on YouTube, but those only served to heighten my feelings of inadequacy.

So, when I heard that there was Zumba on the ship, and then heard that Becca was planning to attend, well, I couldn't pass that opportunity up. Longer story a little shorter--I enjoyed it. I was totally uncoordinated, off beat half the time, and struggling to keep up quite a bit, but I had a good time, and felt like I was doing my body good. So, one of these days I just might try it again here locally-where people I know may actually see me. (No promises though.)


Other Recreational Activities
The ship held two 3 on 3 Basketball Tournaments, and Doug pulled together a team consisting of him, Mark, and Ryan that took second place in one of them, so that was pretty cool. The ship also held a shuffleboard tournament-which consisted of a cruise director handing a bunch of papers to whoever happened to be around the shuffleboard at the appointed time and having them put together their own tournament. Since we are a bracket tournament kind of clan, that was no problem at all. If I understand correctly (not having been there to witness it all) Mark drew up the brackets and arranged the games. The players consisted of several of my siblings, and one other shuffleboarding couple, a couple that had obviously played the game more than any of us had, and won the whole ball of wax quite handily.

Then there was Bocce Ball. I'd never played before the cruise, and I liked it. Eric and I played once with Becca and Ryan (as we ended up on a little impromptu "double date" together), and then a few days later, we had an all Corry girls versus all Corry boys game.
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Measuring which ball is closer.
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I love how Ryan (green shirt) is studiously practicing his next throw here. The guy has focus!

The boys won, and their celebratory pyramid was definietly something to behold:
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Accommodations
As I mentioned in a previous post, we had inside cabins, which, since we didn't spend a whole lot of time there, worked great for our needs. The one difficulty though, was that in the beginning, we had a hard time remembering which end of the ship our rooms were on. So, there were times when we would get off the elevator, or climb the stairs to our floor, head off to the hallway, and be greeted by this daunting scene:

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One time (towards the beginning of the cruise) one of us (I can't remember which one--so chime in family if you do) started down the hall, thought he was looking at a mirror of the rest of the hall, decided he had reached the end without finding his room, and turned back. No joke.

Another time I made it to our floor and was making the long walk to our room when I found Doug and Maegan. They had been searching unsuccessfully for their room (which was practically next door to ours), and couldn't figure out why they couldn't find it. We eventually realized that all the odd rooms were on one side of the ship, and all the even rooms were on the other side, and we were looking for our rooms on the wrong side.

Eating 
On our first night, our head waiter (who I just thought was marvelous) learned that we were Mormons, and thus wouldn't be drinking any wine or coffee with our meals. Having served Mormons before, he then took it upon himself to let us know anytime there was anything on the menu that we "weren't allowed" to have. He was pretty strict with us, which I found amusing, charming, and sweet--although on the night that Tiramisu was on the menu, Jacob and I were both more than a little bummed when Lazaro told us we couldn't have it, due to the coffee and the Kahlua. Alas, the sacrifices we make.

Incidentally, my father soon settled on a favorite dessert. While the rest of us were experimenting with rich cheesecakes, chocolate mousse, creme brulee, and other delights, more often than not, he would order a dish of vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce on it, and rave and rave about the deliciousness therein.

As you can imagine, you could eat all day and all night long on the ship if you were so inclined (we generally weren't so inclined, though we all definitely ate more than we would/did in our own homes). There were a few formal dining rooms, two all-day and all-night buffets, a pizza stand, an ice cream shop, a burger place, and a coffee shop, all of which were covered in the price of our ticket. We all soon developed some favorites. Some loved the pizza, some swore by the hamburgers, we all agreed that the fries were a significant cut above what we were used to getting. Eric was thrilled to find watermelon that was consistently more juicy and sweet than anything he had found at home, and reveled in being able to eat grapefruit that someone else had already sectioned for him.  As for me, they had some curry hard boiled eggs in the morning that I thought were delicious with rice, and then of course there were the chocolate croissants--a treat that has been a favorite of mine since I went to Paris with my mom back in the mid 1990s. And naturally, I loved the fresh pineapple.

Miscellany 
Still here?  Well, then here are a few closing pictures, since there obviously haven't been enough of those.

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Up next: The quirky parts of our journey. You'll want to tune in for that now, won't you?


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