me, travel, Us

My 35th

Valentine’s day.  Definitely not something Mr. M and I care about.  But that week is always very special.  I’ll give you a hint: Birthday + Me.  What’s actually fun is that everybody has a birthday but I usually celebrate my birthday for weeks.  I (shamelessly) start reminding Mr. M and Ka weeks in advance.  I start dropping hints.  I start emotionally blackmailing them and guilt-tripping them into treating me like royalty.  And in case you’re wondering, no, I don’t feel ashamed of it at all. I get one day in a year and I don’t mind terribly if I can stretch that day into a week or, even better, into weeks 😉

Anyway, it was my birthday and it coincided with mid-winter break at school.  And so, Mr. M did what he does best.  He planned a trip. To Fairbanks, Alaska.  I know it might not seem like the brightest idea…heading off to Fairbanks in mid-February when the temperatures are ping-ponging between a biting -25°C and a warm and toasty -13°C.  We’re from the tropics and we now live in Seattle.  Rain is our middle name.  You can pour any amount of water on us and we will stand unfazed.  We can tolerate cold pretty well too.  But we do have our limits, you know.  Temperatures where it feels like important body parts have gone missing is not fun.  Why then did we decide to go to Fairbanks?  This is why…

When I was about 8 yrs old, my father went to Antarctica with the Indian Scientific Expedition for 16 months.  I was, needless to say, daddy’s lil’ girl through and through and I missed him terribly.  I was allowed 2 minutes of talk time per month  and every chance I got, I would remind my dad to bring me a penguin.  That’s all I ever wanted from Antarctica.  When Dad came back, much to my disappointment, there was no penguin in any of his luggage or in his cabin on the ship.  What he did have was hair and beard long enough for me to braid and lots of photographs.  Hundreds of them.  Since then I’ve watched those slides and photos many times over and I have carried this dream in my heart of doing all the adventurous, fun and exciting things that my dad did on that trip.  Walking on a glacier, seeing penguins, getting caught in a blizzard, seeing whales in their natural habitat, experiencing the roaring 40s and furious 50s, walking on a frozen lake, falling into a crevasse, seeing the aurora…

Mr. M, the wonderful man that he is, has made it his life’s mission to fulfill each and every one of those little girl’s dreams.  Truth be told I’m not really sure about wanting to get caught in a blizzard, falling into a crevasse, or experiencing the roaring 40s and furious 50s.  I think I’ll pass on those for now. As for the others,  I only have Mr. M to thank.  For fulfilling my dreams and for the most beautiful birthday I could ever have imagined…

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The Corona: When the clock struck 12

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