Alaska brings people together. Case in point: during my First Friday exhibit earlier this month in downtown Juneau, my first customers of the evening were a cute couple of tourists who came into the store and walked straight up to me, letting out a sudden and LOUD squeal. I stared back at them blankly, wondering to myself, "Oh boy, this is going to be interesting!" And interesting it quickly became.
As the woman spoke rapidly, I noticed her charming Australian accent. I hollered when I realized who was standing in front of me. At first I didn't recognize them because it had been four years since I had last seen them, when we first met during a day cruise to Tracy Arm Fjord. But lo and behold, there they were - Barb and Tony Blair, my friends from Melbourne, Australia.
Barb and Tony had been traveling through Alaska for five weeks, so they hadn't been on Facebook yet to see the announcement about my art show. They just happened to be in Juneau, walking down Seward Street when they saw the sidewalk sign advertising my show. Recognizing my name, they waltzed right in and gave me such a big surprise!
We were able to catch up over lunch a week later when they found themselves traveling through Juneau again. It was so wonderful to share a meal with my two friends from Down Under. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing them again - and next time it'll on their home turf - Australia in 2016!