We got back into that seven seat mini-van, and were off to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.
Did you know there is even more boreal forest, zigs and zags, and ups and downs, and around and around with trees, trees and more trees and road that wouldn’t end?
Whitehorse is a bustling tourist town in the summer.
It was Whitehorse, the treasure at the end of the road rainbow, because it had enough restaurants to amuse any ethnic craving. Are you looking for burritos? There’s a Mexican restaurant. Craving hummus and pitas? Try the Mediterranean spot. Need to quell the kiddo’s penchant for Italian? They’ve got that too.
A jaunt around downtown provided interesting places to dine: Giorgio’s Cantina. Not intended to be child friendly, but surprised us as a child friendly, fine dining Italian ristorante. When did we get comfortable bringing four kids, one a babe, into a nice restaurant? I remember the days when we first went for dinner in a small town. A typical north American Chinese family joint with our six month old. I don’t know who was breathing quicker, my husband or I. I would have lost my marbles if she’d opened her mouth to sigh. Now here we are with four.
Delicious bowls of child-sized creamy fettucine alfredo. Could not have been more perfect, yet our oldest declares: “It’s too creamy”. Try as I might to be patient with their food preferences, my default setting at dinner is, “I made it, you eat it”. How did these Italians go wrong with creamy Alfredo sauce?
The seafood manicotti is glorious. And captivated company—watching a different table, my girls were quiet. On the level above us a bride-to-be and her guests were celebrating, so a discussion of weddings ensued. I was dining with three pre-adolescent, starry-eyed daughters.
Where was my toddler son? He was wandering the quiet streets with his daddy, because our little guy was ready for bed, past the point of wanting to dine. When my husband’s food arrived, I flagged him down and he gulped a few bites of spinach manicotti. Kind and quick service—apparently we were supposed to have reservations—but they prepared two small round tables for the six of us beside the kitchen. Thank you Giorgio!
A large two bedroom suite awaited us—a small apartment on the second floor really. Modern duvets and floor plan like an apartment. An ideal temporary shelter for two, except for the carpentry work banging at my toddler’s naptime—a foot away from our first floor room. Blackout curtains were helpful, but early morning 6 am wakeup call by the delivery truck not appreciated.
All this way north, I can still find a Starbucks. Starbucks quality customer care is not the same though. Cleverly situated on Main Street, it provided me with mid-morning ‘tall decaf non-fat lattes’—really, flavoured water.
The baristas were not your ‘ordinary’ Starbucks metrosexual vendors—they might have been summer students, those without the ability to follow my order—“no, not grande, tall. Decaf, yes decaf…no not 2%, non-fat“. Anyway, no matter where I go, they maintain the identically smooth and captivating coffee flavor. They have me at: “Can I prepare something for you?”
The next evening we found the Mediterranean fare—a falafel meal for my husband, lamb souvlaki meal for me and a shared chicken souvlaki for the kids. Delicious food at this cleverly named spot—“The Kebab-ery: the Best Middle East Food in the North”. Taste—ee. You don’t need to head to Turkey for this fare; instead, have you thought of Whitehorse?
We continued our quest to fill our summer Yukon passports, ten museums in ten days. If we could fill those pages with museum stamps, we could win 10 oz. of gold. For this, the girls were motivated. The 15 minute film on the Alaska Highway, clearly a theme for these museums, had our full attention. The theatre could have seated at least a hundred, newly built and ready for the onslaught of summer tourism.
We saw black and whites of Chief so and so at the such and such tribe move his family to Moose Lake—running away from Klondiktis and all that it entailed. We’ve watched the Alaska Highway be built, again. We watched the Klondikers congest Skagway.
We were about to begin our trek north to Dawson City. A town built for the sole purpose of gold-diggers, the onslaught of Klondikitis, at the heart of the gold rush.