August 28, 2016
When Simon and I first started dating a little over a year ago, we loved to spend Sundays together. We would begin by either going to my or his church and continue with a Sunday Adventure usually consisting of a bit of a drive to somewhere that we wanted to hike and explore together. Now, while living apart, we both have found that Sundays tend to be the days that we find ourselves missing one another a bit more than other days.
However, today we got to go on our first Sunday Adventure after spending 36 Sundays apart. We went to South Tongass Alliance Church first. Simon has attended a few times before, but his schedule has him working every other weekend which makes things tricky. After church, we headed to downtown Ketchikan.
Simon took me to Pioneer Café for brunch. This diner is decorated 60s style and is open 24 hours a day. He ordered hash browns with at least four meats and I had French toast and cocoa. We were both stuffed by the time we finished and took to the streets hoping to prevent the effects of a food coma from hitting.
We began walking a block or two towards a tall totem pole when I heard Simon call out to a coworker/good friend who was sitting with his wife on a bench. After introductions to Noah and Brie, we all headed towards Creek Street. It was perfect timing and really fun to spend time with Simon’s friends. Brie is actually 19 just like me and Noah is 20, I think. As couples, we have tons in common. They went through the long distance thing too and have really enjoyed married life since then.
While looking up things to do in Ketchikan Creek Street is the one thing I kept finding along with salmon fishing. We wandered the shops; some unique and some with the exact same knick-knacks as next door. I found a yarn shop to which I may return to buy a project to keep myself productive while Simon is at work. As we neared the end of Creek Street, a lady standing in a door frame began talking to us as we passed. She informed us that we were standing out front Dolly’s famous house. I had never heard of it before and neither had the others, but for $15 per couple we took a tour together to find out just who this Dolly gal was.
It turns out she was one of the most successful “seamstresses” in Ketchikan. But that was just the occupation she used on her tax forms. Actually, Dolly moved to Ketchikan from Idaho and opened up this brothel. You see, Creek Street used to be the red light district of Ketchikan. It is said that both men and salmon used to come up the stream to spawn and Dolly’s was one of the most popular places. The house is almost entirely original; complete with trap doors, hidden mini bars in the walls, and flowers adorning the shower curtain maid out of silk condoms that she knew were useless to her in any other way.
Dolly purchased her house for $800 in the early 1900s and had it paid off in two weeks. She could make anywhere from $75-100 a day working solo in her house while the men she was charging $3 for a visit only made $1 a day. Dolly eventually bought more houses along Creek Street and left her money to an animal shelter that she established and is still open in Ketchikan today.
After our surprise Ketchikan history lesson, we said bye to Noah and Brie as they went off to play soccer. Simon and I walked around town a bit more before we headed home. My knee was really tired from all the walking, but we had had a wonderful time.
While we watched the movie Limitless together, we made plans to have Noah and Brie over for a late dinner and cards. Simon grilled steaks perfectly seasoned with my family’s favorite Good Eats seasoning and we sat on the living room floor as Simon doesn’t have room for a dining set, nor does he have a coffee table yet. After eating, Simon quickly caught on to the rules of Rummy, a game that I have played with my grandmother for years. Noah talked himself up big before the first hand was dealt, but when it came to counting points I was the one with the big numbers. We ended up leaving the game in a status of “to be continued” since it was late and both Simon and Noah have to report to work tomorrow morning.
We had a wonderful Sunday Adventure together for my first full day together in Ketchikan and our first full day together in nine months! A year ago, we didn’t even know where Simon’s next station was going to be and I surely had no idea I would be visiting him in Alaska. I cannot even begin to imagine where the next year will lead us both, but I could not be more excited to find out.