Friday, December 20, 2013

Chicago

We made it to Chicago!  Our flight was delayed, Someone accidentally swapped laptops with Nick at security, the red-eye flight was sort of restful (ha!), but after leaving the airport with all of our luggage (yay!), we were picked up by a limo and now we're relaxing in the hotel and so happy to be here.  This weekend will be dedicated to celebrating a very special great-aunt's 90th birthday and then Sunday evening we will arrive by bus in Lansing, MI.  The fun has begun and I am stoked.  And pretty tired.  But mostly just so happy to be headed home.

 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's Official!

Today at 3pm (AKDT) Nick will be sworn in as a real, live attorney!  We are totally geeked and couldn’t be happier.  I knew that marrying a law student would eventually pay off, but gosh, it is not for the faint-hearted.

In anticipation of today’s great event, I’ve been busy designing business cards for my newby lawyer husband.  I wanted to give him a variety to choose from, and I don’t think I could have made just one anyway.  Really, Nick becoming a lawyer is just an excuse for me to practice using Adobe Illustrator to create business cards.  Right, Hun?  I’ve been slowly learning to use the program, and designing these cards was great fun.

Card-Collage
Nick hasn’t chosen a favorite yet, so for the time being he’ll just have to carry around a couple of each.  I’m not sure which one I like best yet either.  What do you think?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's getting darker...

This will be my first Alaskan Winter, and I'm a little nervous about the dark.  I really noticed it yesterday when I drove to and from work in pre-dawn/post-sunset dusk.  And we just had the daylight savings time change!  It's going to get worse before it gets better, so I'm bracing myself and trying to focus instead on all the pretty twinkle lights that are suddenly everywhere downtown.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Success!

It's been an eventful couple of weeks for our little household.  We found out that Nick passed the Bar Exam (kind of a big deal) and more importantly, he won a pie baking contest at church today.

Waiting for the Bar results somehow turned Nick into a master baker.  We've been eating homemade breads, coffee cake, lots of pies, and even baked brie (and putting on a little weight too).  So naturally, a pie baking contest was really no contest at all.

Yes, one of the other contenders was a little girl, and yes, the second place winner admittedly botched her pie, but that's still a blue ribbon pinned to my man, and he really did make a kickin' apple pie.  Congrats Nick!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Resurrection Bay


 
Our wildlife cruise through Resurrection Bay was probably the highlight of Katie's visit.  We set out from Seward aboard the Nunatak and right away made friends with a total hippie from Girdwood and his Brazilian girlfriend, and then saw an adorable sea otter just as we left the harbor.  A very good start to an amazing cruise.


There were mountains, and glaciers, and just general gorgeousness all around.  We stopped for lunch at Fox Island where a park ranger gave a brief presentation about lots of people who loved the wilderness of Alaska so much, they decided to live in it.  Post lunch, we wore out our arms on the island's "skipping stone" beach.  Seriously, we all had very sore arms the next day, but who could resist an entire beach covered with perfect skipping stones?  Not us.

And then there was the wildlife.  We saw puffins, a rock covered with rowdy sea lions, starfish, bald eagles, mountain goats (if that's really what those specks of white on the mountainside were), and best of all, a humpback whale.  I spotted the whale spouting way off in the distance and told the captain so he could take us in for a closer look.  That's right, I spotted the whale.  I am a whale spotter.  If there is a whale, I will spot it.  It was beyond cool.

 
Finally, after four and a half hours of cruising bliss, we docked again at Seward and headed home with slightly sunburned faces and not nearly enough photos.  And because we hadn't really seen enough wildlife, we passed two moose and a couple more mountain goats (up close this time) on the way home.  We attribute our good luck with the critters to Katie's animal magnetism.  It was a great day.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Katie's Here!


 
Katie came to visit me and we are having so much fun!  Today was her first full day here, so Nick and I introduced her to Anchorage by taking her downtown to eat reindeer sausages and take photos with Balto and every wooden cutout we could find.  Our last stop for the day was Flat Top to check out the view.  Maybe we'll actually climb it later.  Not today.  





Tomorrow we're going on a glacier/wildlife cruise! More photos to come :-)




Thursday, July 4, 2013

Flat Top

Around Anchorage, the popular thing to do on Father's Day is climb Mt. Flat Top.  So that's what we did.  It was a beautiful day, and the views from the top made the climbing part worthwhile.  On one side, more mountains, on the other, a great view of Anchorage.


The climb itself was pretty tough.  Mountains are kind of steep.  Parts of the trail just sloped upwards, not too bad, but then there were about a million steps made from railroad ties, and the last part was all rock.




The top of the mountain really is flat, and it's pretty big.  There's a pile of rocks and a make-shift flag to mark the summit.  I'm glad we made the climb this year, but I don't think we'll be doing it again any time soon.

Oh, and happy 4th! I hope yours was a good one! 



Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Little Bit of Spring

 
This is what we woke up to this morning.  Happy Spring!  Ironically, today was a big garage sale day in our neighborhood.  The snow didn't stop us from checking out the sales, and I found a sewing machine for $25!  A little later in the day, because I am seriously craving some warm, spring-time greenness, I went to my favorite place in Anchorage - Bell's Nursery.

 Part gift shop, part coffee shop, and part greenhouse, Bell's is helping me get through this very wintery spring.  I've been spending a little time there almost every weekend to soak up some sun, humidity and green, planty goodness.



 At the end of the day, the snow is mostly gone, and you can see some green starting to creep into the lawns.  But it looks like it might take a little bit longer for spring to truly spring here.  Sigh.



 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's been a while...


So, I realize it's been a few months now since my last post...sorry about that...  Accordingly, some of these photos are a little bit old.  I thought I might as well start with the events of last February and try to catch you all up from there.  Really, not a lot has happened since I last posted here.  At least nothing very noteworthy.  But we did have a little excitement in February.  The weekend after we arrived in Anchorage we went downtown to watch the ceremonial start of the Iditarod.  The city trucked in a bunch of snow so the dogs could kick off the race by running a few blocks through downtown Anchorage.  The race actually starts somewhere else, but it was pretty fun to see all of the dog teams getting primed for the real deal.  The best part?  There was a Jamaican dog sled team.  Cool Runnings sequel anyone?


Later in the afternoon, we came back to see the Running of the Reindeer.  This is when a bunch of crazy people come out in costume to run a couple blocks with some reindeer.  

They let the people go in waves; first men, then women, and finally couples.  After all the runners had gotten a good head start, they released a handful of reindeer who kind of half-heartedly trotted after the people.  Then somebody had to go collect the reindeer and bring them back so they'd be ready to chase the next group of runners.  There was a lot of waiting around, and not nearly as many reindeer as I'd expected, but the costumes were pretty worth while.  Here are some of my favorites...


I don't have much more in the way of pictures, but I'll post again soon with a little more about what we've been up to.  I wouldn't blame you for not believing me after the last few months of silence, but I really will share more soon :-)  Thanks for hanging in there with me!


 

 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Roadtrip!

 
It's hard to believe we've already been here in Alaska for more than a week now.  Our roadtrip seemed to be never ending at the time, but I've finally recovered enough to be willing to revisit photos from the trip.  Again, had I not been driving the entire time, there would probably be a lot more pictures, but here's a handful to give you an idea of what we saw out on the road.  
 
The Badlands were about what you'd expect, judging by their name.  A whole lot of brown and grey scenery, and since we were traveling in the off season, most of the tourist traps were closed (bummer).  But Wall Drug Store was open, and it was wonderful in all its touristy glory.  We very much enjoyed the opportunity to walk around, check out photos and paintings from the Old West, and eat a proper meal (only 5 cents for coffee!).  Then we kicked the tumbleweeds away from our cars and got back to driving.

 
Columbia River was spectacular.  We barely noticed when we drove over the Mississippi or Yukon rivers, supposedly they're kind of big, but the Columbia, now that was impressive.

 
And then there was Canada.  So many beautiful mountains, I'm almost tempted to make the drive again just for the incredible views.  Almost.








Saturday, February 23, 2013

We Made It!


We finally made it to Alaska!  It only took about 80 hours of driving...  Pretty much as soon as we hit the Canadian border, the scenery got gorgeous.  For three days we drove past mountains, valleys and lakes.  Had I not been driving the entire time, I probably would have been taking pictures almost constantly.  While there were lots of beautiful sights to see, there weren't many places to stop for things like food, or sleep.  So for three days we mostly ate gas station sandwiches and slept in our car.  One of our dinners was warmed up by a running engine, and I was sitting for so long my ankles swelled up!  Never have I appreciated a shower and a bed and a home-cooked meal as much as I did yesterday.  I still have a little recouping to do (go away ankles!), but I already feel like a new person. 

This picture was taken just across the Alaskan-Canadian border, I'll post some more pictures from our drive soon.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rest Stop


Last Monday, Nick and I started our drive to Alaska, and yesterday we arrived in Spokane, Washington.  One of our dear friends lives here, so we're taking a few days to rest up and do a little visiting.  I cannot express how wonderful it is to not be driving!  Spokane is also the home of Nick's alma mater, Gonzaga, so after sleeping in this morning (bliss!) we went over to campus so Nick could show me around and do a little reminiscing.  After sitting in our cars for too many hours, our legs had almost forgotten what they were made for.  It was a beautiful day to walk around and we loved it!



Gonzaga is lovely.  We were able to visit a couple of Nick's old professors, get chai tea lattes at the student center and finish with a late lunch at one of Nick's favorite restaurants.  When we got home, we left again to go ballroom dancing with our host (so much fun)!  It's been a great day, with very little driving.  Hallelujah.  



In other news, yesterday was Valentine's Day, and my darling husband schemed to have a barbershop quartet serenade me while we were waiting for our friend (who happened to be one of the singers) to join us for lunch.  It was so sweet!  And then he cooked me a homemade lobster dinner.  Not bad for a Valentine's Day on the road :-)