Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bad News Bears

I was having a (really) bad day yesterday & I always say sushi always makes me feel better. So last night Brian took me out for sushi. We were sitting at the bar talking about the days events when the sushi chef started making something special from an orange. Mesmerized, we stopped our conversation and watched him craft an adorable teddy bear from a seemingly plain orange.

He was a little thrown off when I started crying when he presented the simple gesture as a treat for the two of us to make the day a little better. I had to explain that they were happy tears & how much his kind gesture meant.

Tell people you love them often.

Hug & kiss often.

Use kind words often. You never know when such a simple gesture [like a teddy bear orange or taking them to a dinner you don't really care for but know that they love] could help turn someone's day around.

Oh, and don't forget to smile.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Kayaking Otter Lake

Once again the rain prevented us from adventuring out Saturday afternoon. We had spent the morning wandering around Anchorage's downtown market but headed home as the nimbus clouds started rolling in. We spent a lazy Saturday around the house doing lazy Saturday house things, like napping.

Sunday morning I woke up to the sound of rain. I love sleeping in in the rain, but when I'm ready to get up and play in the Alaskan wilderness, I was slightly depressed to wake up to this noise. After spending the morning baking biscuits I cleaned myself off and declared it was time to go play in the rain as it was now only a drizzle rather than a downpour.

By the time we changed & readied ourselves the rain was scarcely even there. We set out for Otter Lake - a small lake in the woods on base -  to rent a couple of kayaks. If it's going to rain we might as well be doing an activity where we're going to get wet anyways, right? Thankfully, by the time our vessels were set to go into the water the rain had stopped and the sun was even peeking through the clouds from time to time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cheap Entertainment

Life [in Alaska] is, as the phrase goes, good. Our little family is coming together nicely w/ the addition of Bucket, as is our house w/ the new furniture. While we're enjoying exploring Alaska as much as time allows, we're also adjusting and enjoying married life with each other. Sometimes, at the end of the work day we're both too exhausted to head out to explore. More recently, on these nights we hang around our house and usually find ourselves being entertained by Bosco & Bucket.

The first day we brought Bucket home, both critters were out of their element. Bucket quickly adjusted and is thriving in her new home. She's definitely a part of our family. It's only been in the last 48 hours that Bosco has fully accepted Bucket as a member of his family.

He might have been forced into it a little at first.  This afternoon I put Bosco's collar on and he got excited as he usually does when his collar goes on because it would normally mean we're about to go somewhere fun, but was quickly disappointed as I tied a lump of string to his collar. A herding dog that follows me everywhere but is still slightly terrified of kitten + string tied to his collar + a kitten = an afternoon of laughs.

Ultimately, I think my hysterical torture plan worked in bringing them closer together because this is how they were snuggled up while we ate dinner.
Yes, I think our little family is coming together nicely.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Byron Glacier

The sky was overcast and threatening rain but after taking Saturday to relax for the first time since arriving in Alaska both Brian & I were itching to get out an explore. So we packed up the Subie & headed south.
Our destination today was Byron Glacier. I've been dying to touch a glacier and was pretty psyched to get this close to Byron Glacier. However, this particular glacier is considered a 'hanging glacier' and wasn't safely accessible with the minimal amount of gear we had brought with us.

The trail is a short jaunt down a well maintained path along Byron Creek. The alder and cottonwood forest disappeared at almost exactly 1 mile, leaving us at the base of a mighty snowfield with wonderful views of Byron Glacier.

This seemed like the perfect place to explore the ice caves of the ice field and soak ourselves in the frigid and freshly melted ice of Byron Glacier.

Only after our (mostly my) feet were beginning to cramp from the coldness of the waters did we retreat back down the trail. Before heading home we quickly toured the Begich, Bogg Visitor Center on Portage Lake and photographed this tiny iceberg floating alone.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Smitten Kitten

It's official, were kitten smitten.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Mt. McKinley

Only 1 in 3 people visiting Denali National Park ever actually get to see Mt. McKinley in her entirety. Due to its sheer magnitude, clouds often 'bump into' the mountain and tend to hang around for long periods of time, creating a cover over large parts of the mountain.

So when we woke up to a clear blue sky day Saturday morning we decided to take advantage of it and set our sights on Denali.

The drive was absolutely stunning, the mountain playing peek-a-boo with us the entire time.

Friday, July 04, 2014

4th of July at Winner Creek Trail

It was an absolute stunning day in Anchorage. What better to do on an absolute stunning day off in Alaska than hike? So we packed up the Subie and headed for a trail head about 90 minutes south of Anchorage.

Winner Creek trail partially follows the original Iditarod trail through a plush rain forest that is North America's most northern rain forest.  At the end of this easy hike is a hand tram designed to carry goods and people across the Winner Creek Gorge. This was the turn around point for our hike, but not before taking our turn across the gorge on the hand tram.

Yes, even Bosco crossed the gorge in the tram car, although he was probably the least excited about the stunning views and rushing waters below.

After we returned to the Alyeska resort at the trail head of our hike we trekked straight up the ski hill until we found enough snow for a muddy, but otherwise well constructed annual 4th of July snowman.

Bucket wanted to wish you a happy Independence Day! I hope there were better fireworks that those we had in Alaska (aka the land of unending light).

Thursday, July 03, 2014


Brian & I are insanely similar in so many ways but there are some major contrasts about us as well. One would be our taste in food. We are almost guaranteed to not enjoy the same restaurant to the same level as the other person. Movies would be another since I hate scary movies and this, of course, would be Brian's favorite genre.

In our family I am most certainly a dog person but my husband is a cat person.

I have never been the biggest fan of the feline persuasion but Brian has been wanting a cat for a while now. I asked him to wait until Bosco & I got to Alaska before getting one. Now that we're finally settling into our new home, we began casually searching for the perfect kitten to add to our family.

Tonight, after a short trip to the local Animal Control our newest addition to the family walked into our lives and our hearts.

Introducing Bucket:
**The story behind Bucket's name is this: when my oldest niece was about 3 years old, she was (and still is) obsessed with cats. Not being able to have a real cat herself, she toted around a backpack filled with beanie baby cats instead. All of these cats came with their own names from the manufacturer, but Emily had renamed them all. One day (& I swear I will never forget this day) I asked Emily to tell me her cats names (I had just learned at this point that they all had their own names, and Emily is famous in our family for her unique naming abilities, but that's another story). There was Lillie the white cat, Brownie the dark brown cat, Cousin the light brown cat, Cally the calico, Twin the other, identical calico, Stripey the tiger striped cat and so forth. She was going down the line with seemingly normal cat names when all of the sudden she pulled one of the cats from her bag and proudly announced that it's name was Bucket. I lost it. I have no idea why this struck me as being SO darn funny, but I was crying I was laughing so hard. All the kitties had 'normal' cat names, but this one was Bucket? So after that day, I've always said that if I ever got a cat their name would HAVE to be Bucket. Thankfully, I have a husband with a good sense of humor who let me name our first cat this unusual moniker.