Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Weekend

Well we made it through Irene and we never lost power, thank goodness! For the most part it just seemed like lots of wind and rain but Rosie did hide out in my closet all weekend long. I put one of her beds in there but apparently my bin full of scarves was much more cozy :)
Being sequestered in our apartment all weekend got really old really quickly but I did manage to do a few projects :)
I ordered these decals from Etsy months ago but this was my second attempt at actually getting them up on the wall. The first time I thought I could do it using just the level on my Iphone.....wrong! I had to buy a large straightedge so that I could actually line these up across the wall, I did still use my Iphone level though :)
I also finished knitting a blanket that I've been working on since around Christmas! Silly me thought one color would be boring and that I could just revise a pattern to fit what I wanted, wrong again. Although this is only two colors the way it's knitted I actually had six balls of yarn going at the same time! It got incredibly frustrating to untangle all of that mess every few rows.
I just finished knitting the blanket, I haven't sewn in all the loose ends yet so it's still not quite done but soooo much closer :)
It was quite a week with an earthquake on Tuesday (which I did not feel) and a hurricane on Sunday, who would have imagined such things in NYC. I'm looking forward to a nice calm, uneventful Labor Day weekend :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Alaska Wrap Up

Here's the wrap up of the rest of the activities we did while in Alaska. We were pretty non stop with activities but what's the point of being in Alaska if you're not going to really experience it :)

Wednesday we went salmon fishing in a river. I have no idea which river it was, sorry. I've been fishing plenty of times but this was definitely my first time wearing waders and standing in the river to fish. It was rainy most of the day and just a tiny bit chilly in the water!
We didn't let that get us down though and it was a lot of fun. Apparently this time of year the salmon aren't hungry and are really only swimming up the river to spawn. Standing in the water you could see dozens of fish just feet in front of you and you could watch them swim out of the way of the lure. It was a little crazy! 
I distinctly remember we went fishing on Wednesday because it was my birthday. Unfortunately I didn't catch a fish on my birthday but it was still lots of fun and my sweet sister-in-law baked a strawberry cake (my fave) for me :) 
The rest of the week we managed to do a little 4-wheeler riding in the valley behind the house. 
The boys did more hiking.
 The girls even managed to fit in a spa day while the boys hiked :)
Overall it was a fantastic trip and it definitely lived up to any expectations I had of a trip to Alaska! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I've always wanted to see a glacier, especially since there's all the concern over how global warming will impact them. While we were in Alaska I definitely got to see all kinds of glaciers and they were pretty fantastic!

Early in the week we drove out to hike around on the Matanuska glacier which was amazing, apparently it is the largest glacier accessible by car in the US. From the car there was a little bit of a hike to get to the part that actually looked like a glacier, I'm pretty sure we were walking on ice the whole time but it felt like another planet or at least more along the lines of a rock quarry :) 
You couldn't really appreciate the glacier until you got up close to it, it's absolutely massive (something like 4 miles wide!) and the texture on the ice is incredible!
The ice also has a blue quality and sometimes looks like its glowing. The blue color has something to do with the compression and how far the light waves absorb into the ice. It looks even more blue on overcast days.

You can also see it was a bit chilly as I'm wearing a scarf in August :)
It was really neat to see how water carves through the glaciers. There are also little pock marks on the surface where rocks have heated up in the sunlight and then slowly melted down into the ice. The whole glacier was so diverse and like a giant playground for us to explore!
If walking around on the Matanuska glacier wasn't enough later in the week we went on a glacier cruise. We drove to Whittier and got on a boat to tour the glaciers in the Prince William Sound. The boat ride out to the glaciers was beautiful!
And it provided lots of wildlife sightings :)
We saw seals and sea otters everywhere. There was also a mountain goat sighting but they were so far up the mountain you could only see them with binoculars. I took a picture but it just looks like white blurs in the greenery. Instead, here's a picture of a few of the multitude of sea otters.
Once we got closer to the glaciers it was so overcast and foggy that it almost felt mystical.
See what I mean about the crazy blue color!
The cruise we were on was called the 26 glacier cruise so we got to see plenty of glaciers. Definitely an awesome experience :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Animals in Alaska

First stop on the tour of animals in Alaska was the musk ox farm which happens to be located right in Palmer where John's mom and step dad live. It was a little rainy but the musk ox didn't seem to mind :)
The farm is a domestication project so they let the visitors feed the musk ox. Its funny because we were just feeding them grass which of course is everywhere but they enjoyed being hand fed.
We even got to feed the babies. Each year they name the calves with a theme, this year's theme was cities and there happened to be a calf named Little Rock! How funny to be in Alaska and feeding a baby musk ox named Little Rock :)
Next on the tour of animals was the reindeer farm which was so much fun! We started by just driving past it on our way to climbing the butte near by. The girl portion of our party got tired halfway up the butte and decided to go back to the reindeer farm while the boys climbed on, definitely a good choice on our part :)
As you can see we got to feed the reindeer. They are so used to being fed that they swarm you and will try and keep you from feeding other reindeer. The farm even tells people to signal with their hands up so that the reindeer know you're out of food!
The reindeer farm also had elk and moose that we fed.
Dolly the bison was the only one we didn't feed but she didn't mind because she liked to have her back scratched :)
Just so I don't leave the boys out, here's a picture from the top of the butte they hiked. You can see tiny specs on the bottom left side, those are the reindeer!
John decided that seeing all those animals didn't count as wildlife because they were in pens. He was holding out to see a moose in the wild but no such luck. We did see wild salmon when we went fishing but that's another story :)

***I almost forgot that Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs did an episode at the reindeer farm, you can view clips here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


The first week in August John and I went to Alaska to visit family. It's taken a little while to get back in the swing of things after being gone for a week and I'm not sure where to even start writing; the trip was so fun and Alaska was absolutely beautiful!
The weather was in the 60's for the most part which was absolutely fantastic since this summer has been really hot in NYC. I know it hasn't been anything close to the heat in the South but keep in mind we don't have central air :)

Apparently the cooler summer makes for perfect weather for flowers. We walked around downtown Anchorage the first day we got into town and there were really great flower beds everywhere. 
It also happened to be national dance day and there was a dance demonstration in the downtown square but I didn't get any pictures, I was more enthralled by the flowers :)
Overlooking Anchorage is Chugach State Park which is the third largest state park in America. We only spent a little bit of time there and really just hiked up a little ways so we could see Anchorage.  
John's brother Justin and his wife Andrea came up from Arkansas too. It was so fun to get to spend time with lots of family!
My favorite things we did in Alaska were the visit to the reindeer farm and the glaciers. I have tons of pictures from both so more on those later :)