Thursday, September 30, 2010

Looking at leaves...

Alaskan falls are so short but amazingly beautiful. I love the contrast between the yellows and greens.
Matthias took this last picture, which I think is the very best one.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm getting old...

Here I am, about to turn 28...don't be fooled by the one candle:
We shared a delicious piece of peanut butter pie from the Moose's Tooth and it got a little mangled on the road but it still tasted divine.

Matthias took me to my favorite spot after we had dinner (which was a Hawaiian pizza from the Moose's Tooth--best Hawaiian pizza I've ever had, hands down). He looks pretty handsome in this picture, if you ask me:

It's a little spot at a viewpoint off the Seward Highway (a highway leading from Anchorage to Seward, some of it being right on the coast) called Beluga Point. It's a great place to watch the sunset and relax.
So that's what we did my birthday night. But what I had originally requested for a daytime activity had to be postponed until Thursday, the 26th, because that was the first day the State Fair was open. It was perfect, sunny weather the whole day.
Matthias really liked these trucks...it's too bad our little boy couldn't appreciate them with him. I tried to act really excited but didn't do a good job of it probably. I thought I'd make up for my lack of enthusiasm by taking a picture of him surrounded by them.
Of course one of the best parts of the AK state fair is their record-setting produce. Here's some highlights:
We were surprised to see the Anchorage Temple displayed, all made of sugar cubes:
There were a couple of shows we went to as well. Here are some pictures from the Lumberjack Show. They do a few competitive games between the lumberjacks and make a lot of corny jokes.
And the bird show....very interesting. Apparently the bird show man had a frustrating time in Alaska and vented in a later show that a few of our friends attended. He had a few problems with the birds obeying with the one we watched but it was the first one and we figured they were probably just getting warmed up. Well, the bird man continued to have problems I guess and blamed it on the horrible Alaska rain and said he was never coming back. It's too bad, really. I don't think it's Alaska's fault.
He tried to collect some money at the end of the show with these bright-colored birds. It worked pretty well for a minute or two until they all decided to fly away, ending the show abruptly with him chasing them down.
Plotting their escape:
The largest type of vulture that exists:
The best part of any fair is the food, in my opinion. We had our traditional corn dogs and cheese curds. And I had a very timely low blood sugar reaction that resulted in this delicious indulgence:
Don't worry, I didn't eat the whole cream puff. Matthias enjoyed some if it, too. Man, was it good. We also went to a class (thanks, Matthias, for undulging me) that taught you how to make Almond Joys. I'm excited to try them out at home. Overall, a very successful day at the fair. We were only sorry we didn't get to see a group called "Shey-Laurel" (I hope I'm spelling that right). We've seen them the past two years here and they are something else. A family band with some head-banging daughters who over-animate their faces and a dad who makes some of the worst jokes I've ever heard. It's quite a show and we missed it this year. One can only hope that we can report differently next time.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

We discovered my new favorite place in Alaska: Valdez (see this link for more info on where/what it's all about: http://www.valdezalaska.org/) It is about a 6-7 hour drive from Anchorage and one of the prettiest drives we've taken anywhere up here. On the way in and out you can stop to see a glacier (see first two pictures below) as well as amazing waterfalls (also, see waterfall pictures below). We camped for a few nights in the beginning of July and probably the highlight was the day cruise we took on a boat called the LuLu Belle. Totally recommend this particular cruise to anyone who comes to visit us or comes to visit AK in general. It was the first cruise where we saw whales in the "wild"! We also saw puffins, sea lions, sea otters, and glacial ice. Here are the pictures:
This waterfall is called Horsetail waterfall and is just off the highway before you drive into Valdez:
This is called Bridal Veil Falls...kind of interesting since there is a Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon that I grew up going to.
We saw several whales, including a mom and her baby, and followed them around for a bit. Unfortunately it was so rainy this was the best picture I could get without ruining the camera:
So here's another plug for coming to visit us in Alaska! We will take you to Valdez and all your dreams will come true.