Showing posts with label Alaska. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alaska. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anchorage - MDS pages

Thought you might enjoy my MDS scrapbook pages from our visit in Anchorage.  We flew into and out of Anchorage.  If you click on the pages, you can view them and read the journaling.  I usually have a hard time with journaling on my scrapbook pages but I think that is because I usually wait too late and it is difficult to remember all the details.  I'm trying not to let that happen this time!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Queens Sketch Challenge 42

It's Wednesday, so that means it's time for another sketch challenge from the Stampin' Queens.  One of the things that I love about these sketch challenges, is how versatile the sketches are. Here is this weeks sketch:

I decided to do a card about traveling in honor of my recent Alaska trip.  I used the May 22 download, World Traveler to make this digital card.  I finally got it to download today by turning off my Norton security options.  It wasn't SU's fault - turns out, it was Norton that was blocking it and deleting it since it was a new and quite large download.   So, now can get started scrapbooking my pictues. 

The elements I used with this card are:

Baja Breeze cardstock
World Traveler Photobook Template
Epic Overlays stamp
Travel Log (elements)

Here are the first few pages of my scrapbook that I have done so far. 

Title Page

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I'm home!!  We got back Friday and I've been trying to catch up on my sleep ever since!  We had a slight delay on our return flight - it was delayed several hours.  We were supposed to leave Anchorage at 8:30; instead our flight left at 11:30 making us miss our connection in Houston.  But luckily, we got on a flight leaving Houston at 10:00 am and arrived home around 1:30 p.m. only to find that our car battery was dead!  Welcome home!  We were both exhausted after being awake over 24 hours.  We both only grabbed a couple of hours sleep on the plane.   Saturday, I slept till about 11 a.m. and finally woke Sonny up around 1 pm!! 

My mom ended up having another surgery while I was gone.  She had her first back surgery about a week before I left town.  But, she was still hurting and not progressing like she should have.  So, she went back to the doctor and had an MRI done.  A week later ... when she went back to the dr. for the follow-up, he finally looked at the MRI and saw a mass where the incision was.  So, they sent her over to the hospital and prepped her for surgery on Thursday.  It turned out to be a blood clot pressing up against the nerve.  They kept her over night this time and now that she is home, she is doing much better.  The incision is hurting her, but she seems to be able to get up and around much better than before.  Hopefully, this will do the trick.

I haven't had a chance to do any stamping since I got back home but hope to do some this week to share.  In the meantime, I will share a few more of my Alaska pictures.

We went to Seward on Tuesday which is on the coast and pretty rainy.  It rained the whole time we were there,.  We were scheduled to go on a day long wildlifemand glacier viewing cruise on Wednesday but because of the bad weather, we were only able to go out into Prince William Sound to look at wildlife.  As it turned out, it was a good thing!  The closer we got to the open water, the more my stomach turned.  I never get sea sick, but I have learned to never say never!  I ended up standing out on the back deck in the cool air during most of the trip with the other people who were feeling queasy!  But before I started feeling bad, I was able to see a lot of wildlife - sea otters, lots of bald eagles, porpoises, seals, cormorants,  and puffins but no whales.   The scenery was breath taking with waterfalls and a couple of glaciers.

Enjoy this video of the porpoises that were swimming along side the ship for quite some time. (hope it works!)

Ashley & I at the beginning of the cruise on the ship.  We were all bundled up - that wind was cold!

Sea Otters lounging around on the rocks.  They also "sang" for us!

Sea Otters were posing for us on the top of the rock!

These are Black Legged Kittiwakes.  There were thousands nesting at the end of Cape Resurrection.  They secure their nests to the sheer cliffs.  

End of the day catch - unfortunately, not ours!!

Remember - you can click on the pictures to see them better.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Greetings from North Pole!

On Sunday after we visited the "resort" and ice hotel, we drove to North Pole, Alaska!  It's one of those towns that is typical of Alaskan towns - if you blink, you miss it!  But this one would be hard to miss.  Driving through North Pole in any season you will notice Christmas decorations, street names, and light poles that reflect their motto - "Where the Spirit of Christmas Lives Year Round."  We drove down Santa Claus Lane with giant candy cane light poles and stopped at the Santa Claus House, the official home of Santa Claus himself.  Many of the streets bear holiday names: Santa Claus Lane, Snowman Lane, Kris Kringle, Mistletoe, Holiday Rd., Saint Nicholas Drive, North Star Drive, Blitzen, and Donnor.  Street lights are decorated in candy cane motifs and many buildings are painted with Christmas colors and designs.  Live reindeer, a variety of photo opportunities, and Santa Claus himself are available for photographs.  The only thing missing was the cold weather!  We walked around in long sleeve tees.  It's amazing how warm it has been on our trip - we haven't needed our coats at all.  In fact, most of the time, in our hotel rooms, we have needed air conditioning and not all the hotels have it! 

Reindeer - none of them had a red nose though!!

Mural on outside of the building

I loved this mural on the building!

For over 60 years, they have been sending letters to children all over the world with the North Pole postmark and the assurance to the child that Santa is watching and will be making a visit soon.
We ended the day by returning to Fairbanks and wandering around Pioneer Park which is a themed park emphasizing historic Fairbanks.  It is a really nice 44 acre park that was built for the Alaska Centennial.  The park includes:  the steam train that Pres. Harding rode in when he drove the Golden Spike for the Alaskan railroad; a 40-foot antique carousel; cabins have also been refurbished as close as possible to their original condition and are occupied by local merchants offering an assortment of refreshments, gifts, and Alaskan souvenirs and a riverboat, S.S. Nenana, which once sailed Alaska's rivers, is permanently docked at the park and has a great diorama of the points of call in its heyday. It is  listed as a National Historic Landmark.  They also have a Salmon Bake that is very popular but we didn't have that since we had eaten a huge Chinese lunch about 3:00.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Still no internet access in our room but at least I have it in the lobby and the bar.  So, Sonny and Ashley are planning our next trip for 2013 (train trip through Canada) while I am on the computer.  We are also catching up on laundry .... real exciting stuff!!  We are now in Fairbanks, which is Alaska's 2nd most populated city.  It is not anything real special so far but we just arrived around 5 pm and walked around town and through the Cultural Center.  On Thursday night while at Denali, we took a tour out to a Mush Camp.  It was so interesting.  It is run by Jeff King who is recognized as the "winningest musher in the world."  He has won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race 4 times.  The Iditarod starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome on even years and goes the other way in odd years, covering 1000+ miles and going for approximately 10 days! All of this with the average temps 25 degrees F!!  Not a race for the faint of heart!!  The teams average 16 dogs so that means that about 1,000 dogs are leaving from Anchorage. A red lantern is awarded to the last musher to finish Iditarod. The longest time for a Red Lantern was 32 days, 15 hours, nine minutes and one second by John Schultz in 1973. The quickest Red Lantern musher, Celeste Davis, with a time of 13d 05h 06m 40s.  Jeff told us that he races the dogs for 6 hours, then rests for 6 hours.  He spends 4 1/2 hours while the dogs are resting getting things ready and he only rests for 1 1/2 hours - usually sitting outside in his sled.  He doesn't go inside because it takes 10-15 minutes to get out of his gear and another 10-15 minutes to get back in and by that time, he's wasted 30 minutes.  My question (although I didn't ask it!) was how does he take care of his bodily functions during those 10 days!! 

Aren't these puppies so cute??

Jeff King - looks pretty cold, huh?
Here's a link to information about the race if you are interested.  It is pretty fascinating.

Well, it's 11:00 and they are closing down the bar here in the hotel so heading up to bed! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quick Update from Alaska

This will have to be a quick one!  I didn't get internet last night and we only get it in the lobby today and tomorrow.  We left Anchorage Wednesday a.m. and drove to the "town" of Takeetna.  I say town loosely since it only had 2 streets and looked like a town you would have seen back in the gold rush days!   We walked through town (took about 15 minutes!) and found a bakery that had a sinful cinnamon roll!  Yumm!

From Takeetna, we drove a short distance to board a float plane (10 passenger) that flew us over Mount McKinley and landed us on a glacier.  We got off and walked around.  It was cool!  I thought it would be really icy but it was a really deep snow.  Ashley even got on the ground and made a snow angel.  The weather has been unbelievable and we didn't even need a jacket. 

Making Snow Angels on Mount McKinley!
We also visited a Musk Oxen farm and a Dog Mushing Camp and I will share those pictures later.  We are now at the Princess Lodge at Denaili National Park and will take the shuttle bus onto the park in the morning.  We have our lunch packed and now need to get some sleep to make the 8:30 bus.  Sonny has already left to go back to the room and shower.  Ashley is waiting for me to finish so we can go back and get ready for bed so it's sayonara time for me!  Praying that I will feel better tomorrow.  I am having sinus problems and my throat has been killing me all day.  Last night I took an allergy pill and I have been soooo sleepy all day! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


It's so weird to see the sun just now setting at 11:30 PM!  It is end of our first full day in Alaska.  Anchorage is nothing to brag about, let me tell you!  We took a narrated trolley tour this morning to see what there was to see around the city . ... not much!  Then we took our own walking tour that we found in the Fodor's Guide Book.  It mostly took us to local statues and art around the city.  Anytime that a walking tour takes you through a shopping mall, you should be forewarned!  That was one of the first stops - through the 5th Avenue Mall, with Nortstrom's and Penney's as the anchors.  It was a pretty small mall but is supposed to be the fanciest mall in Alaska.  We went by City Hall, Performing Arts Center, Town Square, and to the Convention Center which had a really great observation deck upstairs where we got great views of the snow covered mountains.  Another cool thing on the tour was the Lightspeed Planet Walk which is a scale model of the solar system in which you walk to the various planets positioned around town at the speed of light.  

Ashley, Sonny & I at Resolution Park near the Captain Cook statue
Wednesday we head to Talkeetna where we will be taking a float plane trip and landing on a glacier!!  Can't wait!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


We're here!  We arrived in Anchorage about 4 pm after about a 4 hour flight from Seattle.  The weather is great!  After checking in at the hotel, we walked a few blocks to Glacier BrewHouse for dinner.  Yum!!  We started with an appetizer of Amber Ale Cheddar Queso that was wonderful.  It had been a long time since breakfast!  Then for dinner, Ashley and I shared a macadamia crusted salmon while Sonny enjoyed King Crab Legs.  Both were delicious.  We strolled back to our hotel, popping in a few gift shops along the way and taking a few pictures.  We have a beautiful view of the Alaskan snow covered mountains from the window.  It is 10:00 pm here now and looks like it is about 4-5:00 outside!  The sun looks like it is behind the mountains but it is plenty light outside.  It is also warm -- 59 degrees right now.  The temps for the week is supposed to be in the low 60s!  We might have packed too warm!  We'll see.  We did bring layers so we'll probably be ok.

view from our motel window

outside a gift shop

Ashley & Sonny