Archive for the 'Alaska' Category

Tera & Co: My visit to Alaska

I just spent a week in Alaska visiting my sis and nieces, Isabella and Olivia.  I did also see Brian for one day – but he had to leave for work.

Micah couldn’t come with me this time, but I have the time to take off – and boy did I need it!!

It was less a vacation, and more about just spending some time with my nieces and helping Tera out since she was playing single mom for a week.  I definitely got to experience first hand all the joys, smiles, laughter, and fun of those two little girls.  I also got to experience all the crying, whining, feedings, changings, and disciplining too.  Whoa…not an easy job!! (And to clarify, I’ve NEVER thought it was!!)

Fortunately, it never snowed while I was there.  It was a little cold, but nothing too bad that kept us holed inside for too long. 

Isabella showing off her new outfit from Costco aka home away from home.

We also did some exercising.  I taught Isabella how to do pushups and jumping jacks (sort of). 

I picked up some new PJs for Isabella – and Olivia already had the same ones!

We went on some walks…

…and did some shopping (which isn’t easy when you’ve got two kids in tow).

Olivia was crawling like crazy.  She’s going to be walking soon…or perhaps running.  Smile

We rode bikes…

…we practiced eating all our dinner before getting any dessert…on our faces.

And since I was using a cheat Sweet Day – we made some delicious and easy pumpkin whoopie pies!

Isabella LOVED helping out.  She still remembers (a week later), that “you frost, and I put it into a sandwich”

jump zone

We had TONS of fun sliding down the long inflatable slide.  And Olivia loved crawling around the colorful carpet.

We ended our time at the most wonderful place…a HUGE chocolate fountain!

In addition to all this, there was lots of singing, watching Dora and YouTube kid’s videos, eating delicious crab dinner, and nightly dancing/jumping/wheelbarrow.  We even got a chance to Skype with Grandma and Grandpa Rooney.

Frosty fun on our Alaskan adventure…and frozen fingers too

We went to Alaska for Christmas!!!  We had such a great time!  Naturally, as dictated by the geography and climate of the region – it was freaking cold!

When we were telling our friends about spending Christmas in Alaska, it reminded me very much of this part in the movie The Proposal.  I love this part. 

We flew up on Thursday and Brian picked us up at the airport in Anchorage.  As soon as we stepped off the plane, we were greeted with cold, thick air and beautiful snowy landscapes.

polar bears

Of course, we needed to get some pics with the native wildlife roaming the airport.

 

Isabella was already in bed by the time we got to the house.  But the next morning, she was all smiles.  It hardly took her any time at all to warm up to us (which is drastically different than a few months ago).

Isabella (19 months) and Aunty Lisa.

 

It was so fun playing with her and watching how much she has grown.  She’s ridiculously smart and is in the “copy” stage – so we had to watch our mouths for sure.  (She did pick up “darn it” from me – and easily incorporated it into her vocabulary.) Smile

On Friday, Christmas Eve, we drove out to a reindeer farm.  As we were nearing the farm, we kept seeing the thermometer reading keep dropping and dropping.  It was somewhere near –12 degrees (F) at the farm.  HOLY CRAP!  That’s definitely the coldest weather I’ve been in, let alone, walked around in.

We prepared as best we could with multiple layers, scarves, gloves, hats, and those handwarmers that you shake up.  But it doesn’t take long before you feel the freeze!

reindeerfarm

There was this moose there.  A very friendly moose with one antler.  He liked to give little moose kisses.

 

Time to meet the reindeer!

FYI: Reindeer are essentially the same as caribou.  But of the domesticated variety.  And unlike deer, both males and females grow antlers.  Also, during the winter months, all the males lose their antlers.  So, all those flying reindeer helping Santa spread cheer throughout the world…they are females! Smile

 

After our little reindeer lesson inside the cabin, we each headed out with a little jar full of reindeer food.  And then, cue the reindeer! 

The farm had about 120 reindeer.  They breed them up there and many of them get shipped off…and made into reindeer sausage.

Micah is feeding Comet…wait, that’s Cupid…er..Vixen!

Once they know you’ve got the food, they have a tendency to swarm.  They won’t bite you, but watch out – I don’t think it would feel so nice to be poked in the eye by an antler.

Isabella got to ride one.  I think she was probably too cold to realize how awesome it was!! 

By this time, my fingers were about to fall off.  But I managed to take a picture of Micah and I – complete with my frozen hair strands, and frozen nose boogers.

The reindeer farm was probably the highlight of our Alaskan adventure.  Seriously, it was too cold to do much else.  Instead, we stayed inside the house and did lots of lounging, movie watching, Isabella-entertaining, and eating!!!  We not only had a delicious crab dinner, but a very yummy prime rib dinner too.  Soooooo delish!!

Doing some exploring of touristy Anchorage shops.

And you can’t forget about Christmas!  I didn’t have any Christmas morning pics on my camera, but it was really fun watching Isabella open her presents.  She actually got the hang of it too…and was ripping and tearing wrapping paper.  And customary for a child that age, she was OVERWHELMED with all the new toys, books, etc.  But she definitely had fun playing with them all. 

Lounging in our matching faux-Snuggies playing some Settlers of Catan. 

We flew back to Seattle on Monday afternoon.  It was sad to say goodbye, but we were welcomed with rainy mid-40 degree weather – and it felt warm!

The next time we go back to Alaska…it’ll need to be during the summer.  Micah and I couldn’t hack it up there in the tundra!


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