Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Our Alaska adventure was wonderful as you can see from the photos. Of course, they are all scenic, I don’t take too many with people in them because no one ever wants to get their picture taken. Some of the highlights of the trip include:

  1. Meeting his son and his girlfriend – this was really a treat as we have talked on the phone. He reminded me of his father when we dated years ago. His hair, facial expressions, walk, talk, kindness, sweetness, his eyes, his smile. Pretty neat! He’s a wonderful young man and such a joy. His girlfriend is very nice and they seem to get along so good. I hope things work out for them and they don’t make the same mistake his father and I did so long ago!  learn from our mistake!!

  2. The daylight hours fascinated me. They were so short – and I guess they’ll get shorter before winter is over. Sunrise around 10:30 am, but it takes until about 11 am for daybreak to be completed, then sunset actually starts around 2:30 pm and takes about an hour for the sun to fully set. The sunset is phenomenal, beautiful pinks, oranges and reds in the sky for an hour or more.

  3. It wasn’t as cold as I expected. In fact, it was colder in Cincinnati when I was visiting there, than it was in Alaska during our visit. 30s during the day, 20s at night. Not a lot of wind, so it wasn’t too cold. We went walking around quite a bit and I was very comfortable. My feet stayed very warm in my UGGs! Thanks honey!!

  4. Fantastic shopping mall downtown. It had many wonderful shops, was about 6 floors or so, beautifully decorated and very well laid out  -  very modern. I really liked it better than most malls I’ve been to in California. We went into a shop that sold artists works. Everything from paintings to jewelry to windchimes to handbags and more. Things were reasonably priced and very beautiful. He surprised me with a wonderful Butterfly choker necklace and earrings. They are gold with red and pink inlays and gems. Very nice. He has GREAT taste!!

  5. Fur shop – the first time I’ve ever been in a fur store. I hate to admit, but I think I touched just about everything in the store. I just couldn’t resist. I didn’t try on a coat – was too afraid I’d like it too much and the expense!! Wow! But I did try on a pair of really nice gloves, rabbit fur lined. If we lived somewhere colder, I would have bought either those or sheepskin gloves. This fur store was so cool, they even had fur under garments – bras, thongs and men’s strap!

  6. History Museum – this was very interesting. There was a special exhibit on the history of Alaska which started 10,000 years ago. They showed the different Indian tribes, the parts of the state where they lived, how they lived, fished, hunted, housing, clothing, etc. I always had the impression that Eskimos were the main tribe in Alaska, but I found out that this was not the case. They were only one among all of the tribes to inhabit this part of the earth. The history went through the Russian inhabitation and then later when the US colonized Alaska. I didn’t realize how important Alaska was to us during WW2, of course it makes sense, but I just never thought about it or didn’t pay attention during that lesson in American History. The museum as a whole was very different from most museums that I have visited. All the art was done by Alaskan artisans from all different eras. Most of the paintings were either of fisherman, hunters or Mt. McKinley, a few were of Indian men and women.

  7. Mt. Alyeska Ski Resort – Outstanding!! The view from the bar was magnificent. The place was hopping with skiers and snow boarders. It stays open 24 hours per day during the winter. There are so many quaint little cabins, bed & breakfasts, a grand hotel, and guest rooms in houses. The weather was perfect, not too cold, enough snow and everyone appeared to be having a great time. I enjoyed watching everyone on the slopes.

  8. Restaurants -  We ate at the resort at Mt. Alyeska. Halibut………YUMMY! It was so wonderful. We also ate at a barbque place, chicken and ribs (you know I ate the chicken) – it was ok, but not my favorite. The next night we ate at  Garcia’s Brewhouse. Wonderful!! Brewed beer selection like Watson Brothers in Cincinnati, menu selection like Pomadori’s and Montgomery Inn and Watson Brothers all combined. Ambiance was wonderful and prices were not bad. I was very impressed. Dinner & drinks for 5 was like $83, not bad at all.  

  9. Seward – we drove the new Seward Highway through the mountains with the goal of spending some time in Seward. Seward is a fishing harbor town. I heard tales of crabs that are as big as truck tires!!  The drive there was very scenic, so a lot of my pictures were taken on the highway. While driving through the mountains it started snowing pretty hard. The roads got slick and slushy, a road crew was out plowing, a car was overturned on the side of the road. He was loving driving in the snow, I was content just watching it! I tried to take some pictures of the snow falling, but it’s not too easy. So if they look kind of blurry, maybe there were the snow shots. Anyway, we got to Seward, it was very quaint. Reminded me of a New England town.

  10. Glacier – he tried to show me a glacier on the way back from Seward, but unfortunately it was too early in the season or the weather had not cooperated but it wasn’t in the viewing area. I don’t know much about the glacier or where it is if it wasn’t in the inlet. So, please don’t ask!

  11. Movie – we went to see Syriana while there. It was too boring for me. Sorry, Clooney, but this one was not a good movie to me.

  12. Eagle River – very nice suburban area outside of Anchorage. It reminded me of some parts of Cincinnati some years back. in a growth mode, still small but much larger than just 10 years ago. Lots of shopping, restaurants, churches, homes, apartments. I always wonder where everyone works though. hmmm.

Prices for apartments, homes, trucks, restaurants, hotels, movies and stores at the mall – all average and comparable to Cincinnati prices. Gas was as high as in California – let’s see – Alaska Pipeline…..gas prices high…..hmmm. Grocery prices were higher and produce is definitely expensive.

Overall, it was a great place to visit. I’d like to go again in the summer to experience the green. But I loved it and enjoyed our stay. The Ramada Inn downtown (east 3rd and Barrow) deserves a shameless plug! It was reasonable, newly remodeled, very nice and looked just like it did on the website. The room was beautiful, the bed was comfortable and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The continental breakfast was much more and delicious! Thanks!

No comments: