So much has happened in the last two weeks! I was on the Kenai Pensinula for a few days, chaperoning the 6th graders on a science field trip at a space center. The best part about the trip was the 11 hour drive, BEAUTIFUL. The other best part about the trip...eating at 6 different fast food restaurants in 70 hours...
Once we drove past Anchorage, we hit the coastline, and were literally driving about fifteen feet from the water. In the summer months it is not uncommon to see whales blowing their holes! Andrew and I are planning to visit in June and take a whale/glacier cruise in Seward, Alaska.
Here are a few pictures...not the best quality due to the thick-paned bus windows...
So far, we have not seen or heard of one outdoor pool in Alaska. We suspect it has something to do with the permafrost land, but it is still disappointing. Nonetheless, Alaska has some pretty impressive indoor pools...they would stomp on the YMCA facilities...
I arrived back in Fairbanks on a Friday evening, exhausted. On Saturday, I made chocolate eclair pie for our Easter Sunday meal, and we spent the evening decorating eggs and relaxing with our neighbor friends, Greg and Shannon. On Sunday, we joined a few friends at Shannon and Greg's home for an Easter meal...it wasn't the same as being with family but it was definitely second best! Ham, pineapple casserole, cheesy potatoes, pies, the usual Easter grub in PA. I stole this picture off Shannon's blog, our ONLY Easter picture...thank you Shannon!
The weather has been warming up (i.e. 20's, 30's and at times, 40's). Since we are living in a valley and because the sun's position in the sky is closer to the latitude/longitude of our position (something like that), it actually feels much warmer than it really is. Andrew and I like to think that it actually feels 10 to 15 degrees warmer than whatever temperature it really is. So, when it is 30 degrees, it feels warm enough to venture outside without a jacket and be comfortable, really! The ice on the roads has melted, the snow in our backyard is slowly melting, and we are thinking "break up" is here! Break up is when warm weather arrives, snow melts, all the ice breaks apart, and voila, birds chirp, sun shines, and it's SPRING! However, on Wednesday and Thursday, I walked to work in this...
(View from walking out of our neighborhood)
So basically, it's warm, then cold, sunny, then snowy, very unpredictable, and we are just going with the flow. It did snow on June 2nd a few years ago...
A picture for fun...Andrew with my friend's tiniest, most adorable, chihuahua puppy! She maybe weighs in at a pound and half.
We are up to fourteen hours and thirty minutes of daylight a day! Daylight increases by about seven minutes a day. Tonight, it will not be dark until 10:00 and even then, it is still a dark blue, twilight-looking sky. We are welcoming summer with open arms!
Our summer essentials: fire pit, a table and chairs, great friends, a grill, warm weather, and light all night!
Yesterday, I hosted a surprise baby shower for my friend, Stefanie. With seven friends, it was a great little party to celebrate the newest addition to the family, and to shower the mom with some baby gifts! I didn't find my camera until halfway through the shower so I only have a few pictures of the events. Shannon took a few of the set-up so I'll have to grab them off her!
Aubree and Shannon Looking Cute
Had to play the "guess the girth of the tummy with toilet paper..."
Tonya's awesome homemade, no-sewing involved blanket
Shannon was a game winner!
I tried my hand at making a diaper cake, something that Andrew fondly calls a dodo cake! It is a fun and practical thing to make for a mom-to-be. The diapers are centered around bottles of baby lotion, or shampoo, then the diapers are rubber-banded, tied with pretty ribbon, add a few cute details, place on a platter, and you have yourself a non-edible, and never would want to eat, diaper cake!
(The adorable mom-to-be, due June 21st...but we have a feeling he will be here sooner than that!)
I recently booked my plane ticket home to Pennsylvania! I'll be flying into Pittsburgh on May 14th, and flying out of Harrisburg on May 27th. I am very excited to see my family and friends, do LOTS of shopping (I'm bringing a half-empty suitcase home), visit the Farmer's Market and other hometown landmarks, enjoy the consecutive days of warm weather, and sit on my front porch for hours!
Also, I did the math this morning. We have lived here for 4 months, so we are officially 1/9 done with living in the last frontier! Life is moving quickly and there is never a dull moment! We love living here but it is a far travel from our family...can't even get home without taking a red-eye flight!
Alaska is a very interesting place with VERY interesting people. I've never even visited a place like Alaska, nonetheless lived there! Before moving here, I was talking with a woman, who lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for seven years. Not knowing I was moving there WITH a husband, she told me, The odds are good (for finding a man), but the goods are odd! I couldn't agree more with her comment after living here for four months. You just need to visit to see what I mean...
To end this post with a little Alaska humor, here is a sign I read in a dingy little gas station outside of Denali. We see these things daily and they are sure to crack some smiles.