Friday, April 24, 2009

Seward Get-Away!

Well, it has been a few weeks since I last posted, and we definitely have some great pics to share with you from our recent trip down to the Gulf of Alaska area of our newest home state. We spent 4 days in Seward for a marriage retreat and a little family fun as well. It was a great time! The retreat information was a good reminder of the things that we know we should be doing differently and sometimes just aren't making the effort to. It was also a good reminder of just how special and wonderful our marriage really is to us, so overall it was a lift to the spirit of our marriage and family and a renewed hope in always striving to be and do better.
Seward is a very quaint fishing town about 2 hours south of Anchorage. It is very quiet in the winter, but booms in the summer, because of the cruise ships that bring in the tourists. We managed to be there during the "shoulder season" just before the boom starts in May, so it was pretty quiet. We managed to squeeze in some family time when we were not in class, and it was a lot of fun. Seward is very beautiful, and the marine life is abundant. We went out on a whale watching cruise, and although we didn't see any whales, we did see plenty of other marine life. It was well worth the fee just to get out and see Alaska's beauty in a different way. We also were able to get out and get back to one of our favorite family hobbies, geocaching. We haven't done any of it since we got to Alaska, partly because of the snow, but spring has sprung here in Alaska and we can finally get out and find the caches. Yeah!

Here are a few pics from our trip to Seward.

Some caribou we saw on our way down (near Denali National Park).

One of the many mountain ranges between Fairbanks and Anchorage.

This truly is God's Country.

Sea lions we saw resting on "pillow rocks."

Dall's porpoises that were swimming along-side our boat and playing.

Harbor seals.

If you look closely, you can see a white mountain goat on the side of the mountain.

This is "key hole rock".

A sea otter that was just relaxing and taking care of some personal hygiene.

It may be spring in Alaska, but it is still cold.

A trip down along the Gulf of Alaska wouldn't be complete without a pic or two of a Beautiful Bald Eagle. If you look closely, there is a nest to the right of the eagle on the branch and there is actually the eagle's mate and some eaglettes in the nest.

Useless trivia knowledge: Bald Eagles mate for life. Shouldn't we all?!?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Visitors and Frozen Fun!

Well, the military life and the friends you make are an amazing and wonderful thing. This past week we had four visitors from the island of Oahu to our home here in the Great Frozen Frontier! Our dear friend Becky Staley and her children took two military hops and then drove 6 hours from Anchorage to visit us on their spring break. It would have been a bit less of a hassel, but not as much of an adventure if it weren't for the silly volcanoe that was causing issues for flights out of Anchorage up here to Fairbanks.

So, for the past week or so we have been showing Becky and the kids how you can have fun in snow and cold. Her kids have never really experienced winter, as they have lived in Hawaii for the past four years; so we went sledding and tubing and ice skating and to a hockey game and to the ice park and snowmobiling. Wow, what fun we had together! It is always fun to play in the snow, but even more fun when you get to do it with friends.

Here are some pics from our frozen adventures.

She looks like she's going to die! :0)

Jerry's new toy! I have to say it is a lot of fun!