Sunday, July 31, 2016

River, Sea, Earth, and Coffee.

The whole duration of Kate's stay was spent mostly in the outdoors. If you're from here, you know that the "thing to do" on a daily basis would basically include doing something outside. We live in one of the most scenic and untouched lands and it would be a crying shame not to see nature's beauty at its finest. Luckily, even though Kate comes from the city, she was game to get down and dirty with the earth.

Whether it was taking an evening boat ride on the Kenai River chasing rainbows, or hanging out on the Homer Spit making beach jokes (we both like white beaches, black beaches, and walking all over beaches), we were together enjoying Alaska and reminiscing about all manner of things. 

It's easy to get lost here. To forget about your phone, disappear awhile, and just be at peace, in the present, experiencing a sense of solitude you can't get anywhere. 

And even though I live here, I play tourist in all the stores, collecting Alaskan souvenirs, taking pictures everywhere, and being proud of this place I am lucky enough to call home. And it's even better to play tour guide, for I always appreciate things I had never thought of before. It's seeing things with new eyes. Rivers, seas, earth, and of course, coffee.

Welcome back to Alaska, Kate...

A walk through nature...

Kate and I were nervous about being too late for a river cruise, but turns out, it was timed perfectly with the rainbow that appeared before us.

We've literally BEAN to every coffee shop on the Peninsula. At least, the ones worth going to..

Both of us with our fancy cameras trying to figure out the proper angle.. Thanks for the candid, Dad.

Kate, you mocha me happy.

Seriously, how could you not enjoy company with someone with a sense of humor like this?

Spending time at some of Alaska's most prominent beaches..

And of course my dad came along to check out this particular beach. (you have to say beach like b**** and the connotation sounds so much funnier)

An empty table for two. Until next time, Kate!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sew Much Fun in Seward.

Another week has gone by here in the Great North. Gone are the toasty days filled with fishermen and tourists and in comes one of my best friends: Kate.

Kate is from Arizona (we met my junior year in high school) and this is her second time up here. I guess we made a good impression on her the first time because she is back and ready to experience more of this beautiful state.

Well what better way to experience the great outdoors than to kayak on the ocean along the coastlines of Seward? I've kayaked with Sunny Cove four times already, and yet I always get excited to come back. Nature is full of surprises and you never know what adventure awaits!

Anyhow, we ended up kayaking ten miles, including a four mile hike down to South Beach, which is where the troops stationed at Caine's Head Island stayed during WWII, and aside from the multiple porpoises we saw whilst paddling, we happened to come across a black bear during our lunch spot on South Beach. Now that is something that even I don't see every day!

It was neat to experience this with Kate, for I not only got to see some new sights, but it made me appreciate Alaska even more. The more I leave, the more my desire to return becomes. It's an incredibly spectacular place to live and I feel even more appreciative when I'm showing it to visiting friends.

Alaska, you have my heart.

You know I can't resist a good pun!

All of these pictures were taken on a Sanyo underwater camera that had a defective screen, so I didn't actually know what any of the photos looked like until I plugged the camera in! Now I know what it must have felt like back then... the thrill of the surprise.

The water in Kachemak Bay: perfection. Smooth and flat.

Something else I relished about this trip: the rich greenery. Because Seward gets an average of eighty inches of rainfall per year, the forests are the most luscious, vibrant, and healthy. Breathing in their air can compare to no other and the supply of natural plants (including salmonberries and blueberries) truly is remarkable.

Kate has a fancy for devil's lcub.

Lookin' a little high of that seaweed...

Just check out those roots!

Lunch at misty South Beach.

And if you look closely, a black bear!

My smile couldn't even begin to tell you how much fun I had! Nor could the sore muscles I had the day later..

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Smokin' in Soldotna.

I don't think I can accurately attest that I've ever had a hotter sleep.

This past week has had Alaskans reeling from this wave of heat that has struck the Peninsula. Temperatures have itched in the upper seventies and every day, we've been outside in the bare minimum, enjoying this beautiful summer weather.

It also means that rooms are warmer, especially in the eves. And because the sun doesn't set until past eleven, our rooms have been toasting well into the night.

Yes, last night, I was tossing and turning with bare skin and windows wide open, unable to escape the heat. I guess there's a first time for everything!

Anyhow, with the summer sun comes all of my summer outfits from their winter hibernation. Summer prints, skinny straps, and all of my fine vintage hats. Did I just rhyme? This time of year also brings all the dip-netters down from other parts of Alaska, and so town is pretty much an LA freeway. 

With all of this, I have gotten an influx of comments from passing tourists and friends of mine that go a little something like this:

"Well you're awfully dressed up for Soldotna. Were you raised here?"
"Why so dressed up? You going for afternoon tea in the English Countryside or the Kentucky Derby?"
"This is Alaska, you don't have to dress to impress anyone."

Oh I have been getting that for the majority of my life here in Alaska. "You're wearing jeans? You're now dressed like a normal person!" And I nod and smile and refuse to let it bother me because where you're from does not dictate how you dress. It's inside of you. My personal style is no reflection of my hometown because I dress as opposite as this place does. My personal style comes from within and I enjoy wearing pearls to the grocery store and donning vintage hats with netting when I go to the fishing beaches because it makes me feel good.

Yes, I may not fit in, but I've never been good at that anyway.

Smokin' (my candy cigarette) in Soldotna...

This is one of my favorite parts of dressing up:  Moscow Mules on the chairlift.

What I wore: vintage hat with netting, rhinestone earrings (vintage), black rhinestone studded sunglasses (consignment), blue and white Ted Baker Italy dress ( I loved my job there!), and blue sparkly Ted Baker purse (consignment).