Sunday, July 28, 2013

Savannah and Ethan's Alaska Adventure: Week One

Savannah and Ethan came to Alaska to visit Grandma and Grandpa this summer! They arrived on Tuesday, July 9 and returned to Utah on Tuesday, July 23. We were so sad to see them go but we had such a great time while they were here. A few of the highlights of the first week were:          Flying to Alaska: sorry about the bad photo. Its the only one we got. 
Shortly after they arrived we all got settled into our little apartment we were staying in at Elmendorf AFB. It was great because we were able to watch the jets fly around!That afternoon we went to see "Monsters University" which was pretty good.
On Wednesday we did some shopping while Grandpa was working for a few hours. We stopped by Central Market, a fun Asian grocery store and found fun things like chop sticks and can coated fennel and other treats.
Had lunch with Grandpa at Pizza Man in Eagle River!  It's our favorite!

That afternoon we hiked (walked through my favorite neighborhood in Anchorage) to Westchester Lagoon and playground. The bike trail was closed for renovation so we went another way.

That evening, Savannah and I had a quick girl trip to the mall to visit the new Sephora store that recently opened and The Body Shop, Nordstrom, and some other must do's! There's just never enough time to shop!

Thursday morning we boarded the Coastal Explorer for Seward. We boarded bright and early at about 6:30 am. We rode in the special Gold Star cars with the glass top view so we could see everything so clearly. We took the train to Seward two years ago and loved it so much that we wanted to do it again. And it was just as much fun the second time! We love trains!

Breakfast on the train is a special treat! Yummy stuffed french toast, bacon, fruit and juice.
We ran into some friends from Anchorage who work for the train and they took tons of pictures of the kids! He writes for the Railroad magazine so maybe they will end up in a future issue!
If that wasn't enough for one day, we decided to hike out to to Tonsina Point that afternoon. It was the most beautiful day and the hike was wonderful.
The beach was a sweet treat! We just love our beaches. It was a very low tides and there were lots of families out there enjoying the sun and the sand.
 On Friday we boarded the Star of the Northwest for our Kenai Fjords Resurrection Bay tour.
Shortly after we headed out into the bay we saw a pod of 8 orca whales! It was quite a spectacular display. Fortunately, they were just swimming and diving and not attacking and eating anything. It was a wonderful sighting. we also saw humpback whales, Dall's porpoises, sea lions, otters, puffins and all kinds of birds, jellyfish, salmon, eagles, and some said they even saw a bear, but that was unconfirmed so it doesn't count. It was an amazing day to be on the water.

We opted to skip the on board Salmon and prime rib dinner because it's not very good! So after the trip we went to Christo's for yummy pizza and salad! A double date night with the kiddies!

On Saturday we went to the SeaLife Center. It's very different now than it was when I worked there over 10 years ago. There are a lot of new animals and displays and it's much more interactive. A big improvement! And here is Woody swimming by Savannah. He's over 1700 pounds now.

Outside the center is a statue of Balto, the famous dog.
Sunday morning was church and a walk around town. The weather was beautiful every day. We had Savannah's favorite salmon dinner that evening.

Monday morning was apple pancakes for the kids!
An afternoon walk with a stop by the ice cream stop!
And the candy store where Jenny worked summers as a teenager. Bags of saltwater taffy were the treat of the day!
That evening we walked to the beach in Seward and played around. It was a very low tide and the kids were checking out something on the beach they had erected the day before. It was still there. Ethan is standing on old pilings from the beach front that were destroyed in the 1964 earthquake.
So this sums up the first week of vacation. I will get busy on the second week asap! It was so great to have them come and visit and we miss them very much!


Jenny said...

They are so lucky! You're the coolest grandparents ever.

Cathy Harrell said...

I have the sweetest family ever!