Monday, December 12, 2011

Blizzard and Packing Almost Done

We had a blizzard warning here in Anchorage last night. Tons of beautiful snow was dumped on us. It's quite beautiful! And it's still snowing.

You can click on any of these pictures and see a much larger version of it with more detail.
They even closed the schools today. Wow. Alaska closing school for a snow day. That's rare.

Yes, Bonnie is watching Harry Potter... again....

Thursday is our moving day. It won't be long now.

I've got all of our clothes packed in the suitcase.

Most of my craft items are packed. :( I left out my Cricut Expression and paper so I can play up until the last minute if I need a break from packing.

Most of the kitchen is packed except for the pots and pans (which I shall get to after posting this).
For the rest of the week it's paper plates and sandwiches.

Any food we have left in the pantry is going to charity. Tom's work is collecting food for those in need. I love being able to help out in this way. 

Our neighbor has agreed to take any foods we have in the frig and freezer. I'd much rather give it to someone who will use it than just throw it in the garbage and waste it.

Bonnie is ready to go! She wants to see her brother and sisters again, and her nephews.

We were going to surprise my parents, but I'm weak, I ended up telling them last week. Mama is glad I told them. Plus I was worried they would get worried if they couldn't reach me by phone for several days. (We usually turn our phones off while in Canada instead of paying for that extremely expensive service.)

Tom is going at lunch today to get tire chains even though we already have snow tires on the truck.

We are trying to take every precaution. It's rather dangerous to drive on the Alaska Highway in the winter if you aren't prepared. And absolutely no night driving for us since the animals use the roads more in the winter and because of the little to no visibility with snow blowing.

Please say a prayer of safety for us. I'll be so happy to re-enter into the United states and get on an Interstate again.

Here is our plan. This is just a plan - it may take a lot longer than we've put in this schedule.

If anyone is interested, you can go the the link below and see where we are on our trip.

I'll check back in when we get home and get internet hooked back up.

Have a Merry Christmas and a very fun, creative day!
:) Janis

Thursday, December 8, 2011

South Carolina In Our Forecast

We have so enjoyed being back here in Alaska and the beautiful snow that has been showering down so often. I just don't remember it snowing this often the last time we were here.  Next Thursday, December 15th, we will be moving back to South Carolina. Our 3 month vacation here has been simply awesome, but it's time to get back to the south and most of our family. We hope to make it back by Christmas. Driving in the winter on the Alaskan Highway is not ideal, but doable. It will take us a few days longer on this trip since Tom will not be driving at night on the Alaskan Highway - that's just too dangerous with "white outs" and all the animals using the roads during the winter instead of staying in the snow filled woods and byways.

We are excited that we will be spending Christmas Day at our daughter, Keri's, home with her family. Watching our grandson opening his Christmas presents is going to be a blast!

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center Adventure

Last weekend we got 10 inches of snow! LOVING IT! This week it has continued to snow on and off almost every day. This morning it's very white outside because the snow falling is so thick and heavy. For me, this snowfall and scenery just doesn't get old.

This is the bridge beside our apartment that leads to the park, pond, and connects to one of the many walking trails around town.  Bonnie's favorite thing to do is drag her hand along the railing while walking so that the snow falls down. LOL

On Sunday we visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. They've started a new deal-e-o where if you have a Museum Membership (which we do) you can get in free the first Sunday every month. We really enjoyed it and are already planning on going again the first Sunday in December!

As you can see below... there are tons of animals to drive around and see. Of course there is also lots of pull off parking places to get out and get a closer look. But be sure and NOT touch the fence around the bears or you'll get a nice large SHOCK! (No, we didn't touch it.)

We took lots of pictures and videos.  Here are just a few of them we wanted to be sure and share with you.

WOW!  That's some DEEP Snow!!

Of course they have an awesome Gift Shop. I liked this carving!

Too much moola for me though.


Okay, so the below is a terrible picture, but these cats (Lynx) were large and beautiful. Probably shouldn't try to pet them though. Just sayin'. 

Bonnie's favorite part of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center was looking at the owls. They were beautiful! And so much bigger than I thought owls would be. We decided to take a couple of stuffed ones home with us. She's been watching the owl movie "Legend of The Guardians" and playing the Wii game. 

 Okay, before I go, here's a short video of the big, fluffly snowflakes blanketing us this morning. Notice how the driveway is clear? It's heated. How cool is that?

Monday, October 31, 2011


What a fun weekend!  Our football team, South Carolina Gamecocks, WON! We went shopping ... that's always FUN! And Sunday we woke up to a snow covered ground with the white stuff floating down. Beautiful!

We had a lot of fun playing in the snow and just watching it come down. It's been snowing all morning too. I love it!  Even though it's cold and snowing, Tom is still riding his bicycle to work. What a trooper! Of course, it's really not unusual here to see a lot of people commuting by walking, bicycling and even skiing to work. This is such a cool place to live. Unlike any other place we've lived before... and you know how often we move around to check out new places. :)

Enjoy the following video and pictures.  Thanks for stopping by!

A short video from Tom's work this morning:

Our weekend fun:

Have a fun Monday. Happy Halloween! BOO!
:) Janis

Monday, October 24, 2011

Whittier, AK & Kincaid Park

This past weekend, we went to Portage Glacier for lunch on Saturday, the a quick trip to Whittier, AK, and on Sunday to a part of Kincaid Park.

Lunch was enjoyed at PORTAGE GLACIER CAFE. Bonnie had a cheeseburger & fries; Tom had Reindeer Chili, and I had a blueberry muffin (and some of Bonnie's fries & burger). As we were eating, we decided to go ahead and pay the toll to drive through the tunnel to Whittier since we've never been there before.

The above picture is the Portage Glacier off in the distance.

The above picture is kind of gloomy, but I was trying to get a picture of the pieces of the Portage Glacier that are floating in the lake. These chunks of ice are white with a shining Aqua color on the inside. It's really fascinating to see this color aqua almost glowing from the inside of the glacier.

The tunnel goes through a mountain (I think it's 3 miles long), and is just 1 lane wide. Traffic travels one way to and from Whittier on a set schedule with breaks inbetween to clear out the exhaust. This same 1 lane is also shared by the train, so we were riding along the railroad tracks in the tunnel.  Something from childhood about not walking on the train tracks kept echoing in my mind as we were driving on them.  LOL  The tunnel has about 7 areas along the way with Emergency Exits and Safe Houses in case of an emergency. The brochure states to leave your car with the keys in it and go to the nearest Safe House if the lights turn red in the tunnel. There are also rules about how fast you can go and the spacing between vehicles in the tunnel.

Googled picture of inside of tunnel.

  This looks like a house, but it's actually the entrance to the tunnel. See how the vehicle traffic lane and train tracks are all the same lane?

Once in Whittier, we drove around to the campsites and Eagle Nesting Areas with the waterfalls. Tom got out a few times and walked around. Bonnie & I just rolled our windows down and listened to the waterfalls.

On Sunday we drove around looking at houses for sale and rent just for fun. Man! Houses here are EXPENSIVE! Then we rode to a part of Kincaid Park and walked along the water and down the trail lining the airport for a while. Didn't see any moose... which is probably a good thing. Didn't see any bears either on our walk... which is most definitely a good thing. 

I'm still waiting on the snow to blanket us. What is taking so long? The average first snowfall is mid October. It's almost the end of October. I'm ready for the snow already!

Until our next post.... Smiles :) Janis

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Bonnie & I walked outside today to go to the truck and came face to face with this big boy....

You can click on the picture to see a bigger version.

Bonnie had 1 more step to go down before I looked up and saw him.  Huh... he saw us though. He was facing us and looking right at us.  I said, "Bonnie! Turn around! Turn around!"  I got her back inside the door while I stood there with the door open waiting on him to leave.  That took forever.  He kept eating the bushes for a while.  Walked a few feet. Stopped. Turned his head around to look at me again. He did this several times. I kept talking to him. Saying, "Yes, I'm still here. You need to leave now." As if he knows English. LOL

Scared the poopie out of me!

Other than that, we had a fun day! We went to the library and got some horse movies. She loves horses. She also got about 5 picture books. One is Mother Goose The Cow Jumped Over The Moon.

We also went to Tom's work to pick him up for lunch. We had THAI food at THAI TOWN (Authentic Thai Cuisine Bangkok Style). It was yummy!

And we stopped at REI to get a new bike bag for Tom to put his laptop and other goodies in during his bicycle ride to work. He left for work on his bicycle this morning while it was still dark outside. Yikes!

Snow update!  The snow on the mountains is much heavier now and the snow line is lower. That is good news!  I'm still watching the weather forecast every day. And every day it's changed. I can't wait for the snow showers to begin!

Smiles! :) Janis

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hatcher Pass

Our Sunday adventure....
Tom says, "Are you ready? Let's go!" And Bonnie & I jump in the truck. We play this game that I have to guess where we are going or just be surprised when we get there. All I knew was that he brought me his Xoom for the car ride saying I may want to play with it on the trip. Hmm... must be a destination that's more than just around the block or across town.  Then he told me it was somewhere we haven't been before, but somewhere he's been wanting to go.  And he said it was an hour away.  Our surprise destination was Hatcher Pass.

As we began to climb the mountain and gain elevation, we got closer and closer to the snow line on the tops of the mountains. The rain was pretty steady all the way from home during our ride there.

About 5 minutes after passing this part of the river, the rain turned to heavy snow showers. It was beautiful!

I don't know why I get so excited and giggly about snow. It just makes me happy. We love the snow!

We all got out and just jumped around and threw a couple of snowballs too. I loved it. 

On the way back down the mountain, Bonnie rolled her window down so the snow would land on her arm. She giggled the whole time, which made Tom & I giggle too.

I love our weekend adventures! I love that Tom takes Bonnie & I off to places we've never been.  We were gone all day doing all sorts of fun stuff.  We got some groceries at Sam's (which is always fun!). Bonnie & I got some new boots rated to -40 degrees F and waterproof with heavy tread so we can walk and not slip or get wet feet in the snow.  We had lupper (lunch / supper) at Gallos Mexican Restaurant. Yummy-ness!

I love my new boots! Do you like me BLUE shoestrings? Bonnie & I got the exact same pair in the same color. We took out the brown shoestrings and lace up the blue ones. Pretty!

Until our next adventure... or until the snow comes....
Smiles! :) Janis