Archive | November, 2012

My Favorite Places in Anchorage

19 Nov

So, I thought I should post about some of my fav places to hit in Anchorage (and round about these parts). I don’t know the city really well yet but definitely have some spots I enjoy. Here’s a start to my list….

1. Favorite In-Town Walking Spot: Coastal Trail

The multi-use (read: walking, jogging, biking, skiing, etc.) Coastal Trail is nice as it takes you through woods, park-like areas, and right into downtown. And all along the coast (duh). It’s great for seeing flora, fauna, landscape (water and mountains), plane-spotting and on the right days people watching. 10 miles each way. And in the winter, great for cross country skiing and snow-shoeing. Below is a fuzzy iPhone picture of some local birds on the trail.

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2. Favorite Ice Skating Spot: Westchester Lagoon

The lagoon is right next to the Coastal Trail. They have a large pond-like area cleared for general skating, and a large track they keep cleared as well. It’s not thick enough to skate on yet, but should be in a couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to this!!! Below is the lagoon, but not the ice skating part (where you skate is behind the berms you see at the back of the picture).

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3. Favorite Breakfast Spot: Snow City Cafe

The food is good and the atmosphere is great (downtown, huge windows, extremely busy, warm and inviting). Thankfully you can make reservations for a few of their tables, otherwise expect to wait at least an hour on a weekend morning. Great benedicts, eggs, and pancakes. Not to mention lunches. http://snowcitycafe.com

4. America’s Best Coffee: Steam Dot

This place has the best coffee I’ve had in Alaska, not to mention the US (and pretty much everywhere in the world except Ethiopia), hands down. Exceptionally roasted (in-house) coffee, smooth espressos, perfectly steamed milk. I drive completely out of my way to go there. It’s worth the trip, and now they are opening a location closer by, in Mid-Town. If only they would open one downtown! http://steamdot.com

5.  Tastiest Cheap Eats: Hula Hands

Hawaiian food at it’s tastiest. I am not a huge chicken fan, and I could eat their grilled chicken every day. Combo plates of meats (we always go for the roasted pig and the grilled chicken) with a scoop of rice and a scoop of mac salad. Under 10$ a person. The large is big enough for two (though somehow we never share!). And yes, they have Spam (and Spam musubi). http://www.hulahands.com

6. Favorite Treat Spot: Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge.

This place is awesome for a chocolate fix. They make their own truffles, chocolate bars, and –  what I always go for – drinking chocolate. I’m talking about warm, pure, liquid chocolate, served in a tiny cup with fresh whipped cream on top. Sip it with a small spoon. I always have their spicy Mayan chocolate (which has a real kick), but their silky dark is also awesome. I try not to go more than once a month. 🙂  http://www.moderndwellers.com

7. Best Tea and Spice and Everything Nice: Summit Spice and Tea Company

These guys make the best spice and tea blends, in-house. I have loved everything I’ve tried from here. Right now they are also doing mulled cider, does anything say winter and holidays more than this? http://www.summitspiceandtea.com

8. Most Scenic Close-By Drive: Seward Highway to Girdwood

Just over 30 minutes, and stunning. I never tire of the scenery. The picture below is from last winter. It was extremely cold!

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I’ll keep adding to the list….

Hockey, Snow-less, Houses, Etc.

19 Nov

So, Friday I went to my first Alaska Aces game (minor-league pro team). Good fun, I don’t believe I’ve seen a hockey game in person since 1988. They won in overtime. We definitely would like to go to more games. Crowd was fairly tame though (as were the teams, where were the fights???), until the 3rd period when enough beer had been consumed that folks seemed to get a bit rowdier.  Next game I will buy a cowbell. Need more cowbell.

Still lacking in snow here. Maybe 2 inches on the ground. No skiing, no snow-shoeing, none of the activities that make the cold lots of fun. And it is cold. Just not snowing. Come on winter!

I’m enjoying my little apartment. It’s very cozy (read: small) and great for one person.

Hit church this morning, sermon was about going to church regularly. We had to laugh, as we have been lame about this. Anyway, spurred on to get back into it as a more regular part of life.

In two days leaving to head East. Not looking forward to the travel. I think I mentioned this already.  Will be good to see family however.

Don’t really miss Facebook!

That’s it for now….

I Am Not Good At Blogging

13 Nov

So, I assumed that I wouldn’t keep up with this very well. And I was right. But let’s see if I can provide at least occasional updates.

I had a great trip back up the Alcan. I don’t have any photo updates for now as my camera battery is dead and the camera is also in the fiancee’s apartment, not mine. It was nice having company this time around, with the man up to Grande Prairie, AB and a friend from Montana to Anchorage. Had one blow out up in the Yukon (trailer tire), but a nice man and his son from the local saw mill stopped and helped us. Was much colder going back (as one would expect), and lots of snow a long the way. Was incredibly beautiful, especially up in the Yukon. Liard Hotsprings was also more fun, as it was snowing while we soaked. Thankfully customs was a breeze despite my getting amped up for a fight. I think we actually found the nicest CBP agent in the United States at the Alaskan entry point. They should use him as a trainer. I think I enjoyed our night in Tok the most, as it was cold and snowy, and we stayed in a really lovely cabin (Caribou Cabins – if you are ever in Tok and not camping this is where I would recommend!). But it was nice to get home.

It’s been nice being back in Anchorage, although the winter has been fairly lame to date – cold but minimal snow. We are supposed to get some this week, fingers crossed. There is no point in cold weather without snow!

The man’s job is no longer on the line, so another offer was put on a home which was accepted. It’s a great a place that we both love, needs no work, and is in a great location with access to lots of things by foot. Hopefully he’ll move in before Christmas.

I’m in the midst of starting to look for work, but am finding it a challenge to even know what direction to head. So, will probably utilize a headhunter to help out with this. I still do not miss the old line of work at all, and have no desire to get involved in it again any time soon.

The election was a disappointment but not a surprise. We’ll see how things go for the next 4 years.

Next week am heading back to NC for thanksgiving but primarily to pick up the dog and meet with the contractor who will be doing work on the NC house. I am hoping that will be my last trip out of the state for a good while to come.

That’s about it these days. Let me know how you are!