Tag Archives: winter

Saturday Sunshine

IMG_6506_instant What a beautiful day it has been! Sun has been shining since the early morning, and days are getting warmer – even on the Last Frontier. Snow is melting, everywhere else but on the mountains as you can see on pictures. So we headed out to check out the running/skiing trails nearby. Despite my cold that apparently got worse this past week, thanks to all the flying I did.

It was a wonderful day. Hubby and the dog were goofing around while I was running. We had a great time, and made plans to return to Hatcher Pass  in a few days – with snowshoes, or maybe with skis and skins, or snowboard. Some spring skiing & snowboarding sounds like a blast!

However, three miles were a joy, albeit really slow for someone running regularly 6:30 miles, and I am so hoping to feel better tomorrow. It’s hard to be fast when you have to cough or blow your nose way too often. But at the same time running shoes are so crying out loud my name, and begging to get out for a long run. And my Ironman training would greatly benefit from that too.

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P.S. The joy and surprise of the day came in the form of cheese today. After our outdoors stuff we ran some errands, including grocery shopping at the Commissary. More than one the Commissary has turned out to be a great place to find some tasty treats, such as Fazer Chocolate from Finland. And what did I see today?!?  Bread Cheese . I haven’t seen the bread cheese since leaving Finland, which was like forever ago so no surprise, I was in heaven. Quick Google search also showed that Carr Valley Cheese  ships this delicacy. Now I know where to find my bread cheese!

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Polar Bear Jump Off

Alaska is a paradise for all kinds of festivals, some of them making me just smiling and nodding (and thinking ‘uh-oh, really?’) There are slush cups for the end of skiing season, sled dog races of all distances, there is an Iceworm Festival in Cordova, ice golf events …. and then there is Polar Bear Jump Off in Seward, AK . I wrote about the jump  already in January but was going through some pictures for my photo agency, and decided to share a few more with you as well.

Polar Bear Jump Off is a hop into chilly, 39F (4C) ocean water for the good cause – supporting American Cancer Society.  People dress up in the costumes, and wait freeze  in line for their turn to jump into the Seward harbor. Seward is a town in Alaska’s Kenai peninsula, a couple of hours south of Anchorage. The town is known as a cruise ship stop in the summer, as well as it is the southern endpoint of Alaska Railroad. The ocean life around Seward is simply incredible. Humpback whales, orcas, Minkes and gray whales love the Gulf of Alaska and Resurrection Bay waters where they return from their calving spots in Hawaii and Mexico. Sea kayaking on these waters is a real blast – seals and sea otters are always ready to keep paddler (or themselves) entertained.

Maybe the water feels less cold when holding best friend's hand?
Maybe the water feels less cold when holding the best friend’s hand?
Bikini style a la Alaska.
Bikini style a la Alaska.

 

Especially in the summer Seward is a great place to visit. All the businesses are open and town is full of life. In the winter time, the entertainment is limited to Alaska SeaLife Center , and a handful of average restaurants. SeaLife Center, while small, has some cute exhibits. You can close and personal with some sea birds – puffins being my favorites, although sea lions and seals never fail to put a smile on my face either. Salmon fishing is a  huge deal in Alaska, so no wonder SeaLife Center has a rather extensive exhibition of the salmon’s lifecycle.

A volunteer playing with a seal at Alaska SeaLife Center.
A volunteer playing with a seal at Alaska SeaLife Center.
Close and personal.
Close and personal.
Gotta love the whiskers.
Gotta love the whiskers.

 

Tuesday isn’t so bad…

Tuesday isn’t so bad…It’s a sign that I’ve somehow survived Monday.

Actually my Tuesday wasn’t bad at all, just super busy. Like every day. Except that today I didn’t have time to work out but I train for Ironman races 6-7 days a week, sometimes twice a day, an occasional rest day might even be a good thing. Some of my blogger friends have been recently telling about their day in pictures, and I figured, I could snap a pic here, another there throughout my day, and see what comes out of it. So here we go….

You may remember from yesterday that it has been snowing here in Friday night. So it was great to wake up for more snow shoveling… Sigh! Luckily the military had a delayed start for their day: hubby was home and took care of the snow while I started my work day around 6am.

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Some time ago I got into yoga. Addicted. Big time. And ever since I have not had any kind of craving for coffee. Tea is my choice of beverage nowadays, black tea in the mornings, and caffeine free herbal in the evening. And lots of all kinds of teas in between. I have a bad habit of carrying tea mugs with me all the time, and leaving them all over the house. This morning one of the tea mugs was forgotten in the bathroom when I started to curl my hair. Hair got curly, and I burned myself with that iron – again.

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I was lucky to have time for lunch today. Lunch meaning something else than eating carrots at my desk. The only tasty and trustworthy healthy food restaurant in Anchorage is always packed at lunch time. So I spent quite some time waiting for my tacos…. but they were worth it.

Work was crazy busy, I have been glued to the email and phone a good part of the day. Even when driving. But the sun came out in the afternoon, and no more snowing. Maybe there is a slight hope for spring, and eventually summer?

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In the afternoon after work stuff I ran to the Commissary to get a couple of things. German noodles, Spaetzle were supposed to be side for our self-caught halibut. However, with all the stuff tonight, we ended up to munching leftovers from yesterday. Maybe halibut filets and Spaetzle tomorrow then.

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And it was time to wear my professor hat again…. and then work on my own research. Yes, that is a little hamster in the picture, and she is participating in a Conditioned Place Preference experiment.

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In the evening I had a few minutes to sit down and stay still, grab a quick bite and head out again – this time to the piano lesson. And our beagle, Tassu, cracked me up by wearing my tank top. He had dug it out of our bed, under the blankets. Crazy dog. Maybe I should think about some psychoanalysis sessions for him…??

Piano lesson wasn’t too bad. I am not going to be Chopin anytime soon but that probably can’t really be even expected with the amount of work and traveling I do (i.e., with the very limited time I have for practicing). But nevertheless, it is fun and relaxing.

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The last duty of the day is the medication for the dog. Ears are bugging our little guy again, and he is on antibiotics – tablets & ointment – for another 5 days, 9 down already and ears are remarkably better. In fact I did check the ear swaps in the lab the other day, and bacteria seems to be gone. While the dog doesn’t really enjoy the ointment piece of the ordeal, he absolutely loves all the extra roast beef he gets with the tablets.

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Winter – Again?

Snow... no more. Please.
Snow… no more. Please.

Last week we had spring in Anchorage. Sun was shining, roads were dry and driveway was clear. Then the Friday night came, and snowing started. Most of the time Alaskan weathermen have no clue what kind of weather we will have but with this snow front – oh boy – were they right. Last week we were barbecuing steaks and chicken breasts, this week the grill on our back deck is totally buried under the snow.

So far we have gotten about 15″ of snow, and this snowfall should continue until Wednesday morning, bringing another 10-15″ more. And I would even think about betting my money on that forecast: the snow keeps steadily falling as I look out. Our military installation, JBER , has changed the road conditions to  RED   once again. Red meaning hazardous roads and often poor visibility, and driving 10mph below the regular speed limits on post. I guess we really took a few steps backwards as far as spring goes…

I might be a wimp but, really, I am not in a winter mood anymore. Well, I have never been a hardcore winter girl but would rather play golf, train for triathlons without dressing up like a Michelin man, or would like to hop into my car without digging it out of the snow. Besides, my studded running shoes have already been retired for this winter, and running gaiters are well stored for future use. So please, could I have my sunny spring days back? And temperatures  above freezing.

MilSpouse (First) Friday Fill-In #80

Happy April! It looks and feels like spring – even in Alaska! Assuming that the weatherman is completely, completely wrong and we don’t get snow this weekend…. Since it is the first Friday of the month, it’s time for the  Friday Fill-In , hosted by Wife of A Sailor !

1.  What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed?  March was a great month, nothing to be changed. We had a great time in Tucson, AZ, over the spring break week, and went to see Ice Sculptures in Fairbanks, AK . Work was busy as always, got quite a bit stuff done for my research project, …. but I would have needed a couple of extra hours here and there. It was pretty hectic when I had to grade students’ midterms, quizzes and homework within a week or so.

2.  What was your favorite thing that happened in March?   Our travels in and out of Alaska, like always. Hilton El Conquistador resort in Tucson was a great place to stay at – we were treated super good at the resort, had a blast. And look forward to going again! Yeah, we are travel addicts, big time…

3.  What are you looking forward to in April? More travels. Are you seeing the trend here? I have some work stuff to do in Chicago, and will have a chance to see my super awesome in-laws. I’m already counting days to being on the plane again. I am also speaking in a couple of conferences, which is always a blast. Public speaking is fun, and one of the best things I know.

4. What is your favorite thing about Spring ?   Daylight! It’s so great to have normal 12 hours of daylight, instead of a few hours that we experience here in Alaska during the winter time. And melting snow is awesome too!

5.   What is your ultimate guilty pleasure ?  Running. Nothing makes me happier than heading out for a long run. Or bike ride.