Alaska… and all it means to us

We love Alaska. We really, really do.

I can’t quite describe its uniqueness because it’s hard to find the words to do so.

Alaska is like a step back in time. You arrive into a clean, quaint airport that’s decorated with moose, bears and beer. You get your car at the rental counter, where the employee chats with you and treats you like a human and not a number.

You drive away from the airport and if it’s winter– it’s dark and quiet at 12am. If it’s summer, it’s light and quiet at 12am.

Anchorage, at 295k people, is the biggest city in Alaska, yet it still feels so small. There is one main highway road into and out of the city.

Everyone you meet is friendly. Everyone wants to chat. Everyone says hello. Everyone asks how you are. In line for the restroom? The lady next to you is too, and she’ll ask how you’re doing. Where were you during the earthquake? Oh, you’re from Colorado? How do you like Alaska?

The antique shop owner said it best: In Alaska, it’s like it’s 1952 again.

The airport arrival, pictured above

Wednesday night we stayed in a small cabin in downtown Anchorage. We stayed there in July of 2017 as well… and Bens probably stayed there 4 times now.

On Thursday Ben was sworn into the state of Alaska as a lawyer! I can’t tell you how hard he worked for this moment. Hours and hours and months and months of studying. He took the bar two extra times to pass high enough for Alaska. He did it! This day was very special.

Ben being sworn in at the court house! Again– everyone was so friendly! The judge, especially.

View’s from Anchorage (top), and along the Seward Highway (below). That’s the ocean with fog & snow capped mountains. It was a cold, overcast Thursday.

After Ben was sworn in, we went to breakfast @ Snow City Cafe, an Anchorage hot spot. Then, we ran some errands including stopping at the local antique shop where Bens dad has been visiting for years! Then, we drove around checking out the views before finally heading to an amazing dinner downtown & then drove (in the fresh snow) to the cutest cabin in Palmer, Alaska: our home base for the next two nights.

Above: our cabin. We found it on AirBnB. The hosts live on the property in a large, beautiful home. They were very friendly (as always with Alaskans) and even met us a few miles down the road from the cabin to ensure we’d make it ok given the slippery roads. So wonderful!

On Friday, we headed to Glacier View, Alaska for our big day of glacier trekking!

Alaska is a rarity in that it still has many, large glaciers. Though they change daily and can be dangerous, many are accessible! The earthquake changed some of the ice but we were still able to get on the glacier and spend three hours hiking around with a guide. The weather was about 33 degrees & just perfect for what we were doing. We hiked, visited two caves & two crevasses. We loved it!!!

See below for way too many pictures of the hike itself (we wore spiked cleats as they call them! Aka: microspikes), warm jackets, gloves, beanies & we had a paid guide who had gone out two days prior to mark the trail.

— And yes, the colors! It really was that white, and that blue. —

Next up: inside a crevasse (or, a crack in the glacial ice. If you fall in one of these while hiking….. well, you’re in trouble. And if you aren’t tied in with a harness and rope when you fall in & it’s deep, you’re likely dead)

Next up: Our guide found a cave recently & had a grate put in it. So naturally, we went down! Ben went first. Note: not a place I wanted to be if another earthquake decide to show

Our trek ended & we left feeling even more in love with Alaska and all the state has to offer!

Lunch was at the only restaurant within 50 miles. And we had the place to ourselves 💙

Later back in Palmer we shopped at the local book store (Ben and I looooooove book stores) & then got dessert & coffee at a little diner. It’s so weird when it gets dark at 3:45pm. By 6pm, I am ready for more coffee!

Above: on our last day (Saturday), we enjoyed the morning views from our cabin. It was snowing! ☃️❄️

Then, we headed to the coast. An hour and 40 mins + a coffee stop later we arrived in Girdwood. We visited the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center to check out the animals. I also saw my first Alaskan bald 🦅 eagle! He (she?) was hanging out near the grizzly bear enclosure. No doubt waiting to try to steal some food! Such a beautiful bird!!!

Later, we drove around Alyeska (the resort), went to lunch, did some shopping in Anchorage, and spent the remainder of the evening drinking wine & eating appetizers (and more dessert) at the Rustic Goat (my new fave spot in Anchorage) & discussing our future until it was time to drop off the rental car and take a red eye out of Alaska.

We were sad to leave. Alaska has such a special place in our hearts. Which leads to me to tell you of our new plans: we’re moving! (Well, we hope 🤞🏻😉)

We’ve decided to take the next steps and focus almost solely on job hunting in Alaska. I’m looking to start a travel contract in February in Anchorage & Bens switching gears and is going to focus on law jobs in Anchorage and the surrounding suburbs.

We’re young, we don’t have kids yet… and now is the time! We might as well try out Alaska. What do we have to lose?!

Here’s to Alaska, adventure, love, life with my best friend… and whatever comes next!

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