Saturday, December 6, 2008

To Alaska, and beyond!

As you all know, from late last Friday through early, early Wednesday, I was in Alaska. Anchorage, Alaska to be exact. And boy did I have a time! So here's a run down of how my time was...

After riding BART to the SF Airport then flying from 5:30pm to 11:40pm, I was pooped. But I was EXCITED! The plane couldn't fly fast enough and get there soon enough. Dennis, the greatest guy ever, was waiting for me just outside security. Be still my heart, I was so happy to see him again! After a quick stop by his apartment to meet the roommate, Paul, it was time to head to the hotel and turn in for the night. Don't worry folks, there were 2 beds. Dennis had to be at work early the next morning, so it wasn't a late night. Well, it was a late night only because I landed at midnight. You know what I mean!

Dennis went to work before 8am. Yawn! I slept in. Now, you have to realize that right now there is only about 7 hours of sunlight. Sun comes up around 9am and goes down before 4pm. So, it's kinda hard to get out of bed without the sun, cause that's what I'm used to. So slept in, until about 9:30. Slowly I got ready for the day. What did the day entail you ask, being as Dennis is at work? Paul volunteered to drive me around and see some sights. The only problem. It was cloudy and snowing. So Paul picked me up around 11:30.

We drove down Highway 1. Funny, Alaska has a Highway 1 just like California that follows the coastline. Hummm... I'll have to google it and see if my Hwy 1 is the same as there Hwy 1. Dennis had told Paul that I like to take pictures, so Paul tried to find spots that would be good to ... take pictures. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating.
But as you can see against the black tankers at "Ship Creek", the snow was coming down!
Soon enough, and early I might add, Dennis text messaged me to let me know that he was getting off early and was on his way to pick up his kids, Ashlynne and Elijah, and would be at the apartment shortly. Moment of truth folks, are his kids going to like me? This could be a make it or break it situation! But don't worry, I passed! I think... I'm pretty sure I did. Ashlynne and I were instant best friends, Elijah took a little more time to warm up to me.

So, with kids in tow, we stopped at the Wild Berry Chocolate something-a-rather place. The kids got a little bag of jelly bellys, then we were on the road. We drove down Highway 1 (ha!) down to Girdwood, where we had a late lunch at Jack Sprat near Alyeska Ski Resort. On the way back to the hotel, I had fun with the kids and the camera.
We went to the hotel to relax for a bit. The kids took relaxing as jumping from bathtub ledge, to bed, to bed and back to the bathtub ledge. Very exciting! Then it was off to dinner. We went to the Moose's Tooth where we met up with Alex, Dasha, and their son Silus, and Paul. After dinner we made a stop at Chuck E. Cheese for the kids to run off some of their energy. Then to bed we all went.

We work up to Ashlynne yelling "Room Service", which she really wanted to order. Instead we got dressed and went to the "upscale" continential breakfast. Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, so good!!! After really getting ready, we left and drove around some, then drove around some more. We went to the Ulu Factory where I took this picture of Dennis and his kiddos.
They are very well behaved. I must say. And boy do they love their dad. Then we drove around some more. Have you ever seen a reindeer? Especially a reindeer on a lease? Yeah, me either. But I have now!
After driving around some more we stopped for a late lunch. After lunch we took the kids back to their mom's. We made a quick stop at Best Buy so I could look at laptops and see if there were any good deals for the week. Alaska = no sales tax. Then we headed back to the hotel to relax some before going to dinner.

Dinner was at the Glacier Brewhouse. Dennis and I weren't very hungry since we ate lunch late, so we shared a meal. Mahi mahi, very tasty! After dinner we went to see Four Christmases. It was funny, I wouldn't necessarily see it in the theater again though. Wait for the DVD.

Oh, did I mention that Sunday the 30th was also Dennis' birthday...?

After waking up and looking out the window, we learned that finally it was clear out. So we got up. Had breakfast, waffles again. And headed out. Dennis needed to run a few errands, so I was along for the ride. Then we drove around some to see the views that I couldn't see before because of the clouds. Like this one...
Down by the inlet was much colder than in town. Probably because there was a breeze blowing adding a wind chill factor.
We decided to drive to "the valley", which would be Wasilla area. Home of Sarah Palin. We made a stop on the way at a church where a friend of Dennis' is the youth pastor to say hello. Then after a stop at Target we turning around to head back to Anchorage to pick up the kids.

Paul joined us for dinner at Kobe Temppanyaki. Dinner was good. But right after dinner we were on a quest. On a quest to find the Northern Lights. So we trekked up a mountain, and when I say trekked I mean drove. We didn't find the lights. But we did find negative degree weather! -5 baby! All I wanted to do was be there when it hit 0 degrees. (look at the bottom corner to see temperature reading)
While driving back to the hotel, we called my sister Kaitlin to visit. Then we all shared jokes. Elijah was sleeping, but Ashlynne loves to tell and make up jokes. Once we were back at the hotel it was time to sleep. Ashlynne had school the next morning, Dennis was to drive her, and she wanted me to do her hair.

After waking up to do Ashlynne's hair, I went right back to sleep. I was tired! Dennis got back and cuddled with Elijah, who was also still sleeping. After breakfast, we got ready for the day, checked out of the hotel, and hit the road. Guess what we did... Yep, drove around. It was still clear out and Dennis wanted to show me some of his favorite neighborhoods. We had lunch at Humpy's, halibut fish and chips, then went to pick up Ashlynne from school.
After having the kids for just a little longer that afternoon we dropped them off at their mom's then had the last bit of alone time before I had to leave. So we made rice krispies for Kaitlin, Dennis swears that his are the best. Then we went to Barnes and Noble, Target, around. Both of us weren't really hungry being as we had a late lunch.
So we went back to his place and tried to watch a movie. But we fell asleep. When we woke up it was time to go to the airport. This I was not looking forward to. I hate saying goodbye. I know it's not a goodbye forever, because I'll be seeing him again soon. But I had such a good time visiting his world and seeing Alaska that it was hard.

So what did I do...? I slept the entire way home. In fact, my flight leaving Anchorage left late, and I made it to my flight out of Seattle at final boarding call. I even slept most of the ride on BART back to Pleasanton. Then I slept some of the way home while mom was driving. I got home, showered, and slept some more. And honestly, when I wasn't sleeping I was fighting (unsuccessfully) back tears.

But not to worry, he'll be back down at the end of December! And there is a 99% chance that the kids will be coming too. I'm excited!

But Dennis... if you think -5 is cold, just wait until you feel the cold while surrounded by fog. I'm not kidding. It feels much colder. Bring a coat.


Mel said...

It sounds like you had a great visist. I am so glad!!! He seems like such a great guy and great kids.

Mandy, Allen and Calen too! said...

Well... you look like you had a ton of fun! I am so glad that everything went well and I will be praying that it continues to go smoothly!