Seward Highway and Turnagain Arm

Yesterday we finally took a drive down part of the Seward Highway. We drove just south of Anchorage and around part of Turnagain Arm. We didn’t go all the way to Girdwood (where the great skiing is) because we had to make it to the Ale House in time for the Gator game. Priorities, ya know! (Shock! They have Gator Football in Alaska!) We drove down just before 10am. We stopped near Potter Marsh to take a few pictures. The Marsh has completely frozen over and the locals have been out ice skating.  If you look really closely, you can see another mountain range in the distance.

Seward Highway

Potter Marsh

The other side of Potter Marsh.

Potter Marsh Seward Highway

Tony waiting in the truck. He’s on baby duty.

Land Rover Freelander

Potter Marsh

I climbed the rocky hill to the railroad tracks that run along the Seward Highway to take these pictures, that was until the police officer came on his loud-speaker and told me to get off the tracks. What can I say? I’m such a rebel. =)

Seward Highway Railroad Tracks




Looking south at Turnagain Arm.20121028-160703.jpg

My wonderful chauffeur for the day!

Tony driving seward highway

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Q&A – How Long is it Daylight in Alaska in October

I had a question come in the other day asking how many hours of daylight we have right now in Anchorage. The answer might surprise you.

I think many people assume that as soon as it gets cold here that our “winter” begins and it instantly stays dark for most of the day. Currently, the sun rises around 9am and sets at 6:15pm. Not what you imagined, huh?

Okay, so our bright sunny days are slightly shorter than they were in Florida, but I haven’t noticed much. I’ve still been getting up sometime between 7 and 8am. Ava still goes to bed around 8:30pm. I’ve been staying up a little later now that I don’t have to get up for work at 5am.

Yes, the days will get shorter as we get deeper into winter. But, before we know it, summer will be here and we will have daylight most of the time.

I’m looking forward to the 24-hour daylight. Do you know what kind of garden I can grow with 24 hours of sunlight? Think: giant vegetables!

If you have any questions you would like to ask us, you can email us at

Afternoon at the Park

The weather was absolutely beautiful this afternoon in Eagle River.  It has been sunny and clear ever since Ava and I got here.  Today was sunny and 38 degrees.  We took advantage of the good weather and went for a walk to the park.  I love living in a place that is so pedestrian friendly.

Ava had her first experience with a slide.  I went down with her the first time. 20121024-170015.jpg

Then she went down by herself.  She likes the slide, but only if you hold her hand.


She found a little pine cone.  She then decided that it looked like a good snack.  Yuck.


The park has these nice big boulders all around the perimeter.  I love her little beanie!


We went to the swings next.  Ava hasn’t been on the swings in the park for quite a while.  She loved it!

Have you been to the park recently?

Our Trip to Willow

Ava and I went to work with Tony yesterday. I thought it would be nice to take a ride up to Willow. I was right! It was nice to see more of the state.

It snowed recently in Willow and it was still on the ground. Ava had her first experience with snow. She was truly mesmerized!

While Tony was working, Ava and I walked around. I think it’s absolutely wonderful that even in a rural place like Willow, they have gravel or paved paths along all of the roads. On our walk we saw some animal prints, possibly from a wolf. We also watched a lady pass by training her sled dogs in front of an ATV. The snow is so beautiful. It glistens in the sunshine.

I can’t wait for Ava to start walking so she can really experience the snow and explore.


Fun Facts of Alaska

  1. Everyone in Alaska is amazingly nice!
  2. Most businesses don’t open until 10am.  The lifestyle here is very relaxed.
  3. Even if it’s 20 degrees out, people walk everywhere.
  4. A lot of people have two cars: a nice summer car and a beater car for the winter.
  5. I went to the grocery store; everything is the same price as it is in Florida.


Flying First Class with an Infant

My mom, sister, and my mom’s friend Leslie dropped Ava and me off at the Orlando International Airport on Wednesday evening. It was very hard leaving them, but I was excited for the adventure. I knew that traveling alone with an infant was going to be interesting, to say the least.


Left to right: Susie, Ava, Mom, Me

Security was the first challenge. I knew I was short on hands, seeing as I only have two, and tried not to bring too much on the plane with us. We brought Ava’s heavy-duty umbrella stroller that has a few storage compartments on it. This was nice because it wasn’t so big that it was hard to manage by myself, but it also had a little space for me to pack a few things on it. I also had our laptop, which fit snugly in the pouch behind Ava, my coat, and our one carry-on bag. Our carry-on contained all the necessary items from my purse and Ava’s diaper bag, plus some extra toys and snacks.

When we got up to security I had to get all of our stuff into the bins, take the laptop out of its bag, take off my shoes, and fold up the stroller, all while holding a baby. I somehow managed this while not holding up the line too much. We went through the metal detectors and then I was selected to have my hands swabbed.  I’m not really sure what they were swabbing for, but I was cleared.  The man in line in front of us asked if I could bring bottles on the plane.  I explained that we breastfeed and that it was not a concern for us, so I really couldn’t answer his question.

I made sure to change Ava’s diaper right before we boarded the plane.  We boarded the plane and stepped into first class and you could see the horror sweeping across everyone’s face.  I know they were thinking, “please don’t let the lady with the baby sit next to me.”  Our seat was next to an empty seat, but I knew it wouldn’t stay empty for long.  Eventually, a middle-aged business man sat next to us.

I was hoping for a friendly female flight attendant who would be understanding of my situation.  Alas, all of the flight attendants were men.  I will have to say, they were all surprisingly very friendly and helpful.  Good job gentlemen!

Ava was surprisingly well-behaved on the plane.  She only had 2 or 3 little outburst, which I quickly shut down with a nursing session.  I made sure to nurse her during takeoff to help with the elevation change.  We were served dinner on the plane to Salt Lake City.  This proved to be interesting.  I had a choice of gnocchi with Bolognese sauce or grilled chicken with grits.  Bolognese sauce would be a messy option, so chicken it was.  45 minutes later, there was bread on the floor and Ava and I were both wearing grits.  Thankfully, she fell asleep shortly after that.

Our flight landed late in Salt Lake City (my first time in Utah) and we had to run to ourDancing Deer_brand_88x31 next flight.  I was the last passenger to board.  So much for getting Starbucks.  Ava was even better during the second flight.  She didn’t cry AT ALL.  After we had our “snack” (a chicken sandwich, chips, fruit, and a really good brownie from Dancing Deer), Ava and I attempted to get some sleep.  Our flight wouldn’t land in Anchorage until almost 5am Florida time.


We finally landed in Anchorage and got off the plane.  Tony was waiting right outside the terminal for us.  It was really wonderful reuniting with him.  Ava was very excited to see her Daddy!

So here are a few things I learned about flying first class with an infant:

  1. The laminated safety brochure is better than any toy you will bring.
  2. The seats in first class don’t recline as much as they should.
  3. The only people who fly first class are older couples and middle-aged business men. (Okay, not entirely true, but that was it on both of my flights.)
  4. Flying first class was worth not paying $455 for my three suitcases.
  5. Less is more when it comes to your carry-ons while traveling with a baby.

Have you ever been on a flight with a small child?