Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer Delights

Summer in Anchorage brings warmth, endless daylight, a verdant landscape, and lots of visitors. Because really, who wants to come here in the winter except the most extreme of outdoor enthusiasts? I have just seen off my last house guest and am anxious for fall already. I am ready for sweaters, suede boots, and a warm fire. Did I mention pie? Fall is arriving early this year, which means we will very soon be picking berries. We are slowly gaining darkness, and it has been dark as early as 11 p.m. lately. 

For our last "hurrah" we decided to play on the Kenai Peninsula. A dear friend of mine had spent a few weeks there and could not stop gushing about it. Since we were to be hosting my father the last couple weeks of summer, my husband and I decided to drag him down there. We spent close to four hours in a car with a toddler and a newborn. We were not sorry. 

We arrived in Seward, a quaint fishing town, to be greeted by breathtaking views of glaciers on the harbor. Our weekend consisted of sampling fresh eateries on Resurrection Bay, viewing sea lions and puffins, and supporting more microbreweries than I care to mention. Visitors can actually tour the glaciers on cruise ships, charter fishing boats, or dog sled if they so desire. The Seavey family, with three generations of Ididarod  mushers, offers tours and rides with the huskies. We decided to spend our money on gratuitous amounts of fish and beer instead, so we opted to hike Exit Glacier for free. 

Living in Alaska is like walking through a postcard, as evidenced by the photo above. Exit Glacier greeted us with lush fireweed, crisp air, and and up close view of the ice. We were exhausted by the end of the weekend, but it was totally worth it. I spent the next week showing my dad Anchorage. Downtown comes alive once the ice thaws with lots of live music and tourists, and there are lots of small shops that showcase ivory, furs, and native art. I actually got my dad to try caribou burgers and reindeer dogs (sorry Rudolph). We had a delightful week, a fitting end to the summer

I met a local who told me that the winters here are like a pregnancy - nine months and horrible, but that the summer totally makes up for it. I may not have believed that when I was up to my knees in snow our first winter here, but she was right. I don't think I've ever appreciated summer until I moved here. And in just a short couple of weeks, we will have fall. We will have pie, berries, and sunsets in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

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