Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Alaska diaries: The Kenai peninsula

We arrived to the Kenai peninsula with big plans and were welcomed by a storm and a forecast of miserable weather. This was the visibility of the wonderful dreamy bay.

Our bay cruise to see the wild life and devour on crab legs was cancelled because of the bad weather and the dangers of capsizing.. and we had to fill up the time with the closest thing to crab legs that we could find ... beer. #dontjudgeme

So we had to get our best purchase of the trip, the 1 dollar plastic ponchos to go see exit glacier

Does this plastic bag make me look fat?

We took the ranger guided glacier tour in which the accelerated disappearance of the glacier was made evident. Our ranger guide however scoffed at the idea of global warming and remarked that the disappearance of glaciers is a good thing because life will make a comeback. If we had a glacier here where would these moose live?  uuuuh?? #RangerLogic

Glacier ice tastes just like snow.. in case you were wondering...

We tried the hike up the Harding Icefield  but were were deterred by rain and  fog. We made it to Marmot meadows where I tried  to channel my inner  "person who found interior peace" for a picture.. It was not very convincing.  

When the bad part of the storm passed we were left with only the fog, perfect weather for kayaking Resurrection Bay. Teddy was terrified that my selfie taking ways would cause the kayak to flip .

Kayaking through the fog was cool and it eventually cleared so were were able to see more than 3 meters beyond our nose.  We even saw some whales jump feeding in our proximity..

According to our Kayak guide we were extremely lucky because he had never seen something like that before....In the two weeks that he had been on the job #Sweet

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Alaska diaries: Denali National Park

We spent two days in Denali national park. The highlights

- We stayed in "The crows nest" which are beautiful cabins in a muddy hillside.. It doesn't get more picturesque than this

- Denali national park has limited hiking trials and they encourage people to get off the paved road and explore the park on their own. A system of buses drop and pick up people in different locations. The bus drivers also provide some narration and stop for wildlife and scenic sights. 

- Grizzly bears roam around in the park and apparently they particuarily like walking on the main road which is where we saw this hottie.

- We also saw plenty of moose hanging around 

- The statistics say that Mount Mackinley is only visible 33% of the time but we were able to see it peeking behind the clouds throughout the day.

- We made it all the way to Wonder Lake which is 6 hours into the park. This is the spot where the sightings of wild enourmous mosquitos is best. We were however well prepared against them.

- We got off the bus to hike on our own for a few hours. We climbed the Alpine trail which was very joyous until we got vertigo from the heights and decided to keep our hiking away from the steepy hills. 

- There is still some snow from the winter around. which I thought was extremely exciting

- On day two I was obsessed with hiking "geode mountain" which the internet has told me that I would see amazing geodes and all my dreams would come true. We got off the bus and started hiking to the mountain which seemed to be reachable by foot..

- But required some river crossings which ended on wet feet but it was all good becuase we had good boots

- Then the rain started which was cold and quite annoying but it was all good because we had rain ponchos

- And then the seemengly walkable terrain turned out to be tundra which was a knee deep marsh through which we had to wade through. But it was all good because we love mud. 

-We hiked for two hours in the horrible tundra and we did not even make the base of the mountain... at this point we did not have enough time to get to the mountain, climb it up and down and make it back to the road for the last bus out of the park... so we decided to abort the geode mountain quest and get back to the camp   #brokendreams .

But at least I can do this:

- We had dinner both nighs in the same place "The Bake" which is delicious and has an excellent menu featuring Yakadilla (Yak quesadilla,..and  yak tastes just like reindeer which tastes just like beef) 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Alaska diaries: Talkeetna's wildlife

On day 2 we headed to Denali  National park. The weather was rainy for most of the day.

With a lunch stop  in Talkeetna which is a five block town with really cool buildings with a Cat for a mayor.

"The mayor" was our third wildlife sightning of the trip. He is a celebrity but remains humble and accepts pets from the crowds. 

Talkeetna also has Mexican moose...arguably the best species  of moose..
Fourth wildlife sightning of the trip 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Alaska diaries : Anchorage

Getting to Alaska had some of the most amazing airplane views I have ever seen. Mountains galore
We got to Anchorage on 4th of July just in time for dinner and the Independence day fireworks at 11pm which hapened to also happen to be in full daylight. I knew that Alaska had 21 hours of daylight this time of year but actually living it was a little unsetteling.. White nights are cray

Our first day in Anchorage we rented bikes and rode along the Coastal trail all the way to the chugach park. The road is pretty flat and scenic. We didnt spend much time in the park and we did not see any of the "many caribou" that supposedly live in the park.

We walked around the city and visited the important spots like the local macaron place 

We had Reindeer gyros from lunch from a street cart.
Either Reindeer Gyro tastes exactly like beef gyro or we were scammed. It was still delicious..

The visitor center was showcasing a rescue Bald eagle and there was an info session going on where people could ask all their questions about Bald Eagles..Most of the questions were around why the bird didnt respond to his name and why he couldn't be cuddled with... 
Not exaclty wildlife but still counts

Our second wildlife encounter was with a handsome sled dog

We took the city walking tour which highlighted the history of Alaska and Capitan Cook's travels before he was killed and dismembered by the hawaiians. 
We also learned how the evil Russians killed baby otters and exploited the locals until the territory was bought by America who saved the otters, fished some whales to extinction and gave some shares of a company to the locals in exchange for their lands.  #bestDealEver

We went all the way across town to have dinner in the number one restaurant in Anchorage (according to Yelp) "The Moose's tooth" which is a pizza place that does not take reservations and makes you wait 1.5-2 hours for a table.
Service was good and the pizza was delicious but not 2-hour-wait delicious... 

The most remarkable thing in the menu is the beer. Alaska brewery has an Apple Ale and a white beer to die for...

Melero and the totem Pole

Sunday, August 31, 2014

family reunion extravaganza

Pictures from the   family reunion extravaganza.

Including that morning when I made burned panckaes that tasted like arsenic and tried to kill everyone..

The trip to RockPort 

Visiting the photobooth 8 times

Dinner on top of the rock

Mom's Graduation

Walking around harvard Square. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Commencement Chronicles

The family came for my commencement. 
The big event started waking up at 5 am so that we could make it to campus by 6:30am. Mom and Ther had to stay in line for an hour to get seats for the ceremony. However, Sleeping 4 hours the night before and waiting in the freezing cold did not wither their spirits.. it only gave them puffy eyes and a cold...

But it was all worth it because they had  a five second glimpse of me walking by on the parade towards the yard. 

The first ceremony (degree awarding ) was pretty fun. They gave an honorary degree to Isabel Allende and George Bush Sr . There was a lot of shouting and celebrating. Spotting celebrities makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Then we made our way to the second ceremony after gorging on packaged sandwiches. I dont remember the ceremony because I was falling asleep the whole time. It also lasted about a million hours.... I only woke up to walk the isle, get my diploma and shake hands...

By the time that the third ceremony rolled in, we were too fed up of the crowd and decided to skip it entirely and gave the tickets away to a family of Asian tourists that seemed quite excited to see Bloomberg. 

And that meant we had some extra time for Picture taking time!

Ther took home her own professional degree on "Celebratory Cap throwing "

Celebratory family dinner. !