Being “anchored” in Anchorage (see what I did there), we ate at a lot of restaurants in Anchorage. So, I think the best thing to do is just put them all together and let’s get started. It might take a while.
We got into Alaska “late.” Late is relative because Anchorage is 5 hours behind Missouri. But being late on a Saturday night, a lot of places were closed. That was quite odd, but it has to be because of coronavirus. That’s the best reason I could come up with. We were staying in Midtown Anchorage. I wouldn’t recommend that. Another story for another day. (more…)
Thursday was my birthday. I kind of got to pick some of the day because of that. After we went to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, we decided to go to Whittier. Mom suggested that one. I was game. Anything fun and heck, we were in Alaska on my birthday so everything was fun, am I right!?!? We were only about 12 miles from Whittier so it was perfect. The day was a little wet and rainy which made it a little cool. But no complaints here because at home it was close to 100˚F. We’d take the upper 60’s for sure.
Mom and dad had been to Alaska before. They said that we had to go through a tunnel to get to Whittier. This tunnel was NOT the tunnel… this was a mini tunnel. (more…)
So, as we’ve learned, my little loves zoos. I had higher hopes for the Alaska Zoo.
On Tuesday when we spent most of what felt like all day laying around the hotel room, I somehow found the Alaska Channel. I’m not sure if that is a hotel thing or if that is actually a thing. Either way, they were talking about different places around Alaska, including the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
It is about an hour’s drive from Anchorage to Girdwood where the center is located. You have gorgeous views and let me say this so even those in the back row can hear… IT. WAS. TOTALLY. WORTH. IT. (more…)
Our first full day in Alaska we went out driving through the mountains. I made mention that I wanted to go into the mountains and we entered this trip with very little plans. Especially since the Coronavirus has been affecting all daily life everywhere. But I wanted to see beautiful scenery and I wanted to go into the mountains. So, our first day, we did just that.
p.s. I love that at home we have deer crossing signs. Here they have Moose and Elk crossing signs. However, we didn’t see any moose (or elk) in the wild until the last day. more on that to come.
Supposedly you can drive to this glacier. The roads didn’t look right or looked like we were going to have to offroad. Have you ever tried offroading in a minivan? Me either. Not sure I want to either.
This was the Matanuska Glacier. The Matanuska is Alaska’s largest road-accessible glacier, and it’s just 90 minutes from Anchorage. It is 27 miles long and 4 miles wide. It is located 100 miles North-east of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. It flows about 1 foot per day. (more…)
Once we got to Talkeetna and toured a couple of shops, it was time to grab some grub. Wow, I sound so barbarian… grub. haha… Maybe I should say that we spent “so much” time at The Patchwork MooseQuilt Shop that dad and hubby were hungry and tired of waiting. Hubby sent me a text to find the best place in town. I asked Lori where she recommended and her first place was Denali Brewpub followed by a pizza place. Since we had pizza the night before, we decided Denali Brewpub it was. We made it to the restaurant in shifts… The guys led, I was somewhere in the middle and my mom was close behind. haha.
Okay, first off, it was a beautiful day. They had seating mainly outdoors although there was some seating inside. We pulled 2 tables together and enjoyed the beautiful outdoors! It was gorgeous!! The high was 74 degrees. That is actually way cooler minus the humidity from what we were experiencing back home. It was lovely to sit outside in the sun and enjoy! (more…)
We ate breakfast at a restaurant called Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant in Anchorage the day before. Our waitress was so awesome. She asked if we were out of town or locals. When we told her we were on vacation, she asked where all we had been and where we were headed next. Then she suggested heading north to Talkeetna, Alaska.
The next day we grabbed breakfast as we headed out of town headed north to Talkeetna. The waitress had given us a few different Alaska books to look at and mom and my husband did some research before we headed there. One of the things mom saw was a quilt store located in Talkeetna called The Patchwork Moose. Now, my grandma’s birthday is the same day as mine which also happened to be the week we were on vacation. Very few years have I missed celebrating with Grandma. So we decided to go to the quilt shop to bring grandma back some fabric from Alaska.
We did something a couple of weeks ago… We went on vacation. Last fall hubby and I were actually looking into a vacation for us to go on when we stumbled across a really good deal to go to California. Not just California, Anaheim… Disneyland to be exact.
Ever since my little was born, my mom wanted to take her to Disney. I kept telling my mom we needed to hold off until she was at least 5 or 6-years-old. Well, this summer she turned 6. (Which means last fall she was 5… we were at the 5-6 time frame.) We discussed our findings with my parents and my Mother-in-law to see if they’d be interested in going with us. We came up with a game plan, a date, and booked our trip for this summer.
We waited all spring watching the news, debating, talking, stressing, etc. Disney (both World and Land) shut down. I have a friend who lives in California and has season passes to Disneyland. I picked her brain every few days about… is it going to reopen, will this happen, should I reschedule, etc. Finally, she heard rumor that they wouldn’t reopen until January 2021. Crud.
After quick discussion, we decided to start looking into new trip destinations. We couldn’t get our money back (side note… our lives are more important than losing money from a trip, I’m not stupid), but we could reroute our trip… This was all about the time that the one beach opened in California and 40K people flooded to it and they shut beaches back down. We decided that everyone would want the beach so we started looking for other destinations.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, etc. That’s when I suggested Alaska. It’s a state we’ve been wanting to go to… why not. We looked into Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau. We eventually landed on Anchorage.
Let this be known… I’m not here to debate if going on vacation was the right thing to do or not. I was stressed out in the weeks prior to leaving. Stressed beyond belief. I had a few meltdowns. I might be 2. Anyway… the point is… we went on vacation, we had a great time… And here’s what lead us to head to Alaska. We’ll call it the “backstory.”
The initial plans
Alaska wasn’t our first destination.
When my little was about a year old, we were planning a summer vacation. My mom kept mentioning that we should go to Disney World or Disneyland because the little loved Disney so much. I kept saying, let’s hold off until she’s at least 5 or 6. If we’re going to spend that amount of money, I want her to remember it.
Jump forward to last fall.
My husband and I were looking for a vacation for the 2 of us. I don’t know why I think we were just killing time one evening. That’s when he spotted that we could go on vacation to Disney fairly cheaply. Then the debate was on World vs Land. Eventually, we fell upon land because we’d never been to California. Okay, well he had for work, but does that really count?
We talked to my parents and his mom about going to see if they’d be interested. Yup. Got the older daughter on board… and plans started moving forward. (more…)
So… From Ogallala, Nebraska, we headed toward North Platte. Hubby spent the morning in Ogallala trying to get the trailer fixed, but it just wasn’t going to happen. We used a chain to tie up the back axel and off to North Platte we went. We turned off I-80 onto some back roads. About that time the little asked where we were. I jokingly said I don’t know… On a road somewhere in the middle of Nebraska!?!? About all I knew. I wasn’t even sure where we were headed other than North Platte which was 50 miles East on I-80.
Now if you don’t know why it matters that we lost the wheel bearing… here’s why… Do you see that gap in the wheel? That’s where the bearing sits. Now, I’m no expert! Trust me. But basically, that’s metal on metal plus the axel can be bent if you don’t take care of it properly. I won’t go into the details because I’m no expert. From Ogallala, they sent us to North Platte to Kohler Trailer Sales.
We pulled into their parking lot before lunchtime on Tuesday. They were full that day but told us they would get us on the books the next morning and try to get us back on the road. So we dropped the trailer and our truck off and headed to the Holiday Inn Express.
Holiday Inn Express
300 Holiday Frontage Rd
North Platte, NE
This time we had a double queen room. Now, I have to say, I think I liked the bathroom set up better in Ogallala, but this was a very nice room. This hotel had a pool as well. Due to Covid-19, they had some rules in place for using the pool. You were signed up for pool time and were allowed 45 minutes. They limited it to 18 people in the room (I think it was. I do remember it was a few more than Ogallala). (more…)