Posted in Aging, Anchorage, Quilts, Sewing, Travel

Northern Lights

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The Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis can not be seen in Anchorage in the summer.  To view the amazing phenomenon, you must have dark skies, and we don’t have that right now.  But, Anchorage has a solution.  At the Center For The Performing Arts, until September 1st, is a short movie about it.

This is almost an hour long movie of still shots taken in sequence, so you see the movement in the sky.  If you are looking at the Northern Lights, it’s not like a solid line of color in the sky that pops in and then goes away.  It looks like the light is dancing across the dark sky.

I have never seen the lights in Alaska, but I have seen them in Wisconsin and Illinois and it is pretty amazing.  The movie gives you the feel of the lights with out the sub-zero cold temperatures.  Of course, my mind goes to a quilt.

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Bargello style would work.

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This is a beautiful variation on that.

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Love the needle felting on this quilt.

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Not very different from the quilt before it.

This is a delightful way to see something that most of us do not have an opportunity to see.  In the Roger Ebert style review I give it a thumbs up for a way to experience it.  Also a gallery where you can purchase signed copies of the photographs.

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Posted in Anchorage, Quilts, Sewing, Travel, Yes

Ravens

Not the ones from Baltimore.  Not that I have anything against them.  I always like the colors of their uniforms.

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I am talking about the  ones that live in my neighborhood here in Anchorage.  I have seen raven before, at the Tower in London or at the Zoo.  This is the first time we have shared such close territory.  They like to sit on the roof of my building and talk to one another.

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So at times when I am out on my balcony, I hear them first and this is a very loud bird, next I see the beak over the edge of the roof. So I did a bit of research and this is kind of a mystical bird in some cultures.  To Edgar Allan Poe, he simply said “Nevermore.”

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There are Native American stories about how the raven stole the sun and the moon and the stars and changed the earth. I love these drawings of ravens.

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My favorite bit about raven is the rare white or albino raven.  Again various mystical powers have been attributed to white ravens.

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This is just another thing that is so easy to take for granted.  This bird now has me fascinated with its actions so I can see where in earlier times it was easy to give the bird magical powers.  I am currently just enjoying the sounds that tell me he or she is here. Also trying to figure out how many ravens will end up in my Alaska quilt.

Maybe this will be my Alaskan tatoo??

Posted in Aging, Anchorage, Food, Travel, Yes

2 Breakfasts

I have not talked about restaurants here in Anchorage yet.  Of course I have been going to them as I travel around the city.  Let’s start with breakfast.  I really don’t like to do a compare/contrast write up, but this will be a little of that. When I asked for restaurants of locals I got a few repeats and think that is always a good starting point.

A good travel buddy of mine, also a Kathy, had a theory when we were in another country that worked especially well.  On the street ask someone who looks like a local for a good restaurant.  If you get 2 out of 3 saying the same thing it is probably true.  This has definitely worked in the past.

The first place I went to because of both the recommendations and the appearance.  It looks like a diner dropped in midtown Anchorage.  I almost expected to see  Alice there.

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The seating is booths and an extended counter if you want that diner experience.  They are open for breakfast and lunch and make lunches to go for people traveling or touring. The food is delicious and quick.  The place seems to be obviously filled with locals or at least repeat customers.  Based on the staff greeting of patrons.

The menu has many standards, but also some original items. Fresh ingredients and I cleaned my plate on both occasions I visited.  Which I am not known for.  In many cases I ask for a to go container almost as soon as I sit down, because I don’t eat that much at one sitting.

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Another place is Snow City Café an early morning restaurant in downtown Anchorage.   I was surprised at where some of the recommendations came from, but knew this had to be on my list.

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Near the Captain Cook Hotel on 4th St.  I was a little surprised by the 1 hour wait time to be seated.  This was not a Sunday Morning in the south after church, where that seems a normal wait time.  This was the case on the several occasions I stopped there. They also accept reservations which I suppose is a good thing.  I am not sure this is a local hang out, but quite a few tourists were in here.

The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only, they also have an expresso bar and pastries. Once seated the wait time for my meals was almost as long as the time to be seated.  Good thing I wasn’t hungry.  I was underwhelmed by the food on each occasion and  might stop to pick up a pastry, but probably not.

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Both restaurants serve alcohol and a variety of beverages along with the food.  The hours are comparable as are the prices.  The downtown location might make it easy for someone in a hotel, but midtown is a quick cab or bus ride from everywhere.

Now we simply need to get Guy Fieri to come to this diner for his show.

Posted in Aging, Anchorage, Moose, Travel, Yes

Segway Tour

When did this become a thing?  I guess I was not paying attention to all the trends out there.  You can take Segway tours all over the world. Pictures in front of the Eifel Tower or the White House or the Golden Gate Bridge.  I guess because I came here as more of a visitor than a local I am looking at touristy things a little more. Well Anchorage has a Segway tour, it lasts about 90 minutes and that includes instructions on how to ride one.

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The tour starts in downtown Anchorage and covers a lot of territory and information about the city, plus it’s just a fun thing to do.  For those who are a little intimidated, they have ones that you can sit on and just cruise along with the rest of the group.

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As the map shows they are right in the midst of everything.  This is a tour for all ages and the day we were there, most of the people on the tour were locals.  I thought that was pretty interesting because it just gives people a different way to look at their own town.

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Look Ma, no hands moment in front of the old train downtown.  This is a spot several of the tours come to, because it really is an important part of Alaskan history and it is a very pretty spot to see.

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This is certainly a tour I would consider for everyone to try.  All the people on the tours I see around town seem to be having fun, even on rainy days.  They just put on a poncho and a smile and off they go.

So look into the next big city you are visiting and consider this type of tour.

Posted in Aging, Anchorage, Moose, Travel, Yes

Climbing Flattop

Flattop Mountain is about 15 miles outside of Anchorage in the Chugach State Park and is over 3,000 feet high.  It is known as the most climbed mountain in all of Alaska.  Because of its location and much of it is able to be climbed by the novice with no real special equipment required.

There is a van from Anchorage that travel there daily from mid-April to mid-October for a small fee.  On your own it is a short drive to the State Park.  The trail is well marked and it is about 3 miles round-trip. This is one way to get great views of Anchorage as well.

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This was Flattop a short time ago.  There were a few moose sightings the day we were there, but you can never tell just what wildlife will show up.

The last bit of the hike is not quite as easy and is much more vertical.  That is hands and legs and knees helping to get to the summit to see the flag.

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Flattop in the winter.

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Just beyond the summit there is a ridge line that the daring climb for even higher elevations and thrills. What a thrill being able to go home and tell everyone you climbed a mountain in Alaska.

 

Posted in Anchorage, Travel, Yes

Beautiful Alaska

Today is just a beautiful day here. It is 70 degrees out and sunny, there is a breeze blowing all the time, the patio door is wide open and it will be this way until almost 11:00 PM tonight, when it will start to cool a little.

People are out, in shorts and tank tops, flip-flops or sandals for everybody.  The skies are clear and blue with just a few fluffy clouds rolling around.  It is a kind of day that you invent an excuse to be outside.  Even if it means work!

Downtown hundred of baskets of flowers are hanging everywhere.

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Motorcycles are making their own special music today.

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And I really want to be here today!

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Posted in Aging, Travel, Yes

Open

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Independent, adventurous, accepting, open, curious, happy, sad, trusting, confused, fearful, confident, adaptable, rigid, involved, observant and this is just the start of the list.

 

Travel opens your eyes, your mind and your heart.  All these things would be helpful to us in todays world, we seem to have no tolerance for another viewpoint or opinion if it does not match ours.

I am too sad with the world today to write about the fun things I am doing.  More later.

 

Posted in Aging, Anchorage, Travel, Uncategorized

4th of July – Alaska

Let me start by saying I am a huge fan of this holiday. I love fireworks displays, I make my family all wear red, white and blue and I love a parade. My patriotic heart swells when the fireworks are timed to a patriotic song.  I do volunteer to take all the kids to every firework display around and I truly love every minute.

I got my potato salad ready and cut up the watermelon and had to test the ingredients for s’mores to see if they were fresh enough on the 3rd.  I was ready.  I might also say, I have been lucky enough to experience this day in a variety of places over the years so  I have multiple locations for comparison.

The public transit system shuts down here on holidays, makes it a little more difficult.  We are also still in the midst of long summer days, about 19 + hours of daylight still.  So I find my way downtown, where everything is set to happen.

Many of the vendors are the same ones we have seen in other locations, with a few more added.  The resource pool for that is limited here.  The park just on the edge of downtown is a long park that is one block wide, much like the mall in Washington DC in front of many of the museums.   Only this is only one block wide and very few trees.

A great location for all types of events.  Lots of space for families to picnic and plenty of room for the vendors.  It also provides lots of viewing space for the parade.

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On a normal day, no special events.

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All in all a fun day among enthusiastic participants and beautiful surroundings.  I did not stay awake for the fireworks which are set for about midnight to get as much dark sky as possible.  I do have a photo and from what I heard they were just as wonderful as everything else was on this chilly July 4 in Alaska.

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Posted in Aging, Uncategorized

Goodby Garrison

Garrison Keillor ends his Prairie Home Companion show after 42 years.  I was not always a fan, even though I knew those people he spoke of.  I am from the Midwest and could put a name to each of those delightful people who he spoke so eloquently about.

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This show grew on me as a long time friendship does.  Now we had history together even if he never knew me as a member of his audience.  I liked some segments more than other, but behind everything was his dry humor about his fictional town and its inhabitants and they drew me in.

As a lifelong listener to Public Radio, I look forward to his next endeavor.  Goodbye and good luck in all aspects of your future.

Posted in Aging, Anchorage, Travel

Farmers Market

There are several smaller markets around town,  other than the large one near downtown.  This is one of them.

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Smaller space.

Lot’s of local produce.

Crafts.

Fresh seafood.

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My purchases.

There is also entertainment and picnic tables to sit and enjoy.  A really nice market.  This food was excellent, fully ripe, organic, local tomatoes and strawberries, plus sourdough bread.  Good stop on a Saturday around town.