Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Alaska and the Story of Miss Camon Part 2

We were fortunate to fly into Anchorage, during daylight hours and on a day when it was clear and beautiful. The above photo was taken from our plane as we were getting close to Anchorage. I need to say from the outset that pictures really don't do justice to all your eyes are taking in. Alaska is—well, majestic and that is difficult to capture. We did however, make a feeble attempt.

Our first stop was, The Alaska Fur Exchange, a fascinating little store that held an array of animal fur. Head pieces, gloves, boots, and it seemed, any type of fur imaginable. We had fun "trying on" all the various pieces, including some boots made out of beaver, which would be a must for me, if I lived there. This is how the natives have kept warm for centuries.

You may be needing to sport a couple of wolverines on your head.

Or, how do you think hubby and I look as wolf and fox?

For lunch that day Camon took us to a little place you might be familiar with, called Taco Del Mar. We don't have them here in Kentucky, so for us, it was a treat. I ordered the fish tacos and they were delicious!

Next stop was Alaska Wildberry Products Theatre and Park. We were not able to do the Theatre and park because it's mostly outdoors and not open in the winter. However we did enjoy the gift shop which is home to a 20-foot chocolate waterfall. The "falls" uses 3,000 pounds of chocolate. You can of course smell it as soon as you walk in.

If you are a family with little kids, and in Anchorage in the summer, your family would really enjoy this.

Breakfast the next morning was a highlight. We went to a restaurant called Snow City Cafe, alocal favorite. The food was delicious! Camon ordered the Kodiak Benedict–poached eggs, Alaskan king crab cakes, toasted english muffin, hollandaise, topped with green onions.

My husband and I ordered the Crabby Omelet—snow crab, swiss cheese, green onions and avocado. This cafĂ© also serves lunch and everything on their menu looked scrumptious!

On day three we ventured out of Anchorage about 40 miles south to a little town called Girdwood. Everything about this day was spectacular. The drive to Girdwood is next to the bay (or inlet) and you are surrounded on all sides with spectacular mountain views.

Here, Camon and I are right next to the frozen bay. Sometimes you would see lots of mud-flats and other times, you would see the bay starting to melt and streams of slush and ice moving in currents beside you.

Once in Girdwood we went to the Alyeska Ski Resort. We walked around the hotel and from the hotel you can take this tram to the top. The view on the way up and from the top of the mountain was incredible! I've never seen anything like it!

If you are an avid skier, then this is the place for you. This photo was taken looking up from where you exit the tram. The skiers also have a choice to go further if they take the ski lift.

There is a very elegant restaurant at the summit with an incredible view (of course). There is also a snack bar for the skiers. Another little round building hosts a collection of fascinating historical photos and local stories telling the history of Alyeska and the construction of the ski lifts.

For lunch on the next day we went to a great restaurant in Anchorage called Moose's Tooth. This was a delicious pub and pizzeria. Camon and I enjoyed splitting the "A-Mae-Zing" apricot pizza, blackened chicken, cream cheese, apricot sauce, fresh red peppers, carrot threads, green onions and cilantro. My husband enjoyed the Pastrami Sandwich.

And for dessert, when you're already full, how about a piece of mud pie—yum!

On one of our last days we had the privilege of going to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. They were having a special event that particular day called the Multicultural Drumming and Dance Festival. We not only were able to see the Alaskan natives dancing and drumming. But, we also enjoyed seeing a troupe from Hawaii and some modern dance from New York.

Our first and last meal in Anchorage was spent at The Glacier Brewhouse. We liked this restaurant so much that we decided to eat there twice. The first time we had the Bourbon BBQ Alaskan Salmon. We did not have the camera handy and we were quite hungry, so no pictures of that. To call it "delicious" is a bit of an understatement! The second time, we had the Ginger-Pepper Crusted Rockfish (pictured above). Ginger-pepper seared rockfish, jasmine rice, Thai coconut curry, sauted spinach and peppers with cucumber, mango and pineapple salsa. A great way to end a great trip!

We are course forever grateful to my dear friend Camon for making this trip possible. She was also a wonderful tour guide, having everything planned out in advance. Life is good. So much to enjoy! But it's all made so much more wonderful in the presence of dear friends. We are so blessed.

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