Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Weekend/Mendenhall Glacier

This weekend I was feeling a little glum about our lack of Halloween plans.  Usually, Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I LOVE planning elaborate costumes, decorating, baking spooky treats, etc.  This year we couldn't decorate because we were moving and I ran out of time to get a costume.  So, I was looking for a way to fill my Halloween void this weekend and I found it via traveling to Mendenhall Glacier. 
Panoramic shot of Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. 

Cody and I loaded in the car yesterday and headed out to the glacier! I had never seen a glacier before, except on google pictures, so I was pretty stoked.  When we got there we decided to go off the beaten path a bit and hike on the beach pathway instead of the main trail.  We hiked back to the glacier and a waterfall known as Nugget Falls.  It was soooo gorgeous! We couldn't believe our luck at getting to hike out there on such a sunny and beautiful day.  The weather was perfect! A little chilly, but that is to be expected :) 
Cody on Steep Creek Trail.  There aren't many bear signs in the Midwest!

Me standing in front of Mendenhall Glacier-on the beach trail.

To top off our day of fun we made some Mexican food and tucked in to a scary move.  We watched Insidious, which was pretty scary.  To make matters freakier, we got a call at 9:30 that there had been an earthquake and we were under s tsunami advisory (huh??).  As midwesterners, we are not used to earthquakes, tsunamis, or anything of the sort.  Thankfully, we didn't see any effects of it.  But, my sister saw a bit of it living down in Hawaii.  Anyways, we are all safe and sound for now! 

So, maybe not my typical Halloween weekend but it was still an eventful one.  We are going back to the glacier today and taking the dog.  Thinking about making a little bit longer of a hike today.  Then, this evening we are going to look at a car.  We are hoping to buy a second car with 4WD so that Cody and I aren't stuck sharing mine all winter.  

Enjoy this beautiful Sunday :) 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bear Drills

Well, today marked my first day as a Curriculum Supervisor at my new job.  To be clear, this is my first adult job so I was pretty nervous.  The day went very smoothly though.  I did a lot of training with the other supervisor and met all of the kiddos.  There are forty kiddos at the center so I have a lot of names to try and remember!

The most interesting part of the day was when I learned how to do a "bear drill."  When I first heard of this I honestly thought it was a joke.  But, I guess that bears wander up on to the playground sometimes so they have practice drills.  For these drills the kiddos hear a whistle blow and they basically take off running for the entrance of the building and get inside as quickly as possible.  This is pretty hysterical to me.  I can't believe that I am living someplace where drills need to happen like this!! Crazy stuff.

Have any of you ever done a bear drill?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Illinois to Alaska: Days 3-7

Well, I know we didn't keep everyone updated on the road as much as we would have liked.  Things were crazy though and by the time we got to the hotel at night we were pooped.  So, here is a little crash course in the last few days of our travels.

Day 3:  On the third day we drove out of Colorado, through Utah, and finally stopped in Idaho.  It was a very long day of travel.  We could have made the trip in eight hours but we got held up in Colorado by a cop.  We were pulled over for some crazy reason.  The cop then said that we were "suspicious"  and that he needed to question us individually! Cody and I felt like we were being harassed.  He pulled me out of the car for no reason and told me he thought the car was stolen even though I gave him valid insurance and registration!  All in all, he kept us for forty minutes.  Thankfully, Cody and I are the opposite of suspicious, so he had to let us go.  The rest of the day was mildly uneventful after this point. The drive was pretty and the towns were few and far between.  We went 110 miles between towns in Utah!

Day 4:  On the fourth day we drove out of Idaho, through Oregon, and stopped in Washington.  Idaho was pretty and Oregon was too.  We were expecting Oregon to be a lot more green than it was but we were in eastern Oregon and we didn't realize the desert stretched quite that far.  Washington was by far our favorite scenery of the driving trip.  We got to Port Orchard, WA and stayed with some wonderful family friends who graciously took us in for the night.  We were incredibly thankful for home cooked food and a comfy bed  (Thanks Gina and Conny!!).
Specks & I in Oregon 

Port Orchard, WA

Days 5-7:  We finally boarded the boat on Friday!! Woo! We loved the ferry ride and Bellingham, WA (the ferry left from Bellingham).  Bellingham was gorgeous and the ferry terminal was in such a pretty location.  We finally boarded this GIGANTIC ferry boat and took off for Alaska.  It was a breathtaking trip and Cody and I met some fun people on the ferry.  We stopped in Ketchikan, Wrangle, and Petersburg.  We ate breakfast at this restaurant called "The Landing"  in Ketchikan and it was really tasty.  The boat ride was fun for us, Specks wasn't a huge fan though.  He hated using the bathroom on the boat.  But, we all survived and made it to Juneau at 5am this morning.  Finally, we are tucked in our new apartment and are spending some time relaxing :)
Cody waiting to board the ferry.  

Cody & I sailing through the Gulf of Alaska! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Illinois to Alaska: Days 1 & 2

The trip has begun! We headed out from Illinois early on Monday morning and are now lounging in a hotel in Colorado.  We had hopes to make it a little farther but we broke down and decided to cruise more leisurely. Driving more leisurely has made all the difference and we are enjoying our trip a lot more today.  I think Specks also appreciates the shorter travel days :)

Monday, we drove through Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas.  It was a LONG day.  We finally stopped around 10pm and got a hotel in the middle of Kansas.  If you haven't been to Kansas, you aren't missing much.  Kansas was hot and boring to drive through.  We did however see more cows than I ever imagined.  So, we tucked in to a hotel and promptly passed out for the evening.

Tuesday, we decided to drive a few hours less (8 hours instead of 11).  This ended up being a good idea because neither of us had ever driven through the Rocky Mountains before.  The mountains were breathtaking and we were able to get some amazing photographs. However, the mountains were VERY scary to drive through so we are now hiding in our hotel room kissing the ground.  Hopefully, we can post more pictures in the near future.  

Rocky Mountains-9,000ft. 
I will try to keep you all updated as much as I can over the next few days!  Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

So Long, SoILL


Friday afternoon we said farewell to our home in southern Illinois (SoILL). We made the five-hour trek from our home to my parents home near Chicago. Our car was packed a little too tightly. So, we will be leaving a load or two of stuff with my mom to mail to us in Juneau.

Cody & I packing the trunk

Cody strapping down the turtle shell

Getting in the car to leave
There will be plenty more pictures when we leave northern Illinois.  We will have party pictures, packing pictures, and departure pictures.  We will be driving the trip in a few legs.  Our definite stopping points will be Colorado, Utah, and Washington.  Everything else we will play by ear.  I will try my best to keep everyone updated through the blog and Facebook. I am hoping to get some amazing pictures as we drive!

Enjoy the weekend :) 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Last Call for the Band

Cody's band, I Am Ruin, had their final show with him as the drummer on Saturday.  It was very bittersweet.  I really loved everyone in the band and all of the lovely girlfriends/wives.  I hope we can find another band in Juneau that has great people in it.  The show went well and Cody played wonderfully.  The picture below is of them after the show.  All of the boys shaved their facial hair into mustaches for the final show.  They all looked a bit like seventies movie stars.  

In other news, we leave in five days!  We are getting really excited and have been able to separate our driving trip up into about five days.  So, we should be able to drive at a leisurely pace and see some fantastic sights.  Cody and I are both excited for the road trip because neither of us has ever driven out west before undertaking this trip.  This time next week we will be preparing for our first night out on the road! 

Question:  Have any of you ever driven out west?  If so, what are some great places we should stop along the way?  (We are taking I-70)  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vegetable Soup

This evening I made some delicious vegetable soup and cheesy garlic rolls.  Both things turned out wonderfully and my belly was full for hours and hours.  My lunch tomorrow should be awesome!  Here are the recipe's for both :)

Vegetable Soup
Browning veggies!  
1 1/2 cup carrots
1/2 cup tomatos
1 cup celery
1/4 cup onions
1/4 cup peppers
2 cups of brown rice
6-8 cups of Vegetable Broth
Spices (add to taste):  Salt, pepper, garlic salt, chili powder, basil
***Fill bottom of soup pot with a tiny amount of olive oil and put all vegetables in.  Heat them until they begin to brown.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Add rice and reduce heat.  Continue to heat on a medium setting until rice is cooked.

Cheesy Garlic Rolls
8 Rolls (pre-made or dough)
1 Tbs butter or substitue
Garlic Salt
Cheese (any kind will work!)
***Put rolls, uncooked, on a greased cookie sheet.  Melt butter in a separate bowl and add garlic salt.  Drizzle butter and salt on rolls.  Top the rolls with the cheese.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.