Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The things they say...

We've been toying with potty training, seeing if the idea will catch on. Today I was explaining the process and resulting reward for a productive ending. Upon hearing this Phi quickly needed to "squirt" so we hurried to the bathroom. He's sitting there perched on the seat trying and nothing's coming, he look's up and goes, "Mommy, Phi browken."

Here's his version of see- you- later- alligator.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kids, Scenery, Flowers and Mosquitos...

We just got back from a week in Alaska for Mr. Tech's work. Aunt TeTe came along this time and made it more of a vacation for every one. The flight up was not horrible other than for Phi who, as soon as he saw the airplane coming up at the end of the walkway said, "airplane getou" and wanted nothing to do with it. And it did, gobbled him up and took 'im off to AK. So this is what greeted us upon arrival at Ted Stevens in Anchorage.
There were several of these out front just for pets.

Here was our real welcome, the little cabin we stayed in out in Wasilla. Not a hotel in downtown Anchorage but a cabin!! I have nothing against hotels, but, it's so much more nicer to be able to cook your own meals and have a real refrigerator, and not so many close neighbors and you get the general idea. This is actually around 11:00 at night, it's AK summer time, almost continuously light!

The boys were fascinated by the stairs since they don't have free access to the ones here at home, the up/down process went on all week in any spare time.

Entertainment is pretty easy to bring along for the little men at this stage of the game. :)

One of the highlights of the cabin we stayed at was they put some food in the cupboards and refridg. as a welcome. This included fresh eggs from their chickens, homemade jam, butter, pancake mix, syrup, a quart of milk and juice among other things, every thing for a perfect breakfast that first morning without a trip to the store first, a big plus, to me anyway!!
Breakfast compliments of AK Birch Cottages.

The first day we hung around the cabin and got good naps and such in an attempt to recover from a crazy week and 4th of July weekend prior to the trip. But on day #2 I took Mr. Tech into work so we could snitch the van for a bit of sightseeing. We headed out the Glenn Highway with a bit of lunch and our cameras to see what we could see. We had the Matanuska Glacier in mind but decided it was too far without Mr. Tech along and we only had half a tank of gas since I forgot to fill up before heading out of Palmer. This view of the Matanuska river was the first scenery to greet us. We're on the one edge of the valley about 1000 feet or more from the valley floor where the river flowed. The road wound or maybe hopped would be a better word, along this river most of the time, sometimes at 1000 ft without guard rails and others with the water roaring passed at eye level (while almost), I didn't get any good closeups that would show the angry, gray, turbulent water that made you feel rather queezy at times. (Just keep your eyes on the road...)

We made it as far as this lake and decided it looked calm enough to take a lunch break at. It was the calmest thing we had seen so far, other then one other lake rather off the beaten path that, after winding back in among the mountains on a lonely gravel road, miles from anywhere, to our amusement we passed a sign that stated "Neighborhood Watch...we immediately report all suspicious activity." This one was right on the main highway and seemed a bit friendlier especially since it sort of had bathrooms. :D

And little fish that seemed curious about these strange creatures who were invading their territory.

Umm, lunch time.

We went back to the cabin for naps after this and later that evening came back up with Mr. Tech to check out the Glacier which was quite a ways farther. This is an eye level picture of the valley though you can't see the river well, it's all spread out across the vast gravel bed below the mountain.

And finally the Glacier (behind Phi's head) and a bazillion mosquito. They were horrible and must have been immune to repelant too, we put it on in an attempt at taking a short informatory hike with glacier views but they won half way through and we retreated to the van.

Aunt Te Te and Jeffy prior to the retreat.

Also a bit of the flora we captured while slapping, not sure what this one is.

Much of the greenery is very like what we have here at home only with a lot more lakes and rivers and mountains and the occasional glacier thrown in.
Wild rose in bloom.

And Lupine Oregon's favorite roadside flower.

A better, mosquitoless view of the glacier from farther down the road safe in side the van.

You can actually drive to within a 1/2 mile of the Matanuska Glacier for the small fee of $15 dollars per person (!) and than hike the remaining 1/2 mosquito slapping mile if you actually wanted to walk on the Glacier, we were not so brave...

Back at the cabin, Jeffy's bath time, he seems rather indignant at having his picture taken.

On one of the afternoons we walked to the nearest grocery a mile down the road along these Alaska side walks. Almost all back roads have them, in winter they're snowmobile tracks and in summer three and four wheeler race tracks. We were hiking along here one day and suddenly heard a 4 wheeler in the distance, a bit exciting when you realized where you were standing, he came flying around the corner and whew! was on the road thankfully!

Another interesting flower.

A cool thing about being near a small town, we walked to the local Matanuska Creamery and got some fresh ice cream.

which tasted delicious, Leroy just doesn't want every one to know that.

We also got to go to two local farmers markets since we were between the towns of Palmer and Wasilla. The local produce there seemed to be lettuce, zucchini, kale, or cucumbers so we passed on that part but did find some fun hats and lovely smelling homemade soaps and lotions.
Mr. Tech modeling his hat.

Leroy modeling mine.

Friday night we decided to go up Hatcher Pass, an area with a history in gold mining.
It was amazing, by the time you got to the top you felt like you were in another country.

The Little Susitna River ran through the valley.

The greenery made us think of the alps (the pictures anyway, never been there)

The first wildlife we'd seen all week other than mosquito and the occasional Raven or Magpie.
A Rock Badger (I think).

Wild Flowers

Amazing views, slap, slap, yes there were mosquitoes here too.

Summit Lake (up that little trail on the hillside, it wasn't stroller friendly)

Aunt TeTe among the hills taking panoramic shots, to whom we would like to say a large thank you for much help with three certain small munchkins!!!

A lodge and cabins you could spend nights in.

And the Independence Gold Mine no longer in use.

very cool to stroll around though.

No gold, but water flowing under the bridge is just as exciting to these little men.

So beautiful, we were there late (this is around 9:00 pm) so pretty much no one else was around, besides the mosquitoes...

The long house's where the miners stayed, this was a commercial mine or what ever you call one when you have someone else do the work for you.

Leroy living on the edge.

Saturday we had the red eye flight to look forward to so tried to take it easy all day. We did head up to try and see McKinley and got this lovely picture of it, all pre labeled and every thing. :) The mountain it's self was wrapped in clouds and smoke haze due to wild fires that had been burning all week. The tip did peek out a few times and is actually in this picture though it's harder to pick out here than it was in person.

To little men who were just enthralled with the view! :P

Leroy coming in for a landing.

So we thought we would be leaving the state with the sighting of these authentic Alaskan souvenirs as our only glimpse of a moose, when we looked up and suddenly tada...

There she was crossing the river...

or trying any way, she would walk along what must have been a sand bar and then start for the bank and sink in and start swimming.

The current of the river would then carry her down past the island she was trying to reach and she would climb back onto the sand bar for another try. She did this several times while we watched and by the looks of the pebbles must have been at it for a few days :P

So that was our trip, if you made it this far it's probably time for dinner or so but it had to be all or nothing. Besides I usually give you at least a month to read these posts anyway. Well, I better run the troops are revolting. Happy trails...