Coffee anyone?

Trip Start Jul 27, 2010
Trip End Jun 28, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

At home in Royal Oak, Starbucks, Caribbou Coffee, and Tim Horton's were my picks for a quick cup of coffee. They were all pretty close to where we lived or where I was out and about, and all offered pretty much the same menu. We do have a Starbuck's, not a drive-thru though, and most of the big grocery stores have a coffee spot, but in Anchorage, it's the "java huts" that are everwhere.

One of the first things I noticed, is the java spots. I love a cup of coffee. Here in Anchorage, I call them them the "java huts", they're everywhere.  Besides getting a cup of coffee, or a latte, or any other coffee beverage there is a variety of options depending on the "hut" you stop at. Some are strictly breakfast offerings, dounuts, bagels, scone, jams and then usually simple lunch sandwiches. But then there are some that have a whole BBQ menu, some are known for their burritos or health smoothies. They are usually painted bright colors, have fun names and are just a shack on a dirt parking lot area off one of the main roads. While traveling to some other areas around Anchorage I've found them also. Definately a local thing.

When you drive around Anchorage it at times seems just like home, many of the same stores, Target, Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, Kohl's, JCPenney, Sears, Walgreen's, there is even Nordstrom and a Coach store and BedBathBeyond, and all the same fast food spots, BUT if you look deeper, you find what makes it unique.

I have not really checked out the galleries or local art spots. That's something I will go do on my own when Ken gets working and Allison is in school. Probably discover a lot while I'm Christmas shopping.

We have been trying to get out and explore. The parks here are really not open expanses of green grass. Most are very heavily wooded area with extensive trail systems. Some are lighted for night time use. The trails are used for walking, x-country skiing, horse back riding, biking, and lots of dog walking (I think we are the only people here without a dog).

Anchorage is also boardered on the east side by the Chugch State Park, which has its own extensive trail system up in the hills (mountains) that surround Anchorage (it's the foothills of these mountains that we live in, our house faces west with all of Anchorage in front of us, we can actually see across the Cook Inlet to the mountains on the other side of the inlet, including Mt. Spur at about 11,000 ft.), Since Allison has started school, Ken and I have been out walking the trails or playing golf. It will get cold here and snow by mid October so we are trying to get the golf in while we can

We made it to Girdwood for the Blueberry Festival. It was the 3rd weekend in August, really nice day. They had it set up all around the ski resort. Beer tent, wine tasting, food tents, arts and crafts, kid crafts, Allison got her face painted, we picked blueberries up in the woods, and each had a different local dish. Allison had a huge buffalo burger, Ken had salmon, and I had a reindeer sausage with all the fixin's (I love these things, we can get them at Costco here and they are really good). Allison even entered the blueberry pie eating contest. While she did not win she had a really good time.

It was also a sunny day and we really enjoyed the ride along the coast. It was the first time we did it with a really clear view of the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet. That is the waterway that cuts inland south of Anchorage and is about 45 miles long and heads to the Portage Glacier, the closest glacier to Anchorage (that is still on our list of things to do). We understand many Beluga whales can be spotted here in the Turnagain Arm (we have not seen any yet), and at time Orca's, we have not seen them either.

We also got to attend the Alaska State Fair in Palmer which is north of Anchorage, It was quite a large fair, a lot more to it then we had anticipated. We really liked all the exhibits (and decided I could have won a ribbon hands down for my blueberry bread so if we stay another year I will be entering the competition).  Allison and Ken tested the rides, we had some great food, I even found a gyro that was excellent! The end of the day was very fun with a lumberjack show, I had never seen one before, very fun, lots of chainsaw events and the log rolling was cool. One of the lumberjacks was the guy from the Kool-aide comercial where the big Kool-aide guy is rolling a log. The funny thing was all lumberjacks were from Wisconsin.

The weather is finally cooperating with us, it is still a mixed bag, but it is not raining everyday like it was. The temp is usually in the upper 60's which I have no problem with, it makes it nice when your out hiking. We are well past the bad bug season so not worse mosquitos than it was in Michigan. We still see moose around the house, we have even had a cow and her 2 calfs (that is mom moose with 2 young moose) in our backyard lying under the trees in the shade for several hours at a time, and we saw another black bear walk up the driveway behind us and back into the woods, he was just out strolling along (my garage door was shut this time).

The only bad news I have is my camera is not well. I can not zoom at all, the lens is really sensitive now. Think I've had it 2 or 3 years now and it has done a lot of traveling. I'm looking for a new one but have not bought one yet. Some a the pictures may be a hair fuzzy and like I mentioned not able to zoom.

Hope this finds you all well, come see us, it is amazing here.

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Bob Swor on

Is it clear enough to see Russia yet?

Gary DeKorte on

This is my first visit to your site, WOW, how beautiful. I am totally jealous and would love to see Alaska. Thanks for taking the time to put all of this information and photos up for us to see. Gary

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