Sunday, March 24, 2013

St. Patrick's Day from the Air (or Turning Green for the Holiday)

We had an offer to go flying with our friend Andy on St. Patrick's Day. It is something we've been wanting to do since we first moved here so we didn't hesitate to accept. 

We met Andy early this Fall. His son is Harold's friend and classmate. Once upon a time Andy worked as a pilot in the Bering Straits both for Hageland Aviation and Bering Air. This of course put him in the "hey, you're all right" category but he has since moved into the "good friend" category.

Leaning on the expert flier for support. 
Our tour started at the Soldotna Airport where that pretty red plane lives (isn't is nice to see a plane that isn't primarily white?). We flew over Tustumena Lake, circled around toward Kenai and back into Soldotna. On the way back Andy flew low over our house which was exciting for Harold (and maybe his mom too). 

We live in a pretty amazing place. I never tire of seeing mountains and glaciers in the distance as we drive from place to place. Taking it in from above on a perfectly sunny day is even more inspiring.

I normally don't get motion sickness on flights, but I guess that's the case on flights that take a relatively straight path. Midway through this journey, I started feeling pretty um . . . green. It could be because of the amount of turning or because I was trying to take photos while wrangling in an active two year old. Either way, it was all I could do to hold it together until we landed. It turns out my pride is more powerful than my queasy stomach and I made it home without loosing it completely. 

Many thanks to Andy for the ride. I hope you all had a very green St. Patrick's Day! 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sometimes You've Got to Get Away

I was feeling itchy for a change of scenery just before the weekend of my birthday. So I called up a hotel in Anchorage and booked a room for a couple of nights as a birthday present to myself and the family. The kids' number one priority was to have a place to swim. Eat, swim, sleep and veg out in front of the TV was all we planned to do. 

Pool Time

Tizita's time in lakes and pools has been limited compared to fish-boy Harold. She was a bit nervous of the water at first but it wasn't long until she was pestering us just as much as Harold to "swim . . . water". She also got very brave about jumping off the side of the pool into daddy's arms.

If only we all would have the joie de vivre that this girl has hey? 

Despite our best efforts of doing as little as possible, the timing of our trip coincided with Fur Rondy, the events leading up to the start of the Iditarod. Our hotel was conveniently located within walking distance of the downtown events and right next to the snow sculpture competition. We could watch the sculptures take form from our hotel window!

Snow Sculptures

The Carnival

Just a few block from our hotel was a carnival midway. The glowing lights and spinning rides were also visible from our hotel. Harold could hardly wait to go on a ride, play a game and eat cotton candy. We crossed everything off his list.

I associate carnivals with hot and humid August-type weather, not cold and snow. But in Alaska, everyone is just a little tougher than your average American. Any weather is good weather for having fun. So if the carnival is in town, you best bundle up and enjoy it!

Family Bonding

The weekend was every thing we hoped it would be. It was good for us to do a little less running around . . . 

and whole lot more of this.

Homeward Bound

The ride home was nice and peaceful.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Big Trophy Winner

Harold was able to compete in his first official motor sports event in February. Freddie's Roadhouse in Ninilchik hosts snowmachine drag races most Saturdays throughout the winter.

There were only two racers in the 250 cc and under class. The other racer's machine was bigger and the kid was older but Harold still pulled off the win.

Harold is very, very proud of his trophy. He shows it off whenever he can. It has traveled to school for show and tell and he made sure to draw his Sunday School teacher a detailed picture of it. 

Hopefully there will be more opportunities for him to race in the years to come. Circle track races would be more fun but so far there hasn't been any around here. Maybe next winter C.O. and Harold will round up a few other kids and start their own races. 

Harold even made it in the local paper.