Now that July is wrapping up, I can say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how many summer-like days we’ve been having up here. June was ridiculously nice and I didn’t expect it to last. But it did! Woot!
People visiting Alaska this summer must have the impression it’s always like this. But, as I’ve been told by many who’ve been here for decades, this summer is far sunnier than normal and certainly way hotter. I know it’s probably not the best sign, seeing as Alaska is actually supposed to be quite cool in general, but for selfish reasons I gotta say that I’m soaking up every bit of this warmth that I can. I know it’s not gonna last forever.
That said, my husband and I actually took a little trip down to the Lower 48 at the beginning of July. Though we were sad to be missing amazing weather in Alaska, we enjoyed getting away for a short time because Alaska is pretty darn remote so sometimes it’s nice to “escape” for a bit.
We first headed to Portland where I attended a conference called the World Domination Summit. It probably sounds a bit funny, “world domination”, I promise it’s not as overreaching as it sounds. The people who attended aren’t about to dominate the world in the crazy-evil-comic-book sense. It’s more like a bunch of people getting together who want to make a difference and give back to the community, choose a less-than-conventional path in life and otherwise live intentionally. All great things in my book.
I really enjoyed meeting so many interesting people and listening to some brilliant and inspiring minds speak. One of my favorites was Darren Rowse of Problogger & Digital Photography School fame (fame in the online world, anyway). He talked about following Your Dreams (yes, with a capital “Y” and a capital “D”) and asked how many of us were doing that. And if not, why? Something maybe more of us should consider, no?
After our long weekend in Portland, we made our way up to Seattle.
Tristan met with a few clients in Seattle, but we also had time to play. We visited the Chihuly Garden & Glass exhibition for the first time and it was quite stunning. The colors and the shapes of the blown glass is overwhelming to the senses, but in a good way.
And whenever I travel, I also like to make time to visit lots of parks and like to seek out little oases in the cities. During my last visit, I’d walked around Washington Park (which has a lovely arboretum), Golden Gardens (good access to the beach), Kerry Park (close-up and higher view of the city) and Gas Works (right by the water and close to the city, too).
This time we headed out to Discovery Park. It was a nice, warm day and perfect for spending some time on the beach.
Vancouver & Whistler, British Columbia
After Seattle, we drove up to Whistler and Vancouver for more client visits.
I’ve been playing around with the panorama function on my iPhone and think the results are quite good for it being so simple to use and on a phone no less. This was taken at Stanley Park just north of Vancouver looking back towards the city.
And here’s another great view of the city from Kitsilano, a neighborhood to the southwest.
Back to Alaska
After our week away, we were ready to get back and take advantage of summer.
It had been about 15 years but I *finally* got myself a bike. Yay! I don’t know what took me so long, really. I love long bike rides and like that you can travel much greater distances than walking.
This was taken along the Chester Creek Trail that winds through the city.
And this one was along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, a perennial favorite for tourists and locals alike.
It’s been a few months of what seems like non-top sunlight and honestly, I still love it. The land of the Midnight Sun in the summertime helps me get more done because I find that I don’t mind working as long as the sun’s up.
And of course all work and no play isn’t good for anyone, so we try to sneak in fun stuff, too. Here’s a shot taken at 9pm one night when we went to the driving range to tee up a few.
And of course no photo round up would be complete without a shot of my fur baby. Here Nani’s eager to go on her daily walk. I swear she would go on walks all day long if she could.
There are sooo many wonderful paths, trails and parks scattered throughout Anchorage that we’ve only managed to touch on a few. This one was particularly nice on a sunny afternoon.
And last, but definitely not least, is the hike we went on yesterday up at Arctic Valley ski area. There are 2 main reasons I love it so much:
1) The views. I mean really, it doesn’t get much better than this.
2) Accessibility. At about 4 miles roundtrip, it’s a relatively easy and short hike and it’s not that hard to get to from Anchorage. It’s just a bit north of the city and you get a killer cardio workout with amazing rewards at the top.
Think that just about sums up July. ‘Til next month, happy & safe travels! :)