Friday, December 7, 2012

Wanderlust: Alaska

I'm excited to kick off a series about travel, which was inspired by this post,

I have a serious travel bug. When it comes to how I would like to spend my discretionary income I will always push towards a trip somewhere. This was somewhat of a problem when Adam and I were first married, because his idea of spending discretionary income almost always goes towards cars, or something car related. Then we found a perfect compromise.. a way to combine our two passions. Our first combined interest trip was to Colorado Springs for the world famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which is a 12.42 mile race up Pikes Peak that starts at 9,390 feet elevation and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit.  Spent part of the weekend exploring the area and finished off with the race. Even for someone who is not a car or race enthusiast, this was fun.  His desire to experience a world famous race also satisfied my desire to see new places. Truth be told, since that trip he has become a lot more interested in seeing the world, and I've become a little more open to spending time along side of the race track ;)  But that story is for another time.

Today I want to share with you my first wanderlust. Alaska. I know, not incredibly original but I've had the strong wish to visit there since probably the second grade, when we had a lesson on Arctic animals. The light turned on for me this year as I was decorating for Christmas, and re-discovered this elegant aluminum reindeer I picked up a few years ago.

 I love cold weather animals. They seriously intrigue me with their drastic change in color from spring to winter, their hardiness in surviving some of the most dangerous temperatures in the world. 

And I won't lie, I want to pet a moose's nose one day. I'd lure him in with a cookie.
But what really draws me in is the landscape.
And of course, the aurora borealis (Northern Lights).

The famous Iditarod dog sled race. 
 Riding the train.

Now, if you are the adventurous type.. this is really cool. Ice caves.

It looks fake. Surreal. Photoshopped.

Nope, it's real. Taken Wachusett Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park.

A few months ago, the hubs and I were talking about our upcoming five year anniversary (ok, so it's a year and a half away.. but this mama loves to plan!) and I have made the special request of taking an Alaskan cruise or just head up there on our own. We had a so-so experience with our last cruise as far as getting to see what we wanted to, so I'd be totally up for some real exploring.

In college I *almost* got to make it to Alaska to be one of those tour guides for cruise passengers. I was in the final rounds of interviews when they laid the bomb on me: I'd have to miss the last half of spring quarter and likely the first half of fall quarter. I wonder why they were interviewing at a college that runs on a quarterly, not semester, schedule. In retrospect, I really am not sure which choice was the right one.. But it definitely would have been a lot of fun.

Have you ever traveled to or lived in Alaska? What part of the state is your favorite?
 Is the tourist experience totally bogus or a safe way to get the best bang for your buck?

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