Monday, March 24, 2014

A week earlier our Friday night brought us a Saturday morning of 12 inches of snow, though much of Anchorage had closer to 20 inches. As the week ticked on the sun remained strong in the blue bird skies and the temps hovered a few degrees above freezing. The roads recovered and our trip a week later to Seward ended up being a perfect drive -- 10 degrees in the morning, sunny, and dry. The roads could not have been better and in 2 hours on the button we pulled into town.

Words cannot express how much of a champion traveler Henry was. He's rarely difficult, but this was exceptional. Over the two hours I only had to peel 2 oranges and in the final 30 minutes dig out a plastic helicopter. We pulled into our parking spot and shuffled across the street to the SeaLife Center.

It's really only a 2 hour museum, but Henry seemed to enjoy every inch of it. Digging around the fishing boat and its sound effect buttons was pretty glorious, but he also really enjoyed touching the starfish and anemones.

He even produced a thrill in identifying Fox Island poke out way in the distance of Resurrection Bay. We stood on the observation deck in the glaring sun, I pointed to the island on the map, then lifted my finger straight up and out into the blue ocean. "Fox Island out there," Hank confirmed with a smile.

On our slow drive out of town we passed a large and extremely busy playground. Becky called an audible, boots were slid back on, and in we went. 30 minutes later the 4Runner headed out of town, pushing south towards Moose Pass, a town Henry would not see as he had closed his eyes a handful of minutes outside of Seward.

Thanks to some nasty frost heaves he was shaken awake near Turnagain Pass, but that only gave him occasion to reiterate what he loved most about the day. "I like the Cash machine." Yes, the ATM in Seward really is that special.

Full Seward photo set here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Henry's counting is going fairly well these days -- the main hitch being a switch to auto pilot after hitting the correct number. He'll count all 5 ducks on a page, pause, and then shift into "6, 7, 8, 9, 10." It'll work out just fine in the end. He does know how to buckle his shoe quite well.

Thanks to a PVC skating aid (we call it his "helper"), Henry has become much better at ice skating as well as much more excited about it. I've been suggesting it about once a week, but he's up for it 3 times a week, so off we go to either Cheney Lake or UAA every few days. We usually spend 10 minutes skating, followed by a 15 minute detour climbing around a snow bank, before concluding with a bit more skating. I'm trying to be careful and feed this fun without smothering it with too much enthusiasm to try just a bit longer.

Our dinnertime prayers find Mommy and Daddy having a tough time holding back the laughter. He often thanks God for food and family, but always thanks God for smoke detectors and flood lights. He's very earnest about it to say the least.

Monday, March 3, 2014

For the first time since settling in up here, we decided to skip the Sunday Iditarod restart in Willow. Our usual group of tailgaters were taking a pass as well, leaving us to flinch at the idea of going it solo. I'm certain we'll make it back up there next year with a little more spring in our step. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Therefore, we decided to double down on the Saturday ceremonial start here in Anchorage. Standing amidst the crowds downtown wasn't terribly alluring, but spreading out along the Campbell Airstrip on the east side of town was. Parking and elbow room were easily available, not to mention the science center being open with heat, snacks, and a few exhibits for Henry (photos here).

We watched about 20 dog teams come by, chased Henry around the woods as he happily discovered what "old man's beard" is, and ultimately found ourselves shocked that 1pm was moments away. Time to head home and wind down before nap started calling Henry's name.

Fur Rondy is drifting to a close, and we took advantage of a handful of events -- fireworks, carnival, running with the reindeer, and the train shows (photos here). Ah, the train shows -- where the true joy resides. At the Alaska Train Depot we spent well over an hour repeatedly watching the HO and Z trains buzz around their loops. Randy took a few shifts holding up our engineer as well.

The final event of our Fur Rondy was the open house at the Northern Lights Model Railroad Club, where they allowed visitors to view their large, permanent HO set. It was very impressive and gobbled up another smiling hour of Henry's time. They repeat this open house one Sunday a month, which is something we'll need to pencil in for sure. It was an absolute home run. (The set below is protected by plexi-glass, thankfully).

Ok. Spring, please.