Alaska!

Oh goodness, where to start?

So we went to Alaska. It was amazing. The end.

Hahaha! No, I’ll tell you more…..

Long story short, a client of mine lives in Alaska and was getting married there. She decided to hire me and so we got to travel to Alaska to photograph her wedding. Pretty sweet deal, I know! The wedding was truly the focus of our trip, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t get to spend a few days being nerdy tourists (my fav thing to do!). So I’m going to do a little recap of our trip. This is more for me, so that I can remember it years from now. So if you get bored with my writing, just look at the pictures(which are all from our point and shoot, I haven’t quite made it through all of my pictures from my other cameras yet). =)

Day 1
So we had a 7 hour delay getting out of our airport due to thunderstorms. After our 5 hour flight, we landed in Anchorage at 2:45am. We drove to our hotel and checked-in at 3:30am. We slept until 6:30am and then checked-out so we could make it to a fly fishing trip I had reserved. So, on a whole 3 hours of sleep, we spent the day on the river. It was awesome! Surprisingly, we weren’t too tired while on the boat. David caught 8 trout, which he was SO excited about! The trip was along the Kenai River, which is on the Kenai Penninsula. It was such a cool way to see some of the parts of Alaska you don’t see from the road. I didn’t fish, so I spent the day chatting with our guide, enjoying the scenery and cheering David on (although I secretly sometimes root for the fish because I feel bad for them. I think it would hurt really bad to have a hook in your mouth!)

After each photo I took of David holding the fish, the fish would freak out and jump out of his hands. A few times the fish almost hit me. It was hilarious and also slightly terrifying. After fishing, we had dinner with some friends in town for the wedding (small world that David’s best friend from high school was attending this wedding as a guest!). And then we crashed at our B&B and slept for like 14 hours. =)

Day 2
Wedding day! We spent the morning fueling up with an amaaaazing breakfast at our cute bed & breakfast.

 Then we went out and did a little location scouting for the wedding. We hiked to a beautiful waterfall called Virgin Creek Falls, which I loved! But I wasn’t sure the bride would be up for hiking in heels and a wedding dress, so we kept looking.

Next, we drove up Crow Creek Pass and checked things out. It was beautiful up there, but not quite what I was looking for.

We headed back down to the main highway and found the perfect spot for pictures! There was a little roadside pull-out that offered great views of the Chugach mountain range, it was so pretty!

Then we headed back to our B&B, showered, packed up the gear and headed out! The wedding was awesome! I couldn’t have asked for a nicer couple, better weather or prettier venue. The light in Alaska fools you because it stays so bright for so long. 10pm looks like 5pm. So even though we had worked for 8 hours, we didn’t feel too tired because it felt so early!

But by the time we got back to our b&b, we realized how exhausted we were and we crashed and slept for another 10 hours. Haha!

Day 3
Another incredible breakfast! I could have lived at this b&b, it was incredible! The owners were delightful, the food was so good, our room was big and modern and we really liked staying in the town of Girdwood!

After showering and getting ready, we made a 2 hour drive to Seward for a wildlife cruise. I booked this really last minute since I didn’t want to do it if it was rainy. Lucky for us, we had blue skies and sun shine the whole time! This cruise was probably my favorite part of Alaska. It was so neat to see things from the water! We saw humpback whales, puffins, sea lions and beautiful mountains. The cruise was 3 hours long, the shortest one they offered. I thought it was a perfect amount of time to see the sights, enjoy the surroundings and then get away from all the crazy children that were on the boat. =)

 Haha! It was a little chilly out there on the water

Lots of fresh Halibut caught that day by the local fishermen

We drove back to Girdwood and grabbed a pizza on our way back to our b&b. We ate pizza in bed while watching a documentary on Alaska. Perfect night!

Day 4
We had our last (and best!) breakfast at our b&b. Waffles with strawberries mmmm! After we showered and packed up, we hit the road. We pretty much drove all day. Scratch that. I drove all day while David slept. Haha! It’s quite a long trek up to Denali and David almost always falls asleep after 45 minutes in a car. So while he slept, I got to see all the lovely sights along the way.

We made it to our hotel and had dinner. There isn’t really a town near Denali, so you’re kind of at the mercy of your hotel to provide some dining options. We decided to go all out for our dinner. We had fresh Alaskan King Crab cakes and we each got Alaskan Amber beer battered halibut for dinner. Talk about amazing (and unhealthy). It was so good!

 Then we drove up to Denali National Park to check things out. You can’t really drive your car into Denali, you’re only allowed access via shuttle bus, so we drove to the entrance sign for a photo op. I don’t remember exactly what he was saying, but David was being absolutely hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing for the pictures. I haven’t laughed that hard in a loooong time!

 There are 2 big hotels near Denali and there are a few little tourist shops across the street that we checked out. I found the most horrifically awesome t-shirt of polar bears under the aurora borealis that I couldn’t not buy it. And because we’re so cool, David got a tshirt too. So now any time we get down, we just put on our horribly ugly polar bear t-shirts and life seems a little bit better. =)

You should really click on this picture to get a full appreciation for the awesomeness that is on this tshirt

Day 5
We had a 7:30am shuttle bus for our tour through Denali National Park, so we got up early and headed out. We climbed aboard and got a front row seat. Our tour was 8 hours long and we had about 4 or 5 stops along the way where you could get out and explore. Our bus driver was really friendly and knowledgeable, which was awesome! We saw a ton of wildlife too! 2 Grizzly bears & a Grizzly cub, Dall sheep, moose, caribou and we spotted a Lynx as well. I was just blown away by the beauty in Denali. It was breathtaking! The mountains actually reminded me a lot of the Rocky Mountains, just bigger and more of them =)

 David isn’t afraid to wear his polar bear shirt in public. I’m not that brave hahaha!

We caught a few glimpses of Mnt. McKinley while we were in the Park, but we were treated to a full view on our drive back to Anchorage from Denali. Our bus driver told us she hadn’t seen the mountain in a few weeks because the weather had been bad. And even though we had nice weather while in the Park, Mnt. McKinley is so huge that it has its own weather system and is typically surrounded in clouds. We were so blessed to get a glimpse of it!

Phew! That’s all for my trip recap.
I’m so incredibly thankful we had this experience, it truly was the trip of a lifetime. Alaska was hands down the most amazing place I’ve ever traveled, and I’ve been to quite a few places! But it wouldn’t have been half as wonderful if I didn’t have David by my side. He kept me laughing the entire time. I swear he gets funnier as he gets older. He made this trip about as fun as it can get. Every day I found myself laughing and incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful travel partner, best friend and husband. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have him by my side…..love you babe!

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3 thoughts on “Alaska!

  1. Oh Becky! You have some beautiful pictures! I used to live in Alaska and you visited some of my favorite places. I love the granola town of Girdwood. One of my favorite restaurants of all time is there, Jack Sprat. Seward is so beautiful when it is nice and sunny! They say that only 20% of the people who visit Denali actually get to see it. Another hippie town that I throughly enjoy for the 'nerdy tourists' is Talkeenta. You can get some excellent views of Denali from this little town.
    P.S. Love the polar bear shirts!

    Like

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