Gone Fishin’

It’s that time of year here in AK… fishing season! Blake and I like to get out as much as we can each summer. A couple good trips will fill our freezers with enough halibut and salmon for the year. However, the girls haven’t done a lot of fishing with us, mostly because a lot of the fishing we do is on open water or along fast-moving rivers or streams. It’s just too dangerous for them. Yesterday we went out on a mission to change that.

We headed out to a nice little lake about 10 minutes from home, Beach Lake. This lake is perfect for fishing with little kids. There’s a nice size dock with plenty of room for them to run around. The water is clean, shallow, and warm. Also, it’s stocked by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The girls had a great time throwing their lines in the water. Lillian is getting so good at casting. It took her awhile to get the hang of using a bobber. She’s used to casting and then reeling her line in right away. We had to explain to her 853 times that you need to leave your line in the water and wait for your bobber to go under. Hazel enjoyed hanging her pole off of the dock. She was so proud of herself and thought she was really accomplishing something, haha. It was fun to watch them get so into it.

We only had one minor meltdown and of course it involved life jackets. Lillian put hers on and went about her day. But Hazel, holy hell. She threw a fit for a solid ten minutes (yes, that’s minor) before she realized it wasn’t coming off no matter how loud or long she screamed. Once she finally gave in, we gave her a couple snacks and a La Croix and she was fine for the rest of the day.

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Forget what I said above. I just remembered that there were two meltdowns. Lillian got a sliver as we were packing up to leave. It’s a miracle her finger didn’t fall off.

We didn’t catch anything but we had great weather, no one fell in the water, and the girls got some good casting practice in. That’s a win in our book.

Until next time,
Briana

Camping | Seward Waterfront Park

Last weekend we went on our first camping trip of the season. We’ve been eager to get out after a long 9 month hiatus. This trip was worth the wait.

We’ve never camped in Seward before because 1) we normally prefer more secluded/rustic camping and 2) Waterfront Park is first come first serve and always fills up fast. We hoped that if we headed to Seward before tourist season we could get a waterfront site offering views of Resurrection Bay that would trump almost all the rustic/secluded camping we’ve ever done. Our plan worked. We pulled into the park late Friday afternoon and had our choice of waterfront sites. Although, it did fill up hours after we arrived. Pretty sure everyone had the same idea we did.

We spent the rest of the day and night setting up, eating, throwing rocks, picking dandelions, and relaxing around the campfire. All the flowers in the pictures are dandelions. Lillian kept saying, “Mom, look at these beautiful daffodils I picked for you. Wanna smell them?!” and Hazel’s nose and mouth were yellow the entire trip from huffing them. Kids are the best.

Bedtime was a little shaky. It usually takes a couple of weeks to figure out what sleep arrangements work best in the camper. Also, IT’S SO LIGHT OUT!! But we all slept in until 9 the next morning, so it wasn’t that bad.

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IMG_6770On Saturday morning we woke up to gorgeous weather. We had breakfast outside and then went for a walk. Just a short walk down the bike path from our campsite was a great playground. It was nice to sit in the sun with Blake, enjoy a cup of coffee, and watch the girls run around the playground. They had so much fun.

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In the afternoon we went for a drive out to Exit Glacier located in Kenai Fjords National Park. We didn’t do any hiking or glacier exploring. The main reason for the drive was so Hazel could nap in the truck as we wanted her to take a good nap after the night before. When she woke up we headed back to town to get gelato at Sweet Darlings. Lillian was so excited to pick out her own flavor. She went with strawberry and it’s all she could talk about for at least an hour. Hazie Girl and I shared the pistachio. It’s the best!

That night was another relaxing one around the fire, yelling at Lillian to stay close. She is so outgoing and social and wants to be best friends with everyone she sees. She’ll run up to random kids and hug them and introduce herself. One dad hanging by the water with his son said she told them “I’m Lillian, on vacation from Eagle River.” Luckily all of our neighbors and passersby were so nice. There were plenty of kids and dogs that didn’t mind her company.

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Casting lesson - proud dad!

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Major Fail: Forgot the roasting sticks. ↓

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Before heading home on Sunday we had breakfast, walked the beach, picked more dandelions, and then made a visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center. It was the first time we’ve ever been there. The touch tanks were a hit with Hazel and both of the girls (and Blake, too) loved watching the seals and sea lions.

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On the way home, Lillian thanked both Blake and I multiple times for taking her camping. That made all the planning, packing, setting up, lack of sleep, taking down, and unpacking worth it. And although Hazel can’t verbally express her gratitude, she did sleep most of the way home, which is like the best ‘thank you’ we could ask for.

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xo,
Briana

 

Soaking Up The Last Days Of Summer

When it comes to weather, we have had an unbelievable summer up here. There’s been tons of days in the upper 60s and 70s. I think we even hit 80s a couple of times. Where am I?!

Warm to me is now 60s and sunny. 70s and sunny means we’re probably heading to the lake or setting up the sprinkler in our yard. I don’t know what it is, 70 degrees in Alaska feels way hotter than it does in the lower 48. I can’t explain it, it just does.

However, in the last couple weeks the air feels cooler, it’s getting darker earlier and earlier at night, and the leaves are rapidly changing. Fall is right around the corner. So when we get yet another gorgeous day, we like to enjoy it, soak it up, take full advantage of it knowing that it could be our last.

Last Monday was one of those days. After nap time I loaded up the girls and headed to one of our favorite places, the Eagle River Nature Center. We LOVE this place. Not only is it stunning, it’s a quick 10 minute drive from our house. It’s also very kid-friendly with a variety of hiking trails, viewing decks, and educational signage. The Rodak Loop is only 3/4 of a mile and easy enough for Lillian to walk run the whole thing by herself.

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This trip was extra fun because when we arrived at the viewing decks we found salmon in the water! Every year salmon come to the stream to spawn, but since we’ve never visited during spawning season it was the first time we’ve seen them there. As such, we were pretty excited. Lillian loved watching the fish. She laughed and screamed and pointed and ran around for at least an hour. Hazel sat in silence and watched her sister. Par for the course.

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The girls were such good little hiking buddies. They cooperated long enough for me to get some cute photos of them, and even one of the three of us together (note: not a shadow selfie). It was the best day. Summer, don’t go!

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In other news, we just returned from a camping trip in the Valdez area. Between mountains of laundry and winterizing the trailer, oh and my Fantasy Football draft, I’m hoping to post some pictures soon.

Until next time,
Briana