one year ago today

29 06 2009

we met Kajsa. I was going to blog about it this morning, but I started crying, and couldn’t even type. Tears of joy, of course. They’ve come and gone all day. Poor Kajsa probably has no clue why we keep kissing her today, and hugging her, and telling her how much joy she brings us.

Here are two pictures from one year ago:

DSC_0641

DSC_0709





a few more pix before we leave…

4 06 2009

So, hopefully I’ll write a bit more about Alaska, but here are a few pix, before we leave for the airport…

the moose we saw on the way back to Anchorage

the moose we saw on the way back to Anchorage

so cute...

so cute...

Kajsa enjoying life... she LOVES being here, playing with the Lawrences... shes' going to be so bummed to be an only child again!

Kajsa enjoying life... she LOVES being here, playing with the Lawrences... shes' going to be so bummed to be an only child again!





Exit Glacier & wildlife!!!

3 06 2009

Leaving the campground, Jim and I saw a bald eagle land on the piling in the water. So we pulled over, and I got about 15 feet away from this gorgeous creature!!!

the bald eagle in Seward

the bald eagle in Seward

the eagle, again...

the eagle, again...

and on the way to the Exit Glacier, two new Venezuelan friends ran up to Sandie, saying they had seen some moose on the path. 3 of them! So Sandie, the two new Venezuelan friends and I ran ahead on the path, moose-hunting. We didn’t find the three that our friends had seen, but saw this guy!!!!

a moose!!

a moose!!

The Exit Glacier was fantastic to see. Amazing. It actually looks bluer in the photos than it did in reality. Funny.

Kjell drinking glacier water

Kjell drinking glacier water

the glacier

the glacier

the clan, minus Sandie, who took the picture

the clan, minus Sandie, who took the picture

family picture at the "toe" of the glacier, Kajsa asleep in the backpack

family picture at the "toe" of the glacier, Kajsa asleep in the backpack

Cathy fell down in the glacier

Cathy fell down in the glacier

Kjell and Cathy trying to move the glacier

Kjell and Cathy trying to move the glacier





more cruise pictures

3 06 2009
spray from a whale spout

spray from a whale spout

the waves on the bottom: from the boat; the spray/waves on the top: a dall porpoise!

the waves on the bottom: from the boat; the spray/waves on the top: a dall porpoise!

a sailboat, that made us think of Phil Keillor...

a sailboat, that made us think of Phil Keillor...

a sea otter. Our ship captain slowed the boat down, turned around, drove around the sea otter, who basically ignored us, except to glance at the tourists with cameras...

a sea otter. Our ship captain slowed the boat down, turned around, drove around the sea otter, who basically ignored us, except to glance at the tourists with cameras...





Wildlife Cruise

3 06 2009

The Wildlife “cruise” was not a waste. Of time or money. Which is always good, as one never knows with this kind of thing–at least so I’ve heard. We didn’t see everything we had been told we might see, but saw more than expected, too. Thanks to the Lawrence clan, Jim and I got to go on the boat without Kajsa. I would love for Kajsa to have seen the wildlife.. but the parents with small children on the boat didn’t seem to be enjoying it nearly as much.

in front of a glacier... a bit hard to see in the picture, but it is there.

in front of a glacier... a bit hard to see in the picture, but it is there.

a sea lion colony

a sea lion colony

the funky bird frenzy.... the ship captain and park ranger and intern had never seen this before. Common Murre birds going crazy, making lots of noise. They think it could be because of a Coast Guard chopper on top, doing some research by the bird nests

the funky bird frenzy.... the ship captain and park ranger and intern had never seen this before. Common Murre birds going crazy, making lots of noise. They think it could be because of a Coast Guard chopper on top, doing some research by the bird nests

a whale! a whale! a whale tail!!! We ended up seeing probably 10-13 whales... just the backs and tails and sprays... but sooooo cool!!!

a whale! a whale! a whale tail!!! We ended up seeing probably 10-13 whales... just the backs and tails and sprays... but sooooo cool!!!





Camp pies and a rummage sale…

1 06 2009

I’ve heard about the camp pies. Sandie has bragged about the camp pies. They sounded like they might be good, but honestly, it’s one of those things that you have to experience, I think.

a pie iron in the fire

a pie iron in the fire

So don’t worry, friends of mine who live close by… I will buy one of these cast iron pie irons, and make these for you at some point. (Except I won’t try the spam and velveeta camp pie that some brave souls ate yesterday, here in the Lawrence back yard.)

On Thursday evening, Sandie made camp pies for us.

"oozie goodness"

"oozie goodness"

Cheap bread, buttered on the outside of each slice, and cherry pie filling in the middle, squashed into a pie iron, cooked over a campfire. On Friday, Sandie experimented with cheddar cheese to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Also fantastic. In fact, Sandie’s term for these is now “oozie goodness”. For those of you who don’t like the sound of cherry pie filling, insert any filling you want. Camp pies simply rock.

One of the great things about camping is fun people you meet. We had some fun neighbors: the 2 Danes and San Francisco friend; and the couple from Montana…. one of the not-so-great-things about camping is your proximity to loud people you meet. I’m all for having fun while camping, but honestly people…  GO TO BED! or at least be quieter for those of us who are already struggling to sleep because it’s freezing… Needless to say, Thursday night was a rough night of sporadic sleep.

Friday morning’s breakfast was instant oatmeal, bacon, and camp coffee.

the tent Jim, Kajsa, and I slept in

the tent Jim, Kajsa, and I slept in

Yum. Camping with the Lawrences is fun, because they have fun camp gear. It’s also fun, because the Lawrences are fun. But that goes without saying. The camp gear part is wild. It’s not like they have a mini-REI in their house full of camp gear, but I’ve honestly never been camping with such cool gear.

a little wildlife exiting the tent

a little wildlife exiting the tent

And Dave says this is nothing, compared to friends of his. I love it. I should also mention that I have not been camping a ton.. some, but not a ton.

After breakfast, we were all pretty excited to walk up to the Methodist church in Seward, and go to the rummage sale.

the rummage sale gang

the rummage sale gang

The campground bathroom house had a flyer on the wall, advertising the sale. Since most of us froze Thursday night as well as stayed awake thanks to loud neighbors, we decided to rummage for more clothing and blankets. Fun. Who’d of thunk… we go to Alaksa, and to a great rummage sale. Loads of fun. The photo I’m trying to insert in this paragraph should show the funny photo of the gang, loaded up with rummage gear. Jim found a mattress pad, a foam pad (both for putting under our sleeping bags), and a sheet, I think. Sandie got more blankets, I got some awesome pants that are warmer than anything else I have here. Etc.

By the time we returned to the campground, Jim and I had to get ready for our 5-hour “cruise” to see wildlife out on the sea. So we packed up our backpack, bundled up in our rummage-sale gear, Dave packed us a lunch (because we’re too cheap to pay for the salmon/prime rib buffet on the boat), and we all took the long walk along the sidewalk down to the small boat harbor. Entropy was the center of attention, of course… loads of tourists taking loads of photos of him. He tolerated it.





Camping in Seward

1 06 2009

on Thursday afternoon, we loaded up two carloads of camping gear, kids, Little E., and adults, some snacks, etc. and drove to Seward, down south. I will admit to some apprehension about camping. It had been ages, since I’d camped. But I’m all for adventure, and thougth this might be fun. As it turns out, it was. Not only fun, but beautiful!! We drove to Seward, along a coastal highway for a bit, then on a highway surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks. Really, it’s gorgeous. It helps, of course, that we saw another moose and 5 bald eagles on the way to Seward. But the photos of the distant moose and distant bald eagles are hardly worth posting. Still, we saw them.

What did not help the trip much was the camera lens catastrophe. Kajsa was on my shoulders, and I was about to hand off my camera to get her down, when she fell. Fortunately I held onto her leg, and she slid most of the way down my back, fell a short distance, then after crying a bit, did her normal routine of blaming whatever “made” her fall, or what “broke” her fall.. in this case, the ground. Pointing to it, crying, shaking her head and her finger at the ground. Unfortunately, in the process of Kajsa slipping down my back, and my fear of her falling harder, I dropped the camera. With the zoom lens on it. The zoom still works–but only at that outermost zoom length. Which is good, I guess. If you’re going to break your zoom lens, I suppose it’s best that it breaks at the greatest length possible. The bad part is, it’s stuck there.. and can’t move. So, it involves a lot of switching of lenses, when I’m wanting to capture a distant shot, then a closer shot.. oh well. As I have said numerous times, “I dropped my daughter, and I dropped my camera. I saved my daughter, not the camera.”

Here are some pictures…

dead trees, dead since the 1964 earthquake.. the trees are dead because the ground sank and saltwater entered these parts.

dead trees, dead since the 1964 earthquake.. the trees are dead because the ground sank and saltwater entered these parts.

Hooligan fishing on the way to Seward (20 Mile Creek)

somebody Hooligan fishing in 20 Mile River, on the way to Seward

a stone's throw (a good throw) from our tents... in Seward, on Resurrection Bay

a stone's throw (a good throw) from our tents... in Seward, on Resurrection Bay

Kjell, Sunny and Broder, in Seward

Kjell, Sunny and Broder, in Seward

the campsite, with tired campers

the campsite, enjoying the campfire

2 Seagulls and a Sea Otter. The otter hung out in the water by our campsite for ages, it seemed.

2 Seagulls and a Sea Otter. The otter hung out in the water by our campsite for ages, it seemed.