Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Seldovia: S’mores!

Filed under: Nature,Photos,Seldovia,Travel — Amy @ 4:23 pm

Seldovia: Adventures

Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Nature,Photos,Seldovia,Travel — Amy @ 3:05 pm

Seldovia: The Beginning

Filed under: Family,Kaelin,Koren,Nature,Photos,Seldovia,Travel — Amy @ 2:27 pm

Once we arrived, however, the kids were both thrilled to see their grandparents and to discover the new and exciting things to explore in Seldovia.

When we relocated to Homer, Alaska, we moved to one of the most remote places in the country.  Seldovia is even more remote.  The only way to get there is by boat or plane, and the whole city has a population of about 200 people.  When you’re in Seldovia, everything you do (or don’t do) is dependent upon the tide.  If you need to go to the store, but the tide is so low that your boat is high and dry on the beach… well, you’re out of luck.  But you might as well take the opportunity to go clamming while you’re waiting!

The kids think Seldovia is one of the best places on earth.  They might just be right.  I can’t think of a more perfect place for relaxing, exploring, playing, and observing wildlife… at least until the enormous mosquitoes come out and carry you away.  Fortunately, we haven’t seen many yet.

The Beach

Filed under: Homer,Kaelin,Koren,Nature,Photos — Amy @ 8:59 pm

He likes finding rocks to throw into the see.  I don’t know what his specific criteria are, but he is very particular about the rocks he selects.

Kaelin, as always, is the eternal beach comber.  I think she’s going to grow up to be a marine biologist.

Volcano

Filed under: Nature,Photos — Amy @ 8:47 pm

Eagles

Filed under: Homer,Nature,Photos — Amy @ 1:58 pm

You Would Think This is All We Ever Do

Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Photos — Amy @ 1:24 pm

And you wouldn’t be far from the truth.  The nice thing about the beach is that even if you go every day, it’s always a new experience.  You never know if you’ll get to see an otter or a star fish or a crab.  The eagles may be out.  The seagulls may be crowding and squawking.  There may be a guy on a 3-wheeler being pulled by a parachute.  And there’s always the chance that you just might find that perfect seashell you’ve been looking for.

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Another Trip to the Beach

Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Photos — Amy @ 12:49 pm

We alternate between the rocky side of the beach and the sandy side.  Koren prefers the rocky side because there are lots of rocks to throw in the water.  No matter which side we go to, we always end up with lots of souvenirs.

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Look Mom, I want to show you this really important piece of sand.

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“Biiiiiiiiiiig Ock!”

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Proving she’s strong enough to throw the heavy rocks into the water.

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Ran out of room in her pockets and started using her hood for souvenir storage.

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This picture is Kaelin’s work.

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This one also. She’s developed quite an interest in my camera.

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At the Beach

Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Photos — Amy @ 4:28 pm

We went down to the Spit again a couple of days ago and explored the rocky side of the beach.  Koren was much more into this trip than the last and enjoyed finding rocks to throw in the ocean, as well as rocks for Kaelin and Daddo to throw into the ocean. 

Kaelin found a large oblong rock and is convinced it’s a dinosaur bone.  She also really enjoyed finding the starfish that had washed up and throwing them back into the water.  She was most fascinated by the hermit crab we found, and was disappointed to find that the critter was disinclined to come out and visit.

The Beach

Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Photos — Amy @ 10:27 pm

Going places here requires a few more steps than we’re used to.  First you have to suit up.  In Texas, even on cold winter days, I’d often skip the coat because I’d only be exposed to the cold when walking from the car into the store.  Also, I usually wore my shoes inside the house, so getting ready to leave was no big deal.

Here, shoes inside the house is a big no-no because they get so dirty.  Roads, driveways, and parking lots – they’re all just dirt and gravel that is usually somewhat muddy this time of year with the melting snow.  You should see our car.  Dirt, inside and out.  We’re trying really hard to teach the kids NOT to put their dirty shoes all over the seat backs in front of them.  Kaelin has resorted to just taking her shoes off as soon as she gets in the car.  Koren thinks it’s hilariously funny to see how MUCH dirt he can wipe on Daddo’s seat.

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After putting on the coats and boots, we make our way through the ice tunnel to our car.

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The road from our house to town is full of potholes, so it’s ridiculously bumpy.  The kids love to open their mouths and let out one long “ahh-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h” as we’re going over the bumps.

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We took the kids down to the beach to throw some rocks in the water. 

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Kaelin had a blast. 

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Koren tolerated it as long as he was holding firmly to someone’s hand.  He’s not a big fan of sand.  Or water.  Or snow.  He pretty much thinks we’re all insane for coming here.

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He did like the white sparkly rock I found.

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He also liked the horses.  “HOSIE!  HOSIE!  HOSIE!”  Until they got within 2 football fields of us, then he freaked out and clung to my legs, burying his head between my knees.  Then he fell and got DIRTY!  on his HANDS!  And that was traumatic.

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But he lived.  He also liked the Airplane that zoomed by, as well as the powered paraglider that waved at us.

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Kaelin just liked the water.

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I think she would have stayed there all day if we had let her.

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Farewell Party

Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Moving,Photos — Amy @ 11:31 am

I just realized that I never posted the pictures from Kaelin’s Farewell Party.

A month or two before we moved, I told Kaelin that she could have a Farewell Party so she could see all her friends one last time.

She talked about this party nearly every day, making plans for games, decorations, prizes, and all the activities that the party would cover.  I was really starting to worry that whatever shindig I threw together at the last minute would never live up to her great expectations.

To avoid anything cost prohibitive, or anything that would require too much actual planning on our part, we decided to just invite everybody to our neighborhood park for some play time.  I hoped that this low-key event wouldn’t be a disappointment to Kaelin, who had devoted a great deal of time to planning the imaginary event.

Little did I know that we had planned our party to coincide with the neighborhood Easter Festival.  I call it a “festival” because it came complete with a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, Easter Bunny, and egg hunts.

We had a great turnout and Kaelin loved seeing all her friends.  Even her teachers from CLC showed up to wish her farewell.  The girls oohed and ahhed over the different colored chicks, while the boys ogled at the snakes.  Kaelin was thrilled beyond belief with the petting zoo and was too busy holding her chicks and mice to even participate in an egg hunt.

After the crowed dissipated and the petting zoo went home, the kids ran around, rolled down the hills, and played games with some of the dads.

All in all, I’d say our last minute shindig was probably the best party we’ve ever thrown!  And the best part was that we didn’t have to pay for any of it.

Here, Part II

Filed under: Moving,Photos,Travel — Amy @ 8:42 pm

Did you know that you can drive through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota… THEN Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, Canada, without so much as a change in scenery?

By the time we entered British Columbia, I never wanted to see another grain field for the rest of my life.  Day after day, hour after hour of driving through the same vast expanse of flat, meticulously groomed fields is disorienting at best.  At worst, it’s an experiment in the brain’s ability to handle that kind of monotony without resorting to trauma defense mechanisms.

We had the pleasure of staying the night with Jens’ grandparents in Iowa.  In addition to room and board for the night, they also treated us to dinner at Macaroni Grill, which was fun.  Jens’ cousin Ellie accompanied us to dinner, and it was nice to see that side of the family again.

As a Public Service Announcement, if you’re ever traveling through North Dakota, be aware that they don’t put gas stations ON THE HIGHWAY.  So if you keep driving and driving, hoping to come across one, there’s a good chance you’ll run out of gas right there on the highway in the middle of nowhere by yourself. 

We had the good fortune of owning a TomTom that (once we were below E and finally thought to pull it out) guided us to the nearest gas station several miles off the highway, and not a moment too soon.  When we filled up, the receipt showed that we put 18.1 gallons of gas into our tank.

We only have an 18 gallon tank.

Crossing the border was a real trip.  They pulled us into a private garage and asked a few questions.  Then they totally interrogated Jens when they found out he had a concealed weapons permit.  He got the search and pat down, his pockets emptied, and was grilled about 17 times about what kind of guns he owns, where he keeps them, what he uses them for, what kind of guns MY FATHER owns, what he hunts with his guns, why he DOESN’T have any guns with him if he’s licensed to carry them, blah blah blah.  Then when one officer finished a round of questions, another would come by pretending to have just entered the conversation, and ask all the same questions again to see if the answers changed.

I, on the other hand, could have been packing all kinds of heat on my person and in my bag, and they never would have known.  They never even looked in my purse.

The whole process took about 45 minutes.  It was a pain, but I’m glad they at least had the courtesy to put all our stuff back in the trailer and close it… because I’m not sure we could have accomplished that by ourselves.

There are approximately 5 people that live in Ft. Nelson, British Columbia.  And fortunately Jens, being Jens, knows them.  We had the pleasure of spending an evening with one of Jens’ hometown friends, Josh, and his family.  Josh and his wife Dee live in Ft. Nelson with their 3 sweet girls.  I think they’re very brave.  Did you know it’s a 12+ hour drive from Ft. Nelson to ANYWHERE?  And that -30° in winter is pretty normal?  I know I’m moving to small-town Alaska, but THAT’S CRAZY.

Once we entered British Columbia, the scenery improved greatly.  As did the wildlife sightings.  We saw a lot of buffalo, and even more buffalo poop.  It’s truly a spectacle.  These herds just move along the highway leaving their own highway of poop behind them.  If someone could find a way to make cars run on buffalo poop, we could end the energy crisis.

As we slowly crested the top of a hill, we came across a solitary male buffalo on a rampage down the side of the road.  I’m guessing he just lost a fight over the females, because he was in a BAD MOOD.  He noticed us, and we could tell what was coming next, but since he was ahead of us and we were towing a huge trailer, we would not have been able to out-maneuver him.  He charged us, but somehow chose the wrong side of the guard rail and couldn’t jump over it in time to make contact with our vehicle before we drove past him.  I snapped a blurry picture of him as he bounded past my window.  I’ve never been so thankful for a tiny strip of guard rail!

That evening, we hooked up Jens’ computer in the hotel to catch up on some email, and pretty much got the rug pulled out from under our feet.

Amid some peculiar circumstances, our renters had decided to back out of the agreement.

No options for negotiation.  No deposit.  No 30 day notice.  No rent.  We were quite suddenly up the river without a paddle, because our entire ability to make this move was dependent on having that rental income.  Even if we were to turn back now and head home, we were still bound by OUR agreement to our landlord in Alaska to give a 90-day notice.

Our fabulous opportunity had quite suddenly turned sour.

(to be continued…)

About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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