Weekend in Soldotna

Well before I can tell you about our weekend in Soldotna I have to show you a couple new photos I got of our twins.

We left Friday morning to head to Sterling where we were leaving Dusty for the weekend. We were down there for little Charlie’s 11th birthday.

David and I went to Soldotna to stay with our friend, Stella.  We all went out to a new Thai Restaurant in the Soldotna Mall. Then we went to the store to get some snacks.  Oh but we need popcorn, so off to the Orca Movie Theater for popcorn.  This is what Stella and I do when we get together.  Then we went home to watch a movie, Wild Horses, which was a good choice.

Before we went to the birthday party at Soldotna park we went to Jared’s, my son, to see what he had been doing to the property.  We also met his in-laws who had come up to visit for a couple of weeks.  It was their first trip to Alaska.

 

We then went over to Neese and Randy’s house to visit.  They just live around the corner from Jared.  I had to take Neese her magnets that I had been getting for her while we were on our travels.  I bet she would give the Genius Book of Records a run for their money on who has the most magnets.  She loved the new ones I got her though.

Then it was off to Charlie’s birthday party at Soldotna Park. There was a carnival at one end of the park, so we found the grand kids down there.  I got some good photos of all the grandkids on rides.  Poor Charlie rode the zipper with his Dad and got sick.  He could not even stand to go near the carnival.  Tayvin made it through the zipper but when he got on the swings with his sister it was just too much for him.  He got off the swing and that did him in.

 

Then we all went for a walk along the boardwalk on the Kenai River.

 

After we all said good-bye David and I headed back to Stella’s.  Stella cooked us a nice supper with BBQ steaks, potatoes, stuffed jalapeno, mushrooms and a salad.  It was a great meal.

The next morning we got up and went out for breakfast at King Salmon.  I have been going to King Salmon since I moved to Alaska in 1980.  I usually always get the biscuits and gravy, but they do have a lot of other good food.  I just think of it as a typical Alaska restuarant.  It is casual with real, tasty food.  They do have a breakfast buffett but I have never tried that.  I know a lot of people do. Even the tourist always find it and eat there.

Then we went to visit David’s niece, Diana Honkola.   We had a great visit with her and the kids.  They are both growing so fast.  Grabbed Dusty on our way out of Sterling and headed home.

We did have to stop at the Turnagain Armpit for some good BBQ before we got home.
Calls itself the Southern BBQ on the Alaskan Frontier. Bringing authentic southern BBQ to Alaska is our passion, is our mission. We thrive on being true to traditional southern low n slow smoked meats and classic BBQ sides. We skimp on no part of that age old tradition, we replicate the BBQ masters every step of the way. We honour the ‘Q’ and all that it stands for. We don’t follow trends and we don’t sway from classic BBQ – well sometimes, but only rarely and then not very far. If they don’t do it down south, you likely won’t see it at our PiT.

Saved me having to cook for my boys.

What a wonderful weekend spent with dear friends and a great family!

 

 

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Getting Back to Life

Well I guess the vacation or holiday whatever you choose to call it is over now.  We had to start getting back to normal.  Went grocery shopping, since there was not much in the house.  Started washing the clothes from the trip with the help of my sweet husband.  Decided what to cook for supper because the two men here think they should be fed.  Started working on articles for which I have a tons of ideas for many stories.  Starting with the brewery in Girdwood because I told them I would write theirs when I got home.

Dusty got the no running water in the camper problem fixed.  He also figured out why we had no turn signals or brake lights which we found out while camping.  It was a fuse under the hood, so that was an easy fix.

I have got the packages ready to mail outside or the lower 48 other people would say, with things I brought back for my family down there.

Supper is almost done and the boys went to look at a used generator for the camper.  Things are looking good.  Oh damn, I forgot about the laundry again.  Guess I better go get the stuff out of the dryer and put the last load in the dryer.

Well clothes are dry and next load in to dry. Boys came home with generator in hand which David was very happy with.  Supper is going to be served now and we can settle in for the night.  Hopefully, a movie to relax by.

 

Flat Ole Hippies First Camping Trip

Our friends asked if we wanted to go camping with them.  We agreed to go because we have never been before and it sounded fun.

The first place they took us was the Girdwood Forest Fair.  There people with flowers in their hair, people all dressed up and even pirates singing.  We thought this place was pretty cool.  As you follow the trails through the forest you will find all kind of booths.  There was really a lot of people though.

 

Then we stopped for a nice brew at Girdwood Brewery.

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We found a nice place to camp by a pond. The camper was really comfortable and scenery was nice.

 

I got to play with the twins.  That was lot of fun.  They are really cute.

 

The next morning we packed up after breakfast.  This camping stuff is fun. I hope they invite us again.

 

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We will say Good-Bye for now and hope to see you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girdwood Forest Fair and Camping

Alice got in her truck and was ready to go camping.  The poor thing didn’t get to go into the Girdwood Forest Fair.  That was okay though because all the people would have scared her.

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Our plan for the first camping trip was to go to the Girdwood Forest Fair first. We got up in the morning and finished packing the camper. We didn’t want to get there too early because they close the road for the parade. We parked at Alyeska Resort Daylodge and took the shuttle to the fair. There were a lot more people than I had expected to be there. I guess since our summer is so short everyone goes to anything that is outside. It was a nice day yesterday, but even if it was raining they would have all been there.

There were stages all over with different things going on.  Lots of vendors trying to sell their wares. Lots of food vendors doing the same thing. We went in the beer garden for a beer but when we found out we had to pay $8.00 for a cup and then $6.00 to fill it up,  we thought that was too high and figured that would fill a growler up at the Girdwood Brewery.

I did think it was cool that they had a baby nursing place set up for the mothers and to change their little ones.

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We caught the shuttle back to our truck and off we went to Girdwood Brewery.  There Alice could come out with us in beer garden.  We all had a beer and filled two growlers up with some of their nice brew.

 

After our beer it was off to find a good camping place.

 

We found a place on the old highway road to camp.  It was between the railroad tracks and the highway.  I know you are thinking that’s going to be loud, but it wasn’t bad at all. The highway was on the other side of this pond we camped by, so the traffic noise was not bad.  The train was kind of cool except when they honked their horns when they went by.

Heather and Dan showed up with the girls.  Katharine and Rebecca had never been camping before, so we were all excited to see how they liked it. They really did like it.  Katharine loves the trees.  Rebecca was going to check everything out.  They thought the fire was pretty cool. There was another couple parked not far from us.  They kind of just stayed to theirselves except when they came to see the girls and talk to the dogs.  We were all at our own campsite and we had a fire going when all of a sudden a cop droves up, turned around and stopped.  The cop got out of the car as we noticed the K-9 on his car.  We were thinking he wasn’t there to tell us we couldn’t have a campfire, so we waited.  He then let his dog out.  We noticed he had something in his mouth, looked like a toy.  Then the cop took the toy and threw it into the pond for the dog to fetch.  The dog was having a blast. When he was done playing with his dog he put him back in the car, rolled his window down and told to have a good evening.  We all thought that was a cool cop.    Then it got to be bedtime and Mom and Dad got their beautiful little girls ready for bed. They took their bottles and decided it was full of caffeine or sugar because they decided it was party time. Well first Dusty drifted off to his tent.  Grandma and Grandpa headed to their camper to play a little crib. Then Heather came in to fix the girls bottles again saying goodnight to us.  We saw them out walking the girls as we fell asleep.

 

Then in the morning we woke up first and I made some coffee.  Then Dan popped in for a cup and told us the girls didn’t go to bed until 12:30.  Next Heather came in dragging.  They went and fed the babies while I cooked breakfast of oatmeal and fruit Heather had brought.  After everyone woke up things were fun.

 

After breakfast we decided to pack up because the wind was picking up and we felt a few drops.  We all had a good time eating hot dogs cooked on the open fire while drinking a few good beers.

After one last look around our campsite, Alice got a couple more drinks from the pond and we left for home.

We had only gone a few miles when we could see that there was a line of cars backed way up the highway. It took us an hour to get 4 miles.  When we stopped I called Heather because they had left before us.  They didn’t make it through either and were a couple of miles ahead of us.  They finally made it to Bird Creek Campground and told us there had been some kind of accident.  When we finally got there it was all cleaned up and traffic was going back to normal.  I sure hope no one was hurt.

 

 

First Camping Trip of the Year

I know we just got home but we couldn’t wait to get the camper on the road.  We planned this trip before we left because we wanted to go to the Girdwood Forest Fair.  Then we are off to try to find somewhere to camp which is very hard in the summer in Alaska.  July is the worst because the Red or Sockeye Salmon are running thick.

The Girdwood Forest Fair is a family fair that has become an annual event in the resort town of Girdwood, Alaska located 36 miles south of Anchorage. This year event times are as follows:
Friday July 6 ~ 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday July 7 ~ 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Parade at 10:00 am
Sunday July 8 ~ 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
The Forest Fair features Alaskan artists, hand-crafted items, exotic foods and entertainers from all over Alaska. Fun for the whole family is kicked off by the Forest Fair Parade on Saturday, July 8th at 10:00 am.
The fairgrounds are located at Mile 2.2 on the Alyeska Highway in the community park area. Limited parking is available at the Alyeska Resort Daylodge with Shuttle service provided. Car pooling is encouraged!
There is no admission fee, only good times! Be sure to purchase a limited edition Girdwood Forest Fair T-Shirt “The Cover Charge that Covers Your Back”!
Camping will be allowed in Forest Fair Campgrounds only for a fee – Camping permit required. Public Camping is prohibited in the town of Girdwood during Forest Fair Weekend. Law enforcement personnel will be patrolling the Girdwood Valley.

If you live in Alaska come check it out or if you are planning a visit it happens every year.  The only bad thing is no dogs allowed, so poor Alice, the chicken dog, will have to stay in the her truck with windows down and water.  Yes, I did say her truck.  Alice seems to think that every time the truck goes anywhere it must be going camping.  That means road trip for Alice.  She loves to go camping and is a great road tripper.

Alice did slip trying to get into the camper yesterday while I was getting things ready. I sure hope she is not to scared to jump in today when we go to bed tonight.

This will also be Katharine and Rebecca’s first camping trip.  Heather and Dan said they would be meeting us for the night at the campsite.  Can’t wait to get photos of the girls first campout.

Well I better go make sure the fridge is cold, so I can put in the food.  I need to add a last few things then I think the camper will be ready.

I will be posting pictures and tell you all about our trip when we get back so be sure to check it out.

Spending Time with Grandbabies

So we got home yesterday and today we watched our granddaughters for a few hours.  My daughter knew we would watch them so our Son in law could do some work because we had not seen them for 5 weeks.  David and I couldn’t get over the fact that they each have started to get fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff  t their own personality already.  Rebecca is going to be the thinker we think. Katharinelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

This is what happens when you try to blog after a few beers, a shot of whiskey and jet lag.  I kept falling asleep with my fingers on the key.  I gave up and figured I would start again this morning.

As I was saying Rebecca is going to be the thinker.  She is the smaller of the twins but doesn’t miss a thing.  She is always looking and moving.  David thinks her first words will be a sentence.

Katharine right now is the one that wants all the attention.  She has always been the better eater and you can tell because she is catching up to her age faster than her little sister.

They were born 7 weeks early but they were healthy.  They were never on oxygen.  Katharine weighed 3lb7oz and Rebecca weighed 3lb2oz.  They needed to learn how to suckle and weigh over 4lbs to get out of the hospital.  They both left together after a month.  Heather was only giving them breast milk but now she is having trouble keeping up, so they are having to get a little formula.

Heather just told me they went in for their 4 month check up and Katharine weighed 11lb2oz and Rebecca weighed 9lb7oz.

This is the girls when we left.

These are the photos that Heather sent me while we were gone to butter me up before she asked if I could watch the girls once a week when we got home.  They don’t seem to be able to get anything done.  Can’t imagine why.  Let’s see they are raising twins, Heather is the CEO of the largest manufacturer in Alaska and Dan in trying to run his real estate business.  So now Grandma and Grandpa are back and we can help out when needed.

These are the pictures that I took while we had them yesterday.  They really are good babies.  They fuss if they are hungry or fighting sleep.  They are girls and are afraid they are going to miss something if they are sleeping.  But to their surprise Grandma knew how to get them to sleep after raising 5 children and the 10 grandchildren before they were born.

 

If you can’t tell we are very proud of our little girls and will enjoy watching them grow up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Again

We made it home in under 7 hours.  I do like flying Icelandair.  We flew economy and still had plenty of leg room.  It was not full, so no one sat in our aisle seat.  We didn’t buy their food because we had leftovers from our stay in the apartment.  We did have to buy one of their beers though because it was a limited edition to celebrate their 737.  It was nice and we kept the cans.

When we arrived back in Anchorage we made it through immigration rather fast because most of the people on the flight were not the US.  Waiting for our luggage took longer than in the regular airport.  In Anchorage we have a smaller building that is used for all international flights.

Then we got to customs where we were asked did we have any wine, sausage or cheese, good thing they didn’t say beer, we answered no and left the building.  Our friend, Judie Wolfe, was there to get us. We stopped by the house and dropped of the luggage and picked up Dusty, our son, to go to Red Robin for a hamburger since it was 4th of July. I was not going to BBQ after that trip.

It was wonderful sleeping in our own bed last night.

 

Fred and M

I met Fred and M many years ago.  Fred was in the military with my late husband, Baggy, also known as Stuart Bagot.  I got along with them great and we all became great friends. I spent time with them after Baggy’s death and it helped me a lot.  I wanted them to meet my new husband, so I asked if we could come visit while we were in the United Kingdom.  They said of course, so the trip was planned.

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Fred who’s real name is Andrew Graeme was a very close friend of Baggy’s.  Baggy had trained him up in II Para.  All of the unit seemed to earn nicknames.  Baggy got his because he was so skinny that his uniform hung on him like a bag of shit.  Fred got his because he could swim really good and hold his breath for 2 minutes.  His sergeant started calling him Freddy the Fish, so he became Fred.  They had not seen each other for many years because Freddy had gone AWOL.  Baggy said his Lieutenant would keep calling him into headquarters and telling him that he had got a post card from his friend. Then after Fred moved around for a lot of years he settled in Germany where he met M.  Many years later they moved to Scotland and started the recording studio.  He got hold of Baggy in Blackpool and their friendship was rekindled.

Fred has done many things in his life but he mainly worked in the music industry.  He has been an editor, truck driver, written many articles, taught I believe for a while too.  He is a fantastic cook.  I love going to visit just to eat his cooking.  He also likes spending time on the internet, as you can see in the above photo, but he does enjoy playing with his outside toys; tractor, digger, chainsaw and such things.  He is always good for a laugh.

Mechthild Graeme better know as M is probably the closest friend I have.  She was born and raised in Germany.  We have just always got along great.  She is also one of the smartest woman I know.  She like Fred has done many things in her life.  She was a DJ for years.  She worked for some American company for a very long time too.  Of course, she is the business side of the recording studio.  She knows three languages, German, English and Gaelic.  She decided if she was going to live in Scotland she should learn Gaelic.  She is now teaching English as a second language to people online.  M just can’t stay still.  The other day when we took a relaxing day she did too, but for her that meant working in the yard.  She is an amazing woman who I am very proud to call my friend.

Besides Fred taking us all over the highlands to show us the sights and making us wonderful meals we put a big dent in the 32 gallons of beer that Fred had made.  We also played Malefitz which is a German board game.  We had to teach David how to play because he had never even heard of it.  That is what we usually did after dinner.  On the norm the women usually won but one night Fred won.  I have never seen him get so excited.  We will never hear the end of it.  Poor David though never did win.  We have so many laughs playing this game.  We also had to have David watch Funny Bones which is a movie that takes place in Blackpool.

Thanks guys for all the fun!

 

Alice the Chicken Dog

When I say chicken dog I don’t mean that she herds the chickens together or that she eats chickens.  I mean she is afraid of everything.  She is a 100 pounds and is scared of everything.  If you change something in the house she is afraid of it.  She won’t go in the kitchen because that scares her.  She hates going to my daughter’s because of the wood floors also scare her.  We were camping one time and this tiny dog came running out of the grass barking at her and she took off running.  I was out walking her one day in the winter and some other dogs came up to take a sniff.  She took off running and it was icy, so try to guess what happened.  I slide on the ice and fall on the road.  I hit my butt and head.  My glasses go flying off my face which I didn’t know until I got to the park and couldn’t read something. When I got back to the place I fell they had been run over.  She is getting better since she has been out hiking, as far as other dogs are concerned.  We were going down all these steps to go look at the Yukon river and she got halfway down the steps turned, ran back to the van.  On the same trip we stopped at a place to get a closer look at the Yukon River.  There was a really cool bridge you had to walk across.  She didn’t think so, but with David pushing the back-end and me pulling the front end we got her across.  Then going back across she was fine.  Anyway she is still the best dog ever.  I am glad my son, Dusty, is staying at the house to take care of her while we are gone.

 

5 HOURS AND COUNTING

Smoking and Trucking

I don’t know how many of you have kids out there but I have five, 3 boys and 2 girls.  They age from 44 to 35 this year.  You know we all love our kids no matter what stupid things they do.  Of course, I have to remember the dumb things I did when I was young and survived.  The boys as they grew older slowly got their head out of there; oh what would you call it, Oh yea ASS!  Anyway so my youngest finally got his head out and just got out 6 months of rehab.  We are all very proud of him for this.  So he has decided that he should not drive until he gets his license back.  I guess he decided seven years without was probably enough because those driving without a license fines and jail time was not fun.  So we were helping him get a truck today so he can get his interlock in it and then he can get his license.  Anyway he finds a $800 truck he wants. We take him over to look at it and he buys it.  I am thinking great we can get everything done before we leave on Monday.   I call about getting the interlock put in and am told that because it is almost closing time and a holiday weekend they won’t be open again until Tuesday. Then we found out that he has to take the driving part again in his truck with the interlock in because it has been so long. Which means he is going to have to fix the passenger seat because the back of it is in the back seat.  The truck needed an alternator, so we took him to pick that up.  We go back to the truck and he puts it in.  We jump it and of course, it is empty.  Off to the gas station with David, my husband, driving and me following.  We gas up and get onto Diamond, a main street in Anchorage, Alaska, at rush hour.  What happens then you ask?  It dies at a stop light.  I have to pull up next to them, so they can try to jump it. I now have blocked the turn lane and have now pissed off tons of people because  they can’t get a round us. So the guys decide we will pull it with out Subaru Outback.  All we have is some nylon rope that they have doubled and got us tied together.  As we start off the rope breaks.  They fix it and we get pulled into the nearest parking lot.  After tightening up connections and charging the battery the guys get it running.  We are off again home.  Oh yea, I forgot to mention that the guy that had the truck had a ton too much oil in it, so it is smoking to high heaven.  So we have smoke going everywhere and then this guy in a convertible goes zooming past us.  I am thinking I bet you are trying to get out of the smoke.  I remember driving down some Interstate one time and saw signs that said don’t drive into the smoke.  I could never figure out what that sign meant but now I am wondering if it has something to do with this.  Anyway, the truck is home.  My son then says I think things are starting to go my way!

 

THREE DAYS AND COUNTING