Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last full day in Alaska

Today is our last full day in Alaska (until next time) and we enjoyed it to the fulliest. Papa, kids and I ran a couple of errands this morning and Mt. McKinnely was in clear sight (280 miles) away. The sky was crystal clear with unlimted visibility, that's why it's soo cold. This is a very nice print Nathan and Mary got me for Christmas, showing an F-22, F-15 flying over the Elephant Cage at Elmendorf Air Force Base by artist James Morris . To the best of my knowledge this is the first print of the Elephant Cage on Elmendorf. This will be nice to have framed and matted for our future home in CO that will match my other F15 print

We also tried a cool little expirement this morning of throwing hot water into cold air to watch it vaporize. It was pretty neat to watch and have the kids ask tons of questions on how it works.
I doubt there will be any bike riding in the snow in my near future, just doesn't seem like much fun if you ask me
A couple pics of mom and dad's house with all the animals on the wall. A true Alaskan house.

Buurrr -5 degrees this morning, and good eating last night

This morning we woke up to -5 degree temperature in Anchorage. I doubt the kids will be playing much outside today. Last night Nathan, Mary, Lynn and I went to F-Street Station for some good food and a frosty beverage. This is the best kept secret in Anchorage

Beer battered halibut
Calamari and french onion soup
Alaskan amber beer, another favorite

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Drive down south to see the wild side

Today Papa suggested we take a drive down south via Turnagain arm to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which was really neat. It's about a 35 mile drive south of Nana and papa's house and was a very nice day for a drive. Here are a couple of pictures of the drive along Turnagain arm.

Afterwards we drove over to Portage Glacier, even though we were unable to see the glacier due to all the snow it was a nice.
Along the drive we spotted a few mountain sheep along the rocks next to the highway.
Now the girls are at the movies watching Marley & Me, I'm sure Amanda will love it since it's about dogs.
After the movies Nathan & Mary are going to bring Madison over and we are going to go to my favorite pub "F Street Lounge" for a beer/snack.

H2Oasis waterpark & Moose's Tooth Pizza

Today's was another action packed day of fun. We decided to take the kids to H2Oasis water park for a little warm fun in the water. What a blast we had and there wasn't many people there which was a big surprise. Nathan, Mary and Madison met us there to join in on the fun. For an indoor water park it is pretty big and a ton of fun. We've been here before with Amanda but this was Jake's first time and he had no problems enjoying all the water.

This was Jake's favorite, the pirate ship
The big green slide in the background was Amanda's favorite, a very fast tube ride
Of course everyone enjoyed the warm river walk
Afterwards we all enjoyed some gourmet Pizza from Moose's Tooth pizza. This place has tripled in size since the last time I was here and was more busy than I've every saw it.

This vacation stuff rocks and we are having a blast.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Christmas day of fun, sights and plenty of food

What a Christmas day we had at Nana & Papa's. It all started bright and early with Nathan, Mary & Madison showing up at 7:00 to open the presents that Santa brought and it didn't take but about 1 min to get the kids out of the bed and downstairs to open gifts.

Here is Amanda posing with a Nutcracker at Hotel Capt. Cook when while we were looking for the Gingerbread village Below are some pictures of the famous Gingerbread Village on display at the hotel Capt. Cook

It took over 4 months to construct the village and was a very nice display

After the Gingerbread Village we drove by some of the neighborhoods that had nice Christmas light displays and this is a video of the best one. They had this one broadcasting on the radio station so you could listen to the music from the vehicle and watch the lights. Best Anchorage Christmas light display

Entire family opening gifts bright and early on Christmas morning
Mom's very tasty pumpkin roll that was enjoyed by all especially Jake and Amanda
A sea-salt roasted prime-rib that was a nice addition to our Christmas dinner
A garlic butter turkey that was tasty as well
And a honey, apricot jam ham to top off the dinner meal and of course all of the normal fixings

We also had a ton of laughs playing our new Wii Carnival mini golf that everyone took turns at playing
We hope all of our friends had as good of Christmas day as the Soots', and we wish everyone a happy New Year and joyous 2009

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Beautiful day for sleding

Today in Anchorage turned out to be a beautiful day to play/sled in the snow. Temps were in the mid 20's with a few inches of snowfall throughout the day. We couldn't have asked for better weather for our winter activities.

Here we are at the top of Hillberg Ski resort on Elmendorf Air Force base. We decided we should learn on the small hill before trying to take on the big boy hill. The kids loved it but they didn't like too much climbing all the way back up after the slid to the bottom.
Jake is a true master of the balance arena. It didn't take him long to figure out how to steer and go very fast. He even had a couple wipe-outs but jumped right up and ensure everyone he was ok.
Here is Amanda and I getting ready to race to the bottom, she has the advantage since Lynn is pushing her. What a blast it was
today we have some shopping to finish up and see what we can show the kids that beautiful Anchorage as to offer. They are having soo much fun they haven't even asked about Santa in the last several hours.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Buuurrr from Anchorage

First day in chilly Alaska was a blast with the kids getting all bundled up to play in the snow. Kids taking some time to get a picture with Nana before they head outside.

Jake in his new spiderman jacket
Plenty of snow for everyone
Off to the ski slopes today for some extra fun in the snow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hawaiian Christmas over, Alaska here we come

We leave late tomorrow night destination Anchorage AK to bundle up at Nana and Papa's house and play in the snow. Jake has never seen the snow and Amanda barely remembers snow. The 5 hour flight will take us from 75 degree weather to 15 degree weather. It should be a bucket of laughs to see how the kids handle the cold and enjoy the snow.
Santa came early to the Soots home and we had a really nice Hawaiian Christmas to include a delicious ham (made with apricot jam) secret recipe from a co-worker that was out of this world. The kids were up at 5:30 and went as hard as they could all day, now they are in bed and getting ready for the big flight to AK.

Next blog should be from the frigid north!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa coming & rockin reader

Tonight is Christmas Eve at the Soots home. Yes it is a couple days early, however we are leaving late Sunday night and decided to let the kids have an Hawaiian and Alaskan Christmas this year.
On Monday I signed up to read to Amanda's 2nd grade class, it's called rockin reader. We've done this several times over the last 2 years and it's amazing to watch how much the kids love someone reading a story to them.

In the spirit of the holidays we made all the kids little holiday gift bags with 2 cookies and Amanda helped make each and every one.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rainy day leads to staying indoors

Extremley wet day on Oahu. Today was one of the wettest days every recorded on the island.
So, what did Jake do on a day like today? He is the new Wii boxing champion. Check out his style and latest win

Not everyday is another day in Paradise

Today we are under a flash flood watch as the skies have opened up over Oahu.
So we only have 364 days of perfect weather this year, not too bad.