Monday, August 8, 2011

Glacier National Park

 Yesterday we crossed the border into Montana around noon.  We spent the afternoon in Glacier National Park.  As soon as Chris saw the water, he wanted to go for a swim. 

 We drove down into the valley and found this great little swimming hole with rocks to jump off of.

 Chris takes the plunge.
 Riley jumps in.
The water was very cold and crystal clear.  We had a hard time getting the boys out of the river.  It took over 15 minutes for Chris to regain feeling in his fingers, but he was still asking to swim again.
As we passed by Flathead lake, we stopped to buy cherries along the side of the road.  $4.00 for a pound of delicious, just picked cherries.  When we arrived in Missoula around 8pm, it was still 85 degrees out.  The boys were excited to find a hotel with a swimming pool.  I was excited that it also had coin laundry.  I took Trevor for a long walk and found a park like setting behind the hotel and, yep, you guessed it, a river runs through it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

British Columbia

Reasons we love Canada #4:  Ketchup chips (and honey mustard and dill pickle)

Reasons we love Canada #5: this bench made out of hockey sticks.

Lunch in Jasper

The drive from Jasper to Banff

The only ugly apartment building in Banff are living quarters for the staff who work in hotels and restaurants like this one:

The boys decided they like Jasper better than Banff.  It seems more down to earth.  They even have a dog park. In fact, everywhere went, people wanted to pet our dog. 

When we were eating dinner in Banff, we sat next to a large group of Japanese tourists.  I was trying to entertain the boys by showing them how to make a chicken out of a cloth napkin (it works better with a towel).  I noticed an older Japanese woman watching me.  After made the chicken, I held it up to show her while say "bok-bok-bok-bok-bok".  She gave me a thumbs up.  I said "origami" which got a laugh out of her.

We spent the night in Calgary but did not go into the city.  Tomorrow: Glacier National Park.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Road Trip: Days 2-4

The boys have done really well on this trip so far. They haven't really even watched that many movies on the DVD player. They find other ways to amuse themselves in the car. For example: building forts in the back of the van and using coffee cup holders to make hats for the dog.

We stopped in Watson Lake to see the Sign Post Forest. Our only regret was not bringing our own sign to nail to a post.
But the real highlight of driving through Yukon Territory and British Columbia is the wildlife. On our second day we saw 4 black bears but they were in places where we could not pull over to take photos, like near road construction areas.
Matt noted that there are no emergency vehicle stations anywhere along the highway. He thinks they just helicopter injured people to the nearest hospital. I think they just let the bears clean up the mess. Why else would bears hang out by the side of the road? Maybe that's part of the Canadian health plan. Just kidding. I am actually a huge proponent of socialized medicine.

Buffalo on road.
Lake Muncho
Stone sheep

We stopped in Fort Nelson for some fried chicken at Dixie Lee.
Our top three reasons for loving Canada? First the wildlife. Second, they have a picture of kids playing pond hockey on the back of their five dollar bills. And third, they have labels like: Antler Ale, One Horny Beer.

From AK to AZ

Leaving Alaska
Entering Yukon Territory
A brown bear eating berries by the highway near Kluane Lake

The Wises are moving to Flagstaff, AZ. I know it's been a long time. Obviously, I've been very busy. When we were in Flagstaff for Sarah's graduation, we met some really nice people who offered us jobs at their family practice. Two years later, we are moving to Arizona. We are hoping Matt's new job will allow him to spend more time with our family. It's like he is going from four jobs down to one. He will continue to practice family medicine, but give up working in the Emergency room, Obstetrics, Hospital Medicine and Long Term Care. We have had 12 great years in Alaska. Now it's time for us to try something different.
So here we are, driving to Arizona. Matt and I are driving down with the boys and the dog. Maya will fly down with Nanna and the cat in two weeks. We didn't think 10 days in the car was going to be much fun for a 5 year old, who is a lot like the cat. They are both fiercely independent. But unlike the cat, Maya doesn't like to lie around for 20 hours per day.
Yesterday we drove 411 miles, from Homer to Glenallen. Today we made it across the Canadian border. We are spending the night in Haines Junction. We ate dinner at the only restaurant open after 9pm. It is run by some very nice German people (but the food is not German). They used to live in Whitehorse but it got too crowded for them. Tomorrow we hope to be in Whitehorse before lunch, and then spend the afternoon at Liard Hotsprings.
The highlight of our trip today was seeing a brown bear on the side of the road, munching on berries. We have also seen one young bull moose, one cow and one baby moose, two swans and a lot of ravens.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Maya Turns Five!

Maya turned five on January 2nd. It was a nice way to wrap up a very busy and fun New Year celebration. Her Aunt Kathleen came down from Fairbanks. Her Aunt Kristin came from Palmer. Uncle Michael and Aunt Karyn came from Anchorage with Cousin Boo. Uncle Michael brought fireworks and she stayed up past midnight to watch the fireworks show! We ate lots of yummy food and opened more presents so it was like Christmas and New Year all rolled in one.

On Sunday she had a few friends over for a birthday celebration. She played with all her favorite new toys and ate cake and ice cream. On Monday she celebrated her birthday at Kim's Kinderhaus. Then her friends Zachary and Weston came over to Grandma's and brought cupcakes and a present since they were out of town for her party. Today we will celebrate again with her friends at her other preschool. On top of all this holiday fun, we had a great time "elfing" ourselves with friends and family on Facebook.

Terry and Elizabeth gave us these fabulous birthday candles!

Fun with bendaroos!

We learned to make balloon hats and flowers, haven't learned how to make animals yet.

Playing with my new playdough set and my new Bambi
I love my Dora and Diego cake!

blowing out the candles

My friends Lawson and Lilly