Hello Alaska! (Part 3 of “How we made a loser year end like a winner with trips to Hawaii and Alaska”)

This is the third in a series. Welcome back if you have read the first two blogs and for those who haven’t, you may wish to first check out Part 1 and 2 here.

Now to continue the story…

Nothing seemed more apropos on how to end a year that was “not stellar” than to see the Northern Lights.  So, Alaska was the third of three stops on our journey to throw 2016 a “good-bye party”.  By now we are “supercharged” to switch gears from being in a tropical climate to one that could be freezing.

Then there was a blizzard.

Let me explain. Fairbanks, Alaska, our intended destination, is one of the top spots to view the Northern Lights. We had reservations at a quaint place called the All Seasons Inn and were packing for weather conditions that could be well below zero degrees. You know what they say about the “best made plans”… so, with 24 hours to go we received word that there was a blizzard expected  and we needed to cancel any hopes to get to Fairbanks.

Disappointed and determined we quickly rallied (with the help of our friends / traveling buddies) and booked flights and accommodations  to the more southern area of Anchorage.  We stayed in a lovely resort where THE North Face is located known as Alyeska.  Trust me – this place is a MUST SEE.

I can’t say enough GREAT about Alyeska and the people of Girdwood, where the resort is located.  Quaint and picturesque are two words that come to mind when describing this town of just a few hundred residents, perhaps slightly more.

Alyeska is a skiers delight. Ironically, I don’t ski. Nor did any one else who I travelled with – but, that didn’t seem to matter.  The hiking, spa and pool were amazing and just the sights of the mountains and the ocean merging together were enough for me.

Then there is the tram. Gosh I love a good tram ride! But, this one was indescribable. So, let me have the photos and video do the talking. (See below)

In closing, 2016 overall was a challenging year.  Heartbreaking for many (including within our family) but also full of hope.  With each baby born or act of kindness this world did continue to be an awesome place.  I just needed three weeks of travel to places unfamiliar, yet spectacular, to remind me about how resilient we all can be if we surround ourselves with hope, joy, love and humor.

Enjoy the photos and Happy 2017!

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ALYESKA- where you can ski while looking at the ocean

 

We did see the Northern Lights (photo taken by a basic iPhone 6S). This photo doesn’t do it justice as to the magnificence of this solar “flare”.

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The dismal day didn’t hinder the fun at Alyeska
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These icicles are at least 6 feet long – luckily the only thing below them is snow

 

 

Just as the tram was about to end, I filmed this quick video of the view.

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