Let me take a moment to be brutally honest about our first hour or so (read week or so) in Alaska. We are from the ever-beautiful PNW. Mister and I both grew up gazing upon the majestic Mt. Rainier daily (weather permitting) and just the beauty of Puget Sound, evergreen trees, and so on and so forth. When it came time for us to leave Germany things were a bit chaotic and last minute and the decision came down to Hawaii or Alaska. I can’t even begin to count the number of people who thought we were insane (I’m sure you’re thinking it too right now) for choosing Alaska over Hawaii. For us, though, it was so much closer to home and we felt like the closest we could get to living in the PNW again. We had these visions of gorgeous views of nature surrounding us. Surely we’d have a beautiful view of Denali from our house. Fast forward to April when we actually arrived in Fairbanks. Hello wide open spaces, no mountains in sight, and everything was brown. BROWN! We lived through brown in El Paso and surely we hadn’t come to Alaska to see more brown. Thankfully we quickly learned that the grass was still dormant and it sprung back to beautiful, green life shortly after we arrived. However, to say that this was a shocker compared to what we idealized in our minds is a bit of an understatement. After visiting Anchorage I think I can easily say that Anchorage is more what we had dreamed Alaska would look like. So it took some adjusting.
However, we have grown to love this beautiful place. We haven’t gotten snow yet, but I am sure we will just be crazy about it when we have a beautiful snowy view. I love snow so much. We have truly grown to love the slower-paced, easy going life style. Its a good life here.
Why do I share all this? Well, basically, because we had a lot of preconceived notions about Alaska before we came. So we had created a sort-of “bucket list” for all these amazing things we’d do and see here. These included, but were not limited to, seeing Denali, seeing a moose, and seeing the Northern Lights. So, mixed in with our adjusting views of Alaska were the fact that NONE (yes, zero) of these things were happening. We even drove all the way down to Anchorage and back and because of the weather didn’t even get a peak at Denali despite driving right past it. Andy has seen a moose, but I am still somewhat convinced that it is all just a big conspiracy. However, this past week was a big game-changer for us. We actually had somewhat of a perfect storm-lucky day!
As we were driving to meet Andy’s family at the airport, guess what? Beautiful clear day… beautiful clear view of Denali! Our first! And we’ve had the pleasure of seeing it a few more times since. I’m also pretty sure we have a view from our house! It might be another mountain. Or something far in the distance that is white and round. But I’m still claiming it is Denali. It might not even be the right direction, but it counts.
THEN! That evening we just randomly happened up…. drum roll please…. a moose. No, just kidding. STILL haven’t had the pleasure of meeting one of those yet. Unless the zoo counts (it doesn’t). We got to experience the NORTHERN LIGHTS. And it was an amazing show. I was out with my neighbor and she just kept saying how lucky I was to have this good of a show for my FIRST. Did I mention we were just in the backyard?!? The Northern Lights were above our house?!?! How insanely cool is that?
So, this week Alaska completely surprised and bewildered and amazed us — just like we always knew it would! Cameras, even super fancy ones, don’t do the lights justice. I’ve yet to see a picture that even begins to capture how incredible they truly are. To have them dancing over head, swirling beautiful colors. It is breath taking! However, I can’t just tell you all about them and not at least attempt to share. If you follow me on Instgram/Facebook some of these are going to be repeats. And they were all just taken on my phone because I didn’t want to leave and get my real camera that I really don’t know how to use that well anyways. So, you’ll just have to deal with them. Or maybe come visit. But only if I actually know you.
Pretty incredible, right? Now times that by 1 billion and you know what it is like in person. Special thanks to my amazing neighbor who tipped me off to them being out, gazed with my on the trampoline in the cold, and didn’t judge my girl-ish squeals of delight!