^^ A bowl of wild blueberries for breakfast ^^
^^ 126.4 pound cabbage! ^^
^^ cabbage and pumpkins on steroids ^^
^^ loved that there was a competition for best flower arranging!^^
^^ we like to follow the locals and get in the longest food line, but in this case, the fried cheese curds were just ok. A bit too salty for my taste^^
^^ we had to draw the line somewhere, and this was where: a donut burger — a hamburger squished between 2 full glazed donuts? ^^
^^a nice place to have a drink.^^
^^our favorite food vendor was by far the one that sold this peach pie. SO GOOD ^^
^^ these guys were really fun to watch ^^
^^I love pigs! Someday I’ll have one of my very own, right Hubs?^^
^^ watching chicks hatch ^^
^^this reindeer was smiling for the camera ^^
^^ yum + yum ^^
^^ someone didn’t understand the concept of scale ^^
^^ ugliest picture of me ever. and that’s saying a lot. ^^
^^ Planet walk in Anchorage ^^
For those following along, so far we slept in an airport full of stuffed animals, hiked through Alaska’s oldest national park, crossed a stream teaming with fish on our way to the raptor center, explored downtown Sitka, ate the best King Crab ever, slept in a cabin by a shrine, camped beside a glacier (and saw a bear!), took a death-defying puddle jumper to Gustavus and hiked to one of my most favorite places in the world, hopped on a boat and spotted whales, seal, puffins, eagles, moose, bear, and calving glaciers,ate hands down one of the most memorable meals of our lives, got trapped in an airport for hours, then took a road trip up around the Kenai Peninsula, paddled down the Moose River (and saw a moose!), hunted for blueberries and stayed in a haunted hotel, hiked up to Exit Glacier before making camp at Denali National Park, took a 5.5 hr camper bus through Denali to Wonder Lake Campground, got caught in a rainstorm while hiking to Reflection Pond, watched the sunrise over Mt. McKinley, hunted (again) for wild blueberries (this time we were successful!), saw 4 out of the ‘Big Five” in Denali.and took photos of abandoned igloos on our drive back to Anchorage — our final destination on this trip.
Our last full day in Alaska was spent at the Alaska State Fair. Is it weird that I wanted to go because I was curious to see 100 lb cabbages? Extended daylight in summer months = creepy looking food = awesome.
We also went because we like state fairs, Americana, animals, and of course fair food. For breakfast we ate the last of our wild blueberries so we arrived ready to do some serious eating. We skipped over the donut burgers — even I have my limits — and gorged on pretty much everything else: fried cheese curds (too salty for my taste and not worth the long line), Husky burgers (good), fresh popped kettle corn (really good), turkey legs (standard fair food), Kaladi Brothers Coffee (good + local) and Denali cream puffs (good, but I’ve had better). Our favorite food we tried was hands down the peach pie baked by an elderly lady, made with ‘tree-ripened’ suncrest peaches and served with a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious. I literally could have eaten an entire pie…by myself…with ice cream…and gone back for seconds. Seriously, any pie made by someone named “Nanna” is going to be a good pie.
Besides eating we also shopped for local crafts, watched chicks hatch, pet a lot of animals, watched a BMX bike exhibition, and took mandatory photos in those painted boards with holes cut out for heads. It was a really fun day, and probably one of the best state fairs we have ever been to.
Back in Anchorage we inexplicably had room for coffee and cakes, so after exploring downtown Anchorage on foot for a bit doing a little souvenir shopping, we tucked into a local coffee shop, grabbed a window seat, and laughed over some of the photos taken on our trip. Afterward we took a drive around Anchorage and explored some of the residential neighborhoods, creepily oogling the awesome rustic mid-century homes and playing the house hunting game.
Since we were kids we have both always held on to a romantic dream of living in Alaska and, after all this time, we felt that when we finally visited that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. But it did. Alaska was awesome. I’ll reserve final judgement when I have lived through 9 months of Alaskan winter, but would could totally see ourselves one day living there. Visiting Alaska was a dream come true for the both of us and even though we have both traveled a bit in our lives, we have decided that Alaska is our favorite.
Alaska State Fair / End of August-first week of Sept// One of the bigger and best state fairs we have
Anchorage Light Speed Planet Walk // Downtown Anchorage / Free // If you’re walking around downtown Anchorage you might as well take the planetary walk.
Boardwalk food stand aka Nanna’s peach pies / Alaska State Fair//This booth serves other food but really I can’t imagine eating anything but the pies. Totally like something you’d eat at your Grandmother’s house, and I mean that in a good way.
Alaska Cake Studio / Anchorage / A higher end/priced bakery / patisserie with cupcakes and baked goods and coffee. Desserts themselves weren’t mind-blowing, but it’s a nice comfy place to sit and have a pretty dessert.
Kaladi Brothers Coffee /Multiple locations// Local coffee shop chain that originated in Anchorage. Offers fair trade and certified organic blends.
Alaska Chicks / Alaska State Fair and various locations including online /Accessories and furniture / This cute little boutique stood out to us when shopping around the vendors at the state fair. I love locally runs shops like these for buying souvenirs — I ended up buying two knitted headwraps — one for me and one for the sis.
Trapper Jacks Trading Post / Anchorage // A total tourist trap but had lots of unique items from tshirts to home decor to browse. Prices were pretty good for a shop like this and it was fun walking around looking at everything.