Monday, August 3, 2015

Turnagain Arm, AK

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When traveling to Alaska, seeing wildlife is definitely on the agenda. If you are in Anchorage and have a vehicle available to you, driving along Turnagain Arm is a great way to see some beautiful terrain and wildlife.
family traveling Alaska
Eli enjoying the view
Turnagain Arm is located just south of Anchorage and drives along the water and Chugach Mountians (driving guide HERE). You drive out of Anchorage South and enjoy the views. As you leave the city, you will pass through a protected wetland that has long wooden board walks that birders use to get closer to nature without venturing too far from the city. And as you travel, tell the kids to keep their eyes out for wildlife on both sides of the car. On the passenger side, there is the waterway and you will see anything from eagles, marine birds, to marine mammals. On the driver’s side are steep rocky cliffs that are home to Dall sheep.

source

family travel in Alaska

family travel in Alaska
The kids used the view finders to spot wildlife in the water, air, and mountains.

Beluga whales often can be seen during the months of mid-July through August. In August, when my family was going out to see the bore tide, a pod of beluga was just feet away from the shore at one of the look-outs. The kids were thrilled to see them splashing around so close.

family travel in Alaska


On the rocky cliff side we have often seen Dall sheep roaming around. There are several pull off points along the road so as you spot them, pull over for a better look. But CAUTION: you are not the only one trying to spot wildlife and pull over. The driver must pay careful attention as the other cars may suddenly pull over or out onto the curvy two lane road.

family travel in Alaska


Another reason to go to Turnagain Arm is to watch the rip tide. As a result of the terrain, there are a few times of the year when the tide comes into the inlet very fast and creates a wall of water. Depending on the tide and weather, it can be rather ho-hum or quite dramatic. You can find expected dates and times HERE.

bore tide in Alaska
The bore tide varies in level of impressiveness and this one was neat to see but not as thrilling as they sometimes are.

Where you can watch the tide, you also have plenty of space for the kids to roam around a bit, have a picnic, or look at the tide pools. If you are lucky, the wales may come and say hi too.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Durham Museum: Mummies and trains

Pin It This weekend the family visited the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.  We heard that it had an exhibit on Ancient Egypt and since my 11 year old has been interested in Ancient Egypt for years, it looked like a fun way to escape the heat while still leaving the house.

Omaha, NE


The museum is located in Omaha's 1931 Union Station, which is according to my History Here App, "one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the country."

Omaha, NE


It was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood who also designed for the National Park Service.

There are sculptures of train riders of the 1940s scattered in the great open hall on the first floor.

Omaha, NE
On our way to the temporary exhibit on Ancient Egypt and the methods that archaeologists use to study Egypt, we moved through a train exhibit that not only had old cars that the kids could climb in but also small scale exhibits for the kids to learn how a steam train worked.

Omaha, NE

Omaha, NE


One of the great parts of this museum are all the hands on exhibits and that continues through the Egypt exhibit.

Omaha, NE


We were not able to take pictures beyond this fabulous photo op on a camel but the exhibit was educational for us adults and fun for all of the kids.

There were many hands on stations where the kids learned how archaeologists sift through bones, pottery and other artifacts and as they put together the pieces of the pottery, they put together the story of a civilization and daily lives of individuals.

Omaha, NE


At the end of the exhibit, there was a play area where kids could color Egyptian themed coloring sheets, play with Play-mobile versions of the Sphinx, and sculpt with sand.

If you are in the Omaha area between now and September 6th, I highly recommend planing on a couple hours at this exhibit.

We ended our time by stopping at the old fashion soda fountain for lunch.  mmmm...

Omaha, NE


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Downtown Anchorage, Alaska

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family travel in Alaska

Downtown Anchorage, Alaska has a distinctly small town feel with a decent amount of city amenities. If you are staying downtown, which I recommend, you can walk just about anywhere you need to go in the city. Then, you will have to arrange transportation to go out and see the greater Anchorage sights like Turnagain Arm, charter fishing tours, or glacier hikes. And, there are a couple parks for the kiddos to get their wiggles out while you enjoy the view.

Lining Anchorage’s streets are several kitschy stores with Alaskan made souvenirs and some with some very beautiful items. Several have life-sized stuffed bears outside the store entrances. The kids love to give them “bear hugs” and get pictures taken with them. Places we have loved eating at are Orso, Glacier Brewery, and Ginger. Humpy’s is a great place but not necessarily for families. And if you do have access to a car, some of the best pizza ever is served at Moose’s Tooth.

The Anchorage museum has lots of interesting and kid friendly exhibits.
Art in front of the museum.

If you like street food, then there are several vendors for you along the main drag. From them you can buy reindeer hotdogs that are quite tasty and kind of a fun ‘treat’ for the kids. And while you are eating Donner, wander over to a park and there may be out door music being performed. During the summer, there are frequently artists performing in several parks downtown.


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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

City Girl top

Pin It A while back I posted about some cute and super comfortable pants to try out the leisure wear trend that is going so strong right now.  (Fancy sweat pants) The top I made originally to go with those pants was the City Girl by See Kate Sew.

I enjoyed sewing this top up and it was very easy.

See Kate Sew pattern


I like the cowl neckline a lot, but am not as much thrilled with the amount of volume below the bust.

And, my fabric choice could be better.  I just don't think this knit had enough stretch for optimal comfort.



This was my first woman's pattern by See Kate Sew. I have sewn her children patterns and loved them.  The only complaint I have had with them is the size range ... I want them to come in tween sizes.



I think I will be making another one of these in a sweater knit come this fall.

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