Mountains mountains and more mountains!

Two mountains climbed.

Polychrome was the first and second mountain climbed.


The altitude of the first mountain was 3728 feet.

The altitude of the second mountain was 4243 feet.

The biggest mountain in the u.s. along with many more.

Denali National Park part 2

This morning we slept in till 10:00! When we got up we went back to Denali and took a two mile hike. On the hike we saw a Caribou that was 30 feet away! Also on the hike we climbed a mountain made of rocks. (It was like rock climbing!) When we got off the mountain we had lunch. When we were eating we had a very persistent seagull waiting for some food, which he didn’t get. After that we went hiking in the rivers made by the Glaciers so they were freezing cold. When we came back to the RV park we had a wonderful chicken dinner. Now I am talking to you. Tomorrow we will be driving most of the day to Tok so a lot more relaxing then today. Half way done with the trip, hope things are going smooth back home. Talk to you all later, bye!

                                                                                                                                                                – Elizabeth

  
    
    
   

Alaska: Land of the midnight sun

We’re here in Alaska in July, which is awesome, the weather is fabulous and we’ve really lucked out with sun, or more accurately, no rain for all of our excursions.  Then, there’s this whole constant sunshine thing.  Take today for instance, the sunset is at 11:51 and it rises at 4:12.  Recall, that doesn’t mean it gets, you know, “dark” after the sun sets, it’s pretty much stays light-ish all the time either directly or indirectly.

Now, consider our rental RV we call home for our time here which is clearly not designed to handle constant light and support adequate sleeping or interior darkness.  Light leaks through EVERYWHERE.  A quick trip to Fred Meyer along they way for some black plastic garbage bags and some masking tape.  Now we have what really feels like some kind of mobile meth lab with all the windows, doors, ceiling vents covered over with bags and tape.  I will say that it makes a huge difference in our ability to sleep for any duration, so I’ll take the ghetto look and feel in trade for sleep any day.

I don’t know that we’ve been up for any chance of seeing the northern lights… not sure how dark it needs to be to actually see them at this point, maybe we’ll check it tomorrow night when we are more in the interior and perhaps in better weather.

While we are up and around, we have seen some amazing sites, below is “classic Alaska” wit the mountains, rivers and forest.  Views like this are all around us all the time, it’s truly beautiful!

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Denali National Park

Today we got up earlier than usual to be ready for the bus to take us to Denali. We got on a bus which started taking us to Eielson (a visitor center in Denali.) The bus dropped us off at a rest stop and we decided which mountain we wanted to climb. We chose a mountain called Polychrome. It took us an hour and a half to climb the mountain, when we got to the top we rested then climbed another mountain which also took us an hour and a half. After that we got back on the bus and drove the rest of the way to Eielson. Then back down again. Along the way we saw lots of wild animals around us! As we came home at 9:45 P.M. (We were at the for 12 whole hours) we had dinner and now I am writing you this. I am missing everyone back at home even though I am having a spectacular time in Alaska!

– Elizabeth

  
    

  
    
     
     
  

Alaska: Seward

As the kids have already posted, we made it here and I managed to make a friend along the way on the plane that provided us not only with great snacks on the plane, but about 2 grocery bags full of supplies (chips, candy, drinks, fruit, etc) all from the plane for us to start our trip.  It always pays to be nice to people, sometimes it pays you back more than you’d ever expect!

First big adventure day was in Seward where we took a boat cruise to see the Kenai Fjords, lots of wildlife on the trip (see Elizabeth’s post) and we all enjoyed the trip very much.  Some good relaxing going on at the campground tonight, grilled some steaks and had what felt like a home-cooked meal from the RV.

Tomorrow we head back north through Anchorage on our way to Denali!

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First Days in Alaska!!

We left our house at 3:30 on Wednesday, we had a 5:39 minute flight to Anchorage. On the plane dad met a really nice flight attendant who got us big boxes of treats, a special drink, and extra cookies! As we got to Anchorage we got dropped off at the hotel that we thought was ours, we had to walk across the street to get to our actual hotel. When we woke up in the morning we went to the Anchorage Museum and had a fun time there playing with bubbles and stuff. Pretty soon we got our RV and went to Walmart for some groceries. Then we hit the road and drove down to Seward. When we woke up we drove down to the harbor and got on the Alaskan Explorer and went on a 6 hour boat tour. We saw Glaciers, Sea Lions, Otters, Humpback Whales, Orcas, Puffins, and many more cool things. (Nobody threw up!) As we came back to the RV we stoped and took a 1mile walk to a Glacier. When we got back to our camp ground we had s’mores and played black jack by the fire.  
    
    
    
    
        
 

ALASKA!!!!!!

Hello! This is samantha writing about Alaska. The flight here was probably the best I have ever been on.  Dad made a friend who was one of the flight attendants. So each of us kids got a box FULL of yummy stuff like fruit snacks, Oreos and goldfish. And my ears were perfect ( ok that sounded weird but you know what I mean). Once we got here we went to the hotel, then we went to the hotel next door because we had gone to the wrong one in the first place. When we woke up the next morning we went to the breakfast buffet. It was delicious! Later we got our RV and went to Walmart then to Seward which is a city. Ok now for today. We went on a boat tour of Kenai fjords for SIX hours and no one threw up thanks to the medicine mom and dad got us. We saw humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles, mini loons,and much more. I even saw a jellyfish and another fish that all the sudden just jumped out of the water! We had some good cookies on there, too. Once we got off we stopped for a minute at the gift shop and the bathroom. I saw a cute white sea otter stuffed animal. Mom wouldn’t let me get it.:(   Then we went hiking in the national park from the land side. Now here we are at our RV. We have finished our s’mores and are settling in for the evening. I will show you some pics later when I get them.

I love you and hope you guys are also having an awesome time back home, Love samantha!

Alaska (The state I have wanted to go to for my whole life)

(Alaska motto)⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️

I got up this morning and thought about Alaska. I got up and out of bed and went downstairs to get breakfast still thinking about Alaska. I play and play and play then

….. Go to the airport. So I had to wait for the plane it was boring. When we got on the plane we took off and it was a normal plane ride but then, we got these BIG boxes of food with Oreos, a mint and more good things.  It was the most awesome trip start ever!

 

From mark to people at home.

Last Day

Starting to wrap things up here and get ready to head back!  Very much ready to be home!

I had dinner with Aaron last night at a very nice Chinese restaurant.  I’m pretty sure that I’ve never been to a restaurant where there was a line-item for over $900 before and no, we didn’t get the Emperor’s Abalone platter, or whatever it was called.  The pork, chicken, duck and fried rice we did have were exceptional.  We wandered around Chinatown for a bit afterwards and did some shopping and had a few drinks in Clark Quay (which is basically just a collection of about 50-60 bars and restaurants).  Not sure why a country that is essentially in the heart of Asia has a Chinatown, but it’s there.

The Chinese New Year just kicked off and it’s the year of the goat, as can be seen all over the place here in Singapore.  Swung by my last hotel on the way to the Art & Science Museum and found a store that Bob might appreciate!

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The Art & Science Museum had a very nice exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci that I spent a couple hours at.  Very interesting to learn about how diverse of a person he was and how many different areas of knowledge he spent time and effort exploring.

After the museum I headed off to the Singapore Zoo.  Overall, the zoo was very nice, I saw the White Tigers which is kind of the highlight overall, they also had an elephant show that I saw too.  Lots of other critters great and small there.  I was originally going to go to the Night Safari there, but it started raining just when I was wrapping up with the zoo and figured I’d head back to town and start to gather my things together for the trip home.

The river otters were super cute, they were waiting for feeding time and they kept moving back an forth in a little group trying to figure out who was going to feed them.  

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Other than that, I’m checked in for my flights tomorrow, going to pack up and get a good nights sleep for my early morning departure.  See you all soon!

Love you!

 

Pulau Ubin

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So, it turns out that yesterday we weren’t actually done with work.  After checking out and switching hotels, Aaron and I went back to the office to listen in on some meetings and chat with our co-workers in the Singapore office.  For dinner last night we went out for Sushi with Benn who was the guy that coordinated our trip to Australia last year and it was good to hang out with him and catch up a bit.

With work now officially done, Aaron and I found a place to go:  a small island in the Strait of Johore (the waterway between Malaysia and Singapore).  We were looking to get out of the city and away from the shopping, tall buildings and streets and into something more off the beaten path.  We took a taxi to the eastern edge of Singapore and took a water ferry from there to Pulau Ubin.  After a quick 15 minute boat-ride, we were definitely someplace different from the big city.

Aaron (pictured above) and I rented mountain bikes to tour around on the island and explore.

We saw some wildlife along the way with a wild boar and some sort of giant tadpole thing, oh, and a spider that was simply enormous (Aaron’s hand is just behind the web.  We saw a few monkeys in the forest, but didn’t get any good pictures of them.

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The scenery was very nice and we were in the shade for most of the time, but I did manage to get myself a little sunburn along the way.  It’s a far easier adventure when you simply know that there is no air conditioning on the island and you’re just going to get hot and sweaty until you get back to the hotel.  We were definitely that and stopped for some more water and ice-cream bars for lunch.  Yes kids, I had ice-cream for lunch!  🙂

We walked on a boardwalk among the mangrove trees along the shore and we were at high-tide, so at low-tide the water would be about 10 feet lower than what we saw.  And don’t feed the animals…

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The view from an observation tower was really nice, you could see all around the forest out into the bay looking over Singapore:

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The observation deck said it held 20 people maximum, but that was a bit of a stretch, there were easily 30 people up there.  Apparently the majority of the Asians there were very scared of heights as they were huddled in the middle trying to take pictures quickly.  If only we could have done the math on the sign to figure out how many of us could have been up there.  And a quick selfie to prove I was there:

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We stopped for a drink on the way back to the water ferry, and I forgot to mention, the people running the bike rental place we stopped at were very impressed with my height and we took pictures when we first rented as well as when we returned them, with the 5 or so people running the store in various combinations.  For being nice about it, they gave Aaron and I a free drink on our way to the ferry.

When we got back to Singapore we strolled around an open-air market and I found what could have been the absolute best strawberry smoothie on the planet.  No seriously, it was really good, I wasn’t just really, hot, sweaty and sun-burned.  Last shot is looking up at the interior of my current hotel.  I’m pretty good with heights, but looking over the edge from my 13th floor is just a little creepy.  (The picture is looking up from the 13th floor to the top, the elevator is the round tube on the right and there were two crosswalks up around the 20th floor.

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Dinner tonight is planned for some Chinese.  Took a super long shower to get cleaned up after our time outside and that was really refreshing!

Tomorrow, Aaron heads back to Seattle and I have plans to go to the Zoo, Night Safari tour and go to a couple museums; the Art & Science museum has a display running right now on DaVinci which I think will be fun to check out.

Love you all and miss you!