In this very special blog post I will be taking you through my first time experiencing Alaska in one of its coldest times of the year. We spent 4 days in the middle of winter in Anchorage, Alaska. It is on this date February 14th, 2021 that changed my life for the better. I decided on the one year anniversary to dedicate this post to my loving husband.
"pick your favorite mountain"
We fell in love with Alaska in September on our first trip together (This had been his third time there as he does have family that lives there) and after much consideration we thought about making a huge life change and move to Alaska! --Spoiler Alert; It didn't happen YET. It is something we want to do in the future but at the time it just didn't work out for us.
Our main goal for visiting this time was to achieve two things:
Scope out the job opportunities & make sure I can handle winter coming from warm and humid South Florida!
Also, before you hop into an airplane or go on the road please check out my Must-Have items for effortless traveling!
What I didn't know was the surprise that was waiting for me until the last day there. (Read until the end!)
So we actually had a few interviews lined up which kept us very busy the first couple days but not busy enough to not venture out and take advantage of the beautiful mountains and endless landscapes I wanted to see in a totally different way now that they were all covered in bright, powder-like snow.
It took some getting used to as the snow was so vibrant it would hurt my eyes after a while.
TIP: Bring your sunglasses to wear outdoors if you're not used to snow.
Just driving down the street to get our daily cup of coffee at our favorite coffee truck was a mesmerizing journey with endless mountains to gaze at.
If you are up for a hike in this winter wonderland I will tell you my top favorites!
Eklutna Lakeside Trail
Scenic trail with evergreen on one side and Eklutna lake on the other.
Great for skiing!
Thunderbird Falls Trail
Enchanted hinterland with lots of waterfalls and lots to see.
South Fork Falls
Easy trail with a worthy finish line to a waterfall.
Flattop Sunnyside Trail
Little bit more of a challenge but fun trail!
During the winter the whole scenic drive is shut down due to the roads
being dangerous in the snow but there is a stop area there that is wonderful to catch
the Northern Lights and if you cant see that you will surely see The Milky Way!
One of the things I love most about visiting Alaska is how different everything looked with all the snow caps, frozen rivers and waterfalls. I couldn't get enough of it and how different everything looked and smelled this time around.
If you keep an eye out for the Northern Lights on NOAA website and find its on track to display its vibrant colors over Alaska do yourself a favor and drive to Hatcher Pass; there's a pull off / parking area before you reach it that will allow you to see every star above you. Its truly magical!
Biggest tip I can offer is make sure the vehicle you have has a sunroof as the lights may take several hours to appear and it will make it so much more enjoyable to sit in your vehicle with the seats downlooking up at this incredible sky! Bring hot chocolate or coffee and a warm blanket to keep you warm.
Beluga Point is a great area to drive through with wonderful photo ops and possible sightings of wild life at every corner! You can spot Beluga whales on one side and Dall sheep on the mountain tops on the other.
After much hiking and driving (& trust me there's a ton of driving!) you will be famished! Here are a few of my top favorite places to eat, drink a warm cup of coco or coffee or simply have a quick snack:
Coho Coffee Company - BEST coffee in town
Matanuska Brewing Co - Delicious food and Beers
Jalapeno's - Amazing Mexican food with fantastic service
Jackie's Place Restaurant - Old school diner with great coffee!
Now that I have brief you on most of our trip and some go to spots I will save the best for last!
On the final day or being in Alaska we went with my husbands family to Girdwood where the Alyeska Ski Resort is located. It is a wonderful resort area that was mind blowing for me as we walked around the valley with mountains all around us -- It was truly incredible!
And then... The most incredible thing happened
Just as I was almost done taking all my photos his sister said she wanted to try out her newest camera and insisted we pose for photos (typically we avoid the other side of the lens but I suppose the scenery was worth it!).
He looked at me and said "pick your favorite mountain" I looked around and found the perfect one, as we walked over little did I know the perfect mountain was getting ready to be one of the most important moments of my life.
As I posed with silly poses and smiled for the camera I caught him from the corner of my eye swiping some snow away with his feet and before I could ask what he was doing he was on one knee asking me to be his wife.
In that moment, I wasn't cold anymore, I wasn't amazed by the giant mountains surrounding us or worried about being filmed-- No, in that moment I was the happiest girl in the world! What a better place, better way or person to do this with? I was in the clouds and shaking from pure bliss.
It was.... Magical.
And just like that, we started this great adventure thats called 'life' TOGETHER.
Stick around for the wedding, you wont want to miss it ;)
Happy Valentines Day my love -- Your love is the best and only present I want this year and every year to come. I hope to spend many, many more together!