Living in Alaska

I Live Here!

Hey everyone!  I’m so excited it’s Thursday – work has been insane and I’ve been so tired all week.  I feel like sometimes (especially in the winter) I seem to be traveling through life on autopilot – wake up, feel like I’m going to die, go to work, drink coffee, teach, drink more coffee, work more, pick up Andrew, make dinner, read blogs, Zion Half training plan stuff, shower, go to bed.  Every day.  Sometimes there’s an awesome moment, like having Parks and Rec back on TV on Tuesday nights or noticing that it’s not totally dark on my way home from work now, but usually it’s the same thing every day.  And then I remind myself of something huge:

I live here

In general, life is the same in Anchorage as it was in Philly.  I work for a non-profit in education, I shop at the same stores (minus Trader Joe’s), I eat the same food (minus Chipotle and Wawa), I run, and we watch the same TV shows.  But despite all that, WE LIVE IN ALASKA.  In a state that is a multi-day drive away from its neighboring states and requires a passport to drive to.  Where the sun does crazy things and even the urban parts of the city have wildlife sightings and there is an ACTIVE VOLCANO across the inlet and the tallest mountain in North America is visible from my running trail.  And those are the moments where Andrew and I scream “I LIVE HERE!” with crazy amounts of excitement.  It will never get old!

Wednesday was a really good reminder of this fact.  I was going through my daily routine (I had accomplished wake up, feel like I’m going to die, go to work, and drink coffee already) and paused to look out the window on my way to the printer.  And I saw this:

IMG_4012Baby moose!

I ran through the office screaming “MOOOOOOOSE!” and watched it for a few minutes from my manager’s office until it walked away into someone’s yard.  And then I heard my coworker screaming on the other side of the office.  Right outside of her window was the moose’s mom!

IMG_4030

IMG_4023

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No lie, I probably spent an hour watching this moose and taking videos of it.  it was incredible being so close to it and watching it act normal without having any fear about it charging me.  I felt like I could take a ton of pictures and study it up close with no consequences because it wasn’t able to hurt me.  In fact, I took this opportunity to do something that my manager always claimed was impossible:  the moose selfie!

IMG_4029Probably my favorite selfie of all time!

 After watching the moose eat for a while I realized it was time for my lesson at a local high school, so I rushed out the door before the moose got any ideas about walking through the parking lot.  I was recovering from my “I LIVE HERE!” moment when I looked up and saw something that I’ve never seen before – a vertical rainbow!    There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but there was some weird frozen fog situation that made the air sparkle with frozen fog particles.  And as I snapped a picture of the rainbow (and the sun!) I noticed it was actually a super weird circle rainbow!  It was very clear in the sky and I’ve never seen anything like it.  Any idea what this is?  The picture was not retouched.

IMG_4040Also notice that the sun is fully visible at 11:00 am now!  Heeeeey!

I then spent the rest of the day noticing the beauty of my new “normal” life:  the way that frost forms on everything when it’s under 10 degrees and makes everything look wintery and white (without snow I’ll take what I can get!), how incredible the big mountains across the inlet look on a clear day when you can see them from hundreds of miles away, how close and massive the Chugach mountains are, how the frost makes the trees glow white when the sun hits them, and how incredibly beautiful and long the sunsets are.

IMG_4041White frosty trees + sun = a really pretty view

It’s easy to get sucked into thinking that my life is boring and monotonous when I go to work in the dark and leave in the dark with cloudy skies blocking the mountains and a Vitamin D deficiency keeping me down.  But on days like Wednesday, it’s hard to feel like anything is normal about the place I live.  I still can’t believe I live here  🙂

What makes you should “I LIVE HERE!” about your town?  What crazy things have you seen this week that woke you up out of your routine?

18 thoughts on “I Live Here!

  1. That is amazing! I’ve always wanted to spend time in Alaska and you are making me want to more and more. I can’t believe you were able to spend so much time so close to a giant moose! So glad you are loving life there!

    1. I will (hopefully) never get that close to one again! It was really cool, even if I feel like i’m totally behind on work now haha. Yeah, I’m definitely loving it here!

  2. I love your enthusiasm for your new home! It’s easy to get caught up in the daily drudgery, so it’s great to take a moment and reflect. I know I often feel the same way, but then I remind myself that Ben and I were dreaming about moving back to Vermont for all the years we were in Boston, and now we’re here! Always makes me smile 🙂

    1. That’s definitely good to think about! Sometimes I’m sad that I’m here (mostly at Christmas and when I miss my family) but then I remember how much better life is here. I’m glad you were able to move back to a place you love!

  3. Wow, I love the Moose story and the selfie 🙂 I have “I live here” moments too sometimes when I’m in downtown DC and see the monuments or traffic gets snarled up because of a presidential cavalcade. Maybe annoying in the moment but still cool when I pause to think about it and remember how lucky I am.

  4. It is pretty incredible to be living in such a cool “less-touched” place! I feel like I am on autopilot right now. I loved DC, but my situation now is not letting me live in the part or experience the things I wanted.

    1. Boo 😦 Hopefully you’ll start to be able to explore DC more and have more fun there. The comment above yours is about DC too and I told her I was jealous she lives next to Obama, so next time you’re down try to think of that!

  5. I love the moose selfie! I’d be freaking out and taking a million pictures, too, if I saw one out the window! 🙂 Alaska looks gorgeous in your pictures. Though if I had lived in Wawa country and then moved away from it, I’d definitely be going through withdrawals like crazy. (I go through mini-withdrawals as it is, after weekends in PA visiting family!)

  6. Your moose selfie is so cute! I never lived in a big city until I moved to Chicago, though I always believed I was a city girl at heart. So sometimes now, in between grumbling about how god-awful cold it is, I catch a glimpse of the skyline from my office or realize I live walking distance from all the shopping I could ever want or read about all the cool things that happen here and I think “I can’t believe I live here!” Oh, and when it’s warm outside and all the summer fun is happening and I run along Lake Michigan? I sometimes add “I never want to leave.”

    1. I used to do that in Philly too! I grew up an hour outside Philly and whenever we went there it was a huge deal. So when I moved there and started working downtown a few days a week I loved seeing the skyline! I felt super important and grown up haha. Now I get that way with mountains instead!

  7. That circle rainbow is so cool! And so is your moose selfie! I always think how lucky I am to live in Colorado when I’m driving to work in the morning. I drive straight towards the mountains during sunrise and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The mountains are to the west of me and the sun lights them up pink. It’s hard to describe but it’s one of my favorite parts of the morning.

    1. Yes it totally makes sense! Our mountains turn pink when the sun is setting (the sun rises over the mountains in the east) so I totally understand what you mean. We call it alpenglow up here, not sure if that’s the term everywhere. So pretty! I really want to visit Colorado someday, it sounds a lot like Alaska!

  8. So cool! We were at a wedding in one of the canyons by Salt Lake last summer and had a moose sighting during the reception – although I would not like to get too close to a momma and her baby. We’ve been having the most amazing sunsets all week – lighting up the snow-covered mountains to the west. Pretty!

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