Monday, July 18, 2016

Alaskan Adventures: Girdwood and Seward

Well, it took way longer than it should have to share the second half of our Alaskan adventure, but I have finally gotten around to it... and better late than never, right?!

The first half of our trip was spent exploring Denali and Talkeetna (interior Alaska), and the second half of our trip we spent in Girdwood and Seward (coastal Alaska). We loved being able to explore both the interior and coastal areas of the state... Alaska is so large and there was so much that we didn't see, but it was a great taste of the two, very different aspects of what the state has to offer.

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We started off in Girdwood and stayed three nights at The Hotel Alyeska, and to say I didn't want to leave would have been an understatement. It was an absolutely beautiful resort with shops, restaurants, hiking trails, and so much more all within the resort.


Our first day in Girdwood was spent hanging around the resort and relaxing... John even insisted I get a prenatal massage at the spa - don't have to tell me twice! It was a very nice break from all of the hiking that we had been doing in Denali and Talkeetna.


One of the hikes that we did in Girdwood conveniently started at the resort. The trail was called the Winner Creek Trail, and is well known for its hand tram that you have to use to pull yourself across a large river. I'd love to say I pulled us across, but really, John did all the hard work and I was just along for the ride! ;)



The river that the tram crosses.


Log crossings: John's favorite part of the hike.


View from the Winner Creek trail head - still snow covered in June!


The trail was absolutely beautiful and had rivers and bridges all throughout the hike without too much elevation gain - that's my kind of hiking!



The resort has a restaurant at the top of the mountain, Seven Glaciers, and John made us reservations for dinner. To get to the restaurant, you take the ski lift tram to the top of the mountain, so you get to enjoy a fun ride and beautiful views on the way to dinner!


Our table at the restaurant had the most incredible view, and come to find out, when John made reservations he requested "the best view in the house" - one of the many reasons he is my favorite vacation planner... all about the details! :)


We headed to Seward the next morning where we went to the Kenai Fjords National Park for a scenic boat tour. It was cold, cold, cold - but incredibly beautiful.

Note the bald eagle on the sail boat mast below... does it get any more picture-perfect than that?!


The scenery during the boat tour was incredible - which is a good thing, because a 6 hour tour on a boat could perhaps be a bit much if it wasn't engaging!


Raining, but braving the cold!


In addition to bald eagles, we saw several species of whales, otters, mountain goats, seals, and way more birds than I will ever remember. My favorite, of course, were the whales, and they actually got quite close to our boat! The tour wasn't a whale watching tour, but a tour of the National Park, so getting to see so much wild life was a real treat!



The tour took us to view several glaciers, and let me tell you - they were beautiful, but just looking at them had me freezing to the bone... not to mention the icebergs in the water!



Our next day in Seward was spent hiking Exit Glacier. We had done so much hiking during the first part of our trip that I wasn't sure I would be up for the glacial hike, but I absolutely loved it - in fact, it was one of my favorite things that we did in Alaska.



The hike was guided by a local company, and they really kept us moving at a good pace, so I was thankful that I was able to keep my pregnant butt moving without too many issues. In order to stay balanced on the glacier, you really have to drive the crampons into the ice, which as you can imagine, gets pretty tiring after awhile.

We were totally decked out in helmets, snow pants, ice trekking poles... the works!



John drinking fresh glacial water... although I am sure it was super clean, I decided to just stick to my CamelBak. ;)


Our Alaskan adventure came to a close back in Girdwood where we had our last dinner at Jack Sprat - a perfect spot to reminisce over our beautiful vacation!

We headed back to Anchorage in the morning to catch our flight home; we were sad to leave, but are confident that we will be back - it's just too beautiful to not share with baby Pray when he is old enough! :)



You can read about the first part of our trip here!


9 comments :

  1. Amazing! Seriously breathtaking pictures! Definitely on my bucket list!

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  2. HOLY MOLY! The views are UNREAL! I cannot believe John got you reservations at a restaurant that you had to take a ski lift to get to!!! How fun??!! Thanks for sharing! I'm now positive I need to visit Alaska!

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  3. Man, I just can't believe how much amazing travel you and John manage to do! It's very cool :)

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  4. Alaska look beautiful! I've only heard great things about it, and you guys seem to be having a blast. Great pics!

    Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  5. Alaska looks beautiful and your photographs are awesome! :)

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  6. Such an unbelievable trip Lisa!! Oh my goodness! I want to go and plan an exact replica of your adventures! John found some of the best things to do! Love that picture of you two in the hand car, such a cool thing!! Hope you're well friend! :)

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  7. Seriously, this is such a bucket list trip! This is amazing! xo, Champagne&Suburbs

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  8. How amazing!! Your pictures are stunning!! Such a fun trip!

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  9. Gorgeous! Always love reading your about your travels! Hope you and baby P are doing well!

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