Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Alaska Vacation - Part I

We just returned from a 6-day excursion in Alaska. The entire Butorac family made the trip to attend his cousin Zack's wedding and to visit his Aunt Linda & Uncle Bob. Tony had never been to Alaska before and I have only been when the ground is covered in 5 feet of snow and the temperatures are well below freezing, so it was nice to experience the summer weather as well. Unfortunately, we just missed the sunny 85 degree weather they were having before we arrived. The majority of the time we were there the temperatures were in the low to mid 70's and it rained off and on. The craziest thing about the trip had to be experiencing daylight 24-hours a day. It was nuts! The darkest it ever got was probably what we see in Washington around 8 or 9 PM in the summer time. I love the longer days we get in the summer, but after this trip I decided that I also appreciate the darkness as it really helps regulate your internal body clock. We would be tired around 11 each night, but it just felt like you were going to take a nap and not like you were going to bed for the night. Then if you woke up in the middle of the night, it would feel like it was time to get up because it was still light outside. Needless to say, it threw all of us off schedule a little bit.

The first couple days of the trip we did "touristy" things and finished up last minute stuff for the wedding. We also did a TON of cooking! This is pretty much expected anytime all the Butorac's are together - it's all that Italian blood in the family. We were constantly joking about how most of our conversations throughout the day revolved around what we were going to do for our next meal :-) I have to say that one of the best parts of the trip was having Linda's homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I am pretty sure I had one every day I was there :-) They are amazing!

Here are a few pics from our first couple days in Alaska:

Tony's cousin, Kristi, and I posing with a Grizzly Bear at one of the restaurants where we had lunch. I wouldn't want to run into this guy in the wild!

The Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska. This is where kids send their letters to Santa each year. Inside the house was a gift shop with tons of Christmas trees, ornaments and decorations for sale. Santa Claus himself is also there almost every day ;-)

Tony & I posing like Santa & Mrs. Claus.

Here is one of Santa's reindeer. Tony decided this was Donner. Donner looked like he was about 100 years old and I'm not sure he is capable of pulling Santa's sleigh anymore.

Kristi & I in Santa's sleigh.

This is the giant statue of Santa that is outside the house. I am taking this picture from across the street. Look how big he is compared to everyone standing below!

This is the great Alaska Pipeline.

Posing in front of the Pipeline.

Interesting facts about the Pipeline. (You are probably starting to get the idea of what I meant when I said we did "touristy" things :-))

Would any trip be complete if you passed up going to a brewery when the opportunity presents itself? Not if you are a Butorac! After the Pipeline, we went to the Silver Gulch Brewery and the guys tasted a sampler of all the different types of beer. This is the aftermath - apparently no one liked the dark beer.

Stephanie & Courtney at the Brewery.

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