Friday, May 29, 2015

Sledless Sledding

A week or so ago, I had just gotten up out of bed to find sunshine streaming through our windows. The day was already lovely, and we had a morning of practicing out in the sun to look forward to. Quinn and I were just sitting down to eat some cereal, when he got a phone call. Paul and Abigail had went for an early hike up Eaglecrest not long before, and they had run into a friend of theirs...

The whole ski area (normally very quiet during the summer months) seemed a buzz with people! Upon asking, Paul and Abby learned that Lands End, the clothing line, was doing it's winter photo shoot up on top of the mountain! 

Long story short, someone was not feeling well. No one from the Lands End party could be spared to go all the way into town to get medicine, and so Paul called Quinn asking if he could run up some cold medicine from the house to help someone out for a free ride up the mountain on the chair lift!

Well of course Quinn and I both jumped at the chance to ride up the chair lift during the summer (something that is very unheard of!), so we quickly got the medicine and up the mountain we drove!

After a short wait (and a very thankful man who was NOT feeling well) we were on the chair lift and whisked away! Not being a skier, I had never rode the chair lift - in summer or winter - but Quinn and Abigail had never heard of anyone ever being able to go up it during the summer. It was a real treat!

Quinn had a lot of fun pointing out all his favorite ski spots to me. He couldn't believe how different the mountain looked with hardly any snow on it!

Once up at the top, the view was beautiful, and the lodge was packed full of models, makeup and hair stylists, and racks and rows of clothes and shoes for the photo shoot. We had a lot of fun hanging around and watching the photographers take photos. We didn't want to be in their way though, and since Paul and Abby had wanted to HIKE the mountain (and hadn't yet) we hiked a bit farther from the chair lift to the very tip top - where two summers ago we filmed parts of our Alaska Odyssey DVD. 

Abigail wasn't satisfied with the hike though. 
The snow was soft from the warm sunshine, and the slopes were steep. 
She wanted to go sledding!

Well. We hadn't exactly planned ahead. 
No sleds were to be found, but we made do:

As you can see, we had lots of fun.

Our pants and shorts were totally soaked through and freezing cold, but thankfully the warm sun on our backs helped warm us up on the hike back down the mountain.

It was certainly a day and an experience we wont be forgetting anytime soon. And we look forward to seeing our beloved Eaglecrest in the winter catalog of Lands End!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Our Guide to Juneau - Downtown

We're doing a short little series on our favorite places here in Juneau! So many times up at the tram, we are asked where the locals go, or where the prettiest spots are. 
Well, here are your questions answered! Our favorite places to go to, and the places we think you've just gotta see while you're here!


Now that the summer is here, downtown is packed with tourists hoping to see the sights, and all the shops that were closed for the winter have opened their doors!

We thought we would share our top six places to hang out or go shopping downtown. Since this is where the cruise ships dock, it's likely the first piece of Juneau you'll see, and what a pretty place to start off too!

No trip to downtown would be complete without a visit at the Mount Roberts Tramway!

Yes, we are a bit biased since we play up at the top of the mountain regularly throughout the summer, but views up at the top of the mountain cannot be beat (especially if you're not a hiker!)
With the Timberline Bar and Grill and the Raven Eagle Gift shop, the tramway is a complete package!

Across the road from the Mount Roberts Tramway, is one of my personal favorite places to shop: Trove. 
Just like the name, this spot is a treasure trove of fun and unique things. 

From art to trinkets, this store has everything sparkly and pretty! Abigail and I love going in just to look around. 

On my last visit, I found these adorable miniatures, perfect for Melissa's doll house! Sadly, we didn't bring them home with us, but maybe next time!

Last Christmas, I spoiled myself by picking out a few of their beautiful Christmas ornaments for Quinn and I's first tree. Don't worry! They have their Christmas ornaments all year round (so you can get some even during the summer tourist season!). on to everyone's favorite thing: fudge!

I know, I know. I'm simply torturing you with this picture. 

But wait, there's more!

These tantalizing and yummy pictures (that I myself want to eat right off of the screen) are from our favorite sweet spot downtown: The Alaska Fudge Co. 

Besides fudge, they make their own chocolates as well! They also sell ice-cream and (my personal favorite) homemade caramel popcorn! 

(Yes, I may have given in to temptation and gotten a bag while I was there...)

And to answer your question: YES. They wrap up your fudge and sweets all nice and neat so you can bring them back home (if your will is made of iron, that is. Otherwise you'll eat it all in less time then it took to buy it. We always do.).

Next up is our favorite and the most adorable little Post Office ever! 

Named Kindred Post, this cute little post office is big on amazing; not only can you mail those postcards... can buy artwork and housewares from creative people here in Juneau. They have a wonderful collection of cards for all occasions, and I have repeatedly told Quinn that I want to buy one of everything. 

Yep, I'd like one of everything please!

Next up on the tour of our favorite places downtown, Quinn's favorite spot to shop (and spend hours and hours).

If you like comics or graphic novels (or eccentric artwork) this is the place for you! The Alaska Robotics Gallery has everything from shirts and art supplies to your favorite comic books. I'm sure Quinn would spend a whole paycheck here if he could (I know my brother Henry has done it before).

For Folk Fest week, Quinn and I practiced after hours in here with our friend Marian Call. It was sometimes hard to pay attention when every wall was lined with interesting looking reads...

And finally, last (but certainly not least in our books) is our favorite place to grab lunch:

The Alaskan Crepe Escape is a small booth on the side of main street. Don't worry, you can't miss it. The yummy smells will draw you right in!

When I first told Quinn that I wanted to write a blog post on our favorite places downtown he instantly said "Do we get to eat crepes?! You know...for the blog post." 

Yes! Of COURSE we needed to get crepes! Sadly, Quinn is currently on a no-sugar diet (I'm so proud of him!) so he got a natural fruit smoothie, and I got the Sugar & Spice crepe.  

And let me tell you, it was yummy!


We hope you enjoyed this insider look into downtown Juneau! We certainly had a lot of fun showing you the sights and our favorite places. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Note On Busyness

We are busy!

Yes! Very busy indeed!

    Now that we have started playing and preforming full time (up at the tram and on the Princess Cruise ships), we find we hardly have time for anything! And what time we do have is now being put towards practice...(not that we're bitter about that)

    So I'm very sorry, kind readers, but this blog may be a bit quiet for a while as we work this summer. But don't worry! I'm still planning on writing, but it wont be at the same frequency that it has been. Again, my apologies, but hopefully that will make it all the more special when a new post comes!

Thank you!

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Mother's Day Well Spent

Hello everyone! 

We wish you a happy late Mother's Day!

We spent our Mother's Day out in the sunshine!

After a busy morning at church, we all met at home to sit out on the front porch and have lunch together.

Abigail had been very creative!

She had hung jars of flowers and candles to set the mood for our Mother's Day meal.

In just a week, the flowers in Melissa's garden have grown abundantly! Pretty daffodils and tulips graced the porch, and with the sunshine, it felt like summer indeed!

Meanwhile, Paul was busy on the back porch with the grill, and soon the smells coming from the backyard had us all longing for lunch time!

Days like these are best spent with the people you love, and that's just what we did.

I feel so blessed to have two mothers now in my life, as a married woman. And I know our whole family would not be the same if Melissa wasn't here. 

For one thing, we would be a person short in our badminton playoffs!

Oh yes, we are all soooooo stylish!

After our lovely lunch out on the front porch, we all gathered in the backyard for what will go down in our family as the stuff of legend: the epic badminton tournament! 

Melissa and Abigail were up first, one verses the other. 
Though Mom tried hard (and it came down to two points difference), Abby won!

Next up was Quinn and I! 

We were tied up until the very end...but Quinn took the win.
(Shhhh! I actually let him win. But don't tell him!)

Quinn and Dad played next, with the winner of the match slated to play against Abigail in the final playoffs.

It was a close match, and us girls screamed and cheered them on!

Quinn won it at the last possible moment, and so he and Abby got ready to go head to head!

Quinn had an interesting way of getting ready...

Well let me tell you, it was a hard battle. 

Quinn started off in the lead, hitting the shuttlecock back and forth fearfully over the net. But Abigail took over and scored several points as well! It came down to 4 - 4, with 5 points needed to win the game.

Who would triumph!?

Quinn! He was the victor!

Because he won, he took on all three girls! 
We started out very good (I got two points right off the bat!), but even though there were three against one, Quinn still took the gold.

Congratulations Quinn, 
you are the supreme badminton master.

Though we must warn you that Mom has said she is going to start practicing so she can beat you, LOOK OUT!

After all the excitement of the day, Melissa wandered off to her happy place: her garden.

We hope all you mothers our there felt loved and cherished yesterday!

We wish you a very happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Our Guide to Juneau - Eaglecrest

We're doing a short little series on our favorite places here in Juneau! So many times up at the tram, we are asked where the locals go, or where the prettiest spots are. 
Well, here are your questions answered! Our favorite places to go to, and the places we think you've just gotta see while you're here!


As many of you know, this last winter wasn't really a winter by Juneau standards. There was hardly any snow, which greatly affected our local and much loved ski area, Eaglecrest. 

Quinn and Abigail both had gotten season passes, sadly they didn't get to use them.

But Eaglecrest is a wonderful place to go all year-round! Although the skiing and snowboarding draws many people in the winter, the rest of the year locals come from all over Juneau to hike and enjoy the lovely scenery.

A few days ago Quinn and I decided to hike up the mountains with our friend Jacob.

Jacob and Quinn have been friends for probably forever, and they shared stories with me as we hiked about all the trouble they got into as children (and teenagers) on and off the slopes of Eaglecrest.

The sun was shining beautifully, making our hike even more enjoyable. The trail to climb up into the mountains is actually more of an access road for the ski area, so that vehicles can get up to the top to work on the buildings and ski lifts.

Two summers ago we got permission to drive our own big truck up the mountains, but that was for our Alaska Odyssey show movie! 

We may have wished part way up that we could have taken the truck...but where would the fun be in that?

At one of the first ski lifts we passed, the boys decided to show off their strength by climbing around. 

It's easy to tell that these two are best friends, isn't it?

The higher we climbed, 
the more snow we saw. 

Because of the warm winter we had, snow was much higher on the mountains than it was supposed to be. Quinn even said that had the winter been normal, we wouldn't have been able to hike at all, there would have been too much snow. 

At first the snow wasn't that bad...

But it quickly got quite deep, and soon we were a line of hikers, trying not to fall over in the thick snow.

The day was warm, and Quinn had worn shorts. 

Yes, he may have regretted it later.

The cold didn't bother us for long though, we grew hot from hiking, and soon the cold mountain breezes blowing from the peaks were welcomed.

We slowly climbed higher and higher, the snow getting deeper and deeper. 

The sun has been forecasted all this next week, so by next weekend a lot of this snow will be melted away (making this hike a lot easier!).

As we got near the top, we could see tracks from desperate skiers who had hiked up to get some skiing in, even though the ski area was long closed.

And when we finally reached the top, it was hard to believe how much snow we had been walking on!

(It was also a bit hard to get down)

The views were stunning, and well worth the hard hike through the snow:

At the top we rested and soaked up the sunshine.

Jacob also did some flips off of the ski lift into the snow. Causing him to get pretty cold, and causing us to get colder just watching him!

We built a mini snowman before hiking back down, but we hoped to have a bit more fun...

We had brought trash bags for sledding!

The plan was for us to just sled all the way back down the mountain, but unfortunately the snow wasn't soft enough (the sun had set, causing the top layer of snow to harden into ice). That didn't stop us from trying though!

Well...maybe next time.

We had a great time hiking, and (when there's a bit more snow melted) we hope any of you who are coming to Juneau will put this hike on your list of things to do. The views are amazing, and the trail (though steep) is easy and well maintained. We'll be doing this trail again very soon, maybe we'll see some of you along the way!