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We had a bunch of friends over for a fundraiser-party, to benefit our Tour de Cure ride for diabetes research. To that end, we spend most of the previous week cleaning and decorating the basement. We raised over $300, and as a bonus, you get to see pictures of a fairly-clean house.

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Merry Christmas, everybody!

We’d been to the Alaska SeaLife Center before, but when we decided to keep our vacation in-state (to save money in case the house thing pans out) and then Coral won a free year membership, we had to go back. When we found out that membership included a discount on animal encounter programs, well, of course we knew what we had to do.

We Got Pictures

It was cloudy the whole time we were in Seward, and it rained almost the whole time, but who cares, we got to play with puffins! Horned puffins, specifically (ASC also has tufted puffins, but none came over for feeding.) We also got to feed kittiwakes, murres, guillemots, eider, and ducks. We showed up to ASC early, thinking we’d make friends with the birds before our encounter by visiting their enclosure. They didn’t quite fall for that trick. And we came back afterward for pictures, which prompted the attendants to say “You guys can’t get enough of the birds, can you?” No, apparently we can’t.

I think there might have been some fish there too, maybe?

Next time, before our membership expires, we’re going to meet the octopus.

Outside the SeaLife Center, we saw a group of 8 sea lions hanging out in the bay, part of a 30-member pod that’s come in for the summer; we didn’t get pictures of them (note to self: buy a better camera) but we did get a few of Woody, ASC’s resident male sea lion. 2,200 pounds, and he’s a lightweight compared to his wild cousins. We also hit up every gift shop and about half the restaurants in town (which doesn’t take long, Seward isn’t that big of a town.)

On a whim, we headed home early, stopping only to take some photos of a breathtaking lake outside of Seward. The wind had died down and the blue-green glacier melt was mirror-like in the overcast late-evening pre-twilight (sunset is around 11:00 these days.)

And when we got home, an email was waiting for us; turns out saving our pennies may be worth-while after all. Our repair request was accepted without amendment, so the house may work out!

It took me over two months to get to these, but it’s amazing how many different species you can see in just a few hours. (But I think I’m going to need a better camera for long-range wildlife shots.)

http://picasaweb.google.com/dale.sheldon/SewardCruise#

Man, we’ve done/seen/taken pictures of so much amazing stuff since the Iditarod, but I’ve neglected to post them. So you get four months of photos all at once:

Hope you like them!

The actually Iditarod start is in Willow, but there’s a ceremonial start that takes place right in downtown Anchorage. We happened to be in downtown stupid-early that day (actually, every day that weekend) for other reasons, but we took some time out to go meet some of the dogs, and get some pictures.

Album

I love Star Wars (what geek doesn’t? Except maybe some Trekies. They don’t count.) So what could possibly be a better Valentine’s Day gift from my lovely wife than a trip to the Star Wars exhibit at the Anchorage Museum?

My only regret is that the line to see the inside of the Falcon was two hours long, and I’m pretty sure I would have actually fainted from hunger before getting inside.

Album

Behold the majestic ridiculousness!  The awesome oversizedness!  A word of advice though: Don’t mess with the males during mating season, and don’t mess with mothers weaning their calves.  (Seriously.  Someone gets stomped to death every other year or so.) But a lone moose in March? Photo op!

Yes, another Picasa album (I find it easier to work with than WordPress’ own stuff

Shortly after getting married and moving about 3,600 miles, we went on a sight-seeing drive.  Coral’s then-future boss had taken her on a short (by Alaskan standards) drive down the Seward Highway while she had time to kill before her flight home from the interview, and she thought I’d get a kick out of it too.

These pictures are terrible.  I mean, they’re fine, but really, they don’t capture the subject.  Clearly, you should email us to reserve your spot on our couch to come see them in person (hurry: summer will fill up fast!)

Album at Picasa

Coral and all the birds are safely across the U.S. border and on their way to Tok, AK (the northern-most point of the journey), although she’s hoping to continue on south from there, and make it at least to Glenallen, if not Achorage itself, by the end of the day.

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