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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winter is here already!

I have to slap myself on the hand for not keeping up with my blog and I have been reminded repeatedly by a certain friend of mine. You know who you are.
Things have been crazy lately. I recently received a promotion and I am very happy and busy with my new work. I feel like I am making a big difference for a corporation as well as growing my connections here in Alaska. I also love how with my work I can put a creative signature spin on some things. It is an all over different job with a lot of responsibility which is perfect for me. I finally feel happy to go to work since I left my wonderful job in Brooklyn, New York. (I still miss the job and the people I worked with in Brooklyn) I do keep in contact with them and apparently I have left a big impression which was my goal so not to have a big ego but I feel accomplished that they have yet to find someone who did all the work I did. The first month working at my new position here it was difficult and different in that I had to prove myself unlike in Brooklyn my employer saw my potential from the start. My current employer has very high expectations and I have slaved to meet them. Just in the past two weeks I believe that I have earned a little respect and have proved how dedicated and hard working I am.
With things going so well I had to think a lot about my future and where I truly want to be at for the rest of my life, career wise. I have decided that I will continue schooling and go to the University of Alaska Anchorage for Nursing. I have wanted to go to this University since I was in middle school and it is amazing I finally have the opportunity to go. I also cannot express how much I miss the University of Idaho and its breathtaking campus and the amazing professors that I was under during my enrolment there. The people I have talked to so far at the University of Alaska are just as amazing and helpful and the campus itself is beautiful. I figure that by the time I graduate I will know if I want to stay in the business I am currently in or to go on the nursing route. If I haven’t gone anywhere here by then at least I will not be stuck at a dead end and have the schooling I need to go into a different career. I am just the type of person who likes a backup plan.
So it is officially wintertime. It was pretty crazy that New York City (where that I have just moved from) had a crazy snowstorm where the snow stuck and there were blackouts a full day before Anchorage Alaska did! I thought that was pretty amazing, and I guess so did everyone else because having snow in October in NYC is some sort of record and hasn’t happened in a very long time. Anyway I’m not sure if the snow in NYC is still around but I know the snow is still here. Yesterday it was beautiful and fun since it was fresh and fluffy but today it is hard and crunchy. I like the powder fresh snow so yesterday I was super happy and excited and found every reason to go outside during work (which was not too hard since a lot of my work has to deal with what is outside on the lot). I think today I am going to stay inside. It is windy and the snow is no fun today. Expecting more Friday!
The first snow fell overnight and on Sunday morning I was getting ready to take the puppy out and I had opened the door and screamed. Zeke was on the couch and looked at me and I said “THERE IS SNOW OUTSIDE!!” The puppy Zeek loves the snow so he ran out on his 50ft leash and went nuts. He was jumping and throwing up the snow with his paws. He was also eating it and rolling around in it. When the neighbor dog came outside he ran and played with him for a half hour. Rossi is the sweetest Boxer I have ever met and when he came out he was dressed up in a camo doggie jacket and had little booties which I thought was the cutest thing. Next time they play I will have to take pictures and put them up. Sunday I was unprepared.
My very good friend Cari who writes the blog: One Shoe Can Change Your Life, and I have talked a lot about recipes and have shared a few. She has already posted delicious recipes on her blog and I have decided that I need to get on the ball and post mine. I have a few ideas of some easy quick recipes that I have just come up with myself as well as recipes Cari has sent me that I have yet to try out. So be on the lookout. I plan to post something this weekend but I have yet to go grocery shopping…. My house is running out of food!
It’s a warm day here in Alaska, high of 30! Monday morning it was 16! I love the cold ;p

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hiking and New Crib

Zeke and I found a new hobbie here in Alaska. In the Anchorage area there are over 50 hiking trails. Everything from one mile to 25 miles one way! So far we have hiked about 13 miles on various trails. Our first trail  was the Albert Loop trail, located in Eagle River. It is about 3 miles long but after about a mile and a half the trail was flooded from the river. Zeek had a blast in the flooded trail and we tried to go around it but it was impossible since we did not have the proper gear. Hiking shoes alone was not going to help us, so we turned around and walked back. Unfortunatly at the beginning of this trail when I pulled out my camera to take a picture it died. So I do not have pictures of that trail. The next trail we took was an all day hike for about 6 miles on the Lower Eagle River Trail. This hike was beautiful with sights of the river, forest, wildlife, wildflowers, and creeks.
starting the trail

horse shoe tracks

wolfsbane, a popular wildflower in Alaska

Creek

abandoned chevy truck


tree grew threw the window

black bear track

end of the trail


waterfall off the trail


power lines over trail

Zeke wanted to touch it
That was on a Saturday and Sunday was also a beautiful day so we decided to take another hike. We were told to do the Thunderbird Falls trail since it is simple and the falls are a sight to see for anyone living or visiting the anchorage area. So I Googled the driving directions to the trail and we headed out. We start up the trail and it is imediatly uphill and after the first half a mile we are thinking that we are possibly just climbing a mountain. about 3 miles into it, when we see the incredible view of the inlet and the highway we realize that there is no way this is the right trail. The Thunderbird falls trail is only a mile long and is almost no incline on it. Since we figured we went as far as we did we decide to keep going to see how far this trail will go. We seem to ge to the top and into this field and the trail sort of dissapears and the is nothing but tall grass and a few bedding areas for moose or bear. So we turn around and go back down. I thought going up was hard. Going down was worse since we were already so tired from going up. Before we headed down I checked my gps and we were 2 miles from the car so about 3 miles of trail back down since it is not a straight shot to the car. This trail was ment more for snowmobilers in the wintertime and is not used in the summer as often.

moose tracks




Before it gets too cold we plan to find the real Thunderbird falls hike which we think is not far from where we live. We also would like to do the Peters Creek trail which is also nearby and Flat Top which is the tourist hike here but its a good hike. I have lots planned for next summer and little hikes for the winter. The things that we see, the views we encounter are what makes this place the one place I have wanted to be my whole life.

We are moved in to our new apartment in Peter's Creek. About an hour away from Anchorage but it was the only place that did not have a breed restriction on Zeek. It a lovely, quiet place and our apartment is very spacious and nice. We were lucky enough that the previous tennent did not want his funiture and asked us if he wanted it before he just threw it out. It is all in very good shape he just didn't have the time to sell it. Our first completely furnished apartment, all we are missing is a TV. My aunt was even generous enough to give us her bed since she was getting a new one. So now I have a cal king bed too!!! I will never give it up.
living room

kitchen


hallway to bedroom



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Becoming an Alaskan

I guess I have been that busy, or lazy, to have not posted for a month. A lot has happened in my new home. My cousin is doing better but due to her appendix is now allergic to about a 30 page list of things. The only thing I know I am allergic of is Tide detergent and I cannot imagine being so allergic to everything like she is now. My cousin is smart and strong and knows it is nothing she can help and it’s better to just deal and live her life than dwell over it. I have always looked up to her in a way.
Along with everything else going on like getting a job, obtaining my Alaska license, catching up on bills, my baby sister is in the hospital right now about to give birth to little baby Ina. I am going to be an aunt very soon! I am going crazy and I worry too much about her. She was admitted because her blood pressure was super high and that was very dangerous for the baby. Now her blood pressure is down and the mom said she is dilated. So we should see little Ina tonight or tomorrow morning. So excited.
I landed a decent job in town and as long as it pays the bills and gives me a little bit of fun money I’m ok with that. I feel like I have more to offer for the experience I have but I also believe that everything happens for a reason. I want to continue school for nursing and pursue that career. I’ve had enough fun and messing around. It’s defiantly time to buckle down and get this done.
A few pretty exciting things have happened to me in just a month of living here. First I would like to say that I cannot understand that I lived in New York City for two years and have not once seen or met any kind of celebrity while I was living there. Not even a month here I ran into, without knowing they were there, Lisa Kelly and Tony Molesky from Ice Road Truckers.  They may not be super stars but I enjoy the show and I see them on TV all the time and it’s so different seeing them in person. We met them at Northstar speedway in Wasilla and we had no idea they were there until we drive in and I said “Zeke, is that…” and he was like “yes it is” and I was like “no way.” I was a good Saturday with lots of racing, semi racing, and motocross stunts by Lisa Kelly and her husband.
I also found a new hobby, if I can call it a hobby. I am way into hiking and just last weekend Zeke, Zeek(dog), and I went on the Albert trail at the Eagle River Nature Center. I plan to work up to the 25 mile Crows Pass trail that follows the historic Iditarod Trail. This hike was used by mail carriers that used sled dogs but became impassable in the winters. Now it has been turned into a historic hiking trail. The Albert trail was a beautiful one until we hit the flooded area about a quarter mile down it. I did not get pictures because my camera died right as we started down the path. Kinda sucks but it is charging now and I plan on doing the Albert trail again, maybe when it is not flooded.
This weekend the family is driving to the property about three hours away. The biggest event is the Funny River Festival that will take place in the small community outside of Soldotna called Funny River where my grandparents own land. We will have a booth and will be making various treats like funnel cake, cookies, snow cones, etc. Should be a good time. Also in the Keni area is big fishing so we hope to be doing that. 
Zeke chopping wood for the fist time. A true Alaskan.



This was at 2am, notice the light in the sky? That is about as dark as it gets in mid July.

Tony Molesky's Truck that he drives on the show Ice Road Truckers.


Taking a picture with stars from Ice Road Truckers, Lisa Kelly and Tony Molesky. They were super nice.

"We like Ice Road Truckers."



Lisa Kelly in her truck, just got off the track from racing other semis

Legend class

Lisa Kelly on her motorcross bike about to perform stunts with her hubby


Zeke in a Legend, looks like a clown car

Almost the end of summer and in Alaska you can tell winter is around the corner when you’re sitting outside around the campfire and you notice that the sky is darkish at midnight.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Fill In

So I know that once I went into Canada on our trip I kinda didn't post anything about the days travels. All I have to say is that it was a one of a kind experience. It was Zeke's first trip outside the US and he was amazed the whole trip. From exchanging our American currency for Canadian to all the wildlife we saw. Not only was it a whole new world for Zeke who was born and raised in New York City but also was something completely different for our German Sheppard mix pup Zeek. He was also born and raised in the city and every time we would stop for him to go out he was the most curious puppy I have ever seen. At times he was rolling in the grass, barking and growling at wildlife, and playing in the lakes. There was one lake that we were able to pull enough off of the road so that we could let him off the leash for the first time out of a fence. It went surprisingly well and he was by us the whole time. He ran straight to the lake and was half way in the water when we were able to walk down to the lake ourselves. Zeke and I were throwing rocks into the water and Zeek was chasing them and actually submerging his nose into the water to get the rocks. I have never seen a dog completely submerge his nose to the point where he would blow out bubbles of air while being under water. Too cute.

Although Canada was very beautiful, it was a relief to hit the US border. Just the fact that I could buy a regular sandwich for less than six bucks was more than enough to be happy about finally being in Alaska. Of course I was calling everyone to tell them we made it through Canada okay but then I was hit with some scary and terrible news. Turns out that since we had no contact for a few days we were completely unaware that my cousin was in the hospital with terrible stomach pains that led to her appendix rupturing. So of course with that bit of news Zeke picked up the pace and made it all the way to Anchorage that same day which was meant to be a two day trip from the border. So its not a surprise that our first stop was the hospital. Everything is okay now and she is doing well but it was a big scare for about a week and a half where Zeke and I would visit everyday and would do anything we could to help out. At the same time we both had to work on getting jobs. A very long week we are very happy to get past.

Now we both start tomorrow at our new jobs. Zeke is working as a salesman at Cal Worthington Ford which is one of the biggest dealers in Anchorage and I am a service cashier at Lithia Jeep, Chystler, Dodge.

Alaskans celebrate the 4th of July a little differently than people in the lower 48. We celebrated last night with a little campfire, drinks, festival, and fireworks at midnight. After the show we lit a few sparklers and smaller fireworks. We defiantly had some fun and Zeke was able to set off some fireworks for the first time. He said he has always watched them but was never able to set any off himself. A lot of fun.

Plans for today include a little vegging, a nature walk, and maybe an evening campfire. Its a beautiful day for a hike. Happy 4th everyone!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Nikki and Zeke's Great Alaskan Adventure: Pictures

Zeke listening for baby Ina

Daddys rottie Harley

Shooting 9mm Glock

Waterfall in Canada

Mirror Lake in Canada

Glacier in National Park Canada

Zeke and Zeek playing in the water


Black Bear

Ice Fields Glacier Canada

Elk

Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway

Stone Sheep on the highway



Bison on the highway

Liard Hot Springs in Canada

Sign Post Forest, where people who have traveled the Alaska Highway have left a sign of some kind that tells of where they came from.

Zeek playing in the water

Moose

Zeke standing in Canada and Alaska at the same time