Going back in time (I forgot to blog)

So as I was writing in bed this morning and looking through my pics I realized that I haven’t written about so much that has gone on here! I’m no realizing this because I think you all missed out on something. This is my travel journal and I put it out there for me. If we ever have a kid, I’ll probably put it here rather than FB. If people want to see my awesome kid, they can come here. I’m not going to force that on FB, or whatever Social Media platform the current people will use.

So, going back in time a few days…Austin, Royce and I decided to use our hard-earned American Monies to go back to Vernonica’s and have some of her (don’t know if there is a her) amazing food. DSCN0291 DSCN0289

Austin took a picture of this little Russian church. One of the oldest in Kenai, maybe Alaska?

Then we went back to the house and Royce and Makena taught us how to play Small World. They are gaming people and this is one of their favorite games. It was fun and they were so patient with us new guys.

DSCN0292After a nice little spell of sitting we went hiking at what we found out was a Ski trail! Oops!

I did find this nice sign. Way to be descriptive Alaska.

DSCN0293We finally found a place for hikers to hike where we didn’t feel like we were trespassing. DSCN0299 DSCN0301 DSCN0305 DSCN0308I like the feet picture. I love boots, I love the cold. It’s making me sad just thinking about coming back to Austin.

DSCN0310Very cool tree. DSCN0311

Our nice loop, I think we’ll go back and do the lake hike but that will have to wait until we get back from Homer.

Then we went to Makena’s family’s house and they let us go into their old place for a SAUNA! After a hike and an epsom salt bath this was amazing. I also informed Austin that I would be marrying the colors of the sky at night.

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Really shitty picture of the inside of the super sauna.DSCN0315I love hot saunas. You can sit in there for a while and then practically run naked in the woods for a while after. We slept like babies that night. Long hike, long sauna, and the closing ceremony of the Olympics.

Did you see the fucking crying bear? I couldn’t handle it. I lost my shit. I was gone. Way to go Russia.

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Your Moose is Loose and I’m riding a Salmon

Over this past weekend we had our second round of out-of-town gigs. We had two shows and one workshop. We wanted to get up early on Friday to get to Homer as quickly as we could because Royce told us it was a pretty cool town. 

Because Friday was V day we decided to start it off with something sweet. We went to the local bakery The Moose is Loose! and got a cinnamon roll. I had a bit, and it was pretty tasty. They don’t do GF stuff so I mostly abstained but it all looked SOO GOOD. Also, fun little side note, they all wear footie pajamas at work. These ladies were seriously cute and comfy.

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This guy greeted us on the way out. Big truck, big dog. DSCN0170We got to Homer pretty quickly, it was only about an hour and a half drive. Then we got the “Airport”. It was really just a building with some guys sitting around talking about whether or not we’d be able to fly in this. 2014-02-14 13.40.15

Turned out the answer was no. The weather didn’t clear up so we got to go on a boat ride! Time to get on the Mako water taxi! I was really happy, and I think we all were. We were not too keen in flying in a small busy plane when the weather was crappy. So we hitched up with Mako’s pilot Gart and he took us over. 2014-02-14 14.59.28 2014-02-14 15.08.21

We found out we were also the grocery delivery for the day so we helped load that all on and we took a quick ride through this for the next 30 mins!2014-02-14 14.59.34

Ok, so it wasn’t all this bad, this was just in the harbor. We got through this pretty quickly and then it was smooth sailing until we got to Seldovia! This town has a winter population of about 200 so we had a great turnout at our show. We assume it was about 20% of the population, how’s that for a good draw?

Seldovia is absolutely stunning, and has NO CELL SERVICE. It was heaven. I loved not being able to check my e-mail, facebook or anything. We just walked, talked and laughed. The city will be on my must visit again list. 2014-02-15 09.55.13

In Seldovia they have a chainsaw festival where they make amazing things from wood using only a chainsaw. This is not your average “Hello Bear” that you see outside of a lot of houses in Colorado and other places. This stuff is legit. 2014-02-15 10.01.38 2014-02-15 10.03.36

How many people can say that they’ve ridden a salmon. Not many. I now count myself among the few. 2014-02-15 10.11.10

Austin took this one using my phone! He’s too talented. Seriously, I’m glad I married that one. 🙂 The boat below is the boat of our Host family. They couldn’t have been any sweeter. 2014-02-15 10.28.14

 

This is Tobben and Tania. They were the most amazing Alaskan/Norwegian couple. They made great food, great drinks and we had a great time. 2014-02-15 12.38.37

2014-02-15 12.31.54This is our kick-ass water taxi making waves, coming to pick us up. He was going much faster than the picture lets you see. 2014-02-15 12.41.00-2

We all had to say goodbye to our home away from home with Tania and Tobben. We miss them already! I can’t wait to be back in Seldovia. The people were wonderful and, as always, unexpected.

We had to take the water taxi back again because our plane was cancelled the next day as well. We had a gig in Ninilchik in the evening so we had to make a quick getaway up North. We drove by Two Sister’s Bakery…amazing…to grab a cup of coffee and hit the road for our workshop and show. 2014-02-15 12.58.38But before we got off the boat we saw Otter…everywhere!! This is a really lousy picture of an otter mama and her baby on her belly. Gart told us the males can get up to 90 lbs. That’s a friggin huge otter!

We made it to the gig on time and had a great show. They loved getting the chance to see some outside talent and we love sharing it. Improv can be a game changer.

We were totally spent by the time that show was over on Saturday so we went back to our rooms at the AK Supper Club. We hadn’t seen the place yet but we were told it would be amazing. They did not disappoint!

If you’re ever in Ninilchik you must go to the AK Supper Club to stay or eat or both. The owners, Paul and Angela treated us like family. Even though we were smelly, tired and really road weary they offered us wine and brownies. It was like Manna from heaven and we stayed up way too late talking about everything. Life is good.

Just to give you an idea about the scope of the awe this place inspires, this was our view at breakfast. 2014-02-16 08.54.04

We noshed on a breakfast of yogurt, fruit and french toast and then we had to get back up to Soldotna, but not before we could take a picture of the whole gang. 2014-02-16 09.46.02

Why did we have to rush back to Soldotna you ask? Because Royce’s wife Makenna had gotten in from Denver the night before and they needed to be reunited!! And reunited they were. The rest of the weekend was full of more rehearsals and work so all the boring stuff. I prefer to stick to the amazing weekend we had. I’m already ready to go back to Homer and Seldovia. We do have some free time next week…

We’ve got some Wicked Digs

So now that we’re into rehearsals and moving around a lot less I’ve had a chance to take some more pictures of where we really live here in AK. The town of Soldotna is what I keep hearing is a “small fishing village”. I’m sure during the summer it is just that, but during the winter it’s a normal, little town.

Our house belonged to an older couple here in Soldotna and their children are the caretakers now, they were kind enough to let us use their parent’s old house for the month. It’s really amazing.

Panorama of the house

Panorama of the house

Inside of the house

Inside of the house

Game time

Game time

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I don’t know how well you all can see the Panorama of the first floor but it’s a pretty big house. There is a nice large fireplace and a TV but it doesn’t get any channels. This is pretty great because we watched a movie last night and it felt like a total waste of time after playing some of Royce’s fun games every other day of the week. I think we’ll stick to Zombie Dice before we decide to watch another movie again soon.

I’ve been trying to keep up with my workout routine up here but unfortunately Mario isn’t faring so well.

No Mariooooo!

No Mariooooo!

Time to retire?

Time to retire?

After we were up and working we had to go over to do a short radio interview and, of course, three actors would totally ham it up.

Merill and the radio

Merill and the radio

Our big interview

Our big interview

Austin is really taking to selfies

Austin is really taking to selfies

And while we’re living the cheap life of actors we’ve been given a few gift certificates to some local Restaurants so we can actually eat! Yay! This most recent location was an amazing museum of dead animals. They love their animal skins up here, and this place was no different.

Ghost Royce

Ghost Royce

Whole lot of em'

Whole lot of em’

Lot's O animals

Lot’s O animals

Hanging out at the hall of death

Hanging out at the hall of death

Places like this always make me think of Ace Ventura 2, “What a lovely hall of death you have”!

Anyway, I’ve got to get on my lines right now. Have a good night!

 

 

Talkeetna!

Keeping track of time as a piece of human luggage can be a bit difficult, I think today is Monday. Yes, now I’m sure it’s Monday. It has already been an incredibly busy trip and we haven’t even been here for a week.  We decided to get some of our cabin fever out and went sledding last week…Friday, I think.

Austin sledding backwards.

Austin sledding backwards.

Me Sledding!

Me Sledding!

Royce Sledding

Royce Sledding

And Sadie didn’t want to join in the fun so she just watched.

The dog got bored of us sledding.

The dog got bored with us sledding.

I think our host family realized that we were getting restless working all day and rehearsing so they let us use their cross-country skis to take a loop around the local track. It was disastrous, but we all survived.

I like creeper Royce in this one.

I like creeper Royce in this one.

All three survivors, we are the worst skiiers.

All three survivors, we are the worst skiers.

On the way home we had to cram 6 people into a four seater (when in Alaska, right?) so we squeezed in and off we went!

Packed in after skiing

Packed in after skiing

On the way home, one of the guys noticed we had a bit of a traffic delay in front of us.

Cue Northern Exposure theme.

Cue Northern Exposure theme.

Two Moose!

Two Moose!

I was thrilled, there are many things I want to do here in AK and one of them was see Moose! LIVE MOOSE! Check that one off.

We made the long drive to Talkeetna that night for our performance that evening in a theatre that was converted from an old bush-pilot airplane hangar. It was a very cool space.

Inside of our first theatre

Inside of our first theatre

Austin, in the cool space

Austin, in the cool space

Patti Jo, the inspiration for our first show.

Patti Jo, the inspiration for our first show.

We got the spend the night at the Great Northern Lodge. they get all their business from word of mouth, so if you’re ever in Talkeetna, give them a ring! A very fun lodge.

Our first Lodge

Our first Lodge

Northern Guest House

Northern Guest House

Beaver pillow, anyone?

Beaver pillow, anyone?

Whale bones

Whale bones

We had a late night and then headed back to the lodge, hoping to get a sight of the Northern Lights but alas. We were too early.

We did set our alarms for 2 am so we could go out and try to take a later look but it turns out they came out around midnight! Dang!