That’s all I wrote

 

 

Back in Colorado. Sorely missing Alaska, but glad to be almost home.

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We finished up the trip so well! The shows were all fantastic.

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Here is the cast from Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon. It was a good show, and a great experience to memorize lines again.

 

 

Behind the scenes at the theatre we had some great artwork to look at. I LOVED THIS PIECE. I don’t know how Royce felt about it. DSCN0470

It was done in Maori of New Zealand style, by an Australian woman who lives in Alaska and Arizona. That enough diversity for ya?

On the flip-side we had a great improv show as well. Each was a week apart and worlds apart to boot. I can’t imagine two more different shows but laughs were a common theme.

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I love laughing with my husband! Love it, love him.

DSCN0399After all the hard work of putting together dozens of programs for the show Austin and I went on a photo safari.

I love coffee houses, in AK they are mostly little trailers all over the place so we took a walking tour to see everything we could, and a few other things along the way.

DSCN0412(Seriously, how well does he fit in Alaska? He’s like the king of the Salmon)

DSCN0415Over the river and through the town. We got a great look at the thawing river with some nice jet trail like clouds above us.

DSCN0426I hugged a bear.

DSCN0428Austin hugged a bear.

Then we got to coffee-house searchin’. It’s not really that hard, they’re everywhere and they are usually staffed by adorable high schoolers. They must be permanently hopped up on sugar. Every time I asked for a regular Americano without room, without flavor, without anything they had to pause before starting. This concept must not be common. 2014-02-24 16.00.062014-02-24 16.00.12-1

They may not have been used to us walking up either. You gotta do what you gotta do when you only have one car for four people!

2014-02-24 16.17.56I love coffee-house stickers.

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I’m not sure where the Java Junction 1 is. DSCN0448

The Daily Buzz featured a “buddy window”.

DSCN0449I love the theming on this one.

DSCN0451This one really committed to the rustic Alaskan theme.

DSCN0459This fine lady was my favorite. Nothing like anthropomorphic sexy foxes to sell your coffee in the dark days of winter. Also, it was the best coffee.

We enjoyed our last night in Soldotna and took some final sunset pictures on our final evening at the Parker house.

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UP NEXT: The final leg in Anchorage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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D’oh! Back to Homer, AK!

So we finally have a few days to travel after ‘Barefoot in the Park’ Closed last week. Austin and I decided to head back to Homer because we had such a short time there during our first trip to Seldovia. 2014-02-15 12.41.00-2

Remember these amazing people? They were our guest Seldovians.

Anyway, I remembered that there were suites above the bakery that we ate at TWO SISTERS, last time we were here and they are pretty affordable for how damn cute they are. 2014-02-25 12.23.03

Austin got right to work for a while. He wanted to finish up with some customers so I took pictures around the cute little suite. 2014-02-25 12.22.30

They had some issues with the heat so we had to keep our windows open all night! Oh, darn! It’s not like we love looking out to this or anything. 2014-02-25 12.23.21

Homer is one of the most beautiful places we’ve seen. It’s like Lord of the Rings, with a beach and good coffee. That’s the best way I think I can describe it.

2014-02-25 12.25.29Here’s some proof of Austin working hard while I play with mirrors.

After I got a bit more of my work done we decided to go on a hike. There were a few trails at the Homestead trailhead that were open to snowshoers but it was really confusing! We hiked along a few paths and just generally had fun in the snow on a really warm day, I think it was about 38, PERFECT for hiking. 2014-02-25 13.00.36 2014-02-25 13.42.07 2014-02-25 14.29.41 2014-02-25 14.40.31

I wish I had taken more pictures after this but we were SO tired! We both decided to go back to the suite and snack on what we call ‘APRES CHEESE’ Which is just cheese you eat after you hike, or something like that.

Then we trekked over to a restaurant called Fat Olives that was recommended to us, turns out it was closed so we went instead to a place called CUPS that was seriously fecking amazing. We had all sorts of seafood and it rocked my sweat drenched socks off.

By the time we got back to the hotel after picking up Epsom Salts for our legs (like a boss) and advil for the swelling (also like a boss) we very nearly fell asleep watching a movie shot up here in Alaska ‘The Frozen Ground’ about a real life serial killer that hunted women. It’s like ‘Surviving the Game’ with Ice T, only real.

Now, just for posterity, I’ll inform you all that I am writing this from a comfy bed, in Homer, AK. Watching the clouds move over the pre-dawn mountains and I can’t help but love this moment, where this life has taken me.

Oh, and there are Loons. Did I mention you wake up to the sound of Loons? 🙂

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 and finally Soldotna! THE CAT’S A MAYOR!

It’s really easy for some reason to wake up really early here. I love waking up in the dark around 5:30 or 6 and knowing that it’s not going to get light until 9! I have no idea why but I get SO MUCH done during the dark hours at the house.

We woke up in Talkeetna and visited a famous spot for breakfast that some of the guests at the show told us about the night before. Since our lodge wasn’t a B&B we needed a spot for breakfast! Here was a small sampling.

Just a little pancake.

Just a little pancake.

Oh...there's the plate!

Oh…there’s the plate!

Normally I eat a really clean diet but sometimes, like this time, I make an exception. This was a sourdough pancake made with 100-year-old starter and birch syrup, reindeer sausage on the side. This was Austin’s meal but we shared this and split mine. It was all soo good. and the tables were communal so we sat with an audience member from the night before who had been in Talkeetna for 30 years. This is the ROADHOUSE and it may never be topped.

We wanted to walk a bit after the breakfast so we decided to get political and meet the mayor.

This is the MAYER of Talkeetna!

This is the MAYOR of Talkeetna!

A CAT is the mayor of Talkeetna! A cat! His name is Smudge and he’s 17 years old, he looks much younger and is the nicest politician I’ve met yet.

We stumbled onto one of my favorite things in any location…

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See?

See?

Yes

Yes

More

More

There are only three of us, but I still manage to go overboard.

There are only three of us, but I still manage to go overboard.

Every possible combo

Every possible combo

I am a total sucker for these

I am a total sucker for these

Along the way back to our lodge we saw the radio station that looked just like the one from Northern Exposure, so I had to get a picture.

Not KBER but close to Northern Exposure

Not KBER but close to Northern Exposure

Before we were picked up there was one special trip that I wanted to take. I walked by myself to the Climber’s Memorial in Talkeetna that pays tribute to those who attempted to summit the peaks in Alaska and have lost their lives. It was very pretty and very solemn.

Climbers Memorial

Climbers Memorial

Climber's Memorial

Climber’s Memorial

Climbers Memorial

Climbers Memorial

A clear view of Denali

A clear view of Denali

We had to head out to one gig on Saturday before we got to head to Soldotna so we took one more picture in front of a picture perfect Denali.

In front of Denali

In front of Denali

Fun Fact: Only 30% of visitors see Denali, North America’s tallest mountain, without cloud cover. We were pretty lucky.

The Second performance space

The Second performance space

The nice view from our second show. A beautiful lakeside cabin!

We finally made it into Soldotna around 9pm and crashed after eating a super-fancy Safeway dinner. Glam.

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!

A walk in Wasilla

You know, just the back yard.

You know, just the back yard.

Our first full day in AK was pretty dull. We all worked, read, rehearsed and then we finally decided to take a walk and stretch our legs. We said goodbye to Saidie, the guard dog.

Sweet Sadie, guarding the door.

Sweet Sadie, guarding the door.

We did the layering thing and then we took off for the wilds! Well, we took off down the road. Same thing, here in ALASKA!

We took off and found the the snow was really hard from all of the warm weather they’ve been having recently. It made for some stunning ice crystals.

Alaska is Magical. This is a chair.

Alaska is Magical. This is a chair.

Like I said before Magical

Like I said before Magical

After a while we were talking about wanting to see a Moose, or at least some wildlife. We had stumbled on a few tracks and some scat but Austin was the one that made the big find.

Found our first Wilddead, not wildlife.

Found our first Wilddead, not wildlife.

We were very intrigued. No sign of hoofs, paws, face, or teeth. Most of it was frozen solid under the ice. There were some traces of blood under the ice but we had no way of seeing what it really was because of the hard freeze. I showed the pic to the family we’re staying with and they all said it was probably a Moose, killed by poachers, and then they left the hide when they were done with the carcass. Shitty.

Frozen, intensely beautiful back yard.

Frozen, intensely beautiful back yard.

But we trekked on and found some more amazing views. I think Alaska and amazing views will be like Ireland and quaint, cute towns. Every town will be cute, and Every view here will be breathtaking. Oh well, I guess we’ll survive somehow! Someone has to do all this living.

The plan for today is to go Cross Country Skiing but the winds last night were over 75 mph, so we might have to wait on that one for a while.  I’ll just leave you with some more of Magic in Alaska.

You know, just some magic snow.

You know, just some magic snow.

Trail of Lights! and Giant Jackalopes

Last night one of our friends suggested we go to the Trail of Lights which is a great, FREE event here in Austin during the holiday season. We decided to take a Car2go there so we wouldn’t have to pay for parking. It turned out great even though the police didn’t quite know how to handle the large amount of people this first night.

2013-12-10 17.54.36We got all bundled up and went out into the frigid (read 50 degree) weather of Austin the in early Winter. It’s a great light set-up they have all through Zilker Park and it was the perfect thing to get us into the Christmas Spirit!

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You were supposed to stand under this giant tree and spin so it gave you a cool (yet dizzy) feeling. It made us feel like kids…or drunks.

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This is the weird log-fire-thing. Whatever, Christmas!
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Photobombing Triceratops. Boom. Got-ya. 2013-12-10 19.09.14 2013-12-10 19.10.16 2013-12-10 19.14.51

Very Creepy Elf or VCE2013-12-10 19.19.28At the end we took a nice little group picture and made our way home WITHOUT traffic. It seems like you can only drive freely in Austin when it’s 8:00pm or 3:00am. The traffic here is just terrible. But hey, we put up with it for good friends, good lights and Christmas. photo 4

And GIANT JACKALOPES!!

photo 3I love things that are tiny and things that are huge, this is the counterpoint to my tiny spoon collection.