Friday Five · Living in Alaska

Friday Five: What’s New?

Hi everyone!  It’s time for another Friday Five with Mar On The Run, You Signed Up For What?!, and Eat Pray Run DC.  This week we’re talking about what’s new, and I’m happy to have some new things going on up here in Seward!

1.  I went to Homer this week!  Andrew and I realized that the summer is slowly winding down and we are running out of time to travel the Kenai Peninsula before moving to Anchorage in September.  So we took a 5 hour drive over to the other side of the peninsula to spend a night in Homer.

kenaipeninsulaA map of the Kenai Peninsula to keep things in perspective

Homer is basically Seward’s “competition” for tourists because they are very similar, and I have to say that overall I like Seward better.  But you know, I might be a bit biased  🙂  To get to Homer you have to drive a really long, boring road with no fun distractions – there aren’t even mountains on that side of the peninsula!  When we got to Homer we found out that there is virtually no hiking which is totally unacceptable for me.  But they do have the Homer Spit, which is a long sandbar that goes out into Kachemak Bay.  There are lots of cute restaurants and stores out on the end of the spit, and it basically looks like you’re at the beach so we did enjoy having a mini beach vacation.  The population is twice as large as Seward and they even have a traffic light and a McDonalds over there so I felt like I was back in civilization for a bit!  And yeah, they did have better Mexican food.  But I probably won’t make the drive out there again any time soon unless we can fly over to Kachemak Bay State Park for better hiking or fly to Katmai/Kodiak to see the bears!

20140731-203644.jpgThe Homer Spit from the top of the 1 hill in town.  Kachemak Bay State Park is on the other side of the bay.

20140731-203539.jpgOur view at dinner from the end of the Spit!

20140731-203608.jpgApparently I need a jumping picture everywhere I go  🙂

20140731-203622.jpgIt looks like it could be the Atlantic Ocean…except it’s the Gulf of Alaska

2.  Seward’s donut scene is ruining my life.  While I may be getting my training under control, I have a new evil sugar-filled snack that is threatening to destroy my health:  the waffle-nut.  No lie, that’s its official name.  It’s a new creation at Safeway that involves taking a waffle square, frying it like a donut, and covering it in sugar.  It’s basically a superdonut but tastes like a funnel cake!  I had one and then told my coworkers about it, and now we’re having weekly waffle-nut feasts.  I love those girls but they are definitely enabling my donut addiction and I need to stop!

In related news, I bought the most amazing donut at The Moose is Loose in Soldotna on our way to Homer.  It’s called a “roadkill cinnamon bun” – it’s a cinnamon bun, but it’s smashed totally flat and covered in sugar instead of icing.  It’s delicious and huge!  Thank god Soldotna is 2 hours away or I’d be eating there all the time!

20140731-210150.jpgAll the people trying to eat healthy need to ignore this picture

3.  I’m still on the fence over which race to choose and I’m freaking out.  It hit me on our long drive over to Homer that every “little” trip that I plan is going to be such a huge process now that we live in Alaska.  And I’m freaking out over it.  I don’t know when or where to race next year and I’m having anxiety over making a choice.  And not making a choice would be even worse because I really, really want to run one of these three races.  Even living in Philly, these would be considered big trips so it’s not like Alaska is technically holding me back from registering.  But I’m still a mess and I wish I had enough time/money to travel to a new state whenever I wanted to run a race.  If I was rich I would spend all my money on travel!  How can I choose just 1 place to visit a year when there are so many beautiful places out there that I haven’t seen yet?

4. I (accidentally) ran 7 miles and forgot I was running a long run. While we were in Homer I couldn’t help but notice that there was a 4 mile walking/bike trail that ran the entire length of the Homer Spit, and I was thinking about how nice it would be to run on it when my husband actually suggested I go on a run! This is why I love him, he can read my mind 🙂 Anyways, I headed out for 6 miles and had a fantastic time running! It was warm but windy, and the flat trail and new scenery made the run go by quickly. I didn’t have any of my usual “Oh my god it’s a long run I’m going to die” feelings. When I finished I tried to call Andrew to pick me up near the end of the spit but his phone was off. So I ran another mile towards the parking lot and then walked the remaining 2 miles. It was cool that I had the extra time to walk because I got to see a bald eagle closer than I’ve ever seen one before!

20140731-203657.jpgWhat all my long runs would look like if I’d chosen to live in Homer instead of Seward!

20140731-203721.jpgThe running trail

20140731-203745.jpgThe view at the end of my run

20140731-203706.jpgA bald eagle on the top of the tsunami siren

5.  I’m trying to cook more.  Andrew and I are pretty much done with eating fish and chips and caribou burgers out with our friends all the time, and we’re trying to cook more.  Yesterday we made homemade chicken-stuffed manicotti which was so delicious!  I got the recipe from Pinterest and Andrew was a big fan.  We like to work together in the kitchen so it’s a fun way to relax and catch up after work.  It’s not super fun when you have to share a dirty kitchen with 40 other people, but it’s making me excited for the fall when we’ll finally get our own kitchen!  I can’t wait to take my Kitchen Aid mixer out of storage!

So that’s what’s been going on in my life lately.  Hopefully next week I’ll have some new job or apartment prospects to report on, or maybe a new cross training workout?  I’m hoping that I’ll keep on trying new things in our last few weeks in Seward!

What’s your food downfall?  Have you run anywhere new lately?  Do you have any favorite recipes to share with me?

 

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35 thoughts on “Friday Five: What’s New?

  1. The wafflenut sounds dangerous – need a photo of that! The road kill cinnamon bun reminds me of an elephant ear pastry, but probably softer instead of crispy/flaky.

    Homer looks like a beautiful place, lots of views for your runs. Glad you’re getting out and trying new things and enjoying it.

    If you read Fast Cory’s blog, you can see pictures of him in Zion, I think. It looks so gorgeous, and it would be so different, I’d suggest that one! 🙂

    1. No photos because I ate it so fast 🙂 Someone else said it reminded them of an elephant ear, I need to try one of those now! And I will have to check out that blog. Zion looks so beautiful!

  2. Kristin, those are great pics! Love seeing Alaska through YOUR lens; I have never visited there, but would certainly love to one of these days. That donut looks fantastic, by the way. 🙂 Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

    1. Oh you should! I think kids would love Alaska because they can run around and do lots of cool stuff (hiking, fishing, kayaking, dogsledding). I feel like a kid half the time that I’m here 🙂

  3. Homer looks amazingly beautiful! despite your travel woes to get there. And it cracks me up they have A McDonald’s – just one… those donuts look good, but ugh. I don’t do a lot of sugary things.

    1. Haha yeah the things I complain about now that I live in Alaska! 1 McDonalds is a huge deal, we don’t have one anywhere near us! I don’t eat there but I consider it a sign of civilization. And I wish I didn’t like sugary stuff, I’m addicted and I can’t stop!

  4. What amazing pictures!! I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska! I thought maybe I’d get there while I was living in Seattle, since I was so close, but no 😦 One day! Btw the doughnut looks awesome!

  5. Certainly not anywhere as interesting! What a beautiful running trail!
    I am just in complete awe of every post you make with Alaska pictures. It has never really been on my radar of places that I absolutely have to go, but now it is. You should work for their tourism bureau. 🙂

    Waffle-nut? YOU STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. I’m starving!

    1. Haha tell Visit Alaska that, I need a job! I will totally help you plan a trip up here. I think Helly wants to do a marathon here sometime? And yes, waffle-nuts are real. I hate whoever invented it!

  6. Your pictures are gorgeous! I can see how those donuts would be addictive. They look awesome. I can definitely relate about wanting to do all the races. I think once you get a stable job, only traveling once a year won’t seem so bad. It’s sad how much time work takes up and how it can make you tired even on the weekends! There will be time to see everything. You have many, many more years left!

    1. Haha that’s what my mom says, but I want to do it all NOW. I’m the worst about that! If I didn’t have to work and had a ton of money I’d probably just drive around the country hiking and running races 🙂

  7. I love donuts! Thankfully the opportunity to eat them doesn’t arise very often.

    My food problem is that after a salty meal or snack, I want something sweet, but after a sweet snack, I want something salty… It’s the never-ending circle of snacking!

    1. I wish I didn’t have them around so much, they are so good in Seward and I’m tempted to eat them whenever I’m at the store! And I have the same problem!!!! My favorite snack is popcorn with hot chocolate – I can alternate between sweet and salty until I’m full!

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