Alaska Day 2 – Denali Park

Had to look to see where I left off.  It’s only day 2!  Which was a really long day.  We got off the train at the depot in Denali and then went across to the visitor center for some lunch and then waited to get on our Tundra Wilderness Adventure Bus.  This was our tour through the park.  This park is huge and has one main road going through it – most of which is only accessible by the bus system.  The entire tour was 8 hours!  We drove I believe 53 miles into the park and then turned around and came back out on the same dirt road.  Along the way we made several stops at “rest areas” for bathroom breaks.  We also stopped whenever we saw any wildlife.  And made a stop at an overlook where we could walk around a bit.  This was another rainy day.  Luckily though the rained was minimal or stopped when we would get off the bus.  It did make for a very dirty bus and dirty windows so with every stop the bus driver got out – pulled a bucket of water (not very clean) out from under the bus and his squeegee and “cleaned” all the windows so that we could see again.  Since these were converted school buses we were able to drop down the tops of the windows to take photos of the wildlife.  And they did give us a snack box and water during the trip too.  Plus a nice photo book.  It is hard to capture the beauty and grandeur of this park on a camera – you really need to be there in the middle of it looking all around you.  Another thing you will notice is the colors starting to change in the foliage.  Apparently while we were there fall was starting and the colors were changing – and from what they said – fall only lasts a couple of weeks and then winter starts.  When we looked at the extended weather forecast there was already some snow predicted about a week out from our trip.  Here are some of the photos that I took.

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2014 08 26 1342014 08 26 1432014 08 26 133We did see some wildlife too.  And I was the first one on the bus to spot something.  I wasn’t sure what it was – and it took us a while to find it.  It turned out to be a Caribou.   So all total we saw 3 Caribou, 3 Grizzly Bears, 3 Moose, plus a bunch of Dall Sheep.

2014 08 26 006Caribou is in the very center of this first photo looking directly at us.  Then he walked up the hill and up to the dirt path.

2014 08 26 0172014 08 26 0272014 08 26 0372014 08 26 0662014 08 26 0682014 08 26 0902014 08 26 1092014 08 26 119This last photo shows the bear stepping down onto the road and then he crossed directly behind our bus.  I bet whoever was sitting at the back of the bus got some good photos.

At the very end of the trip as it was getting dark we saw the moose.  It was on the other side of the bus from where we sat so I really didn’t get any photos.  Hoping one of the people that we met on the trip will send us their photos.

We arrived late to our hotel that night.

There was one video that we took inside the park – I’ll try to get that posted. Here is the little video  -

Thanks for stopping by.

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Cute Little Apple Box

Cute Little Apple Box

My friend Cindy and I were playing with the Curvy Keepsake Box thinlit die a few weeks ago creating projects for the Stamp, Scrap & Create Retreat that we are hosting this month.  With that on my mind I came up with the idea to make an apple!  With school just starting and apple picking season upon us wouldn’t that little box be a perfect apple.  A few weeks have passed by and I’ve been busy traveling as you may have noticed so I didn’t get to try to make an apple until this week.  I decided to use it for one of my Stamper’s Club projects for Friday night.  Look at how cute it turned out -

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Here is how I made it:

  • I cut the Curvy Keepsake Box Thinlit die out of Real Red card stock. You cut two pieces and glue the bottoms together – I used the new Fast Fuse adhesive – its sticky.
  • Then I sponged all the edges with Cherry Cobbler ink and a Stampin’ Sponge.  I wanted it to have some darker areas around the edges on the apple.
  • I filled the inside of the box with caramels – of course.
  • On the handle I tied some Pear Pizzazz ribbon.
  • Stamped “hello Sweet Friend” in Cherry Cobbler ink on Whisper White card stock and cut it with the oval shaped tag that comes with the box thinlits.
  • I cut a leaf from Pear Pizzazz card stock using the small leaf die in the Fall Fest Framelits.  Glued that to the base of my tag.
  • I wanted to add just a little something else to the tag so I pulled out a Real Red candy dot and put that on it.  But it made me think of a lady bug – so I decided sure – it can be a lady bug – I pulled out one of my Project Life journaling pens and added dots to the dot and two little antenna for the lady bug.  Cute!
  • I tied on my tag with some Real Red Bakers’ Twine.

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It’s a quick project and super cute!

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Alaska Day 2 – Wilderness Express Train

This was our longest day that we had – up early to board the train and didn’t finish the day and get to our next hotel until almost 11 pm at night.  Another busy day so this one will be in more than one post too.  We woke early to go board the Wilderness Express train.  We took the train from Fairbanks to Denali.  But it goes further than that too.  It is a double decker train and the top is a dome so you can see out.  The lower level was a restaurant – since we left early in the morning we ate breakfast on the train.  The trains are privately owned but pulled by the Alaska Railroad.  Each train car eats about 80 people on the upper level – we only had our group of 34 so there was plenty of room – and if we wanted everyone could even have their own window seat.  The restaurant level seats 36 people – so that worked out that we could all eat together too!

2014 08 26 0112014 08 26 005Breakfast included Reindeer Sausage – which we were a bit unsure about but it was good.  Also Blueberry Pancakes and birch syrup.  Plus a bar upstairs for fancy coffee drinks and your morning alcohol.  I opted for some yummy hot chocolate during the trip. And there was a host guide that talked and shared information with us along the trip.

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The views were amazing.  Since our car was the caboose I was able to go outside on the back of the train.  It was great for taking photos.  I spent much of my time out there watching Alaska go by.  We traveled through the forests, past lakes, along the mountains, along the river, over bridges and through some really small towns.

2014 08 26 0152014 08 26 0302014 08 26 0362014 08 26 0472014 08 26 0552014 08 26 075That’s the whole train – I was standing outside on the back while we went around the curve so I could get the whole train.  The last two cars are Wilderness Express cars.

148729_938023419547938_5953467263398990709_nI didn’t want to drop my cell phone – but I was able to get a selfie on the back of the caboose!

2014 08 26 089We found rafters out on the river.  I bet they were cold.

2014 08 26 0942014 08 26 110Almost to our destination at Denali.  The train station was right across the street from the park visitors center.

2014 08 26 116We arrived in Denali and all tell you about the rest of the days adventures in another post.

i would highly recommend this train ride.  If we ever get to go again I’ll try to schedule us on a different section of the route.

Enjoy your weekend.

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Hamburger Box surprise!

Hamburger Box surprise!

I created this fun surprise box using the new Stampin’ Up! Hamburger Box die.  I used the Sea Street Designer Paper and coordinating stamp set.  So it’s a summer themed box – perfect for say Red Lobster lovers…

Sea-Street-Hamburger-boxThis is the closed box tied with some ribbon and a little lobster tag on the top.  Just slide the ribbon off to open the box and see the surprise inside.

sea-street-hbox-2I strung a piece of Baker’s Twine from the lid to the base and thread little banner pieces on it punched from the Sea Street Designer Paper.  They are like little nautical flags.  Here is another view

sea-street-hbox-3Put something fun inside your surprise box and give to someone you love!

The Hamburger Box is a bit awkward to assemble as the instructions indicate on the die.  Each of the little corners is supposed to get folded in toward the inside of the box.  i found it much easier – to snip one side of the corner and glue the piece to the inside of the box.  I’ll try to get some photos of that to show you the difference.  It was just much easier to assemble and I think it made for a more stable box.

Thanks for stopping in.

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Alaska Day 1 – Fairbanks – the rest

To finish up our first full day in Alaska we left the Riverboat and got on our tour bus.  There were 34 people in our group.  We drove out to see the Alaska Pipeline or the Alyeska Pipeline.  Greg was tall enough to touch the pipe –  me not so much.  The things that go through the pipe are called pigs – they help improve the flow of oil through the pipeline.

2014 08 25 0762014 08 25 0712014 08 25 0732014 08 25 072This photo shows what the pig looks like inside the pipe.  On the far left of the photo is an old retired pig – it was a scraper pig that they used when they first open the pipeline.  Now they use the other one to help smooth the oil as it flows through.

We got back on our bus – her name was Sable.  I thought it was odd to name the bus – but then you go somewhere and you see a whole line of buses and they all look the same and then you are glad that you know the name of your bus.

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We headed to downtown Fairbanks for lunch and then a visit to the Cultural & Visitors Center.  We found a BBQ restaurant – the northern most southern BBQ – it was good!

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And then we ended our evening at a Salmon Bake.  The weather was nice while we were in the city and at the Salmon Bake we even sat outside to eat dinner.

2014 08 25 1202014 08 25 1232014 08 25 1222014 08 25 133A busy day for us.  And that was just the first day!

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Sea Street Punch Board Gift Boxes

Sea Street Punch Board Gift Boxes

The new Stampin’ Up! Holiday catalog which went live on August 28th has a brand new Gift Box Punch Board.  One day I played around with it and made every size listed on the board – there are 15 different ones -

gift-box-punch-boardThen I decided to play around with it to create a little project for my August team meeting and I wanted to do the closure a little different.  I used the Sea Street Designer Series Paper for these.

box-sea-street3One one side I folded the flaps outward and then stapled them to the inside folds using our new Stampin’ Up! Stapler!  Also in the Holiday Catalog – I’ve been using it a lot already.

box-sea-street4The other two flaps were pulled up, hole punched, and ribbon pulled through.  It could be like a hanger – you could make smaller boxes and they could be little tree ornaments or hang them on a garland for a countdown to Halloween or Christmas – fill them with something fun. 

box-sea-street2I decorated these boxes with the stamps from the Amazing Birthday stamp set.  Check back tomorrow I hope to have another Alaska post and another stamping post.  See you then.

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Alaska Day 1 – Fairbanks

I’m going to share some about our Alaska trip – some of what we did and what we saw and experienced.  I would definitely recommend this trip and if you go to Alaska make sure to include the land portion of the trip – doing just the cruise you really don’t see Alaska. 

We flew into Fairbanks – and they have a tiny airport – we are from Atlanta, Georgia area and we have a HUGE airport.  So seeing the one tiny building and just 6 gates when we landed – I guess we weren’t getting lost in there! It was rainy when we arrived and transferred to our hotel. Even though we arrived late in the evening (later than planned) our tour guide – Megan –  was still at the hotel waiting to meet us and give us the agenda and info for our first day.  We stayed at the Sophie Station hotel which was nice and had gorgeous flowers outside.

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2014 08 25 112On our first day we headed to the Riverboat Discovery Tour on the Chena River. This is the exert from their website and is exactly what we did –  “Your three-hour cruise will take you into the heart of Alaska and introduce you to a family who has made the rivers of Alaska a way of life for five generations. You will see a bush floatplane takeoff alongside the boat, visit the home and kennels of the late four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher and see her champion sled dogs in action. Be immersed into the ancient Athabascan Indian culture when our Alaskan Native Guides take you on a personalized tour of the Chena Indian Village. The Binkley family invites you to experience a slice of Alaskan life!”

Here are some photos -

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2014 08 25 0182014 08 25 0262014 08 25 0562014 08 25 0252014 08 25 0422014 08 25 0662014 08 25 0502014 08 25 0402014 08 25 050We learned about the smoked salmon, the Iditarod , and how the Athabascan’s lived in the village.  They even served smoked salmon dip on the riverboat – yum!  The young girl – Laura Allaway – talking to us about the Iditarod will be a rookie – racing for the first time – she has already qualified to race.  The race is in March 2015 – and it will be something that we will try to follow this time.  This was a great tour and I would highly recommend it if you are in Fairbanks.

The other thing we did in the landing area was go into the 40Below room!  If you look at the thermometer it was colder than 40 below – more like 50 below! 

40belowafter we came out our glasses fogged up and took forever to clear so we could see again.  So that was just our morning!  I think I’ll save the rest of the day for another post. 

I’ll also have a stamping related post in a little while – but thought you might like the Alaska stuff too.

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