20 July 2010

here and there and back again

There are a few things I've wanted to post about but haven't yet for one reason or other, so this post will probably be a mishmash of just about everything I can think of.

Three days after we arrived in Sitka, we celebrated Porter's 1st birthday. We didn't have the energy (or the money) or the resources to throw a big bash, so we bought a grocery store carrot cake and had a quiet dinner at home. The fun part was doing everything picnic style for lack of furniture.

Porter's birthday cake.

Singing 'Happy Birthday.'

Getting ready to blow out the candle (Seren helped, of course).

Birthday cake is serious business.

It's just what babies do.

Very contented.

Decisions, decisions.

A close up of the icing.


Good thing it's not carpet.

Yes, that whole mess is his.

One of Seren's favorite places is a little out-of-the-way area called the Whale Park. It has massive statues of whales in the front that she likes to climb on, a picnic area, and lots and lots of boardwalk and stairs that take you down to the shore. At the bottom of all those steps, you will find a small sheltered area with viewfinders so that you can whale-watch for humpbacks, orcas, sea lions, seals, and other mammals common to the Sitka Sound. There's even a submerged microphone for listening to whale song.

The steps leading down. (There are more below!)

Boardwalk to the viewing area.

The shore.

The view.

Rainforest all around.

One of the hardest things for either of us to leave in Arizona was the wealth of authentic Mexican food. You can imagine our joy when we found a little restaurant out here (advertised as a pizza joint) that serves Mexican food nearly as good as what we are accustomed to. The place is called Pizza Express and this is what a taco dinner looks like:

Two shredded beef tacos, rice, and beans, garnished with red tortilla chips.

The best part? Not only is it good and not terribly expensive (relatively speaking, of course), but they deliver, too!

Speaking of food, I made Salmonberry Cobbler over the weekend. Salmonberries grow all over the place up here. You may be asking, "What is a salmonberry?" A salmonberry is a cluster berry, much like a raspberry or a blackberry. They are about 2-3 times larger than your average wild raspberry and are on the sweet side in comparison. They are called salmonberries because they are salmon in color, ranging from a dark yellow, to orange, to deep red.



Want the recipe I used?
  • Melt 1/2 cup butter in the bottom of a medium to large baking dish.
  • In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, and ¾ cup milk.
  • Pour mixture over melted butter and spread evenly. DO NOT MIX!
  • Drop 2 cups berries evenly over the top of the mixture. DO NOT MIX!
  • Top with an additional ½ cup sugar. DO NOT MIX!
  • Bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes or until browned.

In other news, I finally got to see a little bit of Stephen's new school. It's a nice place with very friendly people. I got the 10¢ tour of the administrative offices, the field house, and finally, the space that Stephen gets to claim as his own.

Stephen's practice space. (His office is attached off to the right.)

A really neat mobile made of hundreds of folded paper cranes hanging in a corner of the practice space.


  1. I am so happy for you guys. You are going to have such a blast up there in Alaska, it is so beautiful!

  2. made the cobbler yesterday, and ate it today. used blueberries and red raspberries- YUMMY!!! thanks for the recipe!