Well, we finally made it out of town for a short weekend, to the Alaska version of the beach. You know, the version that is beautiful, but cold, and only has rocks, not sand, and is in no way the epitome of warmth, relaxation, and quiet!
Did it end up being rainy? Yes. Close to freezing temperatures? Why not. High crosswinds that made it feel twice as cold!? Well of course! But also loads of fun for the girls and nice to get out of town for a night to refresh from a busy winter of work? Yes, that too!
We rescheduled the girls’ birthday weekend trip to Seward for this the past weekend, opting to wait until driving conditions through the pass were less wintery and icy than back in March. Packing up and loading into the car was easier this time around, even with the girls home from preschool, than it was for any long distance adventure last year. During the drive down the girls snacked on goodies, played with new My Little Pony sets and eventually watched a movie, as we slowly made our way down to the peninsula on Sunday morning. Road-trips continue to get easier, as I alluded to many times last year, and this year will be no exception. The girls asked more times when we will be there, but are also much easier to placate with toys, snacks and coloring books to pass the time.
Reagan was thrilled to see the waterfalls along the mountains melted and running and counted them throughout the drive. Harper was happy to sit on the inlet side of the car, constantly pointing out the sights to the rest of the passengers, who didn’t care nearly as much as she thought they should. Emerie, who fought for the coveted middle seat as we loaded up, didn’t say more than two sentences the whole drive, but wouldn’t tell us anything but she was tired. Everyone enjoyed viewing any construction activity taking place, seeing some of the larger vehicles, and three cranes at one spot down by Portage.
Luckily the clouds parted upon arrival in Seward and let brief sunlight in, long enough for a good park visit after sitting for the long drive. After running around for a bit, and Craig and I “playing Bowser” and chasing the girls (it was too cold to sit there and watch them play!), we ventured down and over the large rocks to find shells on the beach. All three excitedly looked around and climbed down much better than last year and with less complaints. Once the wind picked back up, we headed inside to grab a late lunch along the pier and everyone colored and looked out at the water and boats. The highlight of the meal- other than the demands for more ketchup for their fries- was the two wild seals swimming around the harbor. In true Harper style, she named them BOTH Harper. That seemed to be a naming theme over the weekend, every time an animal sighting occurred. The girls insisted on walking along the pier for a few minutes to see them up close, but it didn’t last long with the whipping wind and complaints of I’m cold!
Eventually we found the rented bungalow; it took us just long enough to find it for Reagan and Emerie to fall asleep and catch some zzzz’s. Harper managed to stay awake and ask us one-thousand times if we were there yet. Apparently renting a property creates some major preschooler questions, the main one producing excitement that we got a new house. This prompted questions of, what happened to our old house (old by a whole three hours, you know)? Are we going to live here now? Where is my bunk bed; it’s not in my room? Why didn’t you bring it with us? Why can we only stay one night?! It took a bit of time to convince these crazy kids that we did not actually purchase a new house for them to live in, but rented it for ONE night to visit. Mind. Blown.
I do not have any epic triplet stories of the rest of our visit, other than it was nice and cozy in the bungalow and blowing and freezing cold out on the beach. We could not convince them to go play outside and collect shells, lasting maybe fifteen minutes before the mind-numbing cold hands pushed us all back inside to play. The girls did pretty well just hanging out for the evening, playing with toys we brought and running up and down the stairway a hundred times. We watching a movie on the couch and ate a light dinner and everyone washed and dried their shell collection at the table. I look forward to the day we can rent this place and enjoy the view and more time on the deck, when it’s not so cold and rainy.
The next morning Reagan was the only one convinced by Craig to collect more shells on the beach, while the other two insisted they were NOT going outside to succumb to the elements. Next time I should probably pack rain gear! We spent the rest of the morning at the Seward Sealife Center, our longest visit yet, checking out the animals and going in and out of the exhibit areas. Highlights include playing on the pretend boat (and blowing the horn continuously), shrieking in a combination of fear and delight at the touch pool (and asking the employee to touch the starfish for them because the water was cold haha), and watching the sea lion and seals swim in the water. And no, I was informed several times that all were seals and not sea lions, regardless of my attempts to explain they are different animals.
Harper was clearly thrilled the entire visit to see her favorite animal in action (seals and the sea lion because she thinks they are all seals), even more so than last year. She asked for pictures with them swimming behind her, with a huge smile on her face, named them all Harper, and commented and complimented at how super cute and super amazing they were. Her other main phrase as they swam by- I can’t believe it! Reagan and Emerie did NOT like the large crab crawling around and immediately avoided going near it, but did enjoy watching the birds dive into the water while we looked through the glass.
Reagan and Emerie were much more content running around and shrieking uncontrollably than their sister, but by the end of the visit they simmered down enough to warrant a stuffed animal for good behavior. Emerie and Harper chose mermaids (Harper already has two stuffed seals that are her besties) while Reagan opted for a white seal to “be like Harper.”
At the end of the day and on the way home, I asked everyone to pick their favorite thing during the quick trip. Harper instantly responded it was seeing the seals out in the water, while Reagan liked playing in the boat at the sea life center and Emerie liked the bungalow and playing with her pony toys. Pretty standard answers from all three, and you could tell everyone was happy to return home and play that evening. Before we left, everyone signed the guestbook- and received several threats NOT to write on any other pages on it- and collected just enough shells to make a mess at home.
It was a nice remind to Craig and I that we can better enjoy trips around Alaska and don’t require help to do them, even though we all enjoy when other family join in too. I look forward to having more trips soon and with more cooperative weather, and am very ready for summer to arrive! At some point Reagan will stop asking how many years until summer gets here!? So true kid, it certainly feels that way this year.