Sometimes it amazes me when I realize how rarely I've "revisited" Anchorage since moving out here in the summer of '04. I lived in Anchorage for nearly half a year and tho' I certainly didn't like the traffic, I didn't hate living there and could have stayed had that been what was meant to happen. I loved being near the museums and zoo, places that weren't even that close to me in Florida, so in some ways it was like "Country Girl Goes to the Big City". Yet, here I am in Wasilla, which tho' it certainly isn't country living where I'm at, isn't city living, either. It's....well.... it's Wasilla. Spend some time on Parks Highway, even when it isn't rush hour and you'll be looking for one of those bumper stickers I've heard of saying the driver survived Wasilla's traffic crush, but venture off Parks Highway and the beauty of my chosen home is apparent. I'm surrounded by mountains and lakes and moose. Yet, every now and then, this country girl does venture south to the big city. Today was one of those days.
That's not to say the country girl wasn't in full view, smiling as I snapped this evidence of country living in Bonnie and Jim Foster's driveway in Chugiak.
Of course, a shopping trip to Anchorage wouldn't end on a high note for me without a visit to Gwennie's Restaurant on Spenard. Did you know it used to be a, uh, house of ill-repute? Now it's just a fun food place with a decidedly Alaskan atmosphere.
Last time I saw this ol' car, which sits outside Gwennie's, it was covered with snow!
I've taken tons of shots of the bear just inside the entrance door, so thought I'd give one of the other critters forever immobilized on its wall some time. This guy is in the upstairs dining area.
One of the coolest things about the upstairs is that it's decor is not only very ol' time Alaska, but it has lots of Iditarod and mushing stuff on the walls. There's a whole wall of VanZyle race posters, not to mention some other artists, too, most likely, and the occasional odd item that just grabs your attention.
The mountains never seem to have any problem grabbing my attention, however. Not a bad shot for a quick grab shot as we crossed the Knik River on the Glenn Highway, huh? There's still lots of ice on the river but it's slowly going away. It did make for a lovely photo today, tho', especially against the gorgeous blue skies above us.