Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 2 in Anchorage

Today is the 2nd day of the Anchorage conference. Our booth is next to our sister company, BookShark, and the 4 of us have been having a good time, though there hasn't been much time for sightseeing. We do have weekend off, so I'm hoping the weather will be clear enough to get some nice pictures. I would love to see the Northern Lights but I don't know how likely that is. We'll see!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Driving in Alaska

So far the weather has been mostly overcast, so it's hard to appreciate what must be spectacular scenery on sunny days. On Tuesday I traveled with the Book Shark reps to Soldotna, which is about a 3-hour drive from Anchorage. We were at the curriculum fair there yesterday. It ended at 5:00 and we drove back to Anchorage after that. The curriculum fair here is a 2-day event.

And the adventure continues!

Monday, April 14, 2014

North to Alaska!

You see the green trees through the window? That's what the view from any window ought to be in mid-April. Enough of the slush and snow, for cryin' out loud! Duluth and Denver oughta be ashamed!

Would love to linger in the Seattle springtime, but I'm only here for a couple hours today. Headed on north for my Alaska adventure in an hour or so. Traveling by myself today. I'll keep you posted.

Passion Play of Denver

Laura and I got home from Minnesota yesterday afternoon just in time for the first performance of the Passion Play of Denver, which Laura is in this year. They will be performing every night this week but last night was the only chance I had to go. They did a great job. It was very moving, as it should be.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Duluth Airport

Waiting for our flight back to Denver from Duluth via Minneapolis. There are a total of 4 gates at this little airport, with 6 flights out today... and not very many people for "people-watching" purposes! Duluth is chilly, damp, and gray in the spring, based on my experience this week.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lake Superior

Day 2 of the MACHE conference in Duluth, Minnesota. The convention center is on the lake.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Minnesota

Layover in Minneapolis on our way to Duluth. If you squint you can see the city way off in the distance. We'll be setting up for the MACHE conference this afternoon.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Drive in the Mountains

Yesterday morning Lyle asked if I'd like to go for a drive up in the mountains. I'm always up for a drive with that man, so I immediately said yes. Then he asked if I wanted to do the "short drive" or the "long drive." Apparently he's been planning various scenic routes for just such occasions. I chose the long one... which turned out to be a 300+ mile loop! The kids chose not to go since we didn't have a particular destination in mind.

The calendar says it's spring, but we've learned you can't always go by that in the mountains. We've been turned back by snow-covered roads on early spring drives in Idaho, so we weren't sure what to expect. However, most of the mountain roads in Idaho are Forest Service roads. There are more "main highways" traversing the mountains in Colorado, even though the altitude is higher, so we didn't run into any difficulties on this trip.
It was too overcast for spectacular pictures, but we enjoyed the scenery anyway. We learned that Mount Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains. Lyle wondered why Pikes Peak is more famous. I speculated that maybe it was the first peak the pioneers could see as they were crossing the prairie... but I don't really know.
I love mountain streams in the springtime.  I would love to see this vista on a sunny day.
We stopped at several scenic overlooks and "points of interest." Unfortunately, we weren't actually able to read the signs at this pullout, with that big snow drift between the parking area and the signs, not to mention the ginormous puddle!
We enjoyed learning more about the history of mining in Colorado, and seeing some of the popular ski areas.

We are looking forward to summer when the camping and hiking areas will be accessible.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory

Our sight-seeing expedition on Saturday took us to Boulder to the Celestial Seasonings Tea factory. This is something I had wanted to do at various times we had been in or through Colorado on vacation. Since Boulder's a little off the beaten path we never had worked it in.

The tour starts in the "tasting room" where we were given our "tea kits" (tickets) in the form a 3-bag sampler pack of tea to take home, along with a little cup for sipping samples of various teas while we waited for the tour to start.
Photos weren't allowed inside the factory, so I have no pictures to show you. The first thing we noticed when we went in was the strong fragrance of tea and herbs. It was so interesting to see the huge bales of dried tea and other botanicals and see how it was processed. The Mint Room was the most impressive part of the tour. We came to a garage-style door painted with red-and-white stripes. The tour guide raised the door and invited us to step inside. There really wasn't much to see, but oh, the smell! Dozens of wrapped bales stacked high above our heads isolated into a vault-like room concentrated the fragrance of mint into an intense experience. The Mint Room is where they store peppermint, spearmint, and catnip.
 The tour guide told us that Celestial Seasonings' best-selling tea is Sleepytime. (So of course, one of their photo props was the Sleepytime bear.) Chamomile is the second best-selling, with peppermint being third. Peppermint has always been my favorite herbal tea, though I do enjoy others as well. We were also told that most of their peppermint comes from Washington and Oregon. There were peppermint fields near where we lived in Idaho, as well. I always enjoyed driving past them at harvest time. Mmmm!
 I think my family wasn't too sure about going on a tea factory tour when I first suggested it, but they admitted that it was more interesting than they expected it to be. And of course, we had to bring home a few "new" teas to try.