Alaska and All Its Beauty and Darkness

I spent six years of my life living in Anchorage, AK and it was an incredible six years.  When I was 30 years old, I uprooted my life and my daughter’s life and away we went to the far away, majestic land.  Thanksgiving day of my 36th year, we left because she was soon to be 18 years old and ready to leave, I was over the dark winters and my family was beginning to die off leaving me feeling like I needed to close the gap between us and them by a couple thousand miles.  Here’s a brief telling of my experience in Alaska.

I traveled up there for a week Memorial weekend of the year 2006.  Driving down the Kenai Peninsula, lost in the beauty of the mountains and the sea, I began to wonder what it would be like to live there.  Seven days later, I flew home after an incredible camping trip, fishing like I’d never known and experiencing time travel in reverse because Anchorage is or was like going back in time, I knew this would soon be my home.

September of 2006, I packed up my belonging (those I didn’t sell) put them on a pallet and shipped them ahead, bought a Subaru because they are a supreme car for snowy climate and began my two week journey across country.  We spent four days in Yellowstone (which is my personal Disneyland) and completed the trek through Canada along the Alcan (the road into Alaska) finally ending up in Anchorage.

My time there was an opportunity for intense growth, learning more of my passion for the outdoors (although I never learned to ski) and making some of the best friends I could ask for.  Since leaving, I’m still very close to many of those people and some of them have also left therefore, I get to see them fairly regularly.  The community life there is unlike anything I’ve experienced and the scenery….well, below are some pictures (amateur shots taken by me) and you can judge for yourself.

IMG_1838A cold winter day driving down the road heading to Jack Sprat Restaurant in Girdwood, AK.  Jack Sprat is my favorite restaurant in the entire state of Alaska (of the restaurants I’ve been to I should say).  They are very health conscious and locally source as much food as they can, make everything from scratch and have a raw cheesecake that will send you over the moon.  The mountain in front of me is Alyeska which is a huge tourist attraction and ski resort.  As you can see, it is winter and there is daylight.  The misconception of Alaska being dark in the winter is still rather broad and I’m here to tell you that there IS daylight (below the arctic circle) every day in Alaska.  It’s just less daylight than those living in the lower 48 have to deal with.  A lot less.

IMG_0323This shot is of a small little area just south of Anchorage called Potter’s Marsh.  In the winter time, you can ice skate on the open water area’s and in the summer time, you can walk all the different boardwalks in hopes of seeing a moose or even a bear on the hunt.  Potter’s Marsh if full of wildlife and adventure and offers some great views on a clear day.

As for the featured image, that is just a random glacier from the air, but make note that there are plenty of glaciers that can be hiked to and seen up close and personal.  I have many more pictures, sadly not on this computer, but if you have interest in seeing more, leave a comment below and I’ll do a pictures and description only blog for you.  If you have any questions about Alaska and/or living there, don’t hesitate to ask.

Until next time…

~live free

 

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Finding Me (From old and boring to young and beautiful)

To the credit of some of my fellow bloggers I have decided to open up a little bit more on this blog and share some of my inner thoughts and who I really am with you all.  So here goes nothing.

A brief history; I was born and raised in the southeast.  I spent 30 years of my life in that area of the country.  I had a daughter halfway through my 19th year, who is my world and has been the one stable constant in my life for nearly 21 years now.  At the age of 30 I uprooted us and moved to Alaska.  Yes, you read that right…Alaska.  More on that in a future blog, I’m sure.

Three years ago, we left Alaska and moved to California where I was finally able to leave my desk job and get back into outside sales.  This affords me the opportunity to travel excessively and see much of this country.  Soon I’ll see another part of the world (China) and that will certainly open up the international travel bug for me.  For now, I have no home, one car and live in hotels full time.  If you want to know more about that, click here.

I’ve been married and divorce twice, graduated from therapy after divorce number two and a major heartbreak (that wasn’t from a husband) and really got to know who I am and what I want out of life.  Today and nearly every day for the past four years, I’ve loved the person I am, enjoyed my life immensely and I work very hard to live in the moment.

I have been sober for nearly 10 years and I have had so much more fun in sobriety than I ever could have imagined and made some of the best friends I have ever known.  I still dance and I sing loud (in my car…alone) and I have a beautifully, close relationship with my daughter that I couldn’t be more grateful for.

Finally, I love blogging and hope to set aside more time, beginning this month, to write and share more of my journey with you.  Many have said I should write a book about my life and while that may happen one day, I’ll start here with potential excerpts.

Until next time!

~Live Free

Introduction to 2016

My name is Leigh Ann and I love sharing my thoughts and some things about my life with the world.  I’m currently engrossed in a self imposed challenge to save money enough to buy a house and because my home state is California, I’ve chosen to live in hotels for the next year or so.

The backstory is that rent is tremendous in the state of California and I travel about 95% of my time.  When I’m on the road that much and paying rent, it’s heartbreaking.  When I’m saving $1-2000.00 per month by staying in hotels even when I’m “home” the idea of buying a home in lieu paying rent is much more feasible.  There, I have two blogs.  Hotelnomad.net is my blog about living in hotels and this blog that you’re reading now is just dedicated to life lessons, rating hotels and restaurant and things I find fun and exciting.

I travel all over the country and soon to be world and feel that I can expose people to people, places and things that maybe they didn’t know about or want to know more about.  I like being given suggestions about what you want to know and read about as well.  If it’s something I can full fill, I’ll do it.  My 2016 goal is to blog multiple times a week.  I hope to see you and your friends here and look forward to your comments and suggestions!

Until next time…

~live free