May's Challenges
in Alaska
4/1/10 - 8/25/10

Last Update: 8/25/10

~I ...~

8/25 - Thank you. I will not forget all ...

8/15 - Saw Anchorage Running Club's Half Marathon unexpectedly in downtown.
I'm finishing my 1/2 year marathon in Alaska, too...

8/12 - Passed!!! the CISM exam I took on 6/12 (in case you wondered, but hesitated to ask me ;p)
I heard there were 8 CISMs in Alaska at ISACA chapter meeting, so will I be the 9th in AK!?

8/7 - Heard that 'Flattop Mountain Trail' was one of the most popular trails in Anchorage area
and tried hiking a half of it (Blueberry Loop only) this time.
(the map below: blue = parking/entrance, yellow = Blueberry Loop, Red = the top of Flattop Mountain)

_

According to the guide, the round-trip hike is just over 3 miles, with an elevation gain of 1,300 feet.
Strong hikers can complete the route in an hour.

Anchorage Overlook Trail

Blueberry Loop Trail - I knew this trail was not really the place to pick blueberries,
but saw similar ones called crowberries (extremely high in vitamin C, approximately twice that of blueberries).
I think this loop is good for a first-time hiker like me.

8/1 - 4 month anniversary! Flew to Juneau - Alaska's capital
ANC ~7/31 8:00am AK#62 9:42am~ JNU | JNU ~8/1 12:34pm AK#65 2:20pm~ ANC

Reserved a rental car prior to this trip, but it wasn't raining as I was afraid,
so decided to walk to Nugget Mall (10 min) and take a bus to downtown Juneau.

_

The downtown made me smile. What a cute state capital! I enjoyed walking around.
Also, I was glad I didn't rent a car. You can go almost anywhere on foot and it's hard to find a parking spot in downtown.

Alaskan beer made in Juneau? - I stopped by Alaskan Brewing Co/beer factory - award-winning beer!?
I'm not a beer drinker at all and didn't even know the name 'Amber', but I heard local people do like it.
When I entered, they were generously giving away free sample beer to all visitors. Many requested 'Amber'.

I am a coffee drinker and I noticed 'Heritage Coffee' shops were all over in Juneau.
I tried their coffee. I didn't think it's very strong, but still enjoyed it with a small cheesecake.

Next morning (Sun. 8/1), Alaska State Capitol was open.

Senate

And House of Representitives - Did you know that these rooms were open to the public?
I was actually able to sit down in a seat.

7/17 - Tried driving myself along the Seward Highway this time (took a train to Seward last time).
Thanks for the warning, but there was no problem. It was just a beautiful drive.

Then, went to the top of Mt. Alyeska (2,300 ft in elevation) by tram.
Alyeska Resort in Girdwood was selected as the Best of Alaska 2010 #1 Weekend Getaway!
The tram + lunch combo was $28. I had a '#6 halibut sandwitch'. It's worth it! Great feeling with great view!

Paragliding? No, I wasn't ready for this, ha, ha, ha, maybe never..., but enjoyed watching it.

7/11 - Went to Alaska Center for the Performing Arts and saw the show called 'AurorA' (40 min).
The hit Broadway musical 'Mamma Mia!' is coming to this theater in October.
It is a nice and neat center to visit.

7/4 - Went to see the July 4th Parade & Celebration in downtown Anchorage.
The parade was longer and more enjoyable than I expected.
I've never seen so many people in this city. Well, the challenge was finding a parking spot ;p

7/1 - 3 month anniversary! Celebrated at Simon & Seafort's selected as "Best of Alaska 2010"
#1 in both 'Seafood' and 'Romantic Dinner' categories.

6/27 - Bought a netbook and installed the latest ver. of Linux/Ubuntu.
There is no sales tax in Alaska and Linux is still free. Good deal!
It is working as I wished (including Skype) and became my new baby. I'll take it wherever I go...

6/21 - Compared the difference in sunrise and sunset on the Longest Day of the Year
(* = July 4th fireworks started around ...)
Anchorage: 4:20am - 11:42pm (* 12am midnight)
Los Angeles: 5:41am - 8:07pm (* 9pm)

6/13 - Took a day trip to Seward by Alaska Railroad for the first time! As local people recommended, the plan worked perfectly.
Anchorage ~6:45am Train 11:05am~ Seward ~noon 1/2 Day Cruise 5:00pm~ Seward ~6:30pm Bus 9:30pm~ Anchorage

Alaska Railroad - Once the train stopped for several minutes because a black bear was blocking ...
I saw the bear suddenly ran into the woods. It was cute :-)
The train slowed down often just to let us see the animals, glaciers, etc, but arrived on time.
The bus I took on the way back did not provide such friendly services
and I understood that's why it's better for tourists to take the train first.

_

Seward - Took a lot of photos. Following are just a few highlights.

Saw sea lions, a sea otter, puffins and a mountain goat ... during this Half-day Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise.

_

And whales!!!

_

6/12 - Took the 4-hr exam! At midnight (12:00am), it wasn't still dark outside.

6/1 - 2 month anniversary! Have been studying every weekend and ... 11 more days to go.

5/8 - Checked around the UAA (University of Alaska, Anchorage) campus
since I take an exam at UAA in a month.

5/1 - 1 month anniversary! Thought of applying for a fishing license to catch salmon and heard I could buy one online.
I found the fee was $24 for Alaska resident and $145 for non-resident (who lives in AK < 1 year). Maybe next year?

4/28 - Started my new job in midtown
Only 1.4 mi from my apartment. I can walk to the office if necessary.

4/16 - Attended ISACA Anchorage chapter meeting at BP Energy Center
I was impressed by the professional meeting and the members.

4/8 - Passed Alaska driver license test
4/7 - Moved into an apartment

It snowed this much overnight!?

4/2 - Signed up for the club membership
This is also my planning room because I get good ideas during exercise...

Dear Friends (in Anchorage), Thank you for your helpful advice and information!
Dear Friends (in LA and other areas), Thank you for your warm messages and comments!.

Did May Come Back to LA?

Email: mmascenik@yahoo.com

 

@