Sunday, October 15, 2023

Anchorage

We spent a lovely day exploring Anchorage, Alaska.


First we had to bundle up our lil boo. It was sunny but chilly.



Luckily Ernie didn't notice the 700 toys near the airbnb.





October is the off season around these parts, which meant we free reign of Trapper Jack's Trading Post.





Snow City Cafe was popping.





I have a rule where I eat biscuits and gravy at any opportunity. They essentially do not exist in Seattle.





I ordered a side of salmon cakes to blend in like a local.





We stopped at a liquor store to see what the local booze situation was like. Apparently crime so bad here that this place demanded that we scan our driver's license before they would buzz us in. That was a first for me.







There was a beautiful view of the mountains from the mall.




Star the Reindeer is Anchorage's unofficial mascot. He's a reindeer that lives in some guy's yard. I'm not sure if the multiple layers of fencing are meant to keep Star in or me out.



Ernie surveyed the ocean from Lyn Ary Park.















Everyone agreed that I was a very manly provider for my family when I brought home a couple pies from Hearth Artisan Pizza.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Alaskan Launch

It's a good thing that Lydia and I have a good chunk of parental leave because Ernesto has been demanding to see the world and go on lots of trips.


My big chunky baby outgrew his little swing. I thought it was kind of sad that he'll never ride in this again and he has no way of knowing that's happening. He used to like to spend time in the swing and I had a red, white, and black takeout bag from Din Tai Fung hanging from the kitchen table that he liked to stare and and smile.



Alaska was actually supposed to be our first trip after St. Louis, as a domestic starter practice adventure. I was able to get us those fancy tickets to Japan on short notice though, so Lydia was a trooper and rescheduled the Alaska journey.









Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport was very impressive. It had a lot of depictions of Alaskan animals, geography, and culture and really served as a great starting point for a tourist.



Ted Stevens is a big ole deal in Alaska. He was influential in getting Alaska accepted into the union as a state, and the served as senator 1968 to 2009. He was actually involved in a plane crash at the airport in 1978 in which he survived but his wife was killed. He himself was killed in a 2010 crash north of Dillingham, AK. I'm not sure I would personally want an airport named after me after all of that but why not? He was a big deal in getting pork barrel spending for Alaskan projects so if I was a gambler I'd guess he's the one who got this fancy airport built in the first place.









Alaska is big.



While we were in line getting our rental car sorted out I was amused to find a salmon recipe on the counter for people to take. I'm starting to get the impression that this state is different from all the others.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Photo Shoots and Cool Guy Pasta

Ernie took another pass at broccoli today, and he was also having a fantastic hair day. It made for a compelling photo shoot.















I like when he holds things up and scowls at them. WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?!



Fun Italian fact of the day: broccoli is the plural of broccolo, "which means "the flowering crest of a cabbage", and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning "small nail" or "sprout"."





It's amusing that he can spend so much time "eating" something that still continues to exist seemingly unmolested.







Speaking of photoshoots, we did a mini shoot on 10/8 and just got the results back today. I have mixed feelings about it but it did serve as a learning experience and I think subsequent photo sessions benefitted as a result. For example, Ernie had this nice gray autumny sweater on. Well between home and the park he got some Ernie slobber on it, and so in every single photo he had this big wet spot right in the center of his chest. I was a little annoyed that the photographer didn't say something about it. I was so wrapped up in all of the other details that I didn't notice in the moment. Anyway so when the photographer sent the photos over we commented on it and she photoshopped it out. If you look close you can see the knit pattern of his clothing is off right under his chin. Anyway, so in the future definitely need to have him wearing a bib or something to protect his stage costume.



It was annoyingly sunny as well so I feel like we all look very squinty. 





















Every picture of me and my lil boo is a good picture so in the end I'm happy we did it.



Lydia expertly cooked up some pasta that Ernie helped me pick out during our tour of Calabria, Italy. 



Now I had just chosen the package with the most authentic looking grandmother on it but I really crushed it this time. Stroncatura is typical pasta of Calabrese cuisine. Cool. Wikipedia says it is "pasta resembling linguine made with the residues of flour and bran from the milling of wheat. The wholemeal wheat and rye give it its rough and coarse appearance." Double cool. Well for a while it was illegal to sell because people were making it out of mill waste, floor sweepings, and other nasties. It was something unhygienic and only poor people ate it. I don't like to brag but even our pasta is pretty darn cool.