Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas at Alyeska

Brad and I escaped to Girdwood, Alaska, to spend the holiday at Alyeska Resort. Upon arriving in Anchorage, it was as if we never left was raining-- pouring actually. As I steered the rental car down Turnagain Arm, I forlornly looked at the melting snow, the flooded highway, and the lack of ice in the Arm itself.

We cheered up a bit when we entered the limits of Girdwood. Despite the lack of snow on the trees, houses were lit with holiday lights, and the resort itself had decorations in every nook, including the lobby.

After settling into our suite and gazing at the view (see below), we headed to the spa to start off our vacation with massages and pampering. After being "abused" as Brad refers to his deep tissue massage, we showered, hydrated and headed to the Double Musky. We queued up 15 minutes before opening (this hot spot does not take reservations). I was delighted to see the sommelier, Justin, who shares my palate for explosive, full bodied wines. As I perused the wine selections, Brad salivated over the menu and immediately ordered two helpings of the coveted steak tip appetizers. Justin helped me select Du Mol, which complimented the rest of our meal; speaking of which, you can order the Double Musky Cookbook to share in our tastebuds' savory enjoyment; but the ambiance cannot be replicated.
On day two of our visit, we saw blue ski for the first time in eight days, so we took advantage of the Winner Creak Trail and set off to make it to the Hand Tram and beyond. In some of the clearings, we took in the views, such as the one below. The small structure on the right is Seven Glaciers Restaurant, where we dined on Christmas Day.

We also spied a snowman, a little askew thanks to the recent warming trend.

We almost made it to the Hand Tram, but at about Mile 2.5, with me in the lead, I made a sudden stop. I heard honking and around the bend of the gorge, I saw four moving tree trunks--- or legs for a very large bull moose. He was a big 'un and certainly let us know he was there with a constant honking until he cleared the bend. I was happy to sit, have a snack, and wait him out before heading to our turnaround point, but Brad insisted on turning around. Bummed that we did not get all the way to the Hand Tram, I made him promise that we could return in the summer and make a second attempt. In all, we finished the 5 miles in just over two hours, which left us hungry for some Pike's Place Brewery ales and elk burgers at Chair Five.

And for Big Mama: the Anderson pose.

Our holiday dinner at Seven Glaciers started with champagne and delicious selections from the main menu. Their pre-fix menu was tempting (as were the wine pairings), but we wanted to sample the usual fare, including their duck confit ravioli, ahi tuna, and tenderloin. Brad enjoyed a beer from Midnight Sun Brewery in Anchorage, and I paired my dinner selections with some Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc. Fellow diners included a group of gals in light up Christmas lights necklaces, a family in their Sunday finest, and a few Alaskans in their cleanest Carharts.

We hope that you had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to the New Year.

1 comment:

Lance said...

I'm betting that Brad beat up poor little snowy-man. Dinner and drinks sound fantastic. I am glad that the two of you had a wonderful respite.