Posted by: Diane | August 16, 2014

THE COLUMBIA GLACIER

The trek to the Columbia Glacier started at the Port of Valdez at 11 am when we left it was a wonderful 61 degrees this is the best adventure

The following photos are of some of the sights  we saw on our way out to the glacier the whole trip took about 8 hours:

 

We then came upon the Iceberg field and some of these made me really nervous for some reason TITANIC kept running through my mind!

Finally we came around a bend and there it was . these pictures can’t do it justice Michael decided we need to up date a camera but we hope you enjoy them  I tried to caption what you were seeing.

 

I can’t explain how it was to sit there and watch the  icebergs and the glacier! Several times we saw calving which is when part of the face of the glacier falls off! The sound is incredible and they sink and rise to become icebergs AMAZING!
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Posted by: Diane | August 16, 2014

ADVENTURE TO VALDEZ

These Pictures were taken in Valdez They are the boats from the TV show “Deadliest Catch” we weren’t able to see the crews. Captain Fred from our Glacier tour on the Lulu belle said  Captain Bill was in jail (but I think he was joking) 

These pictures were just random shots around Valdez as we went out strolling !

Posted by: Diane | August 16, 2014

Adventures with Michael

SAM_0556  This is Michael and I getting ready to go across the road to hike the Matanuska Glacier with our guide Reese from Mica Guides.(I highly recommend them if you ever get up that way and want to experience the glacier to its fullest) Their web site is http://micaguides.com 

SAM_0557  This is where we were going. I’d been there once before with some very experienced hikers and climbers and it didn’t go real well I was so sore after that hike I truly wasn’t looking forward to this trip but i did it for Michael so he could understand what I was talking about when I said the Glacier was incredible. Our guide Reese made this adventure excellent! for one thing we had the right equipment to hike out there we had boots crampons and hats so we were good. Secondly he was very knowledgeable about the glacier itself and shared his knowledge with us so it made it even more fun. The following pictures were taken by Michael because he’s a much better photographer than I am.

That adventure was just one of several we took during Michael’s short stay but we have vowed we will go back and do others.

Posted by: Diane | August 12, 2014

TIME DRAWS TO AND END

The following was written the day before I flew out of Alaska:

    I can’t believe that it’s actually time for me to leave this wonderful place. Before I go I just want to say thank you to a few people who made this possible. First off to My boss Brenda Goldberg, Ms. Brenda the lessons I learned will be with me forever. Thank You so much for the time and energy you spent showing me the right way to make whatever I do stand out and above the rest. I would also like to thank My Instructor  Tina Donnelly for recommending me for this position I hope I made you proud. To Horry Georgetown Tech, for the internship program I hope I represented you well. It was a real honor to get to be in Alaska and tell people about our school and the internship program. Thank you so much , I would like to thank the Management team at 5087 for giving me this time to follow my dream and for cheering me on. Last but certainly not least I would like to thank My Michael for supporting me and for being there. Thanks for all those long skype sessions that helped me when I was homesick and thanks for believing in me  You are truly the best and I adore you Dahlin!

   I keep trying to find the words to explain to anyone reading this blog how great an experience  this was for me. It was made possible by people who believed in me and by a school that is doing incredible things for its students who want to take advantage of opportunities such as this. If asked I would highly recommend to any Horry Georgetown student to take the internships and think outside the box and use it to gain as much as you can. These are opportunities that are given and shouldn’t be wasted.I learned things about the B&B industry, about Alaska and most importantly I learned things about my self that will help me to take my education and turn it into something Incredible. I’m not sure exactly what that will be but I do know that my options are many and now its up to me to make the best decisions when it comes to how I will use all that I have learned.  Stay tuned the Adventure in Alaska maybe over but the Adventure of life is just getting started.

THANKS for following along on my blog and stay tuned you never know where this life is going to take me but if it’s an incredible adventure I will be sure and share it with you.

 

Posted by: Diane | July 31, 2014

Water

SAM_0472July 28:Well Sunday wasn’t a good day at the Lodge and it might turn out to be a tough week for the lodge it seems as if the well is having some problems. The well guys are coming today and we are all hoping and praying that it will be fixed or they can have a temporary solution until it can be fixed.I never realized how much of a precious thing water is. How much a business like this depends on it . Not only on a personal level but we need it to cook and clean for the guests and we use it to keep the lodge looking beautiful with all of the flowers and plants. Thankfully we’ve had rain and things don’t need to be watered right away. Up here in Alaska there is no humidity or it is very low so things dry out rather quickly. We keep bottled water to give the guests in their room since quite a few of them take glacier hikes and we are up here where there isn’t a store anywhere close so if they are traveling on they will have at least a bit carry them over till they can get to a store. As for the lodge it self we are just dealing with it.

July 30:  Well Michael is here and we came to the Lodge tonight from Anchorage and again we are having well problems. The well guys will be back in the morning with a new pumping system (I’m sure glad I’m not paying that bill) Being off the grid as far as being so far away from town and having to depend on wells and electricity just to have water in situations like this is very inconvenient.So we shall see what solutions they can give us tomorrow.

SAM_0527Tomorrow  Michael and I will be  venturing out to the glacier for a hike. There will be pictures and a story or two, so be sure and stay tuned to see what we’re doing.

Posted by: Diane | July 25, 2014

So Whats new

      SAM_0502    I know I haven’t been doing a lot on the blog recently but I’ve been trying to get through with my other summer class and I DID IT! Business Law is done and I’m just waiting on the final grade. Then The boss Brenda had to go out of town for awhile so we (Patty Elliott & I) have been taking care of the lodge. We haven’t been very busy as far as guests go so we have been doing some deep cleaning Boy do we have a lot of dishes! I did ALL the kitchen cabinets and drawers. I sorted them out and I organized things and I polished the glass on the shelves and the doors it was kind of fun discovering what we really had to work with. I could just imagine if I had my own Inn the things I would have to keep track of so that I could accommodate the wishes of my guests.
      Then today I spent getting my things in order because I’m going to Anchorage on Sunday Night until Michael arrives very late on Tuesday night and then we can start our short but very much needed vacation IN ALASKA! Yes I’m supper excited we have some adventures planned and I will be blogging so Y’all need to keep checking back to see where we go and what we do. Until then remember: Never give up on your dreams because you never know when the opportunity will come around to make your dreams come true!

Posted by: Diane | July 16, 2014

BREAKFAST FOR THE GUESTS

One of my tasks for the internship class was to set at least 4 goals that I wanted to accomplish while I was up here. One of the goals was to plan a meal and do all the prep and serving. So in talking to Ms. Brenda we decided I would do a breakfast while Mr. Elliot and Ms. Patty were gone which happened to be last Tuesday the 8th of July. That morning we had a full house which meant I was making breakfast for 10 people. We had decided on the menu which was Riviera Egg Pie with Praline French-bread Casserole, Fruit plate ,juice and coffee. One of the things Ms. Brenda wanted me to learn was that doing as much prep as possible before hand will make your meals less stressful. So Monday afternoon after getting the rooms turned over for the new guests coming in, we started the prep for breakfast. She was very good about giving direction and letting me do the actual prep work. I thought I would share the recipes with you so maybe you could decide for yourself how good they were.

 

 

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Riviera Egg Pie

Ingredients

3 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, diced (about 2 1/2 cups) 2 (9-inch)

refrigerated, unbaked pie crusts (a 15-ounce package)

3/4 pound smoked ham, diced

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup ricotta cheese

4 eggs, plus 1 yolk, slightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent and just golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool while preparing crust. Remove 1 of the prepared pie crusts from the refrigerator, and place in an ungreased, 9-inch pie plate. Shape the crust to fit the form of the pan with a 1/2-inch overlap around the edge. To the onion mixture, add the ham, spinach, cheeses, 4 eggs plus 1 yolk, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Spread mixture into prepared crust. Cover with remaining pie crust; crimp edges and score to vent. Brush with egg white and bake until golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand at least 15 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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Baked French Toast Casserole

Ingredients

Praline Topping:

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)

Butter, for pan

8 large eggs

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dash salt

Praline Topping, recipe follows

Raspberry Syrup, recipe follows

Directions

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch thick each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with Raspberry Syrup.

Ingredients

Praline Topping:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 Directions

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Spread over bread as directed above.

Raspberry Syrup:

 Directions

1 cup raspberry preserves

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur (recommended: Framboise)

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until warm and thinned out like syrup.

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This is the group that I fed on July 8, they were so wonderful as all of our guests have been. Well that’s all for now and I hope you will try these and enjoy them Till next time!

Posted by: Diane | July 10, 2014

Catching Up

       To those of you who have been following my blog or trying to follow it I’m want to apologize I’m sorry that I haven’t blogged everyday. I won’t make excuses I will just do better. This blog is to kind of get you all up to date as to what’s been going on. The weather has actually turn very nice and on the 4th of July it actually got up to 80 degrees it was a warm and wonderfully sunny day and the lodge was full but we got our work done and then Ms. Brenda and I headed down the Mountain to town (which if I haven’t mentioned it before is about an hour’s drive away.) We did some grocery shopping and as I was telling my friend Debra earlier I will never complain about my grocery bill at home again. When we go grocery shopping it usually requires at least 2 grocery carts and they are full (I’ll take a picture for you next time we shop) and when we got to the checkout counter the young lady that was checking us out asked if this was our annual trip to town (they tell me that it’s a common occurrence for a lot of the people up here they don’t go to town a lot when it takes 2 or 3 hours) I answered her by telling her it was our weekly trip and her mouth dropped at that time Ms. Brenda told her we run a B&B. We then had a little time to kill so we went to another store and did a bit more shopping. I got a few things for myself as I never know when I’m going to be able to make it to town. Ms. Brenda loves to support the locals as much as she can so every year she buys farm shares from a local farmer and then gets fresh produce when it comes time to harvest it this makes it a little cheaper for her as produce is very expensive up here. She does this with eggs also. (AND we use A LOT OF EGGS!)  We were waiting to go pick up the farmstuffs is why we did the extra shopping but as it turned out there was a miscommunication and there was nothing to pick up so we headed back up the mountain d when we arrived it was time to start preparing our 4th of July feast. WE had BBQ ribs Corn on the cob fixed by the Iowan(that’s me in case you didn’t know), green beans and onions, baked Mac& Cheese and Wine it was yummy and we all were  stuffed. The rest of the weekend was busy as we were full and that meant cleaning and restocking all the rooms everyday. Checking our guests in,  making sure they are comfortable and answer any questions they may have. We have lovely guests all the time and they just rave about how different the lodge is and the personal touches found everywhere (if you stay tuned to the blog   I will be doing a  pictorial of the interior of the lodge.) It makes me proud to be apart of the group or as Ms. Brenda puts it  the Matanuska Lodge Family. We have been so busy at the lodge that there really hasn’t been a lot of down time so Ms. Patty and Mr Elliott took some time at the beginning of the week to get away which meant that Ms. Brenda and I took care of everything and that meant Diane was in the kitchen doing breakfast. (This actually was one of my objectives for my Internship) How did it go? STAY TUNED! THERE WILL BE UPCOMING STORIES ABOUT MY COOKING!

Posted by: Diane | July 1, 2014

Another rainy day!

momma and baby 2momma 7 baby1

Two days ago we had the most beautiful weather and I was convinced that it had finally cleared up and summer was going to be here to stay. Then Yesterday I woke up to 40 degree temperature and Rain! Then today was a repeat so I was feeling a bit blue and down. I went to work we are going to be super busy with this being the 4th of July holiday week. We are booked for the rest of the week which is wonderful because It works so much nicer when we have guests,
While I was working in the Glacier room the Mamma moose and her baby came to visit. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that we have 4 dogs at the lodge, They are Brenda’s and they all are just very lively dogs they keep us hopping at times and the guests love them. Anyway when the moose come the dogs go crazy and sometimes it spooks the moose away but not today so I thought I would get a better picture of our visitors to the salt lick and share them with you. The baby is growing so quickly. I so want to go out and pet them but they are so big and the mama doesn’t take kindly to people getting close to her baby, and I don’t feel like being beat up by a moose.

Posted by: Diane | June 28, 2014

ALASKAN SPIRIT

SAM_0499 Today I got to experience true Alaskan spirit. A bit of a back story Ms. Brenda has several of the local gentlemen that do odd jobs around the lodge and one of the gentleman named Rex had some major medical problems occur in just the last couple of weeks. It appears tp me that he”s a very strong self sufficient type  and since he’s be ill he’s been very unhappy about having to be laid up. At this time his wife is unfortunately having health issues too. Today she needed to go have some pre op work up done in Anchorage which is about 2 hours away, She called Ms. Brenda to see if someone could come and be with Mr, Rex while she and her son made the round trip. Ms. Brenda didnt hesitate we didn’t have guests and no one was coming in tonight so we dropped what we were doing and went over as it ended up Brenda took Ms Shirley their son stayed with Mr, Rex and I came back and ran the lodge till everyone came home. I finished up the chores to put the lodge in order so it would be ready for our next set of guests. I was able to take a reservation for a newlywed couple who will be coming in mid July. As I was working around here it occurred  to me that in these areas where there aren’t a lot of people and town is at a minimum an hour a way these people help each other they show the true Alaskan spirit and it reminded me of stories I read as a kid of the frontier folks helping each other when it was needed and never doubting that there would be some one there for them if they ran into a situation. Then I thought how I wish it could be that way everywhere. When did people forget helping one another is just common decency? Sometimes I wonder if we’ll  ever get back to the levels of decency and the values that this country was founded on.  It was so nice to see the Wonderful Alaskan Spirit  come shining through today.

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