On our last morning in Alaska, we checked out of our little cabin and hopped into the car to be greeted by this sight:
No wonder it was so cold while I sat in the chair drinking my beer! Haha.
Alaska can be so deceiving though. This sunshine makes it seem like it could be warm! What a gorgeous morning!
As we left Soldotna, I was feeling a little bummed that I never got to see a moose. I had been on the lookout for a moose from the minute we touched down in Alaska, and never saw one. On our way to Soldotna, we had passed a wildlife conservation center and I asked Craig how he felt about maybe stopping there on our way back to Anchorage. I pulled out the trusty iphone, googled the place (Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center) and was thrilled to find out that admission was free that day for visitor appreciation day! Fate was on our side! Since it was free, we knew we HAD to go. (Sidenote...we probably would have gone if it were paid admission day. Also, I don't feel that guilty about going free since we spent a pretty penny in the giftshop). : )
Anyway, when we pulled up to where you pay, we chatted with the girl working in the booth. She mentioned that not only do they have moose, but that their two moose were young, and one was incredibly friendly. She told us that he would nuzzle up against the fence so that you could pet him. I was pretty darn excited to hear this news!
The AWCC is an amazing place! You can either walk through or drive through and if you drove, they had places along the route to pull over so that you could get out to photograph the animals. We obviously chose to drive given how cold it was that day. ; )
Our very first stop was to see the moose!! The moose were named Teddy and Nelson. I can't remember which was which. Sure enough, as I walked along the fence line to get a closer look, I suddenly got the attention of one of the moose who sauntered over to greet me.
Isn't he handsome?
Both Craig and I were able to pet him as he leaned his head against the fence. It seemed like he put all of his strength into it. His antlers would come through the holes in the fence and I worried that he would get stuck, but he had no problem pulling them back out again.
I tried walking back and forth a few times and he would actually follow me. Oh my gosh...this was the absolute highlight of the day! : ) Not only did I get to see a moose, I got to pet a moose! : ) When I got home I told everyone that I snuggled with a moose. Haha. : )
Before long, the cold got the best of us, so we jumped back into the car to see the rest of the conservation center.
They had bison, caribou, foxes, eagles, owls, lynx and even bears. The bears were not out and about, so unfortunately we didn't get to see them. It was a pretty amazing place. I'd love to see it in the spring or summer!
After leaving the conservation center, we drove toward Anchorage. I was pretty darn hungry by the time we got there, so we drove directly toward the downtown area and found a brewery to eat in. We ate at the Glacier brewery which was absolutely beautiful (and warm) inside!
I had the double IPA, while Craig had the raspberry wheat. His raspberry wheat was delicious! Not at all sweet, just the perfect amount of raspberry!
For dinner, Craig ordered a pizza with reindeer (yes, reindeer...when in Alaska right?) sausage, blue cheese and onion.
I had halibut with garlic mashed potatoes and salad. Mmm mmm!
After dinner, we killed some time in the mall. The mall in Anchorage is pretty amazing. I'm jealous that they have a Nordstrom and we do not!
Our flight home didn't leave until one a.m., so we even went to a movie! We saw The Book Thief (highly recommend), and headed straight to the airport when the film was over.
What an amazing trip! We had an absolute blast and I cannot wait to go back to Alaska someday soon!