Discovering Alaska, Part II: Settling In

Seward Windsong Lodge was a welcome sight after 19 hours of traveling.

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Unfortunately, even though the only way to get to Seward is by bus or train, both of which come in around 10am, check-in at the hotel isn’t until 3:00pm. Thumb-twiddling, commence…

Luckily, our cousins both live on site in employee housing, so we had people to hang out with while we waited to check in. Mom walked around to get a lay of the land while we waited for Amanda and Jake to meet us.

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Is this for real?

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As soon as we hugged our hosts, we started on a walk down the street.

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My cousin Amanda.

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My cousin Jake.

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Coolest family ever.

We decided to grab an iced tea at the Resurrection Roadhouse, the lodge’s restaurant where both my cousins work.

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Who cares if it was Lipton, the scenery made it taste like gold.

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Look Mom, I’m in Alaska!

At this point, it was around 11:00am, and we were famished. Amanda had borrowed her friend Hank’s van for the week, which made our treks much speedier.

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Alaska: The Last Frontier.

Our first food stop in Alaska was The Smoke Shack.

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I later found out that the Seward rail car housing this restaurant was the only piece of railroad equipment not damaged during the 1964 earthquake. When the restoration became too expensive for the city, it was sold and turned into The Smoke Shack.

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I agree–life is too short to eat boring food!

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I had my eye on the Shack Tofu Burger, but apparently others did, too: it was sold out. I went with my second choice, the Portabella Mushroom Sandiwch. Grilled and topped with caramelized onions, goat cheese, red pepper aioli, and fresh tomatoes.

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The sandwich was served on an onion bun with a side salad and black beans. It was easily the best portabella mushroom sandwich I’ve ever eaten. I’m not a fan of goat cheese, but the red pepper aioli, caramelized onions and the thick and juicy portabella were enough to complement the tang of the goat cheese. Yum.

And this view?

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Of course the goat cheese couldn’t dampen that.

After lunch, we went to the beach, which was unlike any I’d ever been to.

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No sand in sight, but rocks instead, with mountains all around. There were plenty of people fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding just off the shore.

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From left to right: Aunt Dina, Amanda, me, Mom, and Jake.

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Lowell Point was a beautiful place.

At long last, it was time to check in, while Jake and Amanda headed off to work.

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The lodge houses a bunch of different cabins, each named after a popular flower in Alaska. Ours was the Windflower.

Our room had two queen beds, a table with chairs, a TV and DVD player. But the thing we cared about most at that point…the shower.

It was glorious to wash the travel off ourselves and change into fresh new clothes. After unpacking and settling in to our new home for the week, it was most definitely time for a beer. Our cabin was just a short walk to the Resurrection Roadhouse restaurant.

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What to get, what to get….

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By the end of the week, I had tried almost everything on the menu save the IPAs, but my first beer: a Kenai River Oatmeal Milk Stout was epic.

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Probably because this was our view from the restaurant deck. I mean…come on!

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Everything on the menu looked fabulous. We were still a little full from lunch, so we decided to get an appetizer and split a pizza instead of ordering big entrees.

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Ricotta filled, bacon wrapped, gorgonzola dusted dates with balsamic reduction. These were just ridiculous. I don’t normally like ricotta, but I think they mixed crack in here. The ricotta tasted like it was mixed with lemon juice and fresh herbs, and the overall combination of flavors was sweet & salty heaven. By the time we had stuffed ourselves with dates, we scarcely had room for the pizza.

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Buddha Belly: Peanut sauce, mozzarella, carrot, basil, mint, cilantro, sweet chili sauce. The pizza is normally served with spot prawns but they were out, so we substituted them with chicken. We each downed one piece of this delicious pizza before calling it quits. This is a must-recreate pizza for me. But I’m going with the prawns.

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The sous chef.

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And our fabulous server.

Our complimentary dessert (I love birthdays!): S’mores. For not having any space left in our stomachs, we were still able to devour this.

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Salted caramel, chocolate ganache, toasted marshmallow ice cream, and graham cracker tuile & pop rocks (!!!)  I probably don’t even have to tell you how amazing this was, do I? To quote my cousin’s Amanda’s phrase for everything awesome: It was bomb.

It was an early night for us. After dinner, we went back to our hotel, put on a movie, and promptly crashed 3.2 seconds later. Good night, Seward!

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One thought on “Discovering Alaska, Part II: Settling In

  1. Pingback: Checking in from the Real World | Designs on Dinner

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