I decided to break this post up into a few categories. You'll see.
First, of course, is FOOD:
I hiked up Eaglecrest on the new road with my mom my second (I think) day in Juneau. My grandma kept telling us there were no blueberries left, but I really think that's physically impossible. We picked nearly 4 gallons in a few hours, and I kept eating every salmon berry I found. So much good. I brought home about half of our blueberries, which are camping out in my freezer right now. I need to figure out what to do with them... I really want to make jam but I also just want to eat them all RIGHT NOW. We will see!
Beautiful, perfectly full blueberry bushes
Salmon berries! They're like super water-logged sour raspberries? Hard to describe, but I love them. I've never seen them anywhere but Alaska. They range from salmon colored (orange) to super dark red, to almost black and range in sweetness.
Watermelon berries and weird and sticky and gooey. Not very good to eat, but really great to smush and make messes out of. Also really pretty.
Our super sexy blueberry picking outfits. It rains a lot. A lot a lot a lot. Like... Seattle is extra wimpy compared to SE Alaska.
Nom nom chomp. This was part of lunch. Smoked sockeye salmon salad on yummy bread. Simple and so good. We also had really awful carrots, apricots that I forgot to eat and probably smushed, a bar of chocolate from Theo, and some dark chocolate covered candied ginger from Alaskan Fudge Co.
While driving down Mom spotted some chicken of the forest/chicken mushrooms growing on a tree tucked back a bit. This was entirely experimental, as neither of us had ever picked or prepared it before (it's one of the few types of wild mushrooms that can't be mixed up with any others- so nothing to worry about). Unfortunately it ended up being a bit of a culinary disaster for us, but it was still fun to mess around with. Turns out that it's best to pick it while either very young, or to cut off the outer edge on older fungus, as it becomes very woody and dry as it ages. Oh well!
It's so intensely orange and absolutely stunning in comparison to how green the woods are.
The day before I left we wrangled up a bunch of my family members and a few of my brave friends and had a barbecue/picnic out at the beach in the cold pouring rain. It actually ended up being a lot of fun, but that probably had something to do with the peppermint schnapps my aunt Margie was encouraging us to sneak into our tea. Either way.
We found these beautiful little fingerling potatoes at Costco, of all places. I baked them with olive oil, garlic, and a lavender sea salt spice mix from Whole Foods, then tossed them with a light vinaigrette and fresh herbs once they came out of the oven. So simple and so good. I have a ton of potatoes coming in my CSA tonight so I definitely see myself repeating this soon.
Aside from all of that- we ate at a few of my very favorite restaurants. Paradise Cafe is basically my absolute dream, and what I hope to open my own version of someday. It's perfect, as far as I'm concerned.
So, while I was intending to break my photos down into categories... I somehow managed to cover a pretty good chunk of them just talking about food. Figures. Here are some of my other favorites:
Wall of skis on the North Douglas Highway
I'm sure I've mentioned before that my parents live on a sailboat. So this is where I stayed while home. The husky was a dock dog, but the sweetest little thing in the world.
Trees, and mountains, and out of season chairlifts, and things.
The cutting edge of Alaskan fashion.
Kim, Eva, and Tegan... heading upstream with the salmon to spawn.
All in all it was probably one of the best trips home that I've ever had. I came back to Seattle completely relaxed and refreshed. Ahhhh. Back to it.