How I Honeymooned Your Father, Part II: It Starts.

Are you all caught up with Part I? Here it is.

Where did we leave off? Well, everywhere. My Facebook photos show a large span, but I always knew I’d save many of my stories for the camera pictures. It’s actually super hard to get started with these photos, because in a way, I don’t quite believe it’s over. Then I get “Don’t Dream It’s Over” in my head, which is ok, because it’s a fantastic song, if we can we agree on that? Yes. I thought so long about how I was going to let this miniseries play out, and I realize a strength of a writer is to show more than tell, but heck, I can break my own rules. Also, I’m going to show as much as tell. All I can do is start.

Alaska(Alas, that’s Alaska, but we ain’t seen nothin’ yet)

There’s a disturbing part of me that felt disconnected and numbed over for part or all of the trip. At least that’s what it seemed like during the spaces between the moments that made up the honeymoon adventure. I’m certainly prone to thinking I’m feeling nothing, even when I’m feeling everything. And the only way I can feel nothing, is because there’s too much to feel, so I turn off a piece of my heart. I shut off a piece of my brain. There is absolutely no pride in this, but it’s ok to just say that sometimes and mostly, I feel too much. In retrospect, I felt a lot and I feel a lot and nothing was really numbed at all.

It’s just those spaces between. And now I have “The Space Between” in my head and that’s another fantastic song.

Alaska travel
(airport photo for Scarlet)

It’s a Tamara song, if you will. Most songs are not Tamara songs, so I pay special attention to the ones that are. The last time I flew on a plane for more than 2-3 hours was six years ago. I was a bit apprehensive now. I’m the type who might not be able to breathe on a plane, but no one would know, and then I’d just simply get my breath back on my own time. I’m the type who might not be able to eat on a plane, and maybe someone would know, and then I’d just simply get my appetite back on my own time. I’m a terrible flyer and that’s when I’m not going to my #1 travel bucket list destination. This was different.

I needed some Tamara songs, and I found some Tamara songs on our Delta flight.


I decided I wanted to both breathe and eat. The first flight was only 2-3 hours to Minneapolis but we had to circle for a bit because of air traffic. From there, it was then 5.5 hours to Anchorage. I had the middle seat. We taxied for a full hour before takeoff. The flight was bumpy, I was too excited to be numb, and too numb to be fully exposed, so I just sat and watched all of Mother’s Day and The Jungle Book. Then we got close, and then closer, and I could swear I’d see a moose running with the plane from the window, because you land right next to some of the moosiest parts of Anchorage anyway, and it was still light out at almost 10pm. So we got our “bride” and “groom” luggage, met up with a lovely family member – Cassidy’s mom’s husband’s daughter – and saw two moose from the car before even really leaving the airport. As one does in Alaska, right?

Alaska(Not a moose photo here or in this post, but I already shared the one from this scene and there are plenty coming!)

We peppered Erika (her name, obviously) with questions about Anchorage and moose and food and Wi-Fi, then she brought us to her home for the night, and we got to pepper her husband, Steve, with just as many questions, while we ate delicious bean soup. Then we fell into the deep sleep of people whose bodies are four hours in the future, and who have just spent nine cumulative hours on two planes, and have just seen two moose before bean soup. I dreamed about.. moose, of course.

There are thousands of them in there, waiting.

Alaska travel

Then we got up at a rather normal time, even though our bodies were still on east coast time, and Erika took us to get our rental car. We said our goodbyes, knowing we’d see her again in a week, got our Subaru, and drove straight to Kincaid Park.


This is a high moose area, and we had already seen two around here, and would see more to come, but this early morning at the park was just about hiking and getting used to all of the beautiful Anchorage plants and trees. The air felt amazing.

It felt ancient. Like this car that was just left here in a public park?



I was fascinated by the colors and plants, the moose hoofprints, and all of the bushes that were clearly flattened by large mammals passing through. Any ideas what?? Of course. Moose. I was also impressed that whenever the weather forecast said rain in Anchorage, it was always warm sun. I’m beginning to wonder what Anchorage is like when it’s forecasted to be sunny?!


After tromping around for awhile, not unlike a moose, we were hungry and went to Snow City Cafe, at the recommendations of many locals. While we waited for our food, (Country Benedict for me, but not with reindeer sausage – you’ll see why soon) we met a mother and daughter visiting Alaska from Pennsylvania and Utah. It was the mother’s life dream to visit Alaska so her kids – including the daughter with her – had saved up for the trip. We high-fived for life dreams and told them if we saw them again in Alaska, we would buy them dinner. SPOILER. After eating, we checked into our cabin in Eagle River, Alaska. No time for pictures that day – we had a glacier walk/hike scheduled for 2:30, so we went on our way.

We had a little extra time, so we followed a whim in Palmer, Alaska when we saw a sign for a reindeer farm.

Hey, do you know the difference between caribou and reindeer? They asked us on our tour and someone said it was that reindeer are domesticated and that caribou are wild. The guide said it was actually that reindeer can fly, and caribou can’t.

You can tell, right? They are getting ready for Christmas.

A kid who shall remain nameless, mostly because I forgot his name, ran around amok, and that is why we have tour guides. Kids who run around and yell and startle reindeer, and knock down gates. Smart reindeer see the opportunity to escape.

Although we all know they can fly anyway.

I take slight umbrage with keeping pets that are meant to fly – in cages or on the ground – but after visiting this reindeer farm, I changed my tune on reindeer. (but not on birds) These were happy reindeer, and they are not used for meat here.

We had to separate from the tour at the end because of our glacier schedule, and since we weren’t running amok like that nameless kid, we were allowed to see the elk on our own. Although they gave us some pretty dirty looks and ducked away.

Maybe it’s because elk are only my second favorite after moose?

And boy, did this get long, and this was only up to about 1:00pm on our first full day in Alaska. Stay tuned for Part III, which will tell the icy tales of falling down part of a glacier and bruising my butt really well. Or really badly. No photos, sadly.

See ya there.. SOON!

Part III

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  1. Ooo your photos…always amazing.

    And Natalie LOVES Beanie Boos too. She just bought a new one today with her allowance. It’s one named Pablo. I think?

    1. Pablo? I don’t know him! We are on the hunt for one with Scarlet’s birthday but I don’t think they’ve made one yet. She has about 400 of those things.

  2. Aw, absolutely gorgeous photos, but then again I wouldn’t expect any less from your amazing photography skills. And once again what an amazing adventure you had. Loving getting to go along in your photo memories here 😉

  3. It wasn’t long to me, though I did take a break to cook turkey burgers. LOL! I enjoyed it an felt like I was there. You’re telling the flying thing so well I’m believing you. And as for your first paragraph I totally understand in a way that would n’t think one could. Don’t know if it was how you wrote it or if on some numbing excitement I can relate. Yeah that’s what it is. I tend to call it making myself flat.

    1. Thanks for coming back after the turkey burgers!
      So my description of flying made you believe you were with me? That means a lot!!
      And I have absolutely called myself Flat Tamara and I’ve written posts about it! I’ll have to find one for you!

  4. I can relate to feeling overwhelmed and turning off your brain, I think we all should every now and again, to really enjoy and take in an experience. I tend to overthink and get lots of anxiety while traveling, am I seeing everything I should, did I get good gifts for everyone, are we safe here, is my house safe… so many thoughts go through my head when I’m not at home its nice to just let go and turn all the internal noise off. Your pictures are stunning 🙂

    1. I think you’re so incredibly right.
      I do get anxious in so many ways and I don’t know how to shut it off, other than.. like you said.. turning off my brain. Just being!
      Turning that noise off rocks.
      Thanks about the photos! Many more to come.

  5. The pure beauty of Alaska astounds me!

    I still can’t believe you were so close to me, even if only momentarily! I love the tour guides explanation for the difference between reindeer and caribou! I am using that one from now on!

  6. Now you’re making me really want to go to Alaska. Which will make my husband so happy. I’ll tell him to thank you. Our weather is the same way – if they say rain, it’s sunny. So excited that this is only the first part of day one!

    1. Ah, for you, though. It’s not like.. the totally long trip it is for us! Which is nice!! Keep showing your husband my posts. They get better and better!
      That makes me happy about your weather.

  7. The first pic is breathtaking view of mountains. I so wish to visit Alaska. Today, twice I came across posts related Alaska. Maybe destiny is cooking up something

  8. Flying is such a different thing for me now than it was when I was 20. I used to love to fly and did it often. Maybe it’s just that I’m out of practice? Or maybe once you have kids it’s harder to let go? Not sure. Obviously you did great, found your happy place.

    And the photos here are proof that it was worth every minute of flight time! Alaska is gorgeous. All that green and so many cool animals. The reindeer look just like Santa’s. Perhaps he recruits from Alaska?

    Your photos are so gorgeous, real and full of emotion. I feel like I’m standing right there beside you. Can’t wait to see what we get up to next!

    1. I fly more now than I used to, but there’s an ease and lightness I’m missing. Even during my most nervous times, I didn’t ACTUALLY think anything would happen to me. Oh, the invincibility feelings of youth!
      That said, logically, it is pretty astonishingly safe! Much safer than things I did on my trip…
      I think Santa hand-picks reindeer straight from this farm. Why go elsewhere?
      Thank you for saying my photos are full of emotion. That’s like.. the best thing anyone could say.

    1. It’s the velvet! With moose, they get velvet before mating season and then it’s all annoying and they scratch it off and it’s kinda gross. Now I have to research about reindeer! Both males and females have antlers, unlike moose, elk, white and black tailed deer, etc.
      The guide was funny! He was just a kid!

  9. I’ve seen reindeer before, but never with that “goatee”… they are so adorable. I can only imagine what this adventure was like for someone who has an artistic eye like you. BTW, flying has been a hassle for many people this summer. My husband travels a lot, and he has spent many hours sitting in planes on tarmacs. Sigh. Can’t wait to hear more!

    1. I wonder if yours could fly or not?? Just kidding.
      And I love what you said about looking at Alaska with an artistic eye. I can’t believe I didn’t take more photos. It was so hard to balance that “living/being/breathing” thing with photography. I think I did ok!!
      I wonder why travel has been weird!?

  10. Tamara, for most of my life, I’ve had little interest in Alaska. It wasn’t until our family quest to see all 50 states. You have fueled the fire. I’m even considering bagging the cruise idea and flying to Anchorage. Can’t wait to read more.

    1. Funny, I’ve had the opposite thing! I always wanted to go!
      I can’t wait until you keep reading along. This is just one post.. of many. And I look forward to your reactions, maybe most of all!

  11. I agree with your guide. Everyone knows that reindeer can fly, but caribou cant! How lovely to see all of the green pictures and flowers, it is hard to believe when you see that to remember that for so much of the year Alaska can be covered with snow. Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us!

    1. Alaska definitely has its mild days, and even has hot days! Not so much in Anchorage, but man, I do wonder what it’s like in the winter. I think they have looooong winters.

  12. A reindeer up close – wow! I didn’t see Rudolph, though – I guess he was hiding?

    I love that you used the word “amok” twice in this post. Looking forward to part 3!

  13. So many reindeers! Very amusing, I haven’t seen one in real life. I mean, not like we have them here, lol. I can still remember Alaska was just always your answer when asked where you want to go and now you’ve actually been there. I can/can’t imagine how that feels – to be there finally. And I agree, that song Don’t Dream It’s Over is fantastic. I often sing that in the karaoke. 😉 Looking forward to read more of your stories.

    1. haha, I can’t imagine they hang out where you live. They don’t hang out here either!
      And you TOTALLY get it. You know I’ve been talking about Alaska on my blog for years now.. well I’ve been talking about it for most of my life.
      Being something I still can’t wrap my head around.

      Now I wonder if there are any videos of you doing karaoke??

  14. LOVE!! So many reindeers… did you see any fly? I just love these posts Tamara. Keep them coming!!

    What an extraordinary experience… My heart just SWELLS when I think of all you got to do and I SO get the numbness and feeling everything/nothing- and the space in between.

    1. I’m so sad I didn’t see any fly! Maybe closer to Christmas.
      I LOVE making these posts. The next one will be tomorrow! You can catch up whenever you want. Yay!!!!!

      And I knew you’d get that stuff..

  15. So, this is new: I think I was to visit Alaska. In the past it was one of those states I really was okay without seeing, but now, maybe.
    The reindeer look so magical. I love ’em.
    Cheers to making dreams reality!!!

    1. You’re not the first to say that!! I have like a gazillion more installments and photos coming and I really think they’ll do more than this post. I really do. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
      And I get that feeling – I feel that way about Alabama… (is that awful?)

  16. A reindeer farm?! That is the coolest! This is what I wanted to see, the pictures that I knew you took your time to take. They are STUNNING. Alaska is SO beautiful. Man. I get it now.

  17. My extended family in Anchorage used to meet at the same restaurant every Saturday for brunch, and I want to say it was at the Snow City Cafe! I only joined them once, and if that’s the same place, it was delicious! We went to the Large Animal Research Station in Fairbanks during my last trip, and they said reindeer are native to Europe, and caribou are native to North America. And since St. Nicholas is originally from Europe…it all makes sense, doesn’t it? 😉

    1. I need to know if it was there! It’s a pretty big place – it’s long and colorful.
      Also, I am so fascinate by the Large Animal Research Station. Did it have moose too? I see they have musk ox!
      And another good tidbit about reindeer vs. caribou!

  18. Only two parts in and already dozens of gorgeous photos and lots of reindeer! And I wouldn’t be surprised if a moose was running with your plane as it landed, either in reality or in spirit.

    1. I looked when we took off too. I’m CERTAIN it happens. Planes take off and land every few minutes near the moosiest parts of Anchorage. It has to happen at some point.

  19. Hi Tamara, what lovely photos. I bet watching the mousse from the plane took your mind off the landing. The mountains in the distance don’t look real! I love the guides explanation for the difference between reindeer and caribou, it put smarty pants in their place!


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