Friday Five: Five Things That Make Me Happy!

Hi everyone!  It’s FRIDAY!  And my last day of work before going to Seattle for a week of training for work!  So many awesome things are happening right now, and it’s perfect timing for this week’s Friday Five Linkup with Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar because the theme is “Five things that make me happy”!

But before I start with the all of the happy stuff, I do want to mention a few things that are going on in Alaska this week that aren’t so happy.  The first thing is that it has been crazy ridiculously hot.


Yeah.  For everyone rolling their eyes over my idea of crazy heat, remember this:  you all have air conditioning.  We don’t.  And in order to get our apartment cool enough to live in, we have to either choose to keep the windows open while letting in all the midnight sunlight, or keep our blackout curtains closed and deal with the heat.  I’ve been having a hard time sleeping this week because it’s really uncomfortable.  For the record, we’ve been choosing to keep our curtains open a bit and it legit looks like I’m taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon.

IMG_5664The view from my bedroom window at midnight.  It’s too bright for sleep.

The big reason that this heat is not a good thing is that it’s making everything really hot and dry here, which is a perfect recipe for wildfires.  This week there have been almost 10 wildfires that have started in Alaska from either human reasons or lightening (we had dry thunderstorms on Tuesday).  The biggest fire is in nearby Willow where a lot of dog sledding families live, so there are many homeless doggies out there right now  😦  The other big fire is in Kenai to the south of Anchorage and that fire is still really unpredictable and out of control.  The smoke from the fires has been hitting Anchorage pretty hard and it’s supposed to get worse this weekend.  I’m not a religious person, but if you are I think the people and dogs in Willow, Kenai, Cooper Landing, and the other locations could use a few wishes and prayers right now.

Things are kind of crazy here, but I’ve still had lots of things that have been keeping me happy this week!

1.  The Midnight Sun:  Yes, I just complained about it, but when it’s not super hot out I’m really in love with it.  Sunday is the summer solstice and I’m SO excited!  We will have 19 hours and 21 minutes of full sunlight with twilight for the other few hours.  Last year involved hanging out around a campfire at midnight, but with this year’s burn ban that can’t happen.  So we’re planning on doing a midnight hike instead!  I love that I can do outdoor stuff whenever I want because of the endless sunshine.

IMG_5644This was taken around 12:30 am last weekend from the coastal trail.  Denali is the mountain on the right!

2.  S’more Oreos:  They are basically portable S’mores.  If you leave them in your car while you hike they’ll be nice and warm when you get back.  You need them in your life.

3.  Lower 48 Goodies:  As I said above, I’ll be in Seattle all next week for training and you know what they have in Seattle?  CHIPOTLE.  And TJ Maxx and Trader Joe’s.  All in the same shopping center near our retreat center.  I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

4.  The Kobuk:  It’s a tiny little tourist shop downtown, but that’s not what I care about.  In the back of the store is a small room where they have a coffee shop…and the best donuts in Alaska.  Don’t believe me?  Huffington Post doesn’t lie.  I’ve missed having a really good donut place in my life (the situation was pretty grim here) and now I’ve found one! I swear I miss Philly less every day  🙂

5.  Running Friends:  I know I talked about this on Monday, but I’m really happy about the fact that I’ve got some running friends now!  I never thought I’d say that because I really do love running alone, but it’s just so nice to have friends that understand that you need to spend hours running every weekend and having to do silly things like foam roll and take ice baths.  I’m really happy that almost all of my coworkers love running, and I’m excited to run the Mayor’s Marathon relay with them tomorrow morning!  We have matching outfits and we’re going to look awesome running across the finish line together!

What’s making you happy this week?  What is your favorite place to get donuts? (seriously, I will need to come visit these places!)

26 thoughts on “Friday Five: Five Things That Make Me Happy!

    1. I have no idea how you missed it! The first time I came here was in June and we stayed at a cabin in Denali with no curtains. It was so crazy bright! If you can handle staying up late it’s so worth it to see the sun set 🙂

    1. I know what you mean though! It’s so weird going to bed when it’s still light out. Of course, this is much better than total darkness at like 5 pm in the winter, so I’ll take it 🙂

  1. My cousin lives in Alaska and one of the fires has been extremely close to her cabin, so I’ve been hearing a lot about the fires through Facebook. Very scary. Hopefully you guys will get some rain soon.

    Good luck in the marathon relay!

    1. Oh no! I hope her cabin is okay! It sounds like some of the fires are no longer spreading at the moment and they just need to get them out. I’m really hoping the conditions get better so it happens sooner.

  2. Midnight sun is crazy! I would not be a happy camper with the choice between sweltering heat or daylight coming through the windows. Your solution to hike all night instead of sleep sounds like a good one. 🙂

    1. Haha yep, it just makes sense 🙂 Today it finally feels cool in our apartment and I’m so excited that temps are going back down into the 70s for a while!

    1. That’s awesome! I love Seattle too and I’m hoping I get the chance to run around the city for a bit because I love running when I’m on vacation!

  3. Sorry to hear it is so warm in Alaska right now! On the plus it sounds like you’ve got some good things to look forward to. A midnight hike sounds fun actually, to do something in broad daylight while every one else in the lower 48 is asleep makes it all the more special because it is different and not something everyone can experience.

    1. That’s why I love it! In Philly the summer solstice was just another day, but here it’s a chance to be outside all night long. And people here take it really seriously!

  4. Very cool list. The summer solstice sounds like a lot of fun. Bummer about the burn ban, but the hike should be fun. I love the idea of the smores oreos in the car and the car doing the work for you. Good plan.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Haha yep, that’s my lazy version of s’mores! I have to admit that I accidentally discovered it when we were camping in Fairbanks and our car got really hot during the day, and now it’s a legit thing!

    1. See that is my idea of perfect temps! I don’t know how to explain it, but the sun is stronger here – it’s not like it’s hotter than it is at home, but it’s really hot and bright and strong. I know we’re closer to the sun so maybe that’s it? But because of that I really like cooler temps so I don’t overheat while running! I hope you get your sunshine soon though!

  5. When we were in Alaska a couple of summers ago it was unchracteristically hot and dry as well. Good as a tourist but not for things in general, I learned from the locals. Hope you have a blast in Seattle! I love it there!

    1. This is basically the new trend. The winters and summers are hotter and dryer and it’s pretty tough on the animals, the glaciers, and the forests. It will be interesting to see if we actually get snow here next winter because it barely happened this year!

    1. They are so good! I’ve been not really liking their other fun flavors but these are worth eating – especially after a long hike!

    1. It was! We didn’t have any of the annoying humidity here but it was still tough. Today was in the 60s so back to normal 🙂

  6. Mm I haven’t had a donut in a while! Regarding the midnight sun and leaving your curtains open, have you tried sleeping with an eye mask on? We just moved into a place with oversize windows and haven’t been able to find curtains long enough, so I’m planning to buy one to try. Not sure how I’ll feel about having something on my face, but it’s worth a try!

    1. Haha I do that when I go camping, and it drives me nuts! Luckily it’s been cloudy and cooler lately so I’ve been able to sleep better 🙂

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