So now that we’ve spilled some pre-wedding details, we’ll turn our attention to post-wedding: our ten day honeymoon in Alaska. Our goal was to share a glimpse of America’s largest state through our eyes, but more than likely we’re just highlighting the weird ways we Petersiks like to entertain ourselves when away from home (like this ring photo we snapped on an Alaskan hike during our one-week-of-being-married anniversary).
First, let’s tackle the obvious question: why Alaska? After all, it doesn’t really scream “dream honeymoon” to the majority of the population. We ended up in Palin-territory for two main reasons: we wanted to bring Burger along so domestic travel was much easier (he’s such an easy travel companion and definitely a part of our little family) and we wanted to go someplace new to both of us (and I had vacationed in Hawaii with some college friends just months before beginning to date Sherry so that was out). With one not-contiguous-US-state crossed off, our attention immediately turned to the other. And we figured we were just adventurous & quirky enough for it to be the perfect destination for us. Plus those 19+ hours of daily sunshine meant comfortable July temps of 60 – 70 degrees with glaciers and ice caps just an uphill drive away (elevation completely changes the climate there- it’s like two or three destinations in one). Here we are posing in front of an outdoor clock at 11pm to show how light it still is (we’re yawning to demonstrate that it’s the evening).
We’re pretty low-key plan-as-you go travelers, so we landed in Anchorage with a hotel booked, a rental car reserved, a chihuahua in a bag and a wide open schedule. We quickly filled the first day exploring downtown and getting a sense of the city. But Alaska’s all about the wilderness and the great outdoors, so we didn’t stick around in the city center too long… but apparently long enough to let our newlywed giddiness get the best of us around some souvenirs. Don’t I make a fetching moose? And isn’t Sherry a ferocious polar bear?
How about when we play the role of bear victims? We laughed at this photo for hours on the plane ride home.
The next few days consisted of a road trip on the uber-scenic Highway 1 (we love a good road trip – and that’s actually part of the reason that we opted out of seeing Alaska via cruiseship). It was possibly the most beautiful drive of our lives – the glacial waterfalls, snowcovered peaks, sunny skies and occasional wild animal-sightings caused us to stop constantly for photos (we saw dall sheep perched precariously on jagged cliffs just a few yards away from the road and even stopped to stick our toes in melting glacier water- yeah, it was cold).
Our first road trip pit stop was the Alyeska Resort. This is the one day we got fancy, thanks to a couples hot stone massage someone had pre-booked for us as a wedding present. Alyeska is truly a ski resort by definition, but even in July it was beautiful. The resort actually sits in the middle of a rainforest (who knew Alaska had so many different climates- it’s really amazing) so one minute we were hiking through damp and lush rainforest greenery…
…and the next we were taking a tram through the clouds to the top of a mountain (where we ate lunch overlooking snow capped peaks).
After a night spent in the lap of luxury (their hotel was the nicest one we’ve ever stayed at), we found ourselves back in the car on a scenic drive to Seward. Along the way we stopped several times to enjoy the scenery – including an up-close-and-personal look at a real live glacier and a hike that was narrowly thwarted by a recent bear sighting (on our wedding day, no less).
Once back in Anchorage we still did our best to enjoy the great outdoors. We rented bikes one day for a 14-mile ride along a coastal paved trail. And like true pet parents, we even rented a “kid caboose” so our fur baby could come along for the ride (I imagine many of your are giving us the strange look we got all too frequently that day – “you have what in there???”). Hey, at least we’ve got a funny story to tell two years later. And Burger loved it. Really, he got mad when we stopped pedaling.
With our honeymoon soon coming to an end, we decided to go out with a bang by way of a private seaplane tour. Our hotel was right next to Lake Hood, the world’s busiest seaplane base so it was only natural that we experience Alaska that way (taking off right from the lake and landing with a splash two unforgettable hours later). Don’t worry, Burger stayed at the hotel as we flew over expanses of wilderness towards an active volcano. The trip gave us the chance to rock some stylish headphones, snap about a bazillion photos (one of which we once framed in our house) and spot a bunch of animals from above (moose, seals- even a momma bear and her cubs). It was amazing to watch all the green…
…turn into frozen glaciers and arctic ambiance as we went (check out the icy backdrop of this photo).
We even got to land in a secluded lake in the middle of nowhere and explore a tiny island full of wild flowers before heading back. Now that’s rugged…ish.
So that’s a look back at our first official vacation as a married couple. We’d love to hear more about where you guys have honeymooned (or where you dream of honeymooning someday…). And pipe up if you have any other great Alaska vacation stories (we know Mrs. Limestone recently posted some amazing pics from her trip).
Check out more photos from our Alaskan Honeymoon in our Flickr album (and try to view ’em with captions so you know what the heck is going on).
Never been to Alaska but this post definitely makes me want to go!
Never would have thought of Alaska, but from your photos it reminds me of the mountainous areas of Washington state, which I fell in love with when climbing them last fall. What a great idea, especially about the long daylight hours!
I would love to travel to Alaska some day – your pictures are beautiful! My hubby and I honeymooned in the UP (Upper Penninsula) of MI for a week after we got married. It’s gorgeous up there. I love lighthouses and he surprised me on our last day in the UP by staying at a lighthouse B&B in Big Bay, MI. It was amazing!
On a completly separate note: from reading some of your older posts I see that you compost. We live in an apt in a city and don’t have anywhere to start a compost box outside, but our church does so we can bring our compost there. Do you have any suggestions for keeping compost in our apt till we take it to our church once a week? Containers that maybe keep the stink away? Thanks!
Crate and Barrel has a great little tin can with a “carbon filter” which completely neutralizes the odor: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=754&f=29452&q=compost+bin&fromLocation=Search&DIMID=400001&SearchPage=1
Hope it helps!
Love it!! The fact that you were able take your little Fur baby with you was icing in the preverbial cupcake!! Thanks for sharing this wondeful adventure.
We took a whirlwind tour of London and Paris. We got to see most of the sights but definitely need to go back for a another (more relaxing) vacation. Alaska is high up there on our places to visit. Your pictures look great.
aww, your trip looks so romantic, and the scenery is simply amazing! Thanks for sharing with us!
Aaawwwww. Cute Burger-ride. Two questions: How do you travel with a pooch on an airplane? (I’m wondering about him needing to go #1 or #2) Hope that’s not too personal! Also, do you get others to take photos of the two of you, or do you travel with a tripod? DH and I honeymooned in Cancun in July of 2000. It was beautiful and HOT, but I’m not sure how the beaches have recovered after the hurricane that hit it in 2005. It looks to me like it is advertised more now as a golf and spa getaway.
You can check with each airline about their traveling-with-a-pet rules but it’s usually a $50 or $100 fee and if they’re small enough (like Burger) they can stay in the cabin with you in a soft bag (he rode on my lap and no one knew there was even a dog on board ’cause he slept the whole time). If they’re bigger they ride under the cabin in baggage check where it’s not temperature controlled (which can be a bit dangerous in extreme cold or heat so it’s important to research that before booking a trip to a hot or cold place). And we don’t travel with a tripod but do occasionally ask strangers to help us out and snap a pic or two. Hope it helps!
What an awesome honeymoon to take. Alaska is on the top of my travel list! Your pictures are beautiful.
We took a “mini-moon” for 5 days right after our wedding which took place in Chicago (we lived in western Washington state) to northern Wisconsin where we rented an amazing little cabin on a gorgeous little lake. We spent our days hiking, canoeing, kayaking and fly fishing and our evenings cooking yummy meals in our adorable cabin.
We plan to take a “real honeymoon” one of these days – some of our ideas are to go kayaking in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas or a trip to Costa Rice.
Do you know what the name of the cabin was called or location? We want to do something like that for our 1 year anniv.
My family and I took a trip to Alaska a couple of years ago and did all of our travelling by the Alaskan railroad — well with the exception of actually getting to Alaska. It’s awesome because you can customize your trip and the railroad and hotels take care of your luggage each time! I love Alaska.
A few of our friends wound up in Alaska for vacations this summer. All of the pictures are beautiful! I never would have thought about visiting Alaska on vacation.
Our honeymoon was in Jamaica- my husband loves beaches and I wanted to go somewhere he hadn’t been before. It was a beautiful first trip together.
Sounds like we might want to make Alaska our second!
We honeymooned in Napa Valley. It was absolutely amazing :)
Love the photos! My parents are in Alaska right now. Quite jealous. We honeymooned in Maine, another not-so-obvious spot, I suppose. We love international travel but language barriers and other cultures add a layer of stress that we just didn’t want in the first few weeks of marriage. And lying about on a beach for 3 weeks would have grown a bit stale. We’ll save the Caribbean for another time when we can only grab a week off.
I think it is absolutely wonderful that the Burgerman got to go with you! Looks as though he wasn’t a burden at all and is also quite content in his pooch-purse….that is so cute!
I was wondering about the plane ride as well….did you just slide his little bag under the seat?!?!?
Kristina Atkins says
We honeymooned in Key West, but it wasn’t our first plan. Our original plan (booked and all) was Cozumel, Mexico, but when my passport didn’t come in (on our wedding day, no less) we quickly booked a new trip. Then, for our 6 month anniversary we used the credit from our Mexico trip to take a second honeymoon in the Caribbean! :)
My husband lived for 3 summers in Alaska, on Afognak island which is in the general vicinity of Kodiak. We haven’t been able to make it up there yet, but I hope to one day because it looks so gorgeous! Love y’all’s trip!
Forgot to mention that your honeymoon looked awesome :)
Do you guys watch the Alaska Experiment/Out of the Wild on the Discovery Channel?? My husband and I are obsessed with that show and really want to visit Alaska now!
hey kids. i’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and find you two a total inspiration. i must say i do love your style. my husband and i just celebrated our 2-year anniversary too. our gift to each other was tearing out the wall b/t our stairs/living room/dining room. tonight we are beaming it for the structural support. anyways, i wanted to tell you that we just rode our bikes across oklahoma and there was another couple who had their little dog in a baby carrier the whole way!! so cute. we have a very hyper chocolate lab….i’m pretty sure she would have caused a massive pile up if we would have toted her in similar manner. thanks for sharing your lives with us and keep it comin’!
Our honeymoon was super exciting. Ahem.
We were of limited funds, so we decided to drive to Niagara on the Lake, thanks to a recommendation from my MIL who had been there. Little did we know that there was some Canadian Civic holiday and some Shakespeare (I think!) festival going on. And our room was on the main floor, we could open our window and shake hands with people passing by. Not my idea of a quiet relaxing honeymoon. So we decided to drive back to Cleveland and hop on a plane to Chicago, which is where we really wanted to go anyway. Except on the way back from N-o-t-L, we got stuck in Niagara Falls traffic.
For two hours.
It was getting late, so we ended up in Buffalo for the night. The next day we headed home and decided to just turn off the phone and ignore the world. We did hit up the Great Lake Science Center and the Rock Hall, so it wasn’t a complete wash.
On the plus side, we didn’t want to kill each other after being in the car for 3+ hours driving to and then 2+ hours on the way back, only to make it as far as Buffalo. That was a good sign, as we are about to celebrate our 11th year married at the end of this month. Hooray!
Hey! We were in Alaska for our honeymoon a week before you guys were! We spent the first 10 days driving around (Anchorage, Denali, Wrangle-St.Elias, Valdez) and then took a 5 day cruise back down to Vancouver.
We loved it so much and can’t wait to go on another great trip like that!
I was wondering about Burger when you travel too – how does he do when you leave him at the hotel? I thought of that after seeing your seafood feast in Savannah and wondered where Burger was during your meal. We travel a lot with my dogs too and we usually end up somewhere outside on a patio where the pups can lounge at our feet while we dine. Love the pics!
We make sure to stay in hotels that allow for pets to be left in rooms (some say they must always be supervised so we like to find ones that are ok with him relaxing in his crate while we hit the town). Of course he comes with us to most things, but inside dinners and sea plane excursions make more sense without the pooch. We also like to put the “do not disturb” sign on the door and turn on the TV for background noise so Burger doesn’t hear the cleaning service knock on the door or people talking in the halls and get scared. He just sleeps and we’re back before he knows it. Hope it helps!
Mrs. Realife says
Absolutely gorgeous and looks like a total blast!
We REALLY want to do this for our 5 year anniversary… We got a HOUSE for our “honeymoon” — Definitely not complaining… but definitely want to take that honeymoon at some point ;0)
OMG … that photo of Burger in the caboose … totally priceless. Love it.
I absolutely LOVE that you guys took Burger with you on your honeymoon!! We take our two little guys everywhere as well. The picture of him in the ‘kiddie caboose’ is awesome, LOVE IT!
I have always wanted to go to Alaska. It looks beautiful!
It’s not really house related, but I would love to see a How-to on traveling with a pet. (From the plane ride to finding the right hotel to day activities, etc.) My hubby and I rarely go anywhere because we don’t want to have to worry about leaving our little wiener dog with strangers.
Good idea! We’ll definitely put it on our list.
We honeymooned in Alaska on a cruise in June 2008. I was so glad we chose it; it was so relaxing and beautiful. Everyone was really impressed by my “photography skills” when we returned with oodles of fabulous photos…but really, in Alaska, all you have to do is hold up the camera and snap because there are gorgeous views everywhere you look.
I would highly recommend an Alaskan vacation or cruise to anyone. It was amazing.
My husband and I honeymooned in Cancun last year. It was nice besides me getting a really bad cold. This year we are having a honeymoon do over and going to Punta Cana.
Next year we are going to travel Alaska and Cali but I was wondering what places you visited? Also, did you book your hotels a head of time? and when you drove did you drive to another place/location in Alaska or did you stay around the same area for the whole trip?
We actually had booked a hotel in Anchorage but when we got there they had terrible construction going on outside at all hours of the night so we moved to The Puffin Inn (also in Anchorage- and they even gave us the honeymoon suite!) where we stayed almost every night (we did spend one night at Hotel Alyeska- which was amazing). Then we just did day trips out to Seward, etc. It’s definitely possible to book hotels as you go if you visit in July (it seemed really easy to switch hotels in Anchorage at the last minute and to decide to stay at Hotel Alyeska at a moment’s notice). Hope it helps!
Juggling Thoughts says
We honeymooned in Disneyworld! Definitely fun!!
City Chic - Jamie says
Awesome honeymoon, this is definitely on our list of places to visit. We got married in Jamaica and had about 25 friends and family with us. So it was more of a weddingmoon I guess. We all had the times of our lives. We stayed at Sunset at the Palms (near the beach)for the wedding part and Tensing Pen (on the cliffs) for the honeymoon part and I highly recommend both places. We weren’t able to bring our fur babies though :( I had pictures of them holding numbers for our table numbers, so they were there in spirit :)
We honeymooned in Alaska, too! We stayed in Denali and absolutely loved it — and took the same “OMG-look-how-bright-it-is-at-11 p.m.-photos.” :)
After 31 years of marital bliss we haven’t gotten to Alaska and that is honestly one of the destinations we want to go to. When asked what is our dream vacation, that is it.
My husband and I had big dreams of traveling all over and seeing different sites. Unfortunately, the money just wasn’t there. (2 months before our wedding, my pay was cut by 6.5%) So we decided to drive to Chicago. We live in Detroit so it wasnt a bad drive. I must say, what a great trip! We made some great memories there and enjoyed ourselves very much!
Mike at The Big Stick says
(Am I your only male reader? That’s OKY, I’m secure in my manliness…)
My wife and I went to Massachussets for our honeymoon in 2004. We were actually in Boston on Election Day (we did absentee ballots back in KY before we left). We went to a little pub called The Purple Shamrock for lunch and as we ate this huge crowd started gathering outside. We asked our waitress what was going on and she said that John Kerry was eating lunch next door in about 10 minutes. Suddenly a caravan of black SUVs rolled by and I saw Kerry in the window of one of them waving to the crowd. I’m a die-hard Republican so I made jokes about throwing eggs, but then I called all of my friends to tell them about seeing the man of the hour. It was pretty cool.
That night my wife allowed me to watch election returns once we were back at the hotel, so long as I promised no more politics for the rest of the trip. Boston is a great town for a history-buff like myself.
We then went to Cape Cod, where my wife’s family is from. We visited the graveyard where her grandparents were buried which was good because I think she felt like she was introducing her new husband to them. Then on to Martha’s Vineyard.
Being there in November is defintely different than visiting during peak season. It’s like a ghost town and many ofthe shops are shutting down for the winter. But there were also some great close-out deals to be had! We stayed in a little B&B and when the owner saw my ‘Vote Republican’ patch on my laptop bag she whispered to me, “I think my husband and I are the only Republicans that live on the island.” I had to resist the urge to ask her what that was like due to my no-more-politics promise.
My weird/cool/completely unplanned souvenir from the trip was a tattoo of two shamrocks that I got in Martha’s Vineyard spur of the moment.
Since we got married on October 30th, my only regret is that we didn’t head up on Halloween and visit Salem, MA which we are told is a lot of fun on that day.
love it! Tyler and I weren’t able to honeymoon right away but a year after the wedding we honeymooned in Maine for 10 days, it was amazing! We drove up from D.C. so we were able to do plenty of exploring. We stayed at wonderful B&Bs and ate some of the most amazing food! Alaska is on our list of states to see eventually. My college roommate lives there and is always raving about it!
Kim S says
We honeymooned in Costa Rica in February of this year. Like you guys, we wanted to go somewhere neither of us had been. We were there for a week and managed to spend 2 days in the rainforest, 2 days at the hot springs/volcano, and 2 days at the beach…there is a lot of variety for such a small country!
Oh and we had to take the “ring picture” as well…ours has hot springs in the background and is one of my favorite pictures from the trip!
Kelly Clawson says
My husband and I honeymooned in Maui! It was our first time there and we loved it! We talk about it all the time and want to go back very soon! Maybe for a babymoon (pre-baby vacation). Due in February 2010!
I love traveling with my husband. He didn’t get to travel with his family much growing up, so I love to plan fun vacations and travel the US with him! We have such a great time together, making new memories!
We stayed in a hotel once with our dog and it was horrible! The hotel was not very clean and my dog is a stiffer. Her nose is always on the ground stiffing everything! So all she did in the room the whole time was stiff (because it had other dog and people scents in there). She also cried all night because she couldn’t sleep in her new surroundings. So the next night we drugged her! Ha. We give her baby benadryl because she gets allergies, so we gave her an extra half the next night so she would sleep! It worked.
The only traveling I will do with my dogs now is camping! They love that! My little Savana can do all the sniffing that she wants in the great outdoors!
The photos are great. My husband, son and I just went to Alaska to visit my brother-in-law (he lives in Anchorage). It was beautiful, but I am jealous you went on a seaplane while there. It was tricky traveling with an 18 month old. But we did get to go on a cruise out of Seward to see whales, otters and other marine life. It was beautiful!
This is an odd and off-topic comment, but you guys have the most beautiful skin! Jealous!
Delightful Dwelling says
Gorgeous pictures! We took a cruise to the Bahamas for our honeymoon, but 2 years later we went to Alaska. We did the cruise thing because it was cheaper(Alaska is soooo expensive!) but I would love to go back and do a road trip like you guys did. Our trip highlight was a helicopter ride to a glacier. It was raining so the pictures weren’t the best, but it was amazing.
I have photos of our trip to Alaska on my blog:
Hey Guys! I stumbled upon your blog a week or so ago and I’m hooked! Love love love seeing what you’ve done with your home, and I love the methods to your madness! My husband and I got married last month and honeymooned in Key West (like one of your other posters, it wasn’t our first choice, as we blew off Mexico because of the whole swine flu thing). It was beautiful and so much fun. Thanks for doing what you do!
Honeymooned for 2 weeks in East Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. Got to see one of the 7 wonders of the world — the great herd migration of wildebeest and zebras. Totally incredible. CC Africa is the way to go!
Heading on an Alaskan trip in 2011. Can’t wait to see all that ice!
My husband and I met in Alaska. We both worked seasonally at a backcountry lodge at the end of the road in Denali NP. I worked there for four summer seasons between my college school years. We met during my third year returning. We came back to AK the next year to work at a fly-in-only lodge- even though we were working, it was very romantic. No roads, no cars, no TV or telephone makes for a peaceful existence. Alaska is a magical place, there is truly nothing like it. We spent the summers backpacking in the midnight sun and met some of the most amazing people along the way. We dream about returning to live there some day.
We have been married for almost a year, August 3rd. Alaska is why we are together…you made a good choice for a honeymoon!
You guys are so lucky!!! My husband and I would have loved to honeymoon in Alaska. We only had 4 days though, and spent them in a wonderfully cozy cabin in the Cascades in Washington. We have friends who honeymooned there a year ago and loved it. Someday we’ll make it up there!
Alison C says
I absolutely love that you brought Burger with! My husband and I are right there with you on the family vaca! We tried to bring our Husky/German Shepherd “furkid” camping (that part was successful) but trying to keep a 50 lb pup in a canoe…in the Boundary Waters…in Northern MN, that was a different story! If only we could have gotten a kid caboose for Ellie! Too bad she wouldn’t fit! She’d love it too!!
Haha I’m still laughing at Burger in the kiddie bike-mobile, that is serious love.
On our h-moon, we flew into Monterey Bay, CA for our base camp (gorgeous hotel thanks to the in-laws) then did mini trips from there up to Napa & Sonoma and San Francisco. It was amazing and gorgeous and almost every day I think about the breeze blowing in off the bay into our hotel room and try to talk the hub into taking me back…
Love the honeymoon photos! It’s great to see that you took advantage of the good weather to get outdoors. I was born and raised in Anchorage and returned after college — it’s hard to think about ever leaving. With summers so short, we are either camping, hiking or out on the boat fishing and shrimping. And of course our yellow lab comes along for all the adventures too!
I’m new-ish to your blog and love reading about your love story – and I of course LOVE reading about all the design dilemas and tips you give.
My husband and I have been married for a year and a half and honeymooned in Belize! It was amazing.
Waht a fun and fabulous honeymoon! I’m trying to plan our vacatiosn for next year right now, and you jsut put Alaska at the top of my list.
We wetn to Japan for 2 weeks for our honeymoon. We had a super-teeny wedding, so we had lots of spare change to splurge on a honeymoon. Best decision we ever made. It was so fabulous to spend two weeks together, totally isolated from everything. My husband had spent the previous 18 months of our engagement going to gradaute school and traveling back and forth to Hong Kong. So our honeymoon was a really great opportunity to reconnect aftr 18 months of craziness.
I don’t know how I’ll concentrate at work today now that I need to plan a trip to Alaska…
My husband (it hasn’t even been a whole month since our wedding!) and I vacationed at TERRANEA RESORT in Palos Verdes, CA after our low key wedding. It was beautiful with wonderful ocean views. It’s definitely a place for more lounging which is good to keep in mind. Of course it’s in southern CA and there were lots of things to do a drive away but since we’re natives to the area this did not interest us too much. We opted to stay on the cliff resort and just relax.
Beautiful pictures of Alaska – thanks for the inspiration. And oh, Happy Anniversary. We just celebrated our 15th in June. We spent our honeymoon hiking from inn to inn in Austria. We splurged and spent the last few days in Salzburg. A friend upgraded our airline tickets to first class as a wedding present, so even the flights were a comfortable adventure.
Sounds like a great honeymoon :)
My husband and I travel a lot with our dog too. I would say it’s a great perk of having a little dogger is that you can take them with you on trips and they get to enjoy the fun too! We have even bicycled with our dog, but she actually rode in the basket of my bike! (We securely latched her into the basket using her harness and leash). I really like the idea of renting the kid carrier to use for them though, I think that looks like more fun and even more safe.
My husband and I went to Costa Rica for twelve days for our honeymoon. Unfortunately the dog couldn’t go with us on this trip! We drove to Arenal Volcano, Monte Verde–where the cloud forest is, Manual Antonio, and then flew from San Jose to Tamarindo and finished our trip with some days on the beach. Costa Rica was so, SO much fun. It provided the opportunity to do a lot of activities we love doing from hiking to swimming in the ocean and doing new things too, like riding a zip line through the jungle and exploring amazing hot springs. I highly recommend it! :)
We honeymooned in Alaska also, for 2 weeks. Half by cruise, half on land. We did everything as a Princess tour, but we REALLY want to go back some day and “do our own thing” like you guys did. Looks like you had a blast. Thanks for sharing!