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).
It’s great reading your stories! There are many parallels between your relationship and mine with my wife! (we too secretly dated at work and didn’t tell anyone until we were engaged after 6 months! And, both being architects, we’ve been fixing up our city rowhouse since we started dating.) After spending our 2 year engagement planning a wedding up on the east coast of Long Island (we live in Maryland) and after going back and forth on honeymoon ideas, we decided to really save hard and splurge on both of our dream vacation and went to Fiji. We stayed on a small island, Matangi Island, and with only 12 bungalows on the whole island, our beachfront bure was spectacular. We knew we wanted a honeymoon that would allow us to relax but also had opportunities to do some outdoor adventures, and this was the perfect mix. Kayaking in the ocean, snokeling in Horseshoe Bay (and also at a shipwreck!) and hiking the island was perfectly balanced with walking and relaxing along the beach. It was more than we had originally planned for our honeymoon, but worth saving for in the future! On a side note, my wife has cruised to Alaska and LOVED it. I’m sure we’ll be taking a trip up there in the future!
Omg I kind of want to marry you guys… and then go on a honeymoon with you! :)
I love the bear sighting sign. How do you “announce yourself as human” to a bear? “Hello bear, I’m a human.” Do they understand?
My husband of over two years and I went to Greece, namely Mykonos, Santorini and Athens.
Like you two, we both wanted to go somewhere we’ve never been.
Enjoyed reading about Alaska! Will have to put on the Bucket List.
Brandi U. says
Loved getting a sneak peek at your gorgeous honeymoon! We went to Venice, Florence, Rome, Athens, Santorini and Paris. Can’t believe it was almost a year ago. Fond memories… There’s pictures from our trip on my blog.
Jeannine @ Small & Chic says
There is nothing wrong with taking Burger along for the ride!
We will only stay at Kimpton Hotels when we go on vacation because they are dog friendly (more like dog enthusiastic…I think Baxter usually gets a better reception than we do).
Molly Rosedale says
Awwww…I love that Burger went with you! This post made me flash back to this time three years ago when I was counting down to our wedding and VACATION! Because of grad school and jobs, we didn’t travel at all for almost two years leading up to our NYC wedding (I’m from VA, husband is from LI, so home sweet home NYC was the most neutral territory for us). We totally splurged — one week in Dubai and just over a week in the Maldives. Between the wedding and honeymooon, I think I was away from work for 3 weeks…it was the trip of a lifetime. I can’t wait to post for our three-year anniversary in September and take us back halfway around the world!
I want to honeymoon in New Zealand…ah, that would be lovely.
Your ring is outrageously beautiful. Tiffany novo?
Wow! These pictures and your honeymoon story make me drool. We are having a December wedding and have decided to go somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere to a little island country Mauritius. Now I kinda want to do another summer honeymoon and go to Alaska!!! The plane ride sounds superb!
Nice glacial pics! We honeymooned in Iceland a few years ago and get the same “Why there?” questions. It was totally wonderful and I completely recommend it, although we aren’t the sit on the beach type of people so a resort vaca was never in the cards; hiking and sight-seeing is way too much fun!
My Alaska vacation has never ended. I was born, bred, and still reside there (and devoutly loathe Palin). Thanks for showcasing my home – though I live much farther north, right outside Fairbanks.
And, guys, it’s dall sheep…not doll (though it is pronouced that way).
this is actually where i would like to go for our honeymoon; i have family in alaska and i hear it’s nothing short of phenomenally beautiful. thanks for the tour and i’m glad you two/three had a blast!!
We’re getting married in less than 3 months and are honeymooning in Italy. We decided to spend a little less on the wedding so that we could do this. My fiance has never been to Europe, and I’ve been just to Ireland and Paris. This pretty much is our dream trip: we are both really into food and wine, and he especially is into ancient Roman history and architechture. We are spending a few days in Rome doing the tourist-y thing, including a trip down to Pompeii for him, and then renting a farmhouse in Chianti for a week to relax and just explore the local villages.
Looks like so much fun!
Our Boston Oakley has his own “chariot” and loves it! I’m sure Burger would be thrilled if you got him for everyday!
Rachel T says
Hi guys! Haven’t had a chance to read your blog lately, and as I was scrolling through some old posts I found this one about your honeymoon in Alaska. Found it funny being that I just got back from a 2 week vacation there! A friend of mine just finished up grad school there and I jumped to visit her before she moved back down to the “lower 48” as they refer to it. It was the trip of a lifetime!! Was (barely) able to narrow down my 600+ pictures to a measly 300 to post on my facebook page (and quite a few contained a picture of my cell phone with the time showing the daylight at midnight!) Also stayed in Anchorage, but ventured out to see the glory of the state. Truly amazing. Now I’m just trying to figure out how I can rearrange my life so I can live there in the summers…
sidenote- you guys are awesome. I just bought my first place and can’t WAIT for all the DIY projects… with your site’s assistance, of course :)
Alaskan Andi says
Thank you so much for the lovely depiction of my “home”! I live in Eagle River just outside Anchorage and get to enjoy said scenery 12 months out of the year. I am glad you had a nice stay and thank you for the fresh perspective of a sweet and happy young couple. Sometimes when it hits November/December the days are very short and the nights so long and cold. I embrace the 24 hour sun of summer as you did. Love your blog. Love the dog Burger too!
What? No pictures of Seward? I grew up in AK before I married my southern husband and my by far favorite place is Seward. The rainy days, the little bakery, boats in the harbor and the otter that swims in between them. LOVE IT! We married in 2004 and actually spent our wedding night at Alyeska. We then vacationed in Kona, HI. It was surreal to be hiking on a frigid glacier one week and then hiking an erupting volcano exactly a week later.
Michelle B. says
I just happened upon your AK honeymoon photos. My husband and I went to Alaska for our honeymoon as well (sans cruise ship – to get the real experience, of course!). We had a lot of “why Alaska?” questions. The trip was amazing – and I would return to Alaska in a heartbeat. I’m glad you both enjoyed it as much as we did!
I check your blog a couple of times a week, but I never knew that you honeymooned AK, which is amazingly cool.
I was born in Anchorage and have split my time between AK and WA. If you love Alaska, then you’ll like a lot of WA too. :)
It’s weird seeing pictures of places that I’ve grown up frequenting, but I’ve got to say that your food choices were perfect. Double Musky and Snow City = WIN.
And I think not liking sourdough is a sin in the PNW. haha
If you ever go back, be sure to do a Kenai river tour (you don’t have to fish, but if you do then there’s nothing like it!) and go to Fairbanks and Chena Hot Springs! You can ride on a steamboat and drive a sled-dog team, and sit in super nice hot springs afterwards. :)
Tiffany S. says
Your whole wedding was adorable! I did almost everything for ours too (except that we had it at a place that did weddings) and was exhausted about halfway through the reception. Good thing I took two days off before leaving on our honeymoon to Disneyworld! We’d never been there (now we own a timeshare there and my husband works for a Disney subsidiary, but that’s REALLY a coincidence).
Love your site!
I loved your honeymoon and inclusion of your little Burger. We have one large and one small and the small is certainly a great travel companion- I loved the bike trailer for including the doggie! Thanks for the inspiration.
We’re driving to Alaska for our honeymoon! We can’t wait.
We love the idea of a road trip with our dog and thinking about all the things we’ll get to see.
Your pictures are beautiful and I love your blog!
You guys are just fabulous. I found your blog yesterday while google-ing ‘backyard weddings’ and your blog just made the decision so much easier for my fiance and me.
You guys seem like a really great fun loving couple, and I am so excited I found your blog.
My fiance and I aren’t going to have a big honeymoon either, we’re actually staying in-state and going to Lake of the Ozarks, as it’s so close, and so much fun.
We honeymooned in Maui! We were so excited to go, since it would be our first vacation just the two of us, no family. My husband even made a super cute video of our honeymoon to the sounds of Jack Johnson (sooo appropriate for a Hawaii honeymoon video). Check it out! I promise it isn’t boring! :-)
So cute! Thanks for sharing!
Oh… here’s the video!
Btw, love that y’all went to Alaska and even brought Burger! How cute!
I looove my home state, for just some of the many reasons you listed. Did you go to the Alaskan Wildberry factory? Or the Sourdough mining company? Isnt Seward such a cute town? You know you can hike up the Harding Icefield? I loove seeing this, that two East Coast people chose something so non tradtional for a honeymoon.=)
We did go to the Sourdough Mining Company (fun!) but we missed the Alaskan Wildberry Factory. That sounds like so much fun though! We also drove by the Harding Icefield but didn’t have a chance to hike it because we had bike rental plans for later that day and then had our big sea plane adventure on Lake Hood! Alaska was a magical place- we had such a blast.
Just found your blog (through another blog which mentioned Catalog Living, which I check in on every day). Your pics of Alaska look very similar to our honeymoon in Banff, British Columbia. My spouse teaches geology but had never been to a glacier, and I had vacationed in BC as a teenager. We hit all four of the contiguous national parks in that part of the Canadian Rockies, and could hike in a snowstorm in the afternoon, eat dinner by an emerald lake, and relax in red-rock hot springs that evening! Ten days of heaven was what it felt like.
(re previous reply) Sorry! Geographic error–Banff and Jasper are in Alberta; Yoho and Kootenay are in British Columbia. Just wanted to give credit where credit is due…
I LOVE that you did an Alaskan honeymoon! I was born and raised in Alaska, currently live in Fairbanks, and my husband and I were married at Alyeska Resort. Next time you come North, you simply must make it to the Interior – Denali is amazing!
Anna Marie says
I love seeing your pictures of your Alaskan honeymoon. Especially the ones in front of the Millenium hotel. Our 1950’s ranch (super old for Alaska) is about a mile from that hotel. I hope you make it up to Alaska again maybe with the bean in tow. You could even do some fabulous house crashing on the last frontier.
That would be so much fun!
I can’t believe I somehow missed that you guys traveled to Alaska for your honeymoon! My husband and I are born and raised Alaskans :) It is so funny to see you guys in pictures from around Anchorage. We too have enjoyed a bike ride along the coastal trail and have ventured throughout Alyeska, hope you enjoyed our beautiful state!
Heather KCMO says
My hubby and I rented a house boat, and spent the week mostly to ourselves exploring Lake Birch in MN. It was amazing & romantic and beautiful!
Tara G. says
I haven’t been reading long enough to know you honeymooned in Alaska. We were based at Elmendorf AFB and lived about 2 blocks from Lake Hood. We have some great memories from our time there!
Lake Hoods was amazing! One of our favorite memories was that flight that left from that lake!
Makes me miss home….two weeks till I’m in AK again:)
Wow, Sherry! John must have really like it because that is one heck-of-a ring he put on it :) Gorgeous!! Oh and Alaska looks beautiful too.
Haha- yeah I couldn’t breathe for about an hour over that. John is a very nice boy (and a big fan of saving his pennies up for stuff, haha). Love him.
I know it’s a little late, didn’t know you honeymooned there- but couldn’t help but mention that’s where we honeymooned as well, and lived for the first 4 years of our marriage! It truly is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE in the world!!! We miss it sooo much!! It was neat to see a bit of the places you went, as most of them, we never did. Hope you got to see Denali while you were there, maybe in the plane. Thanks for sharing some of your fun!
Oh jeez! I wish I would have read this oh um around Christmas time (2010)! We just honeymooned in Alaska per a cruise ship and I totally wish we would have done it your way! Being on a boat for 7 days drove us bonkers!
Stumbled on this post a little late (thanks to the recent link) but loved your Alaskan honeymoon pics! I am from Alaska and still live here, and was married July 8, 2007 just outside Anchorage under sunny skies. We honeymooned for the first couple days at the Alyeska Prince (on the 8th and the 9th), though we eventually headed out to warmer places. We could have been there the same time! Looks like you guys hit up a lot of great sites for your trip!
I’m incredibly late in commenting, but I just read this today after poking around the site a bit more… What a great idea! And I love that you brought Burger along. :)
My parents met in Alaska (over 20 years ago) when their time at the radio station in Nome overlapped for a few months (or maybe more than a few, I always forget).
We went to Alaska (the Seward area) with a group from church in … 2004 I think, and it was pretty fun. Saw lots of moose, and went on a dinner cruise, during which we took photos of seals or something, and whales. And fish. Lots of fish. We were helping at a college, helping build and “remodel” a bit, but we made sure to take time out for ourselves as well. The four of us stayed with some friends of my parents from their Nome days for an extra five days (I think) after our “mission trip” was over. That was the Anchorage part of our stay, and it was pretty great. :)
I cannot even tell you how many hours I have spent reading your site today, and cant believe I haven’t seen this post yet!
My husband and I were married in August of 2009 and also honeymooned in Alaska! Like you, we decided to do a land tour instead of a cruise. We started in Anchorage, then drove to Seward where we stayed for two days and took a short boat tour one day to see glaciers. Then we headed back to Anchorage and took the train up to Talkeetna. We stayed at a lodge just south of Denali park and took a flight seeing tour of the park which was amazing.
It was an awesome honeymoon and we loved it so much! It is so beautiful and such a different world. We hope to go back someday to take a cruise so we can see the areas we didn’t get to see the first time!
Loved seeing some of your pics… ours are all online at: http://jeffandlauramahony.shutterfly.com/2041
Love your blog, so so much.
Michelle McCormick says
Saw this post while skipping through your road trip post today, then the Dallas post, then the honeymoon post. I haven’t seen this post before, but it’s so crazy, I did EVERYTHING that you guys did!! Anchorage, picture w/ the cartoon bear, Aleyska, the tram, dinner at the restaurant, drive to Seward, all of it! It’s so crazy to see these pics and see my pics of the same thing. Looks like you guys had a blast, Alaska is so beautiful.
I just married last Saturday, and we have to post pone our honeymoon till next February. Boooo! I’m bummed.
It was like, yay we got married, back to work the next day. :(
That’s so funny! Wasn’t Alaska the best? So sorry you have to postpone your honeymoon- but imagine how great it will be in Feb to say “see ya!” and run off together! Have so much fun.
Michelle McCormick says
Oh and I emailed you guys a few months back with a question about your music and whether or not you had a dance floor. I mentioned that I used your wedding for 100% of my inspiration for my backyard wedding.
I stole just about every single thing from yours (I’m not creative but I wish I was!) and I want to give you guys props, because my wedding would have never ever EVER been as cool and amazing as it was if it wasn’t for you guys.
I’m waiting on the professional pics to come in, and if you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to send you a few so you can see your totally amazing wedding ideas reborn into another wedding :)
Sweet! We’d love to see pics! Wahoo! Congrats on your wedding!
I’m finally getting around to wandering through this section of your blog, and we honeymooned in Alaska, too. Actually, at the exact same time you did! We got married in March 07 and put off our honeymoon a few months because we wanted ten days to spend and teaching schedules aren’t conducive to traveling outside of the summer…. And Alaska because we aren’t sit on the beach people.
We took a cruise and spent a couple of days walking our feet off in Vancouver beforehand. We didn’t get to spend any more than our debarkation day in Anchorage, but we started planning our return trip before we were even off the ship. We loved every minute of it.
My future husband and I met in Alaska. I had gone on 3 cruises there during my high school and college years and as soon as I graduated (with no job offers at 21) I said WHY NOT NOW, I didn’t want to wait till I got old to go back, so I packed up my car with my 2 cats and drove north. I made it in 5 days from Dallas TX to Kasilof, AK. Alaska is the most beautiful place I’d ever seen (and still is). Its majestic, amazing, beautiful. Eventually I had to move to Anchorage for work. I took a seasonal job working on Princess Tours train just for the experience and I was lucky enough to get discounted/free tours as a Princess employee. I saw things I never would have seen otherwise (too expensive) and have experiences I’ll never forget. I went white water rafting on the Nenana River (near Denali NP), toured Jeff King’s sled dog property/home, stayed in Whittier, and more and of course rode the rails! All on Princess’ dime. I also met my fiancee there, had a baby there, but then we moved away to be closer to family. But Alaska will always hold a special place in my heart; its truly unique. I loved it so much I moved there and part of me wishes I could have stayed. People told me I was crazy to go… but I think its crazy NOT to at least visit. Its the most beautiful place on Earth! I hope to take our honeymoon there- but definitely a cruise, because he’s never enjoyed the state as a tourist, and also never been on a cruise. When our son’s older, I’d love to drive up again this time in a van/RV instead of a small car with 2 cats!
BTW for anyone thinking about when the best time to visit is… mid summer is best if you want to experience light all night, but you also won’t get to see the Northern Lights. Just somethin to think about! May or Sept is the bargain season and you can see them then. If they’re out, of course. :)
I love the way you write your stories! I am from Wasilla Alaska and attended one year of high school in Seward. Recently from Ketchikan (which is a rain forest as you had mentioned). I love seeing people enjoy Alaska. I am getting married in October and got so many great ideas from your blog! Being that my brother and fiance are pilots, we might fly the wedding party out in Beavers to a remote island lake with the help of the some friends in the aviation community. Im thinking bbq grills on the shore and custom made black and white fishing waders (his and hers). Should I send you an invite? :) Thanks again for sharing!!!!
That sounds amazing! Have the best time!
I know that this post is 3 years late, but…
Found you on google. We had a 2-week Alaskan honeymoon in June of this year. It was amazing! What’s interesting is that no two Alaskan honeymoons are the same! Check out my blog to find out about going to the Arctic Circle for the Summer Solstace and the bus ride in and out of Denali National Park!
I just discovered your blog- and I am loving it! I am a Wahoo myself and a former Alaskan resident and was excited to see your choice of a honeymoon. You should go back to alyeska when there is snow- it is amazing! Keep up the great work- by far the best DIY blog I’ve seen!
Aw thanks Shelley! So glad you found us. We’d love to end up back in AK!
I know this is a personal question, of which you may not want to publicly answer…
But my girlfriend keeps raving about your engagement ring, Sherry. I am planning on proposing this summer and she is convinced that your ring is the size and style she wants.
Could you be so kind as to help a dude out, as I know nothing about diamond sizes… I don’t want to give her a ring she would hate :-/
Thanks so much guys!
I’m afraid I don’t know anything about the size of my ring (just love it and wear it every day, but didn’t grill John, haha). I do know he got it in NYC from the diamond district when we lived there, and it’s a 4-prong setting (some are 6 prong, but I love how simple 4 is) and it’s called a solitaire setting. And it’s white gold. And my wedding band is super skinny (I wanted a really small one since I love my engagement ring so much I didn’t want the wedding band to steal any thunder). Hope it helps!
The small wedding band is a great idea.
Hats off to John for picking one you like so much. Hope I can do the same!
Thanks for you help
Good luck Daniel!
I was so excited to see that you went to Alaska on your honeymoon! We thought about it for a good long time as it’s one of our top travel priorities, but ultimately talked ourselves out of it based on the planning I would want to do. We actually decided on Tulum, Mexico so we can still get that adventurous, outdoor experience but we’ll have lots of spa and beach lounging options too!
Alaska is next up after the honeymoon and we can’t wait!
I stumbled across your site recently and have been making my way through it. I had to laugh when I came across your honeymoon post because my husband and I “honeymooned” in Alaska too, as two days after getting married in 2005, we spent the next 10 days driving a U-Haul up the Alaskan Highway in a planned move to Anchorage. Although it wasn’t exactly honeymoon-like, I loved that we got to spent time recalling the wedding day details and stories. What else are you going to do to pass hours in the truck, right?