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Alaska: A Winter Adventure Honeymoon

by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer

Things are different in Alaska. If you're in doubt, check out these interesting tidbits from the Alaska Almanac:

1) The American Association for Nude Recreation recently announced that Alaska is the only state without a nudist colony.

2) In June of 1999, a grizzly bear took up residence on the fairways of the Kenai golf course. What rules of the sport apply in a case like this? According to golf course employee Robert Speakman, "You just let him play through...."

Alaska is unlike any other state in the U.S. and that's part of it's allure. Alaskans have a wonderful sense of humor about their home. One resident quipped, "when a moose blocked my path to the trash can, I just waited thirty minutes and tried again."

But one thing remains the same in Alaska or in the lower 48, a great resort is a great resort. Alyeska, in Girdwood Alaska is just that. If you enjoy outdoor sports, particularly in the winter, a honeymoon spent at Alyeska Resort will be a trip still talked about when the kids hit high school graduation.

Alyeska, pronounced (alley-eska) is an Aleut word meaning "great land of white to the east." Our current name "Alaska" is a derivative of that native word. Mount Alyeska, a 3,939-foot peak in the Chugach Mountains south of Anchorage, is the location of the state's largest ski resort by the same name. The resort sits surrounded by seven massive glaciers, an attribute you definitely won't find at many resorts in the lower 48.

With an average snowfall of over 600 inches, Alyeska Resort is a snow-lovers heaven. To think most of us panic when six inches fall, myself included! You'll have many active, outdoor options while visiting Alyeska, in addition to Nordic and alpine skiing. Put the snow and cooler temperatures to good use, with snowmobile tours, dog sledding tours, flightseeing, heli-skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing and snowboarding.

The Alyeska Ski School offers learn-to-ski and learn-to-ski better packages. Certified instructors are available for group or private lessons or to act as guides.

Everyone visiting Alyeska rides their aerial tramway, whether to ski or just savor the view. The tram ascends from the base of Mt. Alyeska to the 2,300 ft. level Glacier Terminal, carrying up to 60 passengers at once. I was so absorbed in the incredible panorama during my ride, I nearly forgot to take pictures! It's not often I'm surrounded by the grandeur of glaciers. In addition to the tram, the resort offers six modern ski lifts for quick access.

Inside amenities include a 16-person hot tub with a view, a sauna, a swimming pool and fitness room. The evenings at Alyeska are blissfully quiet and peaceful. Tucked away in the mountains, you'll feel far removed from the clamor of the world, yet have all the luxuries close at hand. Every guestroom has a mountain view, but for your special occasion you may wish to request a town-house suite.

Ever wanted to observe one of the world's great wonders, the Aurora Borealis? This could be your opportunity. Best seen on a clear night in the wee hours, this natural phenomenon appears in the sky over Alyeska. Just leave a message at the front desk and they'll give you a wake up call if the Northern Lights are visible.

At the top of the mountain you'll find two dining options, the Seven Glaciers and the Glacier Express. For entertainment combined with dinner, make reservations at the Katsura Teppanyaki Japanese style steakhouse in the resort. At the Katsura, the chefs prepare the meal before your eyes in an intimate setting of only 18 people. The more casual Pond Cafe, is another alternative, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If time allows, spend a day in Anchorage at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Open year round, the Center offers an opportunity to experience Alaska's many native cultures together in one location.

CREDITS

Sponsored by Alyeska Resort

Alyeska Resort is 40 miles south of Anchorage in the small town of Girdwood. Follow the Seward Highway along scenic Turnagain Arm. Watch for Dall sheep, bald eagles and beluga whales during the journey. For additional information click on www.alyeskaresort.com.


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