Spring is here! Time for upgrades and enhancements!

Another spring is upon us here in Alaska and we’re preparing for a busy visitor’s season.  We have a long list of things we’re working on, which includes upgrades to the TVs and DVD players in all the cabins and rooms, and a new enclosed stairwell for the Heron Roost building.  These are the things we planned on, but in the middle of April we were given a software project we hadn’t planned on!

You probably know if you’ve inquired, or booked with us, we have several website forms we use.  We had two different inquiry forms on our Angels Rest on Resurrection website, and a separate secure (https:) site called “Actually Alaskan” (actuallyalaskan.com) where we had our reservation form. The reservation form is a 2 page form, for added security for our guests.

On April 18 we received just page 2 from someone’s reservation. Later that day we received several notes from guests indicating that they had finalized their reservation…..but we didn’t receive the submissions. This prompted us to do some testing, only to discover that the forms were not working!  Shocked, and a bit panicked, we called GoDaddy, our website provider.

After over an hour on the phone, the technician claimed he had solved the problem. We received his test submissions, so we went to sleep that Friday night thinking they fixed the problem.

The next morning however, when there were no inquiries or reservations, we did some more testing.  Both websites, all the forms, on both failed to work!

Several hours later GoDaddy told us that they had applied a patch to their Website Tonight software that had caused all my forms to stop working!

We’re lucky that Lynda had the time to drop everything else she had planned to work on the websites! (She’s recovering from a shattered femur, so she’s been doing a lot of sitting around anyway! LOL)Screen Shot Angels Rest Secure Booking Site

So, in addition to the upgrades and enhancements we had planned, we now have a brand new secure website for both inquires and reservations!

 

Check out: https://www.actuallyalaskanlodging.com!  We hope you like the design! We’ll be redesigning our main website, angelsrest.com to match this design. This new website should work well from both computers and mobile devices!

Thank you Dear Reader!

We welcome your comments and feedback!

Namaste’

Chinook’s Bar ~ Where great food and great views meet

View from Chinooks Downstairs Dining Room

View from Chinooks Downstairs Dining Room

Chinook’s  Waterfront Restaurant is now Chinook’s Bar. Located in the Seward Small Boat Harbor, for the first time in many years this establishment has been open throughout the winter.  Last summer when our housekeeping staff and I would lunch out, the girls favorite place to eat was Chinooks.  It  was their favorite for the setting and large windows; and because there were two large flat screens that had a movie of Alaska wildlife and scenery.

We thought, after hearing positive reviews from locals this winter, we would have a Friday night out, and try a meal at Chinooks. We didn’t realize it had become more bar than restaurant.

Our seats are on the lower level in the dining area with the windows looking out over the harbor.  We didn’t get a window seat, since it was rather crowded when we arrived, even though it was just 5:30 p.m. To reach our table, we had to walk through the bar, between two bar areas with people drinking. There wasn’t any other way to get where we were going. There are other seats to the right that you can get to without having to walk through the bar, without as good a view. In summer, if the 2nd floor dining area is open, it has an extraordinary view. They have removed the flat screens from the lower dining room; the girls would be sad. The ambiance is much more bar like than restaurant now. Not sure what the upstairs atmosphere will be like.

As far as the meal, I will start by saying, my preference if for people to stop messing around trying to “mix it up” or spice it up, or whatever the new 21st century cuisine is trying to do.  I couldn’t even wrap my head around some of the descriptions of things on the menu. I suspect the reason for some of this new “cuisine” is that chemicals, additives, artificial flavoring and the ubiquitous “natural” flavoring have ruined most people’s taste buds. People can’t taste normally anymore, so they must have, what I can only call “weird” combinations. My husband and I, eat organically when possible; and avoid at all costs chemicals, additives and packaged products.

We were looking forward to fresh Halibut! Seriously! April is when they start fishing for Halibut, and we haven’t gone out fishing yet. There is nothing so delicious as a piece of well prepared, fresh, Halibut! A nice grilled fillet, or perhaps some fresh halibut fish & chips. We both love halibut, and were so looking forward to a great meal of it.

Photo Apr 18, 7 49 36 PM

Halibut BLT

I should warn you, we are a couple of old fogies when it comes to eating out! We like nice straight forward, well prepared and seasoned meal. We don’t care for a lot of show or unusual flavor combinations. The menus came and our waitress took our beverage order. We both ordered ginger ale.  None of the appetizers sounded appealing to us. Well, that’s no big deal, we didn’t really need them. 😉 On to dinner:  the Dinner Special was Halibut wrapped in prosciutto. The Halibut sandwich was a halibut BLT.  The very last thing I wanted was my halibut wrapped in bacon. I gave up and ordered the chicken sandwich instead.Paul ordered the halibut BLT, thinking he would just take the bacon off.

The drinks came. When someone orders Ginger Ale and you intend to serve them Vernor’s, you should tell them. I was expecting a Canada Dry style. It’s ok, we  can both drink it; it  just would have been nice to know. I might have ordered Sprite or 7-UP instead. I had started out with one of those, then thought of the ginger ale as a nice alternative. We don’t drink soda on a regular basis, so it’s like a splurge.

Our food arrived after a while. It was busy. My chicken sandwich came with a nice, but cold, ciabatta bun. There was a nice handful of small leaf lettuce and a couple of slices of tomato.  I rarely eat a sandwich by hand. I prefer eating the protein and veggies with my silverware; I dislike wasting the bun, but I’ve learned that cooks don’t like special orders of “hold the bun.”

Both sandwiches had a “sauce” or condiment on the bottom bun. This is a twofold problem.  For people who eat their sandwiches the way I do, we miss out on the sauce because it’s mostly soaked into the bottom bun.  For people who pick their sandwiches up, the sauce has made the bottom bun soft and mushy. Eventually, it falls apart; most likely, long before the person finishes eating.  They end up like me, with their silverware.

Chicken Sandwich

Chicken Sandwich

Paul’s halibut BLT didn’t come on a ciabatta bun, but instead came on what appeared as a better than average, plain, un-toasted, hamburger bun. The sauce had the predicted effect on his bun.

Both sandwiches had bacon, totally different from each other; both thick cut. We were given a choice of sweet potato fries or just potato. I didn’t realize I could have had a side salad instead of fries; I might have done that. I liked the style of potato fries although I would prefer a darker crisper fry. These aren’t my favorite sweet potato fries, but I liked them ok.

We had time to kill, so we tried some dessert. A slice of flour-less chocolate cake, and a slice of goat-cheese lemon cheesecake.  (I forgot to take photos!) We were not informed by our wait-person that the desserts are made on site, but have heard since that they do make their desserts, which is rare for Seward, especially in April!  There was no goat-cheese flavor, it was just a light lemon cheesecake. The chocolate cake was quite dense and intense. They were both fine.

We don’t eat out a lot. We were just looking for a good, simple meal. We don’t need the scenery since we live here. We have no idea what’s at the bar; we don’t drink.

Look at the menu when you get there, or here if you’re planning head.  If you see things that look good to you, go for it. The view from the dining rooms is awesome, the windows quite large and clean. The food was fine. The service was good. 🙂

Thank you Dear Reader,
With Great Love, Namaste’
❤ LAMP ❤

P.S. I welcome your comments and questions!

P.P.S. Any pepper or salt you see in the photos, we added. I almost forgot to take photos; luckily I caught us before we’d cut into things! 🙂

Wi-Fi that Works! Best Improvement Award of 2012!

As some guests know, there have been problems getting a good wi-fi signal in some locations at Angels Rest.  Some of the funniest/saddest stories would be from guests at the Gatehouse, that would have to stand in the kitchen, or sit in the bathroom, to get connected to the Internet.  There were “dead” spots in all three of the waterfront cabins, and depending on what kind of equipment guests had, they had various success.  It was always my least favorite discussion. I’d have to suggest, to those having real signal problems, that they’d have to “get closer” to the Guest Services Building; come sit on the porch…..

When we first opened, we tended to encourage people to enjoy the view and “unplug!” With the spread of smart phones and the pervasiveness of social media, there is no “unplugging.” The ability to upload perhaps hundreds of photos, so friends and family can follow along, have increased demand for good wi-fi and there is no denying the need.

Sometimes, to solve a problem, you just need patience, and to let technology catch up with your needs.  We get our Internet via DSL from our local telephone company.  For years, every Spring, we’d call TelAlaska, and talk to them about what we might be able to do to strengthen our wi-fi signal for our customers.  Finally, in 2012, a solution! Whoo Hoo!!!!

In several locations around the property you may notice small white “mouse” like looking devices,  on the buildings.  These are the relay devices.  It was an expensive investment.

As we near the end of the first year of the new hi-speed, property wide, wi-fi, I’m struck with a complete sense of joy and peace.  In the year since we’ve had this wi-fi network, there has been one time that the router needed resetting.  The only other question or problem we ever had with it has simply been folks needing the password.

In a world where our money is often spent on disappointing experiences, it’s so nice to say this was a worthy investment, worth every penny! Thank you to the Universe, and TelAlaska for a great solution! Guests can enjoy wi-fi anywhere at Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, LLC, Waterfront Lodging & Retreat Center!

Thank you Dear Reader,
With Great Love, Namaste’
❤ LAMP ❤

P.S. I welcome your comments and questions!

Spring’s Struggle with Old Man Winter

April 6, 2013

April 6, 2013

April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013

Our days are growing longer by almost 6 minutes a day and we’re close approaching that time of year in Alaska, when it’s light out when we get up, light out when we go to bed, and light most of the time we’re sleeping. The long days of sunshine warm the ground. These are the predictable aspects of spring. The atmosphere that wraps around the Planet Earth, and results in the weather, is as unpredictable as the wildest tiger! Mother Nature is whimsical or has become more whimsical as the years have passed, I’m not sure.

Everyone seems to agree that the groundhog, who predicted an early spring, was badly mistaken this year. Although the Seward Highway is remarkably clear of pack ice, road damage and frost heaves are more plentiful this year. The seemingly constant snow is melting off the highway quickly, and long days make a round trip to Anchorage easily possible. Time to start stocking up for summer! Just a short month till our summer staff arrives!

Thank you Dear Reader,
With Great Love, Namaste’
❤ LAMP ❤

P.S. I welcome your comments and questions!

Happy Easter from Resurrection Bay!

Easter 2013 Resurrection Bay

Easter 2013 Resurrection Bay

What a glorious Easter Day it has been here in Seward, Alaska!

The sun came out and warmed us up, gracing us with temperatures in the low 40s. After a drive out Exit Glacier way, the sun had warmed the ice bed, and Lowell Point Road was a slow ride home.

Seems like everyone was out enjoying this beautiful day!

Hope your Easter was filled with much love!

Thank you Dear Reader, Namaste’, ❤ LAMP ❤

 

Spring IS coming, even it doesn’t look like it!

A few weeks ago we were blessed with temperatures in the 40s, and dry pavement on the highway; for the past week however, it’s done little other than snow or rain! Lynda has spent Good Friday working from home ~ although they plowed the roads on Lowell Point, the plow company for Angels Rest won’t get to us till late today, and the snow is too deep and heavy to try to trudge through to get to the office! Thank goodness for all the great technology we are graced with! It makes working from home easy! Easter weekend is always a slow weekend for lodging, and at this point the lack of plowing won’t cause any concern.

Spring is surely on the way though! There have been reports of Black bears, and a moose with calf; two days ago we saw a coyote on the north end of Lowell Point, and rabbit tracks in the Heron Roost parking area…..so the critters are a stirring!

Thank you to Paul for planting some bulbs in the greenhouse last fall! The photo in this post is one of the flowers from our greenhouse.

Come on Spring! We’re more than ready!!

Till next time, thank you dear reader! Namaste’
LAMP

P.s. I always welcome your comments and questions!

 

Welcoming 2013 with a fresh look and expanded direction!

Sunrise over the Mountains

We’re excited to share this wonderful part of Alaska with our customers and are looking to the 2013 tourism season with great excitement.  Although the Gathering House was used by several families in 2012, this year will mark its first use by several groups reserving the entire property.  We had a wonderful group of ladies this past February, participating in a Quilt Retreat, and this September we’re having a small wedding!

The Gathering House is a wonderful addition to our property and offering. We’ll dedicate a whole post to it, with photos, soon. 🙂 We’re hoping to expand our retreat business and are even considering sponsoring our own retreats for those interested in Conscious Evolution, a trending and very timely movement.

We’re going to be dedicating more time to writing, and are hoping to post numerous articles that will be of interest to our guests. In light of our fresh outlook, we’ve chosen a new theme which we hope you enjoy.

Last fall we were blessed to find, and excited to hire, a year round employee.  Carmen, our Head Housekeeper, was born in Alaska, and has lived in Seward much of her life. Although we have participated in J-1 Student Exchange programs in the past, we are extremely excited to have found a second, seasonal employee in Mallory, a student in college in Idaho.  She will join our Angels Rest Team, for most of the summer.

Till next time, thank you for your time!

Namaste’ Dear Reader,

❤ LAMP ❤

I welcome your comments and questions!