Amid the skiing, sledding, snowmachining and skating of an Alaska winter, we sometimes need a warmup. No, not the kind of warmup that turns the streets to slush or makes Frosty the Snowman look like something out of the last 15 minutes of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” just a little internal warmth to keep toasty in the depths of frozen fun.
If you've had enough of shoveling, don't want to brush off the car or just need a pick-me-up after a little too much time outside, these ideas will have you toasty in no time.
When I've spent enough time skiing or skating to get that first tingle in the toes, I head inside for a quick warmup. Heat isn't just about temperature; sometimes spice is just the thing to shake the chills. My taste knows no season, but a Spicy Chocolate Mocha from Modern Dwellers is my winter weapon of choice. This chocolaty blast of caffeine contains just a hint of heat. It usually does the trick and has me back outside in no time.
Send winter blahs sliding with a wild, watery ride. H2Oasis isn't just the state's only indoor water park; it's an unofficial summer outpost. Dream of big surf in the wave pool, feel the thrill of a splashdown at the end of the water slides, or just kick back on an inner tube in the lazy river and dream of warm summer climes. You’ll feel like a kid again and leave with your batteries recharged.
I don't know about you, but I have one of those little gas fireplaces at home. On really cold days, it seems strictly ornamental. When I need a crackling, roaring fire, I seek out something with a little more oomph. There are a couple spots with fantastic fireplaces. Angle for a table near the center of the dining room at Glacier BrewHouse and you'll get a toasty seat near a massive fireplace in addition to a hearty meal. What would alpine skiing be without a little après roasting? Curl up in one of the comfy chairs next to the hearth at Alyeska Resort and plot your next run in comfort.
When I need to use the word “zippy” in a context other than describing my icy driveway, I head for Bombay Deluxe. The modest Indian restaurant has excellent chicken and lamb dishes and plenty of vegetarian items, too. Whatever you choose, order it “hot.” There are few adjectives that adequately summarize the intense heat of Chicken Tikka Masala. It comes with just enough creamy tomato sauce to keep you from diving tongue-first into a nearby snowbank in search of relief.
Don't let low temps lay you low or allow the blues color your season. Winter warmth comes in many forms.
By Jack Bonney, Visit Anchorage, for Coast Magazine, January 2012 issue.