Military Monday- Nina: Anchorage, AK


The Military Monday duty station feature on this blog is designed for us military families to meet our fellow military spouses and also to learn about duty stations across the world.  We all get to (or have to depending on your outlook and particular set of circumstances), move every couple years to different duty stations that are scattered throughout the country and the world.  This feature will allow us the opportunity to explore these different areas of the world before we get there.  If you are interested in being highlighted for this feature, please send me an email.  

Name and blog site:
Nina, Adventures of the K Family

Branch of service:

Where currently stationed:
Fort Richardson, AK

How long have you been there?:
Since 2009

Favorite restaurant in the area:
Simon & Seafort’s in Anchorage downtown has lovely views, and delicious halibut. Sullivan’s Steak House is always a safe bet for good steak and they do have an extensive wine list. Moose’s Tooth pizza selection is absolutely stunning, and pizza lovers do love that place. Even I, a non-pizza-eater, usually find something to munch there.
A real treat is Double Musky in Girdwood, about an hour south of Anchorage. Double Musky has Cajun/New Orleans type menu, wonderful wine selection, and extraordinary service. The restaurant is very popular, and they don’t accept reservations so more than likely table is not available right away. But the wait is definitely worth it.

Previous duty stations:
Ft Lee, Ft Sam Houston.

3 favorite things to do in your current city:
Outdoors activities such as hiking, mountain biking and skiing. Anchorage and neighborhood is full of trails and paths, which makes the area a real paradise for outdoors enthusiasts like us.
Anchorage Museum has often interesting exhibitions, and their restaurant has good lunch selection.
Seeing UAA Seawolves or Alaska Aces’ hockey games – always a blast!

Favorite duty station so far: 
Fort Richardson definitely is a great place to be stationed at. If we could have this particular Army post in Lower 48, it would be perfect! The only negative side of Ft Richardson is the location of Alaska – while AK is part of the US, we are still terribly far from the Lower 48. Traveling to and from Alaska is expensive as well as takes quite a bit time. The nearest Lower 48 city, Seattle, is 2,500 miles away - 3.5 hours by plane!

What is the biggest draw back to where your current duty station?
The distance! Alaska is terribly far away from everything else, and as avid world travelers it has been sometimes a struggle to figure out the flight routes and schedules. It typically takes half day to get anywhere out of Alaska.
Also, the shopping is limited in Alaska; so online shopping becomes very handy, very quickly. The downside is, unfortunately, the shipping – some stores do not ship to Alaska at all, and some stores charge arm and leg for it. Selections in stores vary quite a bit, and for example the Nordstrom’s in downtown Anchorage carries very small shoe and cosmetics departments.
And Alaska truly has four seasons. Summers in Anchorage area mild, temperature around 70’s, although there can be days when the mercury makes it all the way up to the 80’s, and even above. Winter is snowy. Like seriously snowy. And cold. This winter has probably been the worst temperature and snow-wise: we have had a few weeks of subzero temperatures, and shoveling the driveway has become a great, regular workout.

How strong/ or not is the sense of community in the area?
Among the military people the sense of community is strong. Naturally because of we all are “outsiders” here, and Alaska is its own world, completely different from Lower 48. People always told me that Alaska is nothing like the rest of this country, and I used to laugh at them. However, after living here, I can only nod. That is so very true. The life is slower here, people are more into low-key activities, and locals live pretty much according to the seasons. Yes, sometimes it feels like Alaskans hibernate for (dark) winter months! Making friends with locals can sometimes be a bit challenging. To me they don’t seem to be as outgoing and approachable as the folks in the continental US.

What is the overall feel of the community/area/base?
The base is great, and people stationed here are welcoming. However, Alaska is a very black-and-white duty station: you either love it or hate it.  There is only a very little grey area. The local community is more closed, and it may take time an outsider to make friends here. However, being outgoing and getting into activities (also outside the military community) makes a difference and is a great way to meet locals too.

Are there any local festivals you have been to or are planning to attend?
Alaska lives from an event to event! There are events for every reason: summer solstice, winter solstice, Fur Rondy is a weeklong celebration right before Iditarod Sled Dog race starts…. The local ski resort, Alyeska, hosts some kind of event nearly every summer weekend. Up in Fairbanks they have annual ice-carving world championship competitions every year – among other exciting events. 
We have visited quite a few of these events, and Iditarod (sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome) is probably one of our favorites although the summer events are fun too. I will be shooting the Iditarod also this year for my photo agency clients, so we will attend for sure! We are also planning a trip to Fairbanks to see the ice carvings.
{Setting up shrimp pots}
Have you joined any groups on base?
I do some fitness stuff on base as well as am a member in Officers’ Spouses’ Club. 

Who is your hero?
It’s hard to name only one hero since there are so many awesome men and women that I can look at, and say that they are real heroes and special people. However, my husband is naturally the biggest hero in my eyes. I respect him, and admire his dedication to this country and us. He is the one that I can always count on, I know he does always the right thing, no matter what, and most importantly he is always standing by my side.


If you are a military spouse and want be featured for this post, please send me an email at HandlingWithGrace {at}


  1. Sounds like a fun place to be stationed, especially if you're into the outdoors like y'all are! :)

    1. Alaska is an outdoorsy people's paradise. And it truly has been adventure up here!

  2. I really love these posts! It is so great to "see" what other posts/bases are like!

  3. Hi, passing by..:) I love reading all about this..:) Thanks again jamie..:)

  4. So interesting! I live in Hawaii, but was born and raised here and always wondered what military families thought of Hawaii when they were stationed here :) Thanks for doing this wonderful post!

    new follower, please stop on by:

  5. this is such a cool series!!! i really admire anyone who lives in alaska. I'm sure it's for more rural in my mind than it really is but I still gave major props to anyone who actually does live there. such a cool post!

    1. You'd be surprised how rural it actually is. Naturally bigger towns have the regular entertainment and shopping that you can find in small L48 towns. But my job takes me to the rural Alaska frequently, and it is pretty eye-opening to see places where there is no indoor plumbing, people don't even know what the cable tv is, and transportation methods are snowmobiles, 4-wheelers and such...

  6. wow..what an interesting adventure!! you are getting to experience a whole new pictures too!
    thank your husband for his service..(you too!!)

    1. Thank you!
      It has been so much fun up here. Even though I have lived and traveled all over the world from Alaska to Australia, Alaska ranks pretty high on my adventure list.

  7. Nice. My husband was talking about the base in Alaska the other night. I think it might be too cold for me.

    1. It's a bit chilly here, especially in the winter. But on the other hand, you get used to everything....

  8. Before my husband moved from the Coast Guard to the "Big Navy" I had hoped to go to Alaska. I will have to settle for Japan instead!

  9. YAY! Nina is one of my very favorite bloggers and one of the most thoughtful, I might add :) Glad to see her featured here. I sure do miss Alaska!

    1. Thank you Mrs. K! You're my favorite too :)

  10. this is a really great feature what a great way to bring miliary families together!

    thanks so much for visiting my blog.

  11. That was a great blog. Thanks for putting it here


I love to hear your thoughts! XOXO

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