I'm out in the Matanuska Valley, about an hour's drive north of Anchorage. It's a beautiful area. We live on 15 acres of wooded land, with our small house perched on a hillside with a nice view out over the valley.
Right now, we're finally seeing signs of winter giving way to "break up" ... there is hope we'll eventually make it to spring.
I grew up in southern California (left when was 28) - I still have one sister living in Burbank. Too many people down there for me!