Sunday, July 27, 2014

Adventures in Alaska: Day One: Anchorage

After many many months of my mothers hard work at planing this epic journey, our departure finally arrived.  Despite not working,  I had an impressively busy week that forced me to schedule time just to pack and run errands. On Saturday, I packed up Marcy for her stay-cation with my second family.  I know that my friends will take good care of my pup, but I still felt incredibly guilty.  After she seemed settled,  I headed over to my parents house to spend the night there.  With the flight scheduled for 6am, it was easier to sleep there and travel together than rush across the Capital District in the morning.

We got to the airport around 4:45 and encountered a line much longer than we expected.  The security line rivaled Presidents week travels, which was also a surprise.  Thankfully we had given ourselves plenty of time and after a quick stop at McDonalds we were in line to board our flight to Chicago.  I had the great luck to have one of my adorable students sitting directly in front of me with her family as they traveled for vacation.  It was nice to see her, and nice to chat with her mom. It certainly made the flight go by quicker. 

I travel a lot and have traveled some far distances, but this flight seemed to be the longest of all.  The airplane was retro and only had communal TVs - which aired Captain America ( not something I was interested in watching) so I read, played games on my phone, and slept for small bursts of time. Eventually we found ourselves in Anchorage and ready to rock.

After retrieving our luggage, taxi-ing to our hotel (my luggage getting left behind in said taxi), checking in, freaking out, finding my luggage, eating lunch, and two room changes we had our keys and the option of taking a nap.
View from room at about 2:30pm 
My Mom took the option of napping, but my Dad and I decided to go explore downtown Anchorage.  We wandered towards the inlet and found a nice park (Elderberry) and a bike path that followed the coast, we could also see the Thunderbirds zooming around for an airshow, so we decided to walk in that direction, so we could also watch the jets.  Both my father and I are big fans of the Thunderbirds/Blue Angels etc.

view of Cook inlet

There are 6 Thunderbirds in this photo if you think you can spot them.
Our walk along the inlet led us to the Alaska Railroad Building and a small park. We climbed the stairs and found that there was a market in progress.  There were a few fresh produce stalls, but mostly crafts, photographs and jewelry.

We meandered through and began to make our way back to the hotel, along the way we discovered Glacier Brewhouse and decided to pop in for a few beers.  I very much enjoyed the Strawberry Cream Ale.  I foresee myself being on a mission to find something similar closer to home.  As we kept our momentum going,  the exhaustion that was eventual hadn't yet sunk in until we sat down for dinner at Orso.  

The service was slow.  It took over 15 minutes until a server came over and then we waited for over an hour and fifteen minutes for our food to arrive.  Had our next activity not been to sleep until morning, maybe we would have enjoyed the slow dining experience.  However, the dream of sleep was with in reach and was painfully delayed by dinner.  If the food was incredible, I think I would have been able to forgive the service, but the food was just okay with my vegetable not even cooked. 

Despite dinner being a bust, the rest of the day was a huge success, by 10pm we finally call it a night. 

View from the room at 9:30pm 

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