Friday, June 10, 2011


Well...we are HERE. Seems like a nice city...we walked nearly all of it today I think. Jeannie is up taking a nap (we got in quite late/early and it's been a busy day). We WERE going to get a rental car for the day, but the lowly $40 compact turns into nearly $100 after all the fees and no (AND we had to pay to park it here at the hotel too). I figure the walking is good for us anyway....even though I'm paying for my food thus far, I've already put my tapeworm on notice that he'd best be on his "A" game. Breakfast was a Belgian waffle, slathered with strawberries, whip creme AND real maple syrup....MMMMMMMM! Man was that tasty! I licked my plate when nobody was looking.

By the time I was done with Breakfast Jeannie was ready, and we started our walking tour of the city. We found an awesome place for Lunch,,.Simon and's a HIGHLY rated seafood place right on the water (Cook Inlet). Just beautiful views looking south (I think)...everywhere you look is mountains still snow-covered. The city is green and it was pretty nice walking. I had their fresh cod fish n chips, and I have to tell you, I've had a LOT of fish n chips in my life (I've spend some time in England/Scotland), and had it all over the country, and THIS was the absolute hands-down best ever! The fish was almost creamy it was so good....not a HINT of fishy taste (which you get in England a lot...whether it's older fish, or not well cleaned, whatever). It was so good I'm glad I got a picture!
OK...I had rotated the picture with Photoshop (my laptop) before I loaded it onto the USB thumb drive to load via the public lobby hotel pc...and it's still sideways...I don't get it. I'll have to have Jeannie STOP taking pictures the long way..something deep in the code that I can't find to fix. Anyway, THIS is what the best fish and chips looks like! And a tasty draft Alaskan Amber beer (it's international law that you MUST have beer with Fish n chips).
After lunch we wandered around more and found the Anchorage Museum. Pretty awesome place. They have so many displays of how life has been here for many hundreds (thousands?) of years. Looking at the weapons used to hunt/kill sea otters,seals,walrus and whales, I can't imagine how the average life span wasn't something like 18 years old. Even the arrows...hand-carved tips of bone or ivory...same for the harpoons (all sizes...from sea otter to whale). And their littel skin-covered kayaks (can't spell the real Alaskan name) ocean stuff....and apparently the did lose a fair amount at sea.

And they have a special exhibit wing open right now: Mastadons and Mammoths...(who knew that they ARE NOT predecessors to the elephants of today? They are all three distinct species....they came off the same family tree and branched out seperatly and went from there). The mastadons have the long tusks that had a curve but not a crazy one...and the mammoths have the super-curvy tusks...and who knew this: the Pygmy mammoth lived in the Califorina Channel Islands! I was stationed on one of them and had never heard that! They were on Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and one more I can't said they probably swam out and then stayed....they are little mammoths...a bit smaller than elephants of today. How cool! And that Wooly Mammoths we always think of them being in cold and snow, but in fact they were all over the place. It's just that the cold places preserved the bodies much more often so that's where we find them usually....the warmer places they just decayed away.

Here is Jeannie with a Columbian Mastadon life-size reproduction:
That thing is even MORE impressive when you are standing next to it...those tusks must be 10 feet long. Gosh what a beast!

And here's me with a Glacier Bear (some relation to Kodiaks of now I believe)

Again, Jeannie took the pic w/ the camera sideways...anyway, I'm doing my best Glacier Bear impression...scary face and all.

After the museum we walked another 97 miles or so and FINALLY found a grocery store (we were wondering if they eat FOOD up here). Jeannie needed a few things, and we also found a liquor store...she wanted to smuggle some Irish Creme onboard (if that is possible...I hear they x-ray your luggage looking for booze). We got 2 small bottles, I plan to put them in our coat pockets and see if we make it...they're for 'FUN COFFEE' in the mornings...vacation coffee I call it.

Well...I guess I'll go walk around some more, see what kind of trouble I can get into while Jeannie naps before dinner...I'm not much on nappin'. I did see bike rental places, but now it's after 5pm...I figure I could cover a lot of area...but oh well..too late now. I suspect tomorrow morning will be a quiet one, as we catch the shuttle to Whittier at 12:30 pm right here at the hotel. The shuttle stops at some wildlife preserve and one other stop on the we have more fun on the way.

And I have no idea what we will do for dinner...but I already have tomorrow's breakfast planned out...we got a gift coupon for the hotel, and they have King Crab Eggs Benedict....I've been drooling over that since I spied it this morning...(it was a bit pricey, but we just got the coupon this afternoon so it's now in my sights).

Signing off for now...(however I can always just edit the post and put in more pics n stuff, so be sure to check the bottom now and then if I don't do a full new post).

Later gaters!

UPDATE Fri 9:10pm
Just got back from was a GRAND time. WE went to a microbrewery...Glacier Brewers. I had TWO Beers (a LOT for  me)...the first was the house CASK conditioned was an IPA.....VERY tasty! (I'm a beer guy). Then with dinner I had the regular IPA (a bit colder, not quite so 'smooth' or creamy...but veyr good nevertheless). Here's me with my IPA and a fire-baked pizza:
While there (we were at the bar, as there was over an HOUR wait for a table) we had 3 different sets of people at our table.The first couple was nice, but kind'a to themselves. The next was 2 ladies who will be on our cruise...we will have to say hi if we see them again. The next 2 were a couple of guys...Herb and Phil...we had a BLAST! I can't believe I didn't get our picture with them...we chatted for over an hour...

Just outside the restaurant was a horse-drawn carriage. Jeannie is a HORSE Girl from the get-go. She immediatly swooped upon the horse...he was very calm....I'm sure shewould bring him home if she could. His name is Bob.

She appears to like Bob. And he seemed very taken by Jeannie too. Should I be jealous?
After dinner we wandered back to the hotel...and I saw THIS in a shop:
It's a fake stuffed moose. His name is Rob. (I just named him). You don't think Jeannie would notice it if I bring Rob home, do you? He would only cost like a THOUSAND dollars! I could put him in our living room. He would be TOTALLY inconspicuous I think. And he doesn't shed or need a vet. EVER. I think Rob would be the perfect house-companion. Except he doesn't snuggle too well. Kind'a a bed-hog I bet. Like Sydney would put up with THAT.\'s almost 9:30 somehow! And it's still QUITE light out! I forgot that part. It doesn't really get very dark here in the summer. When we flew in last night, as the plane was slowly descending to land, we were on the lef tside of the plane (as you walk towards the back)...which would be the NORTH side as it was flying. Anyway...there was a total cloud coverage, and the moon was out and it was quite light out anyway...kind'a about what we get a half-hour after sunset. And to the north was a huge peak sticking up out of the clouds. Mt Mckinley. All by its-self...I've seen it before, a lifetime ago in a few of my trips thru Anchorage. So lonely. Anyway...tonight is no exception to the light at night thing. We have to close the curtains to sleep, as it looks like it's about 2pm right now. BONUS if you are an outdoor'sey person. When I was stationed in Adak Alaska ages ago,  we'd be fishing after work and next thing you know it was midnight...still quite light. I really loved that part of Alaska. Land of the midnight sun.

OK..enough on this update...tomorrow we head south to catch the ship.

Signing off.

UPDATE Saturday morning
It's a casual morning...I just came back from breakfast and copious amounts of coffee. King Crab Benedict...
It was as tasty as it looks. Sheesh...I'm not even on the ship yet and I'm living the high life! Thankfully we had a coupon for $5 off...that made it about the same price as yesterday's belgian waffle.

I don't see much else on the agenda for this morning...need to repack the bags. Apparently we have special luggage tags, and I need to move one of the bottles of wine into a different suitcase (you are allowed ONE bottle for each person, but the bottle must be in a bag tagged to that person). Details, details, details. I figure our formal clothes have now been packed since Wednesday evening...I pack pretty carefully but most likely we will look like we slept in them. Maybe I can hang them in the shower and blaze it on super-hot for a few minutes...give them a good steaming.

Okey-dokey. I've peeked in at the baby-cams...same the same. No evidence whatsoever of a big dobbie-poker game...maybe they play at NIGHT when I'm not looking? That's still a possiblity. I will have to get an IR cam (InfraRed)...they have IR emitters that let the camera see in the dark, without actually flooding the room with visible light (we have some of those at work...pretty cool!). I wonder if dogs can see in the IR wavelength? If so, they would be pretty annoyed with them....I'll have to research this. Have a GREAT DAY!

1 comment:

  1. Well, Matt, I've gotta say that *I'M* already enjoying your vacation! Love all the pics of the food LOL. The great museum pics of you and Jeannie with the huge mammals are classic too :) I feel like I'm right there with ya (except that we had peanut butter sandwiches for dinner). I'm living vicariously......keep it coming!