Our Anniversary in Anchorage

Anchorage Travel Blog

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This was our 31st anniversary. We ate breakfast in the hotel and were picked up at 9:00 for the "City Tour" that was a part of our package. Our driver/guide, Kris, is an elementary teacher working for Princess in the summer. Her husband, also a teacher, does the same. That seems to be a pretty standard combination of careers up here. Kris drove us up and down various streets of the city, then out to the brand new Alaskan Native Heritage Center. It's only a month old. This is a great place with displays and presentations from the various tribes. Some were doing handiwork. They had outside exhibits depicting the way of life for each of the peoples. Great place.

Drove to Lake Spenard and Lake Hood to see a very busy seaplane operation. Lake Hood has a control tower!! We stopped at a place called "the bluff" for some pictures of Anchorage.

We were then scheduled to see the Earthquake Park but mosquitoes were reported severe so we skipped it. Having been dropped back at the hotel, we walked up Fourth Avenue where we shopped for the kids and I finally bought the film I needed. Ate in the "Glacier Brewhouse". Good food and great beer!

Dropped the stuff in the room, picked up the binoculars, and headed for the lobby to be picked up by ERA Aviation for the "Nostalgic DC-3 Flight". At ERA, the girls were dressed in 40's stewardess garb, including white gloves and seamed stockings. Casablanca was playing on the VCR. (OK, they had few TV's and no VCR's in those days, but let's be a little flexible!) There were only 7 passengers on the plane and 28 seats. Lin and I took cross-windows in the last row. Wendy, the stewardess, sat behind me.

She was absolutely fantastic. She obviously loves her job and really played it up. We made a left downwind departure from runway 24R and headed down the Turnagain Arm for Whittier and Prince William Sound. Flew over College Fjord for a very different perspective that we'd had 2 days earlier. The pilot did a great job, turning the plane so everyone got a good view of the key sights. We were totally free to move around, including into the cockpit so it was a rather unique experience. Wendy served champagne (in stemware), smoked salmon, cheese, crackers, etc. Wendy was very liberal with the champagne and, when she learned it was our anniversary, gave us a bottle to take with us! Wendy passed out original Look and Life magazines from the 40's as "in-flight reading materials"! There was 40's music playing and, as we were leaving and returning to Anchorage, Wendy read us the "news" except it was from the 40's.
The flight was about 90 minutes long and was a great experience. Worth every penny.

Back at the hotel, I looked for the zillionth time at a bronze sculpture called "Tip Toes" at Boreal Traditions, a shop in the hotel. "Tip Toes" is a limited edition bronze created my the team of Mary and Jacques Regat. I'd fallen in love with this masterpiece at a little shop in Ketchican and saw it again in shops in Juneau and Skagway. To me, it's absolutely magnificent - a dolphin balanced on the tip of a wave. I desperately wanted the piece but walked away again. There's just no logical justification for such a purchase. We dropped our stuff in the room, went back and, throwing caution to the wind, bought Tiptoes from Jon Lindsay, proprietor of Boreal.

John mentioned that the Regats live in Anchorage and are often in the store. I said it's be a thrill to meet them so he said he'd call and ask them to immediately bring him another Tip Toes and maybe we'd luck out. He suggested we have dinner at the Snowgoose on Third Ave. and check with him later. We had a nice dinner and, when we got back, checked in with Jon. He said he was happy with our timing since Mary would be there in 5 minutes. We hung around, met her and had our pictures taken with her, Jon and Tip Toes. Neat!

Packed (yet again!) and went to bed.

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photo by: anupa_rk