Sunday, August 01, 2010

Alaska Journal

Ah, the traveling family - we drive, we take a train, take some pictures, take in the sights...and then, when all is said and done at the end of each day away from home, we're all in our reserved-for-the-night beds watching Discovery Channel shows. Last night, it was Dirty Jobs; tonight, it's MythBusters. Now Dan wants to try to light up powdered non-dairy creamer as a direct result. Must keep him away from that stuff - which won't be too much of a problem, as he drinks his coffee black.

Yesterday - a drive and a trek to Exit Glacier, an icy finger on the Kenai Peninsula, where a gray, rainy day still yielded an incredible look at the bluer-than-blue veins in the glacier's receding mass. There was also a sighting of moose poop along the trail.

We went further south to Seward and saw a lot at the aquarium there. However, a large Steller sea lion, some harbor seals, a preserved giant squid, and lots of Arctic waterfowl couldn't quite erase the memory of the terrible all-beef hot dog we'd ordered for the little guy to have for lunch. We should have ordered three reindeer dogs and passed one of those off to him as a beef dog. Just a spectacularly bad food item. That abortive attempt at lunch was remedied by a great dinner at Jack Sprat's in Girdwood on the way back to Anchorage (What I didn't know until later was that this place was also in Girdwood, its claim to New Orleans fame being that Dutch Morial loved the food - but we didn't come to Alaska to eat Cajun cooking). A quick hotel switch after a look at the cost of the Sarah Palin coloring book ($12! Ummm, no thanks) ended our day.

Today - an exit from the new hotel room was accelerated by the fact that there was only decaf coffee available in it. We were headed for an early morning rendezvous with an Alaska Railroad train to Denali National Park. The ride was quite smooth, the conductor's Scots accent was quite strong, and, despite some more gray weather, the sights out the train's windows were well worth the trip.

Where we've ended up is the Denali Princess Lodge, across the way from another Schlock Street that Dan is convinced was imported from a similar strip outside of Yellowstone National Park. Tomorrow is another early morning as we kick off a tour of Denali Park. Dan is incredulous that a hotel like the Denali Princess doesn't have the Travel Channel on its TVs. I hope that the little guy and Dan don't catch cold from being in and out of the hot tubs that are all the way at the other end of the lodge complex. Ahhh, our traveling family...

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