I am going to format my recent trip to Alaska a little different then normal. Instead of writing by topic, I am going to write out whatever the hell I want in chronological order. There will probably be some sort of topical relation in the post, but essentially it is going to be a day-by-day take on what I did, saw, stayed and ate. On a personal note, I am sort of getting away from travel blogs. I comment less because I am caring less. Everything is sponsored these days, which is just annoying and I am getting more into reading personal lifestyle blogs, which is kind of hilarious as I have neither a life nor style. ANYWAY.
So yeah, if I forgot to tell you, I went to Alaska for my summer vacation this year. It was sort of a last minute thing as I wasn’t sure I would be able to afford it, with the dog and all but around May I started getting depressed that I wasn’t going to do anything this summer, so I booked another G Adventures tour to Alaska, as I wanted to keep it local and on the cheaper-ish end side. Yeah, cheap did not end up working out too well, but at least I stayed semi-local (didn’t have to worry about being international and only one time zone and flight away). I wanted to be lazy for this trip. I wanted someone else to take care of the details. I didn’t want to have to be aware of everything all the time. And this trip was perfect for that.
After I booked my tour, I knew I wanted to essentially arrive and leave as close as I could, no dicking around for extra days in the area, just in case someone went wrong, like I did last year in Peru when by the end, all I wanted to do was come home. I found a decently priced flight on Alaska immediately for the exact days and times I wanted, so I bought it only to find out the following week that the exact same flight went down in price by $20!! GAH!!! Not the end of the world and since I bought it directly from Alaska, I qualified for a voucher refund, which I processed, so now I have $20 to spend on Alaska or American in the next year, if I spend it at all. Oh well! Just a little annoying, but it could have been worse.
Since I left during rush hour on a Friday, my parents dropped the dog off with me first at boarding and then dropped me off at the FlyAway bus because they didn’t want to drive me all the way to the airport, which I was fine with. As long as they picked me up, as my flight back was arriving around 6am. Kill me now! Bus was fine and I had to check luggage for my one-time-a-year. On the Alaska website, it says that if you have an AAdvantage credit card, you can check one piece of luggage for free and since I knew the check in counter would have no idea about this, I brought a print out of the website, but thankfully I talked the guy into it and checked my large bag for free! I noticed the tag he attached had the code MTF and I was like, wait, that doesn’t look right. I check the boarding pass he gave to me (without even checking my ID! Love that LAX security) and see that it was not my name. I tell him and he apologizes profusely as that is the person in front of me’s information, it was printed twice. THANKGOD I always know my destination airport code (ANC) and I checked my ticket before leaving the counter. Lesson of the day!! Security was a bit of a clusterfuck, but what else is new. I had plenty of time to go and grab food, but who knew a baked potato would take nearly 30 minutes to cook! T6 just went through some changes and now there are charging stations at every seat, which is great, so I sat and charged my phone and ate my dinner before boarding. Since all I had for bags was something that would fit under my seat, I was in no rush to board, what’s the point? I waited until last call and finally boarded only to find someone who only spoke Spanish in my seat. She kept yapping away and I was like, Yeah, I don’t understand you, you can shut up now, thanks. I roll my eyes, knowing she is wrong and I go back to find an attendant and tell her the situation and the attendant rolls her eyes and says, Yeah, I told her 11F, NOT 11A. I say, no worries and we cause a huge jam up in the aisle, but hey, not my fault. The thing I like least about this whole situation is that someone has been sitting in my seat, keeping it warm and unlike the general population, planes are ALWAYS too hot for me and the last thing I want is to sit in someones warmed seat. Gross. But everything the works out.
The flight is fine as it’s an 8pm-1am flight and almost everyone sleeps EXCEPT for the person in the aisle in my row, who keeps his light on the whole time. At least it wasn’t behind me, but it was still annoying as hell. Why do I always end up in that row? Same thing happened on my 10000 hour flight to New Zealand 5 years ago. We land, it’s nice and cold, my bag comes out and I go out to find the taxi line to take me to my hostel.
Originally, I was just going to crash at the airport. I didn’t want to pay $150-$200 for a hotel room for one night and since it was peak season and I waited until like 2 days before I left to realize this, all the hostels were booked. But I finally found the Spenard Hostel nd booked a bed to crash in for like 7 hours. I’d just have to suck up sharing a room for a few hours, I knew it wouldn’t kill me, plus it was close to the airport. What’s the worst that could happen? The taxi line, or lack there of at ANC is a clusterfuck. There is no order and everyone just runs for the first one, so don’t stress. Everyone will get one eventually. I chatted it up with a pilot for DHL in line, who asked me if I was headed downtown (I was not) because I think he would have given me a lift if I was. That would have been awesome as that is how my sister gets into NYC every time we visit. Anyway, I finally get a cab, chat with the driver and make it to my hostel in record time.
The place is really quiet and there is a note for me and I find my room and the light it still on. I hit the jackpot! There are two sets of bunks, but there are completely empty except for one made up bed for me!!! $25 and I get the whole room to myself. SCORE!!!!!!!! I dress for bed and snuggle in for a cozy, quiet night sleep.