25 July 2008

July 04 - Anchorage, AK - homeward bound

A little (actually big - 20 ft long?/6 meters?) piece of driftwood. This is what Alaska feels like to me: a little sparse and a little lonely. Perfectly representing my view of the entire state.

- going home, eventually!
- eat at hotel (granola and oatmeal), check out, and store stuff with them
- walk down to the parade grounds for an 11:30 parade that doesn't get started until 11:50, nothing like starting on time ... of course, spectators were still arriving at noon, so maybe we just don't get Alaska time yet
- one guy pulled a little caribou along.
- lots of vet floats (let's hear it for our protector's, doing the job that's demanded of them), Fire Dept, older Alcan and military vehicles, antique cars, and lots of dogs with the spectator's (two boxers almost got into it)
- we keep thinking the parade is over, and then the floats or the bands show up
- man do people have big families here ... I bet I know what they do all winter
- after the parade breaks up, we head into the park grounds where every Alaskan seems to have turned out to celebrate
- we've never seen so many dogs in one area
- what an unusual gathering: so many pregnant women, so many chunky kids, so many kids with a mouth full of silver (I guess those kind of go hand in hand), so many dogs, and so many dad's taking a large share of the kid watching
- how many verses are there to the "Star Spangled Banner?" because I think this singer is up to four so far
- we get a veggie gyro and chips for me, and supreme gyro, reindeer sausage, and chips for BH from the vendor's ... they got mobbed and will be exhausted tonight
- we walk down to the north side of the city to a little creek
- AK is very determined to protect its water, and therefore its salmon, it is rather interesting the you can fish in the streams and creeks surrounding downtown Anchorge, I don't think I'd stick a big toe in any Houston creek/bayou water, much less eat something out of it
- we stop in at "The Ulu Factory" to peruse their collection of crap, and listen in on this loud cell conversation a woman is having with a friend back home in Minnesota ... and we get a really good idea of what the cruise industry's target customer looks and thinks like ... it ain't pretty, and it ain't us
- We stop off for a rest at the Hilton lobby, BH has tired feet and needs to rest indoors, apparently ... none of the outdoor benches are good enough (maybe he's afraid of drunkard/homeless urine and cooties)
- Four o'clock in the afternoon, two hours until dinner and seven hours until takeoff ... the wait is beginning
- from a sign we saw, Carnival has begun confiscating ulus from passengers, and NOT returning this common Alaskan tourist purchase
- Found a raven carving we both like after days and miles of searching, the last shop we were going to stop in, and there it was ... it was carved in 1-2K year old Walrus jaw bone
- back to Ginger for dinner where they made me special yellow tofu curry, delicious, we are so surprised that we haven't seen any recommendations for this restaurant, it is easily the best menu we've looked at in the entire city (downtown walking, anyway)
- mammoth ivory, sea cow, and moose antler? beads, two carved raven heads in???
- walk back to hotel, just missed shuttle and told that the next is thirty minutes away, BH gets a little antsy, if he and his father can't cool their heels in an airport for as least 2.5 hours, they've left too late ... I'm more of a, as-long-as-I'm-there-an-hour-before-takeoff type

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