From August 17th-19th, Sergio and I ventured off to Anchorage, Alaska. It was both our first time traveling to Alaska and the only reason why we did so, was because the flights were dirt cheap! I personally wanted to take the cruise there but the cost and time off work hindered me. Regardless, Alaska was a nice getaway!
|Catch us on the next episode of Border Security!|
|Arrived in Ted Stevens International Airport and was instantly greeted by a moose!|
We flew Seattle since Alaska was considered domestic and it was cheaper. Round trip from YVR would have been $550-$600! For that amount of money, I would rather visit Montreal or something.
|Spenard Hostel International|
Our cab driver recommended Gwennie’s to us and it’s amazeballs. The portions were huuuuuge (America, you guys know how to eat!) and relatively cheap as well. The staff was a bit of a drag, but… eh.
|Above: Fisherman’s Platter for dinner. Below: Breakfast at Gwennie’s|
We headed to Downtown Anchorage aaaand it was interesting…
Being a tourist town, literally all of downtown was souvenir stores. They easily have 3 in one block, and franchises across the district. In Vancouver, we have a street of souvenir stores in Gastown and the occasional ones in Downtown, but not an entire district filled with them! And, of course, they sold pretty much all the same stuff.
We stopped into a mall which proves itself to be a bit funny. Typical American mall, the food was a bit funny:
From YouTube videos, I figured Americans called “bubble tea”, boba tea. Which makes sense because “boba” is like the Cantonese version of pearls or something. The drink was horrible but it was dirt cheap compared to the ones in Vancouver.
Whenever I travel to a new place, I usually buy a little stuffed animal from that city. Since I was in Alaska, I figured the polar bear stuffie would be suitable!
The next day proved itself to be so much better (the rain cleared up and sun was out!). During breakfast, we were a bit disappointed to learn how just how far all the major tourist activities were from Anchorage! Activities such as hiking a mountain or glaciers or even fishing! If the price wasn’t ridiculously expensive, it was the fact that the cities and destinations were 4-6 hours drive from Anchorage. I wish we knew that before so we could’ve rented a car and plan ahead.
Here’s the thing about Alaska: it’s rich with First Nations history, just like Canada is. There is a stereotype of Natives drinking alcohol excessively and I’ve never seen it first hand until now. I’ve seen Natives drunk at 11AM in the morning. At 5PM, a group of drunks were throwing beer cans at the bus and the driver! It’s ridiculous.
We checked out the Museum of Anchorage. It was nice but as someone that studied First Nations, majority of the exhibits weren’t entertaining and informing. #historygeekproblems
After the museum, we rented bikes to bike to Kincaid Park which was beautiful! The bike ride itself was brutal at some stages but for view was spectacular. We were literally on the edge of Alaska!
|A panoramic view of the edge of Alaska. We were on a cliff and directly above the ocean|
|We even saw a moose! We’ve never seen a Canadian moose but at least we saw an American moose, haha.|
|The bike trial has a planet information board thing-y and being the
childish adults that we are, we decided to take selfies with Uranus.
After the bike ride, we decided to try reindeer meat, a classic in Alaska.
It’s not bad but I would prefer my regular beef/chicken wieners.
At one point of our trip, we came across the store that sold Russian items with a large cut out of Sarah Palin pointing somewhere and the quote “I can see Russia from here!”. The store was blasting with Russian music and it was slightly uncomfortable and disturbing to walk past that store.
|Beef avocado taco… mmm….|
We also discovered the state of Alaska has no taxes! I thought it was only Portland that didn’t have any tax but hallelujah, Canadians got another state to venture off to for no taxes! Granted, Portland is much more convenient for us.
Our last day spent in Alaska was split. We decided to check out the University of Alaska (and grabbed some tees from the bookstore) before flying back to Seattle again.
It was Sergio’s first time in Seattle so for the first time in my life, I checked out the Space Needle.
Typical Seattle stuff consist of shopping, clam chowder and Pike Market. I usually choose to skip the tourist-y stuff because Seattle is so similar to Vancouver and it’s so closeby, I don’t really feel like I’m leaving home.
|The King and I roll from O’hana Sushi in Seattle|
|At our hostel, City Hostel Seattle! A bit far from the metro and downtown but amazing staff and rooms!|
I get to cross Alaska off my bucket list! Although we didn’t do what Alaska is famous for, I’m still glad we got to check it out. If I decide to go back there again, it’s either by cruise or I’m planning ahead and renting cars!
Alaska was a nice city, with friendly people for the most part. If you can look past the drunks and how limited entertainment the city offers, it’s not a bad place to live, haha.
Right now, I’m getting my passport renewed aaaand saving for a two- weeks trip to New Zealand in February 2016! Gotta check out the country before I move there, right? I’m super thrilled and was told I’d definitely fall in love with that Auckland and Wellington.