Tuesday - May 20, 2003 - Anchorage - Talkeetna
We had breakfast at the buffet provided by Hawthorne Suites. They had cereal, pastries, donuts, and make your own waffles. We tried the waffles, but weren't very successful, as they stuck to the waffle iron.
We started out heading for the Kenai Peninsula and planned on seeing Whittier and maybe over to Homer. We encountered road work and a long stoppage about 20 miles into the trip and I lost patience. We turned around and headed for Talkeetna.
The trip to Talkeetna was pleasant. Alaskans seemed to me to be very law abiding and courteous drivers. Could be that I've been in Arizona to long and expect everyone to run 10 miles an hour over limit while cutting everyone else off.
We exited the forested roadway just above Talkeetna and were rewarded with a great view of Mount McKinley. We stopped at an overlook to enjoy the view and get oriented. While we there a young man came by and left some brochures advertising flight seeing to Mount McKinley. I offered Kathy the opportunity to take a flight, but see decided that she didn't need a small plane ride to experience the beauty of the area. Interestingly another person stopped at the overlook told us he had a flight scheduled with the company on the brochure scheduled to take off in an hour. I tried to get some decent photos of McKinley. We were blessed with clear weather, just some high clouds and were able to make out the summit of the McKinley. Unfortunately the exposure I used didn't capture what we actually saw.
Talkeetna ends up being a very small village surrounded by airfields, rivers, forests, and mountains. We stopped by one art gallery and I purchased a nice, but small, panoramic photograph of Mount McKinley by Harry Woods. We talked with he and his wife and found that they stay in Talkeetna during the tourist season and then explore the world in their off season.
On the way back to Anchorage we took a side excursion to Big Lake and had our closest encounter with Moose, unfortunately a kid on an ATV came roaring up the road and spooked them before I could get a photo.
We found a decent restaurant on the way back to the hotel and had a nice dinner. We watched Gangs Of New York on pay for view and retired early as always.
Wednesday - May 21, 2003 - Anchorage to Seattle
We had a late flight out of Anchorage to Seattle and so we had some time for last minute shopping and a trip to the Anchorage Zoo. I got my good picture of a Brown Bear.
We didn't fly out of Anchorage until 21:30, but there was still enough daylight to snap a final picture.
Thursday - May 22, 2003 - Seattle
We arrived at the Seattle Radisson Airport about 0200. Our room, booked through Priceline was certainly worth what we paid for it. We never left the hotel. We ate a couple of meals at their restaurant and stayed in our room watching movies. It was a heck of way to spend our 39th anniversary, but to be honest we were beat
Friday - May 23, 2003 - Seattle to Phoenix
The Terrorism Alert had increased to Orange Level during our trip and we encountered long lines at the security point in SeaTac. Our flight to Phoenix was uneventful and we ended our trip.
It has taken over 2 months to write this review and some of the memories have unfortunately dimmed. I'm left with a desire to do it again, to see different things next time and to spend a lot more time in Alaska before embarking on a cruise home. We put our deposit down on a future cruise while we aboard the Sun Princess. When we decide to go back to Alaska we'll book on the Sun Princess again if she's sailing that route. We were absolutely satisfied in every way with the ship, its staff, and our itinerary.
I've took 573 pictures on this trip. I would have taken more if I'd more digital storage. The Photo Department on the Sun Princess gave me an estimate of $50 to download 2 of my cards to CD. I just wasn't willing to spend that much and didn't want to risk my images on someone else's CD.
I hope anyone who reads this review finds some useful information in it. email@example.comJuly 2003