The last frontier, revisited.
Also, it's freaking hot here. And really smoky.
But back to Alaska. . .Jessie and I won some stuff in a silent auction to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims. This 3 liter bottle of wine I bought for $65 was so hilarious that night. It became increasingly less so as all the beers I drank for the Red Cross starting playing for Team Hangover rather than Team Euphoria. All of this wine did manage to make it back to LA with me. I've been threatening to have a party all summer, maybe this could be the final straw. . . Jessie's purchase was much more practical - an entry to the Tour of Anchorage, an annual ski race. She saved money on her entry fee AND gets Tour of Anchorage paraphernalia to boot.
Over the course of several days in Anchorage, I spent a significant amount of time biking and running and disc golfing in this awesome park. Fall was definitely in the air and on the ground.
This is the park entry that's just behind Jessie's apartment. Idyllic, no? I asked about the frequency of proposals and chewing gum commercials taking place here. Apparently, smoking pot is a more frequent park pastime than either of the above.
A bonafide leaf flurry!
We ate at Peter's Sushi Spot twice. The first time was on our own before the benefit concert. The next time was when I came back to Anchorage when my uncle had to do some psych evals for the Anchorage Police Department and I spent the day with Jessie. Just before this lunch I made the mistake of agreeing to accompany my uncle on a tempo run in Earthquake Park. We were supposed to run a mile slowly, and then a few miles at 8:30, followed by another slow mile - I think. Well, because of the park conditions, the plan changed a bit and we were running 7:40 miles after a shorter warm up. I choked and cut back to a regular pace when we had a fast mile to go. I waited too long though and as I sat down to lunch was quite concerned about the possibility of seeing my Luna Bar or sushi lunch again. Not to fear, I drank some elixir of general well-being and sustenance, otherwise known as Sprite, and was able to polish off my share of sashimi like a (lightweight) champ.
I don't have any pictures from Kenai or Cooper Landing, the other places where I spent my time, mostly because when I was at those places I was under the impression that my camera was missing.
Oh, I got a free running shirt from a real world class runner who works at this running store called the Skinny Raven. He had mentioned that I could get a free shirt if I came by the store. This free shirt was not the average, run of the mill, size XXL lima bean green shirt - it's a $40 Asics shirt with cute capped sleeves. Hooray for free stuff.
Leaving Alaska turned out to be a bit of an ordeal when my Era (small branch of Alaskan Airlines) flight from Kenai to Anchorage was 35 minutes late leaving on Sunday night. Despite breaking into full-on nerd run in the airport, I missed my 12:50AM flight. This was potentially deep shit time for me as I had some study abroad applications I had arranged to turn in the following day. According to the weathered United woman, my options were a 11:40 PM flight to Denver the next night or the next night's 12:50 flight to LAX. I asked about making up the fare difference to take an earlier flight -- yeah, so those were their ONLY flights. The punchline is that I spent about half an hour finding a cheap and centrally located hotel and took a taxi to the Inlet Inn, which smelled like a veterinarian's office. In the spirit of getting what you pay for, the room cost me $48.60. The remaining $50.40 it would have cost to stay at the Hampton Inn instead might just have been worth most every dollar. The person in the room next to me watched television and took showers all night while I fretted about on the scratchy sheets, trying not to touch the outside of the bedspread. A few frantic phone calls to friends in LA and one reassuring call to the study abroad coordinator the next morning, I set off to run some errands and catch up phone calls I didn't make the previous week. By the light of day the Inlet Inn definitely appeared more halfway house and less best-hotel-deal in town. Nonetheless, I had an excellent extra Alaskan day - phone calls, errands and lunch with Jessie, and finally some disc golf, a shower and a nap before getting the red eye right the second time around.
That's more than enough for now. I will close by saying that a dad I had noticed on my flight being extra caring to retrieve his kids' crayons from the overhead compartment lost all hypothetical credibility with me when he pulled out a copy of Maxim and asked his sub 3-foot-tall son if he thought some woman was pretty. Yelch.