Sunday, September 18, 2016

Alaska 2016 - Day 14 (9/2/2016) - Return Home | Final Thoughts

I met up with Jeff and Tammy for one last meal before ending the vacation - we had breakfast at Snow City Cafe.  The wait was about 45 minutes (we thought that we might avoid their notoriously long wait on a Friday morning, but we were wrong), so we took the chance to briefly check out Resolution Park nearby.  Once we eventually got seated, the meal itself was pretty good.  We ate fairly quickly so that I could make it back to the hotel before the departure of my 11:15 airport transfer (Jeff and Tammy weren't flying out until later that night).  Though I did make it back with a couple minutes to spare, I was still the last one on the bus - the driver even called me out on it.  I said my goodbyes to Jeff and Tammy before boarding.

We saw a group of three moose as we approached the airport, and the bus driver stopped to let us take pictures.  I found this funny after only seeing one in passing (the day before) the whole trip - a fact that a few people (including Tammy) were disappointed about.  The rest of the journey home was thankfully uneventful.  The flight from Anchorage to Seattle took about 3 hours, and I was able to take an Uber home from the airport - legal rideshare pick-ups from the airport were a fairly new development.

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Some closing thoughts about the trip...

Once again, I had an enjoyable vacation.  I hadn't traveled alone for the entirety of a trip this long (though I had done parts of long trips alone) in 10 years, but that turned out not to be a problem.  I wasn't really worried about it, but some social things are easier when you have a companion (or companions).  Regardless, I met some very friendly people on both the cruise and land tour, many of whom invited me to join them for meals, etc.  I guess I get along well with old white people.

I don't know that cruising is my preferred way of traveling, but it worked pretty well for this trip (especially for seeing some glaciers).  Most of my preferred itineraries are not amenable to getting around on a ship, plus I usually like to be more involved in planning my activities.  It was still a nice thing to do at least once.  I wouldn't be opposed to going on another cruise if someone invited me on one that sounded cool, but I don't see any other cruises in my near future besides maybe Antarctica (and that's not really a cruise like this type of cruise).

The main highlight of the trip was definitely the flightseeing tour to Denali, and next would be hiking on Worthington Glacier.  Also noteworthy were cruising through Glacier Bay and College Fjord, among other enjoyable experiences.  All in all, Alaska is a beautiful state, and I'm glad I finally got to see some of it.

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My favorite photos from the trip can be found here:
https://goo.gl/photos/4ikrCSuPvRpRkXTKA

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