Sunday, July 31, 2011

Anchorage

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugSo, first to quickly finish our luggage saga. Last night at about 9 Alaska Airlines called and said the suitcases had arrived and they were going out on the next delivery. At midnight still no show so I called. The woman said there were 35 to deliver so it would be a while but they'd be here. I asked if the driver would call my cell since the inn doesn't really have anyone on premise overnight. We all have a code to the door. She said he would. I did not sleep as soundly as I might have because I kept waiting for the phone or doorbell to ring. I woke up at 3 and still no phone call. At 5 I called again. The woman was surprised they weren't here and said she'd call back. Just as she was telling me they were here, Randy came in and said they were in the kitchen. I don't know who let him in. But all's well that ends well. It's so nice tonight to be sitting here in my pajamas after a shower.

We had a nice breakfast here and met some of the other guests. After breakfast Randy and I walked to get a mocha and latte. We wanted to go to a local coffee place, of which there are quite a few, but every one we passed was closed on Sunday. So we gave up and went to Starbucks.

Then we went to CrossPoint Church with Bob & Marj. Back when our family was here at Elmendorf Air Force Base we visited the Christian Reformed Church several times and my folks knew the minister there. CrossPoint is a church planted by that church, Trinity CRC. That minister's son, Dave H, and his wife attend and I met them. Dave (the son) right away remembered my dad: "Oh, Chaplain Kok!" He said he and I probably played together as kids. It was a good service. I also met another woman, Cheryl Visser, who recognized my name as someone who she'd seen her friend Barb V write about on Facebook. Turns out Cheryl and I were in the same class at Lynden Christian High School, where I attended for just one year, 9th grade, while Dad was in Vietnam. Small world, as always in these circles.

After church Bob, Marj and we went to the arts & crafts fair and had some lunch. On the way back to the B&B we walked through the railroad station (Bob & Marj will be taking the railroad to Denali, which sounds very fun to me!) and visited a little "ulu factory." Ulus are a curved knife that the Native Americans use. Then we thought we'd go to Alaska Native Heritage Center, but as we drove there Bob got a call that he needed to meet with someone at 4. So, instead, we drove to Kincaid Park, where guide books say that moose can often be seen. It was a pretty drive but no moose. There were quite a few cars and people about so we thought the moose were probably hiding out looking at us.
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After dropping Bob & Marj off, Randy and I drove out to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, after all. It closes at 5 and it was close to 4 when we got there so the person at the ticket desk let us in for just $10 instead of $25 and we had a quick tour. It turned out well, actually. It had been raining but the rain took a break while we were there and hardly anyone else was around. Normally we could've seen demos and talks by Native Americans who run it, but we still enjoyed seeing the different dwellings and one or two of the guides were there and talked to us a little about what we were looking at.
Native American dancing at the cultural center.
Don't they remind you of hobbit houses?

Then we went to a "salmon viewing bridge" Randy had read about. It was right behind the ulu factory. There were lots of fishermen in the river, some right in a row. You'd think no one could catch anything but we saw a few guys walking with several on their strings. Randy actually saw 2 fish swimming by, so that was kind of fun. Soon he'll be trying his luck.
The seagull had better luck than most of the fishermen.

For dinner we were going to the Glacier Brew House, which several people recommended. It had an hour and a half wait, though, so we went next door to Orso's. We had an excellent, delicious meal there. I had King Salmon with a potato-artichoke side dish that was heavenly. Randy had a seafood pasta that was also delectable, and there was so much of it he couldn't finish. It was a little bit of splurge but really, really good food, and our waitress was a sweetheart.

So, there is our day in Anchorage in detail! I want to be able to read this later and remember all the details. :) Tomorrow to Talkeetna for a plane ride over Mt. McKinley and then Denali. We're praying hard for decent weather. It's raining quite heavily now and has rained off and on all day. The forecast says rain, too, but at different times throughout the day today it would clear, so we'll hope for that to happen tomorrow.

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