Updated: Sep 21
We arrived in Anchorage at 1am on July 4th, 2023. Dave and I stayed in the "honeymoon suite" of the Alaska House of Jade Bed and Breakfast , for the next two nights before our big trip to Katmai National Park. Our room was very cozy and spacious with a separate sitting area. Krista, the innkeeper, served a delicious breakfast of a croissant egg, bacon and cheese sandwich with a side of fried apples in caramel sauce. There was always fresh granola, yogurt, juice and coffee available. Since it was the 4th of July we decided to go downtown and watch the annual parade.
The parade was held around the Delaney Park Strip with a very patriotic display of American flags on the grass behind the War Memorial. Led by the Anchorage Police Dept. it started at 11am with some of the notable participants in the parade: The Anchorage Fire Department, Mrs. Alaska, The Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska, The Filipinos of Anchorage, and the Invisible Dog Club. Yes, a group of people who walk their invisible dogs. After the parade we drove a few miles outside downtown to Midnight Sun Brewing Co. for some cold beers and a bite to eat. We drove around a little before headed back to the B&B to rest up.
My cousin Robbie and his family just happen to be relocating to Alaska in the Coast Guard and were making their pit stop in Anchorage before heading to Kodiak. We couldn't have timed it any better to meet up. So, we decided to go to the Moose's Tooth for some pizza. The Moose's Tooth came highly recommended from our last trip to Alaska so it was a no-brainer again. Like the last time we ate there, there was a bit of a wait. Our dinner visit was cut a little short due to my little cousin Rip rubbing the pizza grease all over him and breaking out in a rash. But no worries, we had plans to visit them next week in Kodiak.
Next up, we headed to the 4th of July Anchorage Glacier Pilots double header baseball game at Mulcahy Stadium. The first game started at 7pm and there were fireworks after the second game. The picture of us was taken around 8:30pm, it never got dark so I don't know why they had the stadium lights on.
The Pilots have been around since 1969 and produced such legends as Mark McGuire and Randy Johnson. Who knew?! They are a collegiate summer baseball team who played the Anchorage Bucs tonight in a full stadium. The game tickets were only $10 ($5 per game/person). However, with the weather at 55 degrees, it started to rain in the bottom of the 6th inning of the first game. The Pilots were up 9-0. We decided to call it a night. I'm sure we were a little jet lagged as well. Either way we unfortunately missed the firework display.
The next morning we flew out to Katmai National Park for 4 nights. I did a separate blog on our time there, which was AMAZING! We met two great guys during our time in Katmai who flew back to Anchorage with us. Once back in Anchorage, the four of us met for dinner at the Fancy Moose Lounge. Our new friend, Carl is a regular during his yearly Alaskan visit and he swears by the Sweet and Sour Halibut. The restaurant is located on Lake Hood which is the largest and busiest seaplane base in the world. On its busiest days it has been known to have approximately 200 planes fly in and out.
Dave and I planned to spend one night in Anchorage and then we were to fly out first thing in the morning to Kodiak and continue our cousin visit. That night, Dave came down with a terrible fever which transferred to me by late the next night. We did board our Alaskan Airline flight to Kodiak. We also flew to Kodiak. But, the fog was too low that we circled around before flying the half hour back to Anchorage. The airline rescheduled our flight to late afternoon. We had to recheck our baggage and store Dave's camera equipment in the airport locker for $12 a bag. We then took an Uber to Moose a la Mode for breakfast, it was only 10:30am. After breakfast, Dave was feeling so bad that we decided to go to the nearest Urgent Care. After spending about an hour and a half there we walked to Walgreens to fill his prescription. We thought for sure that he had Covid or the flu, but he was told it was just a bad virus. We Uber-ed back downtown and had a beer and some lunch at 49th State Brewing before heading back to the airport for our 5:30pm flight back to Kodiak.
Luckily, our VRBO rental had a beautiful view because for the next 2 nights we hardly left it. We only went to the pharmacy to refill our supply of tissues and Tylenol. After our second night we checked out at 11am before heading to Ft. Abercrombie State Park for some much needed fresh air.
We spent some time soaking up the sun and then we finally met up with Robbie. Of course, we had to stop at the Kodiak Island Brewing Co. . We also took a nice tour of the Coastie neighborhood and base before heading to the airport for our flight back to Anchorage. Girdwood was our next destination for our final 4 days in Alaska. Girdwood is about 40 minutes east of Anchorage.
Our VRBO for the next 4 nights was nice and cozy which came in handy since we were both still sick from this unknown virus. We did a lot of sleeping and not much eating. We did however, crawl out of bed and travel to Seward (an hour and 45 min drive) for an awesome whale watching tour with Northern Latitude Adventures. Now, Dave had no interest in whale watching but since we never saw any whales last year during our trip, I insisted that we do a tour. The tour began at 8am and lasted for 6 hours. Our captain, Abby, took us and only 3 other people on her small boat through Resurrection Bay. It was so magical.
As we left the harbor there was a bald eagle standing guard on a pillar. We also saw a mountain goat, otters, seals and puffins. Capt. Abby took us through a beautiful inlet, and we felt like we were in the movie Avitar. It was so quiet and surreal with this blue/green colored water.
We then came upon two pods of humpback whales. Our captain put a microphone in the water and we could hear them communicating and bubble feeding. Since we were in a small boat we were able to drift closer to the whales than the other larger tour boats. At one point the whales came right up to the side of our boat. In addition to the humpbacks we also saw a pod of orcas. They were beach rubbing! We were told that beach rubbing in unique to orcas and it is rare for people to actually see it happening. We then headed to see the glaciers before driving back to the harbor.
After finishing our tour, we drove around the small town of Seward and saw a sign commemorating "mile 0" of the original historic Iditarod Trail. The trail runs from Seward to Nome, AK.
After snapping a quick picture of the sign Dave and I had lunch at the Seward Brewing Company before starting our drive back to Girdwood. At the halfway point we veered about 10 minutes off the highway and visited Cooper Landing Brewing Co. for a flight of their beers. The brewery was in the middle of nowhere but when we arrived the place was packed. Since the weather was beautiful, we sat outside and enjoyed our drinks.
For the next few days we took it easy since we still weren't feeling that great. The last brewery we went to was the Girdwood Brewing Company. We had gone there before but since it was only about a mile from where we were staying, we couldn't resist. Again, we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and fresh air.
Our two-week trip to Alaska was absolutely amazing. Even though we ended up getting sick halfway through it we were still able to see and experience everything on our agenda.
Until the next trip!