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April 16, 2005

A Day as a Tourist in Anchorage

Saturday was my day. Mike was working until the evening, and then we'd head down to Seward, so I had a day to kill in Anchorage, and Dave had left me his truck for transportation. This turned out to be more exciting than anticipated. I had gotten directions to a breakfast joint from Mike and was happily (and hungrily) on my way. I didn't get very far very fast, though. Driving Dave's truck wasn't quite what I expected. After a couple stalls and a very slow and confusing trip across a busy road (oh geez, sorry Alaskans, I know you hate me, please don't hit me) thinking I must have the emergency break on, I pulled off onto a side road and fooled with settings until I concluded that the gas pedal was just much more demanding than I'd anticipated and that I had to press a lot farther and harder than I had. So I practiced around the neighborhood, struggling against the sticky shifter, until I was confident I could make it downtown intact. And I did. And I parked. I had breakfast, got my hair cut (just and inch or so), and walked around downtown with a tourist map. Talked for a stint with a white-haired man from Colorado who worked in the visitors' center there and who wore a shiny blue, gold-laced coat which looked like wizard wear. I made my way excitedly to the Experience Alaska Theater for two films--one on the 1964 Good Friday earthquake, and one on the beauty of Alaska. I was particularly excited about the earthquake one. I mean, with the word "experience" in the theater's title, it had to be something fun and shaky.

It was bad. It was really, really bad. It was probably made in 1965, and hasn't been changed since. The volume was way to loud and the narrator spoke in an accent that was both hard to understand and annoying. The earthquake motion in the room--the seats shaking side to side on their platform--came during the most interesting footage of the movie, which happened to be footage of the resulting tsunami. The Alaska IMAX, which I saw afterward, was not much better. The volume was too loud, the seats were too close to the screen, the movie was old, and I left feeling queesy. So, highly recommended. Go there and go crazy. Have fun.

Meeting up with Mikee was much nicer than either of those films. It was time to get out and experience Alaska myself. After meeting his parents (very, very nice people, from what I could tell in the few minutes we conversed), Mike and I headed in his newly-aquired suburban to Seward.

Posted by beth at April 16, 2005 12:11 AM