Day 2 | Seward, Alaska
One of my favorite quotes is by Zooey Deschanel:
“In an ideal world, no one would talk before 10 a.m. People would just hug, because waking up is really hard.”
I’m pretty open about my hatred of mornings and Baylee and I both got it honest from our mother. Too bad our morning began at 4:45 a.m., when the telephone wake-up call blared, waking me from a dead sleep and signaled the dawning of a new day. Actually, no. It doesn’t get dark here during the summer, so there really wasn’t a “dawn” so to say. I don’t remember this, but Mom says I rolled over and yelled “I AM NOT GETTING OUT OF THIS BED.”
Tom and my dad both have this innate ability to spring out of bed at the ungodliest hours and not only that, but they are in the best of moods. And Baylee and I hate it. They laugh, sip their coffee, and crack jokes about the locals, the shuttle drivers, basically ANYTHING that comes into their pathetic little minds. This morning, they began harping on our shuttle driver, Charlie, cracking jokes about Charlie using chop sticks and a bunch of other things that weren’t funny. At all. Bee and I debated stabbing them with our hot curling iron as we were scrambling to get ready in time since we didn’t crawl out of bed until 20 minutes until we had to be at the bus stop.
We boarded the train around 6:15 a.m., and immediately went to the open-air car to get a better view of our surroundings. The Alaskan Railroad is one of my most vivid memories from my previous visits to Alaska, so despite my foul mood, I was excited about getting to take in some beautiful views. We ate breakfast right after we departed the station in the “Café Car” – smothered biscuits with eggs & reindeer sausage. Except I hate eggs and I don’t like the idea of eating a precious creature that pulls Santa’s sleigh. But whatever.
Baylee, Tom, and I spent most of our time at the very back of the train. There’s a small “porch” at the very end of the train where we could hang off the side and take some photos without the glare of big windows. We had the whole caboose to ourselves for over an hour and after loading up on hot chocolate and coffee, we didn’t really even notice how cold it was outside.
Which brings me to my next point: I packed completely wrong for this trip. We’ve been to Alaska in June before and our good friends just got back from the coast of Alaska this past week and mentioned how great the weather was – mid to high 60’s. Well, being the optimist, I packed short sleeves, jeans, and totally eliminated my jacket. Well, it’s freezing and I’m stuck wearing a thin-as-parchment-paper poncho that is 3 sizes too big and provides little to no warmth. You’ll see in the photos. I’m fairly certain a jacket will be a much-needed investment.
Once we arrived in Seward, we checked into our room for the night and walked down to the pier to Chinook’s – a restaurant that came highly recommended by the sweet receptionist at our hotel. Best decision we’ve ever made – Bee and I were almost in tears. I ordered the Halibut BLT (keep in mind I don’t like seafood and rarely venture far from my food comfort zone) and I can’t remember what Baylee got, but we both split each other’s meal and debated on telling the waiter that the food must’ve been sent from heaven when he came by to ask how everything tasted.
After lunch, we walked to the Seward Sealife Center, which is basically an aquarium. There, we were bombarded by a hoard of photographers that literally had 300 mm lenses on their camera and had the puffin exhibit completely surrounded and blocked, which nearly killed bird-obsessed Baylee. I was fine until the under-water walking exhibit started leaking water from the roof – then, I panicked and told everyone we absolutely had to leave before we were crushed by the typhoon that was sure to follow once the roof collapsed. Really, I’m too impatient and ADD for an aquarium anyway, and we’d been there ATLEAST an hour, so I was pretty over it.
Right now, I’m typing this from a cozy coffee shop, sipping a hazelnut coffee blend while the rest of my family is stuck on a cold, smelly excuse of a boat whale-watching. Yes, whale watching. As in watching for whales. What a bore. I have always had an intense fear of small boats and after a very unfortunate debacle on a deep-sea fishing trip to Punta Cana last year with the Coopers, I told God that if he got me off that boat alive that I would never step foot on a small boat on the ocean EVER AGAIN. So, staying true to my word, I refused the endless requests to join my party. I’m so happy with my decision – I was able to edit some photos, post some blogs on my website, and be lazy after these hectic few days of travel we’ve had. I’m about to go next door to a small Greek café to grab dinner, even though it’s 12:30 a.m. Georgia time. I’ve always loved a midnight snack, though.