Day Cruise on Prince William Sound
Ugh, had lots of problems getting up this morning. Was too excited to go to sleep last night and didn't really get to sleep until 2-ish. Then the phone rang for Larry about 3 AM, I remember looking at the clock again at 4:30 and we got up for the day at 6 AM. Ugh.
Maps in Alaska are scary. Everything in this state is HUGE. A 2 hour drive is a short jaunt - they refer to it as "only 2 hours North of Anchorage, you'll find..."
The state is so big, and the drive was 1 1/2 hours each way, we were afraid that we would get delayed and miss the boat. We ate breakfast and rushed off for the cruise.
We also knew that we would have to go through a tunnel and that had us worried. The instructions on the cruise brochure had us puzzled - something about making sure that you were there at a certain time and be 15 mins. early - huh?
Turns out that the tunnel is 2 1/2 miles long, one way, one lane and they share it with the train system. The tunnel was blasted through a mountain and is very narrow. All the walls are rough and unfinished. It was really cool. Everything is perfectly timed and regulated - out going (to the port) is at the top of the hour and in coming (into the mainland)is at the bottom of the hour. If you are late, you will have to wait a half an hour before you get another chance. Fortunately, we made it with 4 mins. to spare.
While we were walking to the cruise terminal, we saw our first swarm of mosquitos. Wow. I had been prepared for these (I brought 2 cans of OFF) but hadn't seen any until now, so I had repacked the cans in my luggage. Fortunately, we weren't outside for long and, magically, neither of us was bitten.
The trip was 6 hours and covered about 100 miles of the Sound. The cruise was great, we saw Steller sea lions, sea otters (lots), dall porpoises, harbor seals, all kinds of birds and a dozen glaciers.
We were really beat when we got back in the car. We worked hard to keep each other awake and started looking for something for dinner as soon as we got back in to Anchorage.
Larry had picked the dinner spots for the last few nights and they were terrible - not his fault, just bad luck. I was determined to pick a good one for tonight.
We drove all over Anchorage because I couldn't find the particular restaurant that I just "knew" I saw in this one place... With all the one way streets, we got hopelessly lost - you know the kind of lost where you've driven past everything so many times that everything looks familiar now.
Any way I saw this little Mexican restaurant with a really badly designed parking lot on a badly positioned corner but it was slammed - there was hardly a parking space to be found. Ah ha! Gold.
I love going to little hole in the wall restaurants. If they've been there for a while, and/or they are really busy then you know they serve great food. They have to have great food because the people certainly aren't coming there for the atmosphere and ambiance.
This was just that place. They were a family owned Mexican rest. and they had been there since 1953. The food was magnificent. I had a combo plate that included tamales. Their tamales were tender, moist and beautifully light. Like none I have ever had before. This was easily the second best Mexican food I have ever tasted - and who knew that I would get it in Alaska of all places. (The best was in Ft. Worth, Texas.)
We are going to turn in early tonight. Larry has a conference call at 2:30 AM - one of the obstacles with being in this time zone and dealing with people who are primarily on Eastern time.
We hope to go to the zoo tomorrow before I have to catch my flight home to Orlando.