|Nina on Athabasca Glacier (Canadian Rockies), in thin gym pants and Reebok Princess sneakers|
|Daniel trekking in the south of France|
So there we were, on our way from Toronto, via Minneapolis, to Fairbanks. The stewardess on the Minneapolis-to-Fairbanks leg of the journey was quite amusing: A tall, good-looking woman of indeterminate age, who told us -- the small, premium-class audience -- with open cheer and relief, that this was her last day of work, her penultimate shift, after which she would never again have to say "Please fasten your seat-belts"! She would finally have time to go skiing, spend time with her grandkids, follow her own pursuits and have fun. Yes, eventually she will fly again. As a passenger. As well she should, being eligible for free flights [on that airline] for the rest of her life.
Landed in Fairbanks with its adorable Curtiss GN4 biplane * hanging over the conveyor-belt: (Sweet childhood memories: my dad used to take me to hangars at the air force base where he worked.)
Hotel Springhill Suites /Marriott, Rm #513.
I must have been tired, because I did not take any pics of the large, well-appointed suite. Very negligent of me. So just click the hotel link above.
I found the hotel a bit strange: some of its aspects and amenities were in line with a high-standard hotel, whereas some others were blatantly missing. But I got the impression this was due to its Alaskan nature. Though -- unlike other places in Alaska, it operates all year round, it caters mostly to a specific type of traveler. To quote its website, "... we provide... suites to help you unwind in-between activities."
Next morning we went down to breakfast at the non-dining-hall. The breakfast buffet was laid out along a sort of narrow passage in the lobby, next to which there were some small tables. Everything you needed was there, but on a small, somewhat haphazard-looking scale that you wouldn't expect from a decent-sized Marriott. However, the buffet did offer six types of coffee and six types of milk, so who am I to complain. I took the "dark coffee", which was the strongest, most coffee-like choice, and treated myself to half & half.
Now we were ready to face our first Alaskan adventure!
Next installment: The Trans-Alaska Pipeline; the Alaskan gold rush, complete with gold-dredging; and an educational riverboat trip. Oh, and some shopping of cute local souvenirs, of course ;-)
* With thanks to Lior Bar-On for identifying the aircraft for me!