I’m sure I’ve forgotten to tell you about all sorts of interesting New York things lately, but it seems like 2018 so far has been all about the travel. After our trip to New Orleans Tom spent 10 days in England for work, then almost as soon as he got home he was off again, this time on his annual jolly (sorry, conference) in Las Vegas. As in previous years, we took advantage of his being out west as an excuse for a holiday, so I flew over to join him after the conference was over for a few days of skiing in Colorado.
I have been trying to persuade Tom that we should go to New Orleans for at least five years, but for some reason he wasn’t at all interested. At long last, a conference meant that I finally managed to get us there, and we both had a lovely time. Late January seems to be a good time to visit – apart from one day of torrential rain the weather was fairly mild, and despite being there over a weekend during the run-up to Mardi Gras the city wasn’t too packed with tourists – and I was particularly thrilled by how walkable it was.
… your road system is ridiculously over-complicated and supremely unpleasant to navigate: twisty connecting ramps on multiple levels, exits every few yards, and the need to change lanes repeatedly in order to avoid being spun off to goodness-knows-where. And that’s not to mention the fact that everyone drives horribly. Seriously, it all makes driving in New Jersey look positively civilised.
I could write posts and posts about our Alaska cruise, but I’m trying not to! In the interests of not boring everyone senseless, I’ve condensed the entire week into this single account, itself a lightly-edited version of the brief notes I took each day. We sailed with Princess cruises from Anchorage (Whittier) south through the inside passage to Vancouver, past the glaciers of Yakutat bay and Glacier Bay national park, stopping at Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan, and then caught the decidedly unglamorous but perfectly convenient Greyhound bus down to Seattle for a cheaper flight home to Newark.
Along the way we saw harbour seals and Steller sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, humpback whales and a lone orca, and, magically, the Northern Lights. We shared a dinner table with some extremely nice people, and met all kinds of fellow travellers around the ship. We ate lots of food, drank plenty of cocktails, and generally had a lovely time – looking through my notes and photos is making me wish I was back there right now!
Pretty much as soon as we got home from our 2015 trip to Hawaii, we started joking that Alaska was next on the bucket list. However, the distance involved, and the fact that everyone we know who has visited encouraged us to take a cruise, meant that it was very much on the “one day” end of the spectrum. Fast forward to a quiet weekend in autumn 2016 – we were idly wondering just how much a cruise might cost, decided to look it up, discovered an affordable option in early September 2017, and booked it on the spot.
Since the cruise was a week-long voyage from Anchorage (well, Whittier) south to Vancouver, we decided to arrive early and spend some time in Alaska before boarding the ship, which quickly turned into a fairly epic trip – we flew into Anchorage and spent a day there, rented a car and drove up to Denali national park for a couple of days hiking and enjoying the wilderness, headed to Palmer for the Alaska state fair, and then ended up back in Anchorage to return the car before setting sail.
Once again it has been lamentably long since I wrote anything much about our NYC activities (July 4th notwithstanding), and somehow it’s August already. Looking back through the calendar for July, we have certainly been keeping busy. Continue reading →
As regular readers of this blog may recall we usually travel to the south western states in winter. February is clearly an excellent time of year to visit the desert (at least in the northern hemisphere), but when I had the opportunity to go to Arizona for a June conference I jumped at the chance to spend a couple of days experiencing the summer heat. Continue reading →