Monday, May 26, 2008

For the Birds

Alaska - Day 2

Day 2 (May 25, despite what the blog post date says) was a "cushion" day. I built a couple of those into the itinerary in case we got delayed (Sitka's airport is frequently closed due to fog). Also, so we could rest. After the long travel day on Saturday, we were both beat.

Mike, who usually sleeps a little later than me, actually got out of bed first, at 5:18 AM. That's the time zone effect. I slept a bit later, but we still were out and eating breakfast at about 6:30. The hotel has a free continental breakfast, but we opted for a full breakfast at Victoria's restaurant in the Sitka Hotel. It was quite yummy. Afterward, we spent some time shooting pictures around town, which you can see for yourself is a very pretty place.

After a brief rest, it was finally "late" enough (around 9:00 AM) to head out. We didn't have any definite plans, just a couple of options, so we chose to walk to the other side of town to see the Sitka National Historical Park and the Alaska Raptor Center.

The historical park was all about the history of the Indians who first settled here--Tlingit--as well as the Russians who later claimed their land and the Americans who later bought it from Russia. The raptor center is a place where they rescue orphaned or injured raptors (eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, etc.) and either rehabilitate them for release or give them a place to live if they are not able to be released due to their injuries.

It was very cool to see the Eagles and all of the other birds close-up like that. Although there are wild Eagles all over the place here--I see one flying outside as I type this--you really can't appreciate their size until you see them like that. Bald Eagles have a 6-8 foot wingspan!

After that, we walked back to town, dropped our stuff at the hotel, then went out for what turned out to be a surprisingly fabulous meal at a place called Pasta Roma Pizzeria on Seward Street, a bit off the beaten path. We are 100% convinced this is Sitka's best-kept secret. It isn't all that appealing from the outside (it is in a strip center with a copy center and a Subway) and were both a bit nervous when our Diet Cokes were served in bottles along with a glass of ice.

But we each had a cup of the most delicious, homemade minestrone soup, I had chicken marsala (perfectly cooked and seasoned) and Mike has lasagna, which he said is the best he has ever eaten. For some reason, the chef gave us a free bruschetta appetizer AND creme brulee cheesecake for dessert. That may prove to be, as Mike said, "the culinary highlight of our Alsaka trip."

It is about 9:15 as I type this. Time to close things down and pack up. We leave Sitka today for Juneau, the state capitol, which means a 5-hour ride on a high-speed ferry (the regular ferry takes 9 hours!).

Hopefully we'll have Internet access tonight. Until then, you can view some of our photos from today by clicking on the image below:

1 comment:

  1. So I was sitting in traffic trying to cross the 301 bridge today and I figured I would check out your site (I saw your email when I was checking it) - and your site does convert to mobile format! So I got to look at all your cool pics as I was sitting in traffic. Hope you guys are having a blast!


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