4:20am I am showered and dressed.  Barbara is in the shower getting ready. The trip started on a very bad note.  For me part of readying for a trip is to clean the cage of Ghost, my African Gray Parrot.  While trying to lift one end of the cage to remove paper from under it, I felt and heard something ‘pop’ in my left arm.  The pain was intense.  I stopped what I was doing and had to sit for about 10 minutes to allow my head to clear.  I went to the walk-in clinic at my Dr.’s office and they could not figure out what was wrong.  The good news is they didn’t advise against taking the trip, but my cleaning efforts were over. Also, not such a good start to a vacation. I got to sleep about 1am (alarm went off at 4am) and Barbara didn’t even get one hour sleep. 4:45am We are packed and our suitcases are shut and locked.  Even trying to pack light, just bringing most of what they suggest you to bring, our bags are pretty much full. Beautiful sky outside.  Bright, almost full moon and Venus nearby. 4:55am We are in the limo headed for the airport.  Majestic Car and Limo out of Monroe, NY never seem to miss a beat.  They have been very dependable and always on time! 6:15am We are at Newark airport and have already turned in our suitcases and are about ready to head for the security checks. 6:45am We managed to get through security.  Once again they had me open my bag and they took everything out.  What a mess that is.  We already found our gate and the signs say our plane is on time. 9:20am We are seated in our Alaska Airline seats 1D and 1F.  Very comfortable and roomy seats. 9:30am The door on the plane is shut and we have pushed back from the terminal.  We are still on the ground but we will be airborne soon. 9:53am We are in the air.  Our trip to Alaska has started! 10:37am They served breakfast.  Coffee is in a real coffee mug.  Main dish is an omelet with cheese and scallions, bacon, real potatoes, a blueberry muffin and a fruit plate.  All served on real dishes to be eaten with normal silverware. 3:12pm I have been taking photos of our journey across the USA.  They aren’t the best photos through the hazy airplane windows, but some do show how beautiful this country is.  I labeled the photos as best as I could.  Just got some photos of (I hope) Mount Baker.  It is an active glaciated volcano in Washington state. We have started our decent to land in Seattle, Washington. 3:29pm We are on the ground in Seattle and taxiing to the terminal. NOTE:  3:50pm NY time is 12:50pm Washington time.  Time will now be given in Pacific time until we are in Alaska. 12:50pm We are in the airport terminal and we found our next gate.  We now have about 1½ hour wait to board. 2:10pm We are in our seats, 2A and 2C.  The plane is rolling towards the runway for takeoff. 2:13pm We are in the air.  Last leg of the trip to Alaska. NOTE: 6:25pm Washington time is 5:25pm Alaska time.  Time will be given in local Alaska time. 5:25pm We are in Fairbanks Alaska.  We landed a little while ago, got our suitcases and contacted the Marriot Springhill Suites Hotel.  They are sending a shuttle bus to come get us.  We are sitting on a bench outside the terminal while we wait.  The skies are a clear bright blue, the air is warm and the sun is pretty high in the sky for 5:30 in the evening.  We guess the temperature to be around 75 - 80⁰F. 6:20pm The shuttle picked us up and we are now in our room on the fourth floor of the Marriot Springhill Suites Hotel.  The room is larger than we have any need for.  It has two beds, a separate sitting area with TV and couch and tiny kitchenette. We have a nice view of a riverfront park across the street from the hotel.  The park is The Golden Heart Plaza and the river is the Chena River. 7:30pm Barbara and I decided to go out for a walk around our hotel in Fairbanks Alaska.  We explored the small river front park and found a small band playing country music.  We then headed to the back streets behind the hotel.  We were looking for someplace to eat dinner.  Something small, local and maybe a bit different. 7:45pm We just sat down at the restaurant downstairs in the Marriot called Lavelle’s Bistro.  We were fed very well flying first class on Alaska Airline.  We don’t want a meal but are just looking for more of a snack. 8:35pm We just got back to the room after leaving Lavelle’s Bistro.  Our waiter was John.  We just had two appetizers: apple wood smoked bacon mac & cheese with Gruyère, the second was spanakopita (rolled like mini-egg rolls) filo-dough with spinach and feta cheese.  Both were delicious. 9:30pm Before going to bed for the evening I started an experiment.  I took a photo of the park view from our hotel room window.  I hoped to wake a few times during the night to take some more photos to show the ‘midnight sun’ in Fairbanks Alaska.
July 19, 2017: Day 1
“Leave only footprints, Take only memories’ (…and maybe some pictures)
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Alaska Vacation
July 19, 2017 to August 2, 2017 The Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Photo Safari Barbara & John on Natural Habitat Adventures
July 19, 2017 Day 1