Sunday, May 31, 2015

#LCinUSA Apr 2015 Part 5 Anchorage, Alaska

25 Apr 2015, Saturday PST (UTC/GMT -8 hour)
Fairbanks to Anchorage, Alaska

It was a very short flight from Fairbanks to Alaska. My carry on luggage was too huge for Bombardier Q400 cabin's overhead compartment so I had to stow it under the seat in front of me, making the leg room for me and the person sitting next to me smaller. Oops.

Bombardier Q400 at Fairbanks Airport

On Board Bombardier Q400


Arrival at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

Plane model hanging from the ceiling

25 Apr 2015, Saturday PST (UTC/GMT -8 hour)
Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage airport itself is okay, but the view out of the windows was fantastic.

The view out of Anchorage airport

We rented a Toyota Corolla Altis from Dollar Car Rental at USD 74.65 for 2 days, including insurance for third party liability. Glad that they gave us the actual car we booked, not like the huge minivan in Fairbanks. GPS rental was USD 15 per day but we got it refunded when we returned the car the next day as the GPS device was a little bit 'crazy'.

En route to our resort, an hour drive away from the airport
There were many stopovers where we could pull our car over to rest and adore the beautiful nature.

Stunning view
Feels like a scene in Fast and Furious
As I was driving, LQ kindly offered to help me capture all the picturesque images with my iPhone. Thank you! =)

Alyeska Resort
Address: 1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood, AK 99587, United States
Contact: +1 907-754-2111

Saving the best for the last. Here's our awesome lodging for the first night in Anchorage, last night in Alaska!

Snow mountain view out of our window
Heated Pool at Alyeska Resort

Gym at Alyeska Resort

The friendly lady at the concierge provided us with many ideas on what we could do in Anchorage and also introduced us to a restaurant that serves really great food. As the restaurant only opens after 4.30pm on Saturday, we ate cup noodles that we bought at Fairbanks in our hotel room as we were really hungry. =p

On the way to our first destination in Anchorage

Panorama by my iPhone 6

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Address: Seward Hwy, Girdwood, AK 99587, United States
Contact: +1 907-783-2025
Opening Hours for 2015 (
May 10 – September 17: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (no entry after 7:30 pm)
September 18 – December 31, 2015: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (no entry after 4:30 pm)
CLOSED: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day

Map of AWCC
Ticket costs USD 12.50 per adult. You can choose to walk through the (huge) park or drive through it. We chose the latter as they were about to close in an hour, we didn't have much time left.

Our rented Toyota Corolla Altis
Hey Bear

Wefie with LQ

My Canon S100 lens won't open fully.....

We had a fun time looking at the different animals at the conservation center. On top of that, there were plenty of great spots for photography. LQ is the professional one with a Canon DSLR. I'm too lazy to carry a bulky camera whenever I go overseas so I don't think I'll ever buy a DSLR, unless someone is willing to carry it for me. =p Anyway, Canon S100 is good enough for normal photography (but not for stargazing, northern lights =/).

Byron Glacier Trail
Address: Byron Glacier Road, Girdwood, AK

As recommended by the lady at our resort's concierge, we drove to Byron Glacier, parked our car at the public car park (free) and began the trail. She mentioned that it's an easy trail and we could see or even tough the glacier at the end of the trail.

There's only a small tiny path, enough for 1 person to walk at a time, surrounded by leafless plants. Midway through, we did not see any human being at all and were really freaked out by the fact that there could be wild bears around. Thus, we chickened out and went back to our car. It's the end of the winter, the bears must be really hungry after a long hibernation! 2 girls was just ain't safe. It would be okay for a group of 4 and above. You can read up at TripAdvisor on what you can expect at the end of the trail.

Address: 3 Crow Creek Rd, Girdwood, AK 99587, United States
Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sun 4:30pm-10pm; Closed on Mon
Contact: +1 907-783-2822

This restaurant was super packed with a long waiting list. They do not accept any reservation. If you wanna dine here, you got to wait. Yes, we waited. While waiting, we walked around to explore the restaurant. It was full of vintage items with many objects hanging on the ceiling or the walls. We finally grabbed a seat at the bar to have some appetizer once someone left the bar table. It was not easy to get a seat at the bar! They have free WIFI too! That really helped to provide a distraction (Whatsapp/Instagram/Facebook) to 'shorten' the waiting time.

Sitting at the bar

Sitting at the bar while waiting

Double Musky Inn Appetizers Menu

Half Pound of Alaskan Red King Crab Leg with Drawn Butter

I always thought that bigger crabs only have more flesh but less tasty. I was wrong. The Alaskan King Crab Leg was not only gigantic, its flesh was very fresh and sweet too! Together with the drawn butter, it was omgggg-so-yummy~!

We finally got a proper table about 2 hours after LQ put her name into the waiting list. What a long wait! As I read review on Swarm (after checking in) that all of their meals are big enough for two, we only ordered one medium-rare French Pepper Steak (USD 41) to share. And, it turned out to be the BEST steak I ever had in United States.

Double Musky Inn Menu Page 1

Double Musky Inn Menu Page 2
Free Bread =p

French Pepper Steak - 'Best Steak in America' says Jill Cordes of the 'Food Network'. A 16-20 oz New York steak, crusted with cracked pepper and covered with a spicy burgundy sauce. (USD 41)
Omg... I CAN'T

"Desserts for you?" No, we declined as we were really too full after having both the crab leg and the steak.

What a fantastic meal! If you ever come to Anchorage, you MUST visit this restaurant!

26 Apr 2015, Sunday PST (UTC/GMT -8 hour)
Anchorage, Alaska
Rise and Shine, Anchorage!

Today's our last day of holiday in Alaska. =(

The Pond Cafe
Address: 2nd Floor of Alyeska Resort (1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood, AK 99587, United States)
Contact: +1 907-754-2237

The Pond Cafe Menu Page 1

The Pond Cafe Menu Page 2

Selection of Tea

Our House Smoked Salmon (USD 15) & Alaskan King Crab (USD 16) Egg Benedicts!
King Crab Egg Benedict (USD 16)
Thumbs up for the Egg Benedicts! That was some awesome breakfast!

We headed to the concierge after our breakfast to find the same friendly lady who helped us yesterday, hoping to find something to do this afternoon before our flight at late night. She recommended us, again, to take the helicopter flight to the glacier. As we haven't seen any glacier yet and we were at ALASKA, it's just something we had to do, albeit EXPENSIVE as hell. OKAY, LET'S DO IT.

She kindly extended our check-out time from 12pm to 3.30pm as we were going to take the flight at 1.30pm and Alpine Air was picking us up at 1.15pm at the resort's lobby. It cost USD 385 for 60 minutes of flight + glacier landing. OUCH. But this was definitely going to be the second HIGHLIGHT of our trip! First being the encounter of Northern Lights at Fairbanks.

Alpine Air Glacier Landing
Contact: +1 907 783 2360

I volunteered to sit at the front, next to the pilot!
Our very first helicopter ride in each of our life! So thrilled! When the pilot asked 'who wants to take the seat at the front', I immediately raised my hand and put forward my interest. Hahaha. Trust me, if you aren't afraid of height, take the front seat and you'll get a full panoramic view. Please bring along your sunglasses as you'll be blinded by the reflection of the snow at the glacier! If you do not have sunglasses, Alpine Air have plenty for you to choose from. LQ's sunglasses was provided by Alpine Air. I was happy to stick with my own polarized Raybans which I bought last year at Las Vegas Premium Outlets. =)

Wefie before the flight commenced. Clockwise from my left - Pilot, Guy who joined the tour with us, LQ and me.
Let's fly~ Up up here we go~

Above is a video of our helicopter flight gliding through the valleys!

Such pretty blue glacier!

4 mountain goats spotted
Can you spot the wild Moose?

Alright, here it is.


Above is a video of the majestic glacier taken with my iPhone! IT'S REALLY SPECTACULAR!

Landed! Happy us!

Pilot helping LQ to take her jumpshot



On our way back, I took the back seat and LQ took the front!

LQ with the Pilot

Perfect for Skiing

Good Bye Beautiful

Looking at the map while our pilot pointed our flight path to us

IT WAS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE. WORTH EVERY $$. If money can buy you experience and you can afford it, BUY. Such awesome memory will definitely stay with me as long as I'm alive. Thank you Alpine Air Alaska for their great hospitality!! <3

We had our lunch at Aurora Bar & Grill in our resort before we set off and drive to the airport. Shall not elaborate much as the food was mehhhhh.

On our way to the airport

Yummy yogurt at the airport

Start of our 30 hours journey back to Singapore
This trip to U.S.A. was splendid. I had many firsts - Watching baseball game live at the suite, flying a propeller plane from Fairbanks to Anchorage, witnessing the Northern Lights at Fairbanks, flying the helicopter and seeing the majestic glaciers. Lastly, it's my first time flying first/business classes on United Airlines back home!! I flew Business Class on British Airways in 2004 when I was still young (I got a free upgrade as I was flying alone) and couldn't enjoy the full benefits. Thankful for what I have today. I'd really advise you to travel the world and discover what you can never imagine. Seeing is believing. =)

I just came back from my trip to New Zealand in May. Will blog about it soon! See my Instagram @lynne_chua for more #lynnetravels photos. Cheers, Lynne.

#LCinUSA posts

2016 Seattle-Arizona (Blogging soon)
  • Apr 2016 Part 1 Seattle
  • Apr 2016 Part 2 Arizona Road Trip
  • Apr 2016 Part 3 Arizona Road Trip
  • Apr 2016 Part 4 Arizona Road Trip

2015 Seattle & Alaska
2014 Las Vegas

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