· United States,Alaska

2016 was a wild ride of a year. I finished up my Master's degree, reached my goals for Mandarin Chinese, and moved three times going from Monterey, California to Taipei, Taiwan to Friday Harbor, Washington. However, somewhere along the line, I fell really behind on this blog. So 2017 is here and it’s time to get back into the swing of things. My friend and fellow blogger Sean (who writes the blog Going Postal, featuring interesting facts about the postcards he’s sent and received and the locations they came from) also fell behind in 2016, so we’ve made a bet. We’ll be writing at least once every 2 weeks, and if we fail we’ll have to reward the other (the actual reward is still in the works.)

To kick off the next couple of entries will be catch-up posts covering short trips I took in late 2016. The first of these is the fun stuff I did in Anchorage, Alaska while attending the NAFSA Region I conference in October.

The city of Anchorage was pretty happening, lots of good food, and gorgeous scenery. There was also a lot of interesting street art (including the trash cans) and most gift stores have stuffed animals outside of them that I couldn’t resist taking pictures with.

Anchorage Museum

The Anchorage Museum offers a mix of exhibits, there’s usually a few temporary art or history exhibits, while permanent exhibits include Alaskan Native Cultures and a discovery center. If you’re looking to learn more about Alaska and its history, this is definitely recommended.

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is open all year and is free to enjoy, it starts near the downtown area. The trail is rated easy, as it is mostly flat and paved. For maps check out the website. I walked the first 2 miles of it starting from the downtown area and took in the views of the mountains and water just on the other side of the train tracks.

Food & Drinks

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Karmenvasion post without talking about food, and if you’re looking for a hearty and flavorful fare, then Anchorage will not disappoint you.

49th State Brewing Company was where I went for dinner on the first night. They serve a great array of their own beers, pizza, and other delicious dishes. After a long day of travel their elk and reindeer pizza, yak-a-dilla, and a beer were just what I was looking for.

Snow City Cafe was our stop for breakfast one day, they have a great variety of breakfast dishes using local ingredients. I got the deadliest catch benedict featuring a crab cake and salmon cake, as well as hashbrowns. The simple diner atmosphere plus the food made for a great dining experience.

I only stopped by Club Paris for a drink, but I can say that the man next to me at the bar had what is one of the biggest and juiciest steaks I’ve seen in a while. It’s a great place if you’re looking for a chill vibe and a strong drink.

While at Club Paris, the man with the steak told us of a Speakeasy in the area called Blues Central. To find Blues Central you must go to Williwaw another restaurant, where there are a few phone booths. Look for the one in the back, if there’s a blue light on the Speakeasy is open. Simply pick up the phone, which will ring the bartenders, follow their instructions and get the password then head upstairs for some delicious cocktails and other libations!

The final place I’d recommend is Mad Myrna’s, a gay bar on the edge of the downtown area, they have a lot of events such as karaoke and dancing. They also do productions of plays and musicals. We were lucky to catch their final dress rehearsal of The Rocky Horror Picture Show while we were there, unfortunately, I have no pictures from it, but the cast did a fantastic job!