Alaska 101: Seward, Camping and Motorhome.
UNTUK VERSI BAHASA MELAYU, KLIK SINI.
I know some of you been waiting for me to brag about Seward. On the side note, you already noticed that my instagram posts been dominated by blue and green color theme. If you visit Alaska during summer, that’s the main color you will able to capture with your camera. All white during winter and all yellow during autumn. I hope my instagram post will change its color theme to yellow and red too. Because I know it is becoming too boring with only one kind of color.
Back to my story on motorhome camping in Seward. Since it was only two of us, we stocked up food and beverages from Carrs (my favorite store for food, so far) for our 3 days camping trip. Well, it was more like getaway camping so, I decided not to cook.
We reached Seward pretty late due to many stops we made along the Seward Scenic drive. It was around 6pm and we had trouble to find camping spot for our rig by Resurrection Bay. I was kind of pissed at Mike because I know he should know this would happen during summer, since he is an Alaskan. I just learned that the camp spot for motorhome during summer in Seward is like parking lot in Mid Valley or Sunway Pyramid Kuala Lumpur. In USA, you should and could reserve camping spot (for motorhome or tent) online to avoid disappointment. That’s how people over here love to spend time outdoor.
And I were acting like total ass. I still want camping spot with a view. We were driving around in and out of Resurrection Bay area like almost one hour. Finally there was someone checked out from one spot although the view wasn’t that grand. Well, don’t care as long as it facing the bay. The fee isn’t that expensive since the lot is without power outlet which is USD15 for a night. We had to use our own generator for power though.
We done with park and set up when its already late. Well, although night in Alaska during summer is still bright and all, we decided not to take a walk around town since Mike was too tired from long drive. And just like a good housewife, I took out the picnic mat and set it up for dinner. We weren’t that hungry though, so we just snacking while talk about how beautiful the place is. It was a cold breezy night too. So we continue our chats inside motorhome and ate instant food we brought with us earlier. Sounds like true camper huh.
Next morning, I woke up at 4am to capture sunrise or maybe beautiful fog. But I didn’t see morning fogs at all. Maybe it wasn’t cold enough. I waited for sunrise like forever. That’s the best I can get. After that, I went back to sleep.
We checked out from the spot by noon and park somewhere free of charge. Mike became my tour guide since he knew Seward on the back of his hand. His work requires him to come to Seward almost every week. Seward is one of sea port in Alaska where cruise, fisherman and cargo ship dock. Oh, you might wondering what is Mike doing for living. He drive for Princess and Holland American Cruise. I am still waiting for Mike to get me on one of those cruise ship though since our plans (to cruise) has been delayed and canceled due to many reasons.
Seward is a tourist city or it is set up to look like one. Like Langkawi island. But we were quite lucky because there was no cruise ship stop in Seward or else there will be thousands of tourist flocking in the city and queuing to take picture with carved bear, big old anchor and lamp post along the streets.
Since Seward is a sea port, it is normal for it to have a dock yard for yacht and boat owner called Marina Bay. You must take the opportunity to walk around this dock yard and imagine you are one of Onassis heir. This dock yard not only for luxury boat and yacht. You still can see small and cute boat here. Do not simply touch or peek into the boat though, because some of the owner are inside sit quietly enjoying coffee and newspaper. Oh God, I would love that kind of lifestyle or retirement. Since that day, I told myself that I will always choose being on a small boat, read some newspaper and eating cuffypuff over sitting at fancy restaurant in big shopping mall, anytime.
We were like a honeymooner that day. We had all day to ourselves and drowned in time where we wished we can stay at that moment, forever, without feeling hungry. Haha. I told Mike that I wished to try Seward’s sea food. I want to be a real tourist these few days before I set off to Kuala Lumpur. I don’t want to eat inside motorhome for once although we do have plenty food inside including my favorite apple pie. I know at this point, you guys hate me for being so demanding and acting so fine. Well, I am Malay. Malay is a fine race *cough*. Mike introduced me to this Terry’s Fish and Chip restaurant which is famous for tourists like me. And I told Mike that he is lucky because I had King Crab few days before back in Anchorage. Or else he has to pay it at touristy price for my King Crab order.
We ordered what’s on Menu of The Day, which is Rock Fish and chips together with chowder as an entree. Mine was salmon chowder and Clam chowder for Mike. But once the entree arrived, I like his more than mine. He is like wise. Without further fuss, our chowder bowl switched places. The fish and chip wasn’t that bad. The fish tasted like dowry and the smell not that fishy. The food portion is big. American size’s portion. As usual, I packed mine since I unable to finish it. Talking about packing unfinished food, I learned something new, here in USA.
I think I know why Malays acting holier than thou snobitch ass prick most of the time. Because Malays were colonized by British and even our Malaysia Independence granted by the Brits. That is why when Malays with a lot of money, choose to spend their vacation and shop back at their ancestor’s city which is LONDON and PARIS for designer handbags. Just like those Brits, Malays has this Hi Tea time filled with scone and macaroon for snacks. When we Malay go to the restaurant, we automatically assumed we have a butler assigned for us just like Queen of England. That’s why we Malays don’t bother to pick up own trash after we done eating because we know we have a butler to do it for us. So, back to my story as snobitch ass prick Malay in USA’s restaurant – I waved to the waitress and said “can you pack this for me?”. The waitress smiled at me and replied “do you need a box for it?”. YES – said madame snobitch ass prick Malay from Malaysia and pushed her plate aside. Later the waitress came with a box and put it nicely on the table and left. Ah! I just learned that here, you pack your own unfinished food! The waiter/ waitress ain’t gonna have time to bring it back to the kitchen and pack for you. So, for those who plan to visit USA, please remember this – quit acting like Queen of England. Ask for box if you need to pack unfinished food and pick up your own trash. Universe doesn’t revolve around you.
We continue our lovely day walking around hand in hand around Seward city. This city isn’t that big but it creates serenity and calm IN YOU. My mind was empty, empty than yoga meditation. Although there was no cruise ship stop that day, the city wasn’t totally empty. There were a lot of people, motorhome people and those who visit Seward by ground still. But the town still quiet and calm. Because when you are here in Alaska, you use your sights more than your talk less. I must say, I fell in love with this city and I told Mike that we should get a house here for retirement IF MONEY DROP FROM THE SKY.
If you ever visit Seward, you won’t miss a big lagoon right across its main street. It has emerald green water it is the most beautiful landmark in Seward. It has deck made by the wood along for pedestrian to enjoy the view. I noticed there were a few big fishes swimming inside. But when I paid close attention, there were a lot! A group of big fat fishes swimming on the same direction towards where we were going. I tried to zoom in my camera lens but mine just a 50mm. So I have this idea of throwing a piece of chips that I packed from that restaurant so that I can lure more fishes. One word from Mike – don’t. I started to argue because I truly wanted to throw one piece of chips. ONE PIECE ONLY. My point is that, I might be the ONLY person who feed those fishes with one chip for its entire life and it won’t kill those them! “It is wrong to feed a wildlife”. So don’t. So I learned another lesson that day.
And I regretted that I was one of millions of ignorant people who fed fishes at Islands in Malaysia. I won’t be surprised that one day those fishes attack us once we come without the bread. Just like those vicious monkeys at Batu Caves and Tasik Dayang Bunting. It’s all our fault.
Mike also told me that, you can’t catch all the fishes in the lagoon. Don’t feed and catch. You only can do the fishing in the river (with license) and ocean. I didn’t tell Mike that, if in Malaysia, these fishes are already gone. Unlike here in Alaska, the people appear not greedy and the level of self control is very high.
After we done walking around this town, we were ready to camp at another spot, a little bit far from town. Before we leave, we made a stop at waste disposal station which is provided nearby camping area. Ah, yes. If you driving motorhome, you need to constantly dispose the waste from the waste tank like everyday. It helps to reduce the weight thus save your gas. So, please don’t think about the nice side of enjoying the comfort of motorhome only. There is another side of work you need to perform too.
It cost you USD 5 to use this facility and free water. One thing I noticed here is that, they use autopay machine and benefit a lot from it. At least, for simple task. No human monitor it, no camera, no lock, no security guard, nothing. It’s just you and machine, and your sincerity. Or, it’s more like you and God. I can see that you still can get away without have to pay it. Same goes to their grocery store. They have self check machine if you in a hurry and can’t afford long queue. You scan your own stuff and pay the total amount. No one will check your plastic bag or receipt. Finally I able to watch how people live their life in first world minded culture, where you are true to yourself and you don’t need another human to validate that you are a human too.
Okay, this post is getting too long winded I guess. Well, I guess it is because I update my blog like once a month.
to be continued.