Back from Alaska

What a wonderful adventure we have had.  My Honorable Husband and I did an Inside Passage Cruise, then we met our kids and their families in Anchorage and did a big loop with them, hiking every day.

We saw three varieties of bears, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, and more eagles than we could count.  We were in Denali National Park for three days, and got to see the mountain on one of those days.  Don’t worry – I’m not going to do a travel log, and I’m not going to show you 700 beautiful pictures.  This is a blog about food and exercise, and there were lessons to be learned on our trip.

The food on the cruise was amazing.  The good BTD choices were endless.  I had a huge breakfast every morning – always eating eggs and smoked salmon.  The ship was very international and had chefs who specialized in their native cuisines.  My favorite was an Indian chef who prepared the most fabulous curried vegetables for breakfast every morning.

Most nights we ate dinner in the formal dining room, but one time we went to an Asian venue for Mongolian barbeque that was delicious.  The meals in the formal dining room were elegantly prepared and served.  I enjoyed steak several nights and we both ate lots of fish.  The servers were great about letting me substitute extra beneficial vegetables for avoids like potatoes and pasta.

After dinner I would go to the grill where they had a gluten free dessert bar.  I wish had the recipes!  Most gluten free desserts attempt to copy popular cakes and cookies.  They wind up being too sweet and too heavy.  The desserts on the ship were light and fluffy – sort of like flavored meringue.  They were bite sized, so I could try two or three flavors each night.

Because we both ate “right for our types” we had loads of energy and did not gain any weight.  The only bad thing was the illusion on a cruise that food is free.  You pay for it in your ticket, of course; but that is months before the trip.  On board, you freely eat as much as you want of whatever you want.

That came to a screeching halt when we arrived in downtown Anchorage.  Oh my! Alaska is expensive!  I understand why – because of the climate they can’t have big farms and ranches.  Everything has to be shipped in.  But going from all you can eat for free to simple dinners that cost double what we pay at home was shocking.

There was a hot breakfast in our hotel every morning.  It was very wheat based – muffins, pastries, waffles – but there were eggs and fruit every day.  I picked up some canned vegetables at a grocery store to supplement the breakfast food.  But even the grocery store prices were high – so much more than I pay at home.  There is a friendly rivalry between Texas and Alaska about everything being bigger in Alaska.  When someone would find out I was from Texas and tease me a little, I would laugh and say, “no argument from me – food prices are definitely bigger in Alaska!”

We eventually figured out how to avoid high dollar meals.  Grocery stores had pre-packaged salads for a reasonable price.  That was great for me.  My husband found out that Subway sandwich shops are plentiful, and their prices were about the same as they are at home.

But our best option for healthy, inexpensive food was the Food Court in the Malls.  We could get generous servings of Asian and Greek food for really reasonable prices.  We wished someone had told us ahead of time that Alaska Food Courts are a bargain.  Perhaps you will remember when you plan your own Alaska vacation.

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