So I’ve just got back from a pretty EPIC holiday for the best part of 3 weeks and whilst I’m still trying to mentally process everything that has happened, along with recounting the plethora of new good times and memories made (Oh, and trying to sort out the many THOUSANDS of pictures taken), I thought I would drop a short post of things I’ve learned in this trip. After all, they say travel broadens the mind:
- I have an awesome family – I mean, it’s not as if I’ve never mentioned it before, but every time we all get together in whatever numbers, I can honestly say that I come away feeling more love for them all and realise just how fortunate I am to be able to call them my family. In this trip, there were also extended family members; in-laws, etc. which added to the fun and frivolity
- It really is cold when you reach a mountain summit – One of the things I did was ride on the White Pass and Yukon Route train to White Pass Summit. Some of the scenery was beautiful and it was such a treat to be on some very lovely reconditioned old-fashioned trains. Thank goodness I had my thermal scarf, hat and gloves because it was COLD!
- Alaska is Beautiful – I’ve always wanted to do a cruise to Alaska but nothing really prepared me for the beauty of Alaska. Some of the scenery was truly breathtaking and I would love to go back again.
- It is (surprisingly) cold when you are by a glacier. I know, it sounds stupid and obvious, but I hadn’t prepared myself mentally for *how* cold it would be! Similar to the point above about the Mountain summit, I was thankful for warm clothing.
- I really should stop trying to be the cool kid and not get involved with crowds – In my reluctance to see what the fuss was about, I missed seeing a bear (in the wild as compared to in captivity) about 20ft away across the stream. I never got another chance to see a bear throughout the whole trip. I did however see lots of Bald Eagles in the wild which was a treat.
- I have pretty much nailed the art of taking selfies on my phone – Seriously, my phone camera roll was predominantly of food pics prior to this trip, but there are now a *lot* of selfies…
- I like the sun and warmth, but much prefer the cold – One of the reasons I loved Alaska so much was because it was so cold and meant I could layer up with warm clothing. Whilst I liked the sun and heat of California afterwards, it was a bit too hot at times for me (although I do like being tanned)
- Siri and Location Services work a lot better in the US – This means nothing android or Windows phone users, but I’m an iPhone user and I’ve noticed that not only are location services a lot more accurate in the US (as compared to within 20ft here in the UK, especially when using Uber), but Siri is subsequently a lot more useful as the results are more accurate when trying to get directions to and from places.
- GO TEAM 12! – My family and I are able to create havoc wherever we go. By the end of the 2nd night of the cruise, we had established a reputation by having a bit of fun in one of the quizzes. Of course, we were never going to win the quiz as some teams took it seriously, but we had the funniest (and rudest) answers and well, it certainly made us memorable and the hosts of the quiz enjoyed it.
- If you ever book a brewery tour and tasting at Anchor Brewery, make sure you eat something first – They don’t skimp on the measures during the tasting part of the session! I had a BRILLIANT time there and suspect that the amount of alcohol drunk (we tried 7 different beers and nothing less than a quart) had a direct correlation with the amount of money spent in the gift shop afterwards.
- For long haul flights, I *really* shouldn’t be sat next to the window – I mean, aside from the slightly claustrophobic tendencies I have, it really is awkward waking up 2 complete strangers every so often because you want a pee or need to stretch your legs. Am pretty sure that my flight would have been a lot more relaxing and enjoyable if I was sat in an aisle seat
- The level of service and friendliness from the cabin crew really does vary from airline to airline – Sad to say, but not once did any of the cabin crew actually break into a smile throughout my whole trip. Will have to reconsider travelling with them again
- Sometimes, a little pain and inconvenience is worth it – It may have been a pain having to go through passport control again with the liquid restrictions, etc when changing planes so that I land back in BHX rather than getting a direct flight to Heathrow or Manchester, but the fact that even with a stop at the chippy for some fish and chips and a stop to get some milk for a cup of tea, it was brilliant to be in my home, on my sofa within an hour of landing.
- Sometimes, you just need to go with the flow – I may not have done everything I wanted to on my #40list this trip as planned, but there were some unexpected new items on there which more than made up for it.
Right, I have 5000+ photos to sort and a lot to write about….