Friday, March 11, 2011

Hidden Talents

As it turns out, the first two days of my Spring Break have  revealed/confirmed some pretty nifty talents I might not have otherwise discovered.

List of New Talents:
1. Not sleeping
2. Sleeping anywhere
3. Taking/making opportunities
4. Attracting/befriending crazy people
5. Endurance
6. Making people laugh


1.  My Spring Break started after classes on Wednesday.  I went to Canvas as usual at 6pm, then hung out with friends afterwards late into the night.  I didn't get to sleep until 3am and woke up at 4am to set out on my journey.  Considering I was running on one hour of sleep, I did pretty well for myself, getting to the airport and onto my plane without a hitch. I even made sure the excessive amount of miles I would be flying could go to my Frequent Flyer account. No sleep required.

2.  But, once I got on my first plane, I became a sleep warrior.  Even though I sat in the center seat for two flights, I balled up and dreamed my way across the country.  Neither height nor depth, nor any other creature in all creation can keep me from sleeping when I set my mind to it.

3.  In between my 2nd and 3rd flight of the day (Indy->Dallas; Dallas->Seattle; Seattle->Fairbanks) I had a six-hour layover, so I decided to grab a taxi and explore Seattle.  I decided that in order to say that I have actually visited Seattle, I would have to leave the airport, and I am so glad that I did.  A nice man at the currency exchange booth advised that I visit Pike's Place Market (the one where they throw fish).  It was so cool.  I felt like I was on the Travel Channel.  I loved to wander through the booths tasting samples, admiring musicians and people-watching.  I settled on an Alaskan cod roll for lunch and placed myself near a big window where I could watch the rain and waves roll into the bay.

4. I then ran into a man named Mauel on the street.  He wasn't quite on his A-game, but we had a fun chat and even sang a little "Victory in Jesus" for the heck of it.  Here's Manuel:

I kept walking and this funny old man's hat blew off, so I helped him chase it down.

Finally, I waved goodbye to Seattle and headed off to Fairbanks.  I again slept for most of the flight and awoke just in time to see the Northern Lights from my plane window as we landed in Fairbanks.  The final leg of my journey was to find my hostel, which proved to be rather difficult for my newbie taxi driver... eventually we found it (after pulling over for me to read the map in the glove box), and I settled into bed, sharing a room with a mom (Rebecca) and her son (Roan) from Anchorage.

5. In the morning, I had few plans of what I wanted to do, so I started with breakfast.  Fairbanks has 6 bus routes, so I thought that would be my best bet to get around, but the schedules were inaccurate, and I was impatient, so I just ended up walking.  I did get to chat up the Mogolian team for the World Ice Sculptor's Competition, so that was cool.  I spent a good deal of time eating almond butter, Nutella and gorp burritos at SafeWay, then purused shops downtown and finished with stopping by the Fairbanks Curling Club (awesome) and the World Ice Sculptor's Garden.  All in all, I walked over 12 miles today in sub-freezing weather.  It was truly a test of endurance.

6. I finally made it back to the hostel just as the last light was leaving the sky.  Two other hostel guests were chilling in the living room, so after a hot shower, I went down to say hello and cook some ramen.  Their names were Rie, a woman from Japan, and Joe, a deceivingly sweet Alaskan man.  As I ate, we watched Tom Cruise make a fool of himself in The Last Samari.  Joe, Rie and I had a few good laughs as we made fun of Tom Cruise, and I was once again encouraged how similar the inhabitants of this planet really are.  It's so cliche', but the fact that a rough and tough Alaskan man, a gorgeous Japanese young woman and a quirky Indiana girl can just sit down together and have a laugh makes the world seem a little bit smaller and more kind.

Tomorrow I am planning to take a hike through Creamer's Game Refuge and assuming I don't get mauled by a wild animal, I will probably spend the rest of the day exploring the University of Alaska-Fairbanks campus and hanging at coffee shops and used book stores.  I also pick up Kristen from the airport tomorrow, and we head to Eielson Air Force Base.  I am so unbelievably tired, so I am going to bed now.

I love you all.  Live your dreams. ha


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