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Day 2 - Anchorage, Alaska

Long before our trip, Ziggy and I had this discussion of what we were to see and do on our trip. Ziggy was so excited about going to Alaska. I asked her why and she told me that she always wanted to stay in an igloo, ride in a dog sled and meet Eskimos. I told her, "I hate to pop your bubble Ziggs, but there are no igloos in Alaska. At least, none that i am aware of. And as far as that goes, Eskimos are called 'Inuits' I believe. And why would you want to be pulled around in a dog-sled? Man, you watch too many cartoons!"

When I saw that this really bummed her out, I told her I could be wrong and called one of our subscribers, Susanne, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska. I told her what the problem was and she told me she would set it up for me. Ziggy wasn't to know this but the plan was that when we got to the airport, a man was to meet us. Now, he would be dressed as an 'Eskimo', have a team of dogs and sled, and take us to an Igloo. Susanne assured me she would take care of everything. That's where we pick up the story.

We arrived in Anchorage a little after 2am. The airport was bare. Hardly a soul around. All Ziggy wanted to see were the Eskimos. I told her that I could promise anything, but you never know.

All of a sudden, an Eskimo walked in with the daily newspapers. He was stocking the new publication boxes in the airport with the morning news.

Ziggy and I approached him, told him who we were and why we were visiting. He said he would be glad to take us wherever we wanted to go. It was freezing to me and Ziggy. Especially just after coming from Hawaii! The temperature was right at 32 degrees. He said that was Summertime to him. Ziggy grabbed a hat out of her bag. A fur hat at that!

We went outside and I asked him where he was parked. He said around the corner. We walked around the corner. I was hoping to find his truck running but it was a dogsled of all things. I said, "Man, you got to be kidding me." Ziggy meowed, "Shut up and get in. This will be so cool."

Seeing how the 'Eskimo' didn't understand cat language, I translated for Ziggy.

I asked him if he lived in an igloo. He said yes. Ziggy was beside herself. I asked if he had an extra ice-cubical we could stay until morning and he said yes. And away we went!

It was sort of cold. I mean, really, really cold. As a matter of fact, it was so cold, I saw a dog stuck to a tree. Sorry. That's one of my favorite jokes. I couldn't resist.

Anyway, we got to his igloo and went inside. He asked if I wanted some coffee. I said sure and he poured me a cup. By the time I drank it, it was like a slurpy from 7-Eleven. But I drank it. He showed us our room.

It was really cold. I looked over at Ziggy holding her nose and said, "And ...you ...wanted ...to ...spend ...the ...night ...in ...an ...Igloo."

In the morning, we got up and finally got to meet the kind Eskimo and his wife who showed us hospitality. Their names were Kirima and Karumba.

He told us a little about his heritage. "Although the name "Eskimo" is commonly used in Alaska to refer to all Inuit and Yupik people of the world, this name is considered derogatory in many other places because it was given by non-Inuit people and was said to mean "eater of raw meat." Linguists now believe that "Eskimo" is derived from an Ojibwa word meaning "to net snowshoes." However, the people of Canada and Greenland prefer other names. "Inuit," meaning "people," is used in most of Canada, and the language is called "Inuktitut" in eastern Canada although other local designations are used also."

I asked Kirima and Karumba what it meant to them to be American. They told us that it was nice to live wherever they wanted and to maintain their heritage, their religious belief and also by living in an igloo. (All set up by Susanne I might add).

He said he not only delivered papers to the airport, but was also a fisherman and offered to take us into town to the nicest restaurant to eat some of the freshest salmon we'll ever have anywhere else in the country. I asked, "Are we going in your dogsled." He relied, "Oh heavens no. We'll take a ride in my brand new Porsche. I never take that to deliver papers!"

Only in America! He took us to a place called The Marx Brothers Cafe! Can you believe it. And oh man, fresh seafood everyday. Wait til you see what we had!!

The Marx Brothers Cafe was voted the best seafood restaurant in Anchorage. Daily fresh seafood, salad bars, tender prime rib, thick steaks, 101 burgers, 2 lounges. He told us that we had to get the Linguine with Lemon & Smoked Salmon and we did. It was awesome. Here's the recipe.

Linguine with Lemon & Smoked Salmon
Makes 2-3 servings.

1/2 pkg linguine or fettuccine
1 lemon [1/2 tsp grated lemon peel & 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice]
1/2 lb asparagus or sugar snap peas
1/4 lb smoked salmon slices
1 tbsp olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
10-oz can chicken broth, undiluted
1 1/2 tsp capers
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup whipping cream optional

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil, stir in pasta. Cook uncovered till al dente. Finely grate 1/2 tsp peel from lemon & squeeze 1 1/2 tsp juice. Snap off woody ends of asparagus & discard.

Slice asparagus into bite-size pieces. (Likewise with snap peas).

Slice salmon into long strips. Heat oil & garlic in large saucepan set over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in broth & capers. Lower heat so broth just simmers while pasta cooks.

When pasta is almost cooked, stir asparagus (or peas) into broth & cook for 3 mins. Stir in peel & juice. Toss with hot drained pasta. Stir in salmon & parsley. Taste.

For extra tang, stir in more juice, or, for a smooth finish, stir in whipping cream. Grind black pepper over top.

Good eating to you!

_______________________________

After lunch, I told Ziggy it was time to get to the airport. We were going someplace warm and toasty. She was alright with that idea. And when i told her we were going to have some Arizona Beef Jerky, she ran on ahead of me. I thought she was excited. But she grabbed the window seat on the plane.... AGAIN. See ya in Phoenix, Arizona!

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