Almost Stranded: A Tale of a Missed Bus
I arrived in Anchorage, Alaska at about 11:30 PM, and it was still bright as day outside. There was a bite to the air but it was not as cold as I had imagined. I stood outside the airport after having collected my one very heavy bag, and I waited for the hotel shuttle. I eventually called the hotel and asked if they even had a shuttle, which they did not (I would have been standing there for a long time). I ended up taking a taxi from the airport to downtown Anchorage, which cost me roughly $18 plus a tip. I couldn’t see much from the cab, as we drove through the outskirts into the center of the city, and for all I could see it looked like it could have been the Valley.
The cab dropped me off at The Westmark hotel and I proceeded to get really confused as the hotel didn’t have my reservation, even though the people at Princess had booked the room for me; or so I thought. The gentleman at the front desk told me I was lucky that they had rooms open and proceeded to give me one at the employee price, although he made it crystal clear that he was doing something nice for me and that I should be very appreciative of him. I was definitely appreciative, but he made it sound as if he were working a miracle for me. I suppose since I didn’t have to sleep out on the street, it sort of was.
As a quick hotel review, it was a decent room, clean and functional. The bathroom could use an update and maybe a deep clean, but it didn’t bother me enough to really complain about it. The bed was fairly comfortable and I had no problem falling or staying asleep.
The next morning I woke up and called the tour desk, and yet again they didn’t know anything about the shuttle that I was talking about. After a round on Facebook, I figured out that the shuttle was at noon. I went on Yelp to see if there was anyplace good to eat around the hotel, and discovered a popular spot called Snow City Café. I walked the few blocks and was greeted with a 35-40 minute wait for breakfast. Luckily they had a counter and I was able to sneak into a single open spot. I of course ordered the salmon cakes breakfast and coffee, and it was delicious and way too much food.
I walked back to the hotel and parked myself in the lobby staring out the window at noon sharp. I waited…and waited…and waited…and nothing even resembling a shuttle came. After several dozen panicked phone calls and text messages, I was able to gather which Wal-Mart the shuttle would be stopping at, so I took a cab there. I panicked again when I didn’t see the shuttle, but it arrived after a few minutes and I was never so relieved to see a gigantic motorcoach. I sheepishly admitted to the driver Brian that I had somehow missed it when they stopped at the hotel. I felt like an idiot, but so damn relieved to see that gigantic bus that I didn’t care much. I ran into Wal-Mart and picked up my essentials and some McDonald’s food (I didn’t know when I’d be getting fast food again, don’t judge me!), and off we went on the bus to my next big adventure.