Okay okay I'm back! Betcha didn't know it but I've been posting from afar as Andrew and celebrated our wedding anniversary.
I haven't said much about life lately but things have been a little tough around here. Sickness, death, accidents, fires, family separations, for some reason our family and friends have been hit with more than their fair share. I haven't posted about it because 1) they're not really my stories to share 2) I don't like posting about failures or tragedy--it's just not something I care to dwell on and 3) despite being a blogger I really am a rather private person and have a hard time throwing family drama out for public inspection.
But having said this perhaps you'll get an idea of how much Andrew and I were looking forward to getting away for a mini-trip. Just a quick escape to enjoy the beautiful Alaska summer and remember the good things about the last 15 years. We drove 45 minutes south to Girdwood and checked into The Alyeska Prince Hotel (or The Hotel Alyeska) at the base of Mount Alyeska.
The room, the view, the weather, the dinner at The Double Musky Inn, the pearl bracelet (woo hoo my man has good taste), everything was perfect until 2 am when we were rocked out of our luscious king-sized heavenly fluffy bed by the sound of an alarm blaring and a man's voice saying, "Your attention please. A fire has been reported in the building, please evacuate immediately. Do not use the elevators. . . "
Then the alarms went crazy and lights flashed. After the way our lives have been lately we totally thought we were going to die. We just expected it, given the way our family's luck had been going lately--that this was the Other Shoe we'd been waiting to have drop and stomp us out.
Stumbling through hallways with the other guests, it took a while to get down (we had requested a room on the top) and soon we were mingling in the parking lot glad to be outside and watching things go down.
Half an hour later they determined it was a false alarm and we were allowed to re-enter but can you imagine how jittery we were after that? I couldn't get back to sleep for an hour and then was brutally hit by the alarm again at 7:21 when the scene was repeated. The alarm turned off quicker this time but it happened three or four more times that morning. Sure makes for a pins-and-needles experience when you can't decide whether to get in the shower for fear of having the alarm go off. Do you go down to breakfast and run the risk of having to leave your meal for another evacuation? What if they're wrong and it really is a fire and after we start ignoring the false alarms we all get burned up in our beds?
Yes, my mind jumped to a few conclusions but given our history can you blame us?
The real kicker was that when we were awakened the second time and went to leave we noticed that even with the chaos the staff had kindly been around and left the traditional "Expedited Checkout" card under the door. Maybe Alyeska's idea of an "Expedited Checkout" is different from other hotels, complete with mood-enhancing emergency sirens, but I couldn't help but think that when they advertised a romantic "getaway" package what they really meant "Get Away! Run for your lives!"
We comforted ourselves with the thought that we'd at least probably get a voucher for a free night's stay or something to comfort us through the night's irritation but no, they expected a full payment. Evidently that Towering Inferno ambiance doesn't come cheap.
I'm including footage from the evening's excitement--how often does one see a hotel fire drill anyway? Notice how bright it was even at 2 am even in a wooded mountain region? That's Alaska at solstice for you. And if you're looking into a night's stay at the Alyeska Prince better bring your ear plugs. You're going to need them.
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