I'm currently finishing day three of the seventeen I'll be here in Alaska. So far it's pretty much amazing.
The weather has been cool but not overly humid. We've already had a good mix of generally nice weather with some light rain.
I arrived before 1:30 AM and as our flight from Seattle worked its way along the Pacific edge of Canada I actually got to watch the sun rise again sometime around midnight from my window seat. I took what pictures I could through the airplane window, so I'll have to post them when I am able.
Four of the five other students from my university arrived within the same few hours as me and, after checking into our dorm rooms, none of us were tired. The thrill of being in the 49th state, mixed with the ability to safely wander through a perfectly well-lit town at 2:30 in the morning, made us restless.
Also, the airline lost my luggage and I had to go buy a toothbrush. We were also all very hungry, so we got a taxi driver to take the five of us through the Taco Bell drive-through, which was pretty much the only thing open.
Noon is still the brightest time of day and sometime between midnight and two or three in the morning is darkest. Which is still not actually dark; it's more like twilight. The sun pretty much stays just under the horizon all "night". And in the daytime it doesn't get as high in the sky as it does in California.
I'm sharing a double room in the dormitories with one of my very close friends and things are working out really well with that. We share the floor with the other students from our school and a couple others from the same program. There's one big bathroom (eight or so toilets and about six showers) on the floor. I think it's technically the ladies' room during the year, but we're college students and we just don't give a shit. So we share and it seems to work. There are a couple older women on the floor who were surprised the first few times they saw the young guys wandering around in there after a shower, but I think they're recovering well.
We're within walking distance to most things. I'm using walking distance in sort of a loose sense here. Fred Meyer, for instance, is the best place for us to go get groceries and other supplies. It is also almost exactly two miles from the dorms. So it's a good thing I brought good walking shoes. My legs have been sore for what seems like forever. There are also a lot of hills and such around the university here. I just figure I need the exercise, so nearly every time someone goes into town (basically, down the hill from the school) I find myself offering to join them. It's easier to comprehend walking when you're somewhere that isn't 105 degrees outside, I promise.
My favorite things about Alaska thus far:
1--It is absolutely gorgeous. Like even more beautiful than "Into The Wild" led me to believe, and that movie made everything seem pretty awesome. It's ridiculous and almost annoying. I'm glad I got to experience it for the first time not only during summer, but right in the middle of July when it's warmest and everything is at its most lush.
2--These are some of the nicest people I've ever met in my entire life. All of them. There's only one person I've encountered in the last three days who wasn't very friendly (he's the cashier for the liquor counter in Fred Meyer, which, by the way, has an AMAZING liquor section) and even he is still nice. Everyone is polite and helpful and courteous.
We talked to a man outside one of the bars on Saturday night (bars here don't close until 3:30 on the weekend) about things to do on the cheap in the area and Sunday we ran into him in Fred Meyer. Not only did he recognize us, but he actively sought us out to say hello and see how we were doing. He said people move away and move back because they miss the other people who live here and the general attitude so much.
I could almost live here. If I ever get sick of California, it's either here or Seattle.
But that's my "in case of wealthiness" plan.