Usually at about this time of year, I’m tallying up my airline miles, ready to trade in the dead of winter for warmer weather, dark days for sunny skies and Bunny boots for flip-flops. And, full disclosure: I’m heading south to Tucson later this month.
But there’s little joy in escaping the weather when there is no weather to escape. We Alaskans have been robbed of what we really do, deep down, love and cherish: snow to our waist and black nights lit by northern lights.
When we experience the true beauty of Alaska’s winter, we feel better justified in our getaways to the south.
This year, however, has challenged even the ruddiest of Alaskans. November passed with nary a drop of snow. December teased us with a few inches here and there before wheezing to a rainy stop by New Year’s. And January? Don’t get us started.
Still, February remains a month full of possibilities. Maybe by the time this magazine is on the streets, we will be swimming in snow. Or maybe we will be elsewhere, enjoying sunnier skies in other locales.
This month, we asked a few of our columnists to share their favorite destinations come winter — when the need for rest and relaxation includes a sunny beach or a nearby cocktail. No matter how you feel about winter in Alaska, vacations are always fun to dream about — and with the help of our columnists, maybe you will come up with your own plan.
Janice Tower takes us to the desert, where slickrock riding is second to none, while Michael Halcro lures us to Florida, where the running is flat and the views expansive.
Or enjoy a culinary vacation — from Katie Pesznecker’s memorable New York City dining experience to the exotic cuisines of Asia’s finest countries.
No matter your skills at fishing, Chris Batin’s exploration of Thailand will leave you drooling for more. From off-the-beaten-track fishing to elephant riding to basking in the rich culture of this area, Thailand is a place like no other.
Last there is the must-do for the diehard Alaskan, the person reading this and saying to himself, “What do you mean, leave Alaska in February? This is the best time of the year!”
For those, Jack Bonney and Ben Napolitano share the joys of the staycation. Keep your hard-earned money right here in Alaska and tear it up at Alyeska or run it down (with the reindeer, of course) in downtown Anchorage.
As for me, I’ll be doing a bit of both. The airline miles have been ambushed — it’s Fairbanks first, Alyeska next, followed by Tucson last. Cash-poor but adventure rich: There really is no better way, right?