Articles written by Dimitra Lavrakas

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 By Dimitra Lavrakas    Travel    April 1, 2024 

Retired teachers take to the road

When Road Scholar put out its recent call for retired teachers and their guests to take a tour of the Italian Riviera or Nova Scotia, the response lagged and both tours were thrown open to everyone....

 
 By Dimitra Lavrakas    Travel    April 1, 2024 

Alaska Airlines offers new program (Will not replace Club 49)

Whew! That was a close one—for now. Alaska Airlines’ new program, “Alaska Access,” will not replace Alaskans’ cherished Club 49 Alaskans-only free program for now. Club 49 includes two free checked bags, as well as for anyone else on the same tick...

 

Mr. Whitekeys' new act

Perhaps you remember those nights in the Fly By Night Club watching Mr. Whitekeys' "Whale Fat Follies" or "Christmas in Spenard," and laughing so hard you snorted your drink through your nose. He skew...

 

Birds on the wing return in the spring

Our eyes turn to the skies in early spring with the return of the birds that signal warm weather and another generation of their species. In Utqiagvik, it's the welcome sight of the snowbird and, in...

 

Now is a great time to go to Hawaii

Hawaii is the perfect place to go in February- only six hours out of Anchorage, to a nearby time zone just one hour behind, where you land with nary a hint of jet lag and ready to again experience...

 

The history of the Klondike Gold Rush never gets old

Somewhere in the wilds of Homer is Brian George Smith, a self-proclaimed "male action figure of the opposite of a crazy cat lady." He has 13 older, special needs cats who keep him company while he wri...

 

Northern lights and Fairbanks nights

After some time off, solar maximum has returned to the skies. It's a regular period of greatest solar activity during the sun's 11-year solar cycle. On Dec. 15, www.spaceweather.com reported Sunspot...

 

Kodiak shines as a best place to visit

Travel agents are coming back Many of you in your senior years still avoid the use of computers. This is both good and bad. Good because it makes you comfortable not having to wrestle with the...

 

Travel, education in one package from Road Scholar

John McCool just returned home to Anchorage from an 11-day whirlwind trip with Road Scholar. He believes he's done over 40 with them, and says travel is made easy because the itinerary is so well...

 

Baby, it's going to be cold outside

If you face heating bills that are burdensome, the State of Alaska’s Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program could be your solution. LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. It c...

 

Travel, activities sparkle in the fall

The tourists have departed and the land is changing colors, and it's the time when Alaskans can see the state unhindered by tour buses and being asked pesky questions like, "when do the Northern...

 

Europe sleeper trains travel far and wide

Why do I write so many columns about trains? Because I'm old, you're old and we can't walk that far anymore. Taking a train means you see more of a country and its cities, towns and villages, and in...

 

Alaska's winter ferry schedule announced

It didn't take long for new Alaska Marine Highway Director Craig Torga to make waves. Since his appointment in March this year, he's been busy turning the ferry service around. The winter schedule is...

 

Alaska Railroad notes a century of operation

By DIMITRA LAVRAKAS Senior Voice Travel Correspondent "That the Alaska Railroad was ever built is astonishing," writes Alaskan author Steven Levi in his rollicking history of the Alaska Railroad in...

 

Alaska Railroad centennial celebrations

All Aboard: The Alaska Railroad Centennial On view May 5, 2023 – Feb. 18, 2024, Anchorage Museum Atrium, first floor. Opening in the centennial year of the completion of the Alaska Railroad, this e...

 

Alaska Railroad CEO takes a look back and forward

William G. O'Leary has served as president and chief executive officer for 10 years and is responsible for the daily management and operations of the Alaska Railroad Corporation. Here he gives his...

 

Summer offers festivals and fairs, near and far

It seemed like it would never happen, but the snow is gone and you can take to the road to check out all the great summer fairs and festivals Alaska has to offer. This year, try voyaging in a...

 
 By Dimitra Lavrakas    Local    June 1, 2023

How Rick Mystrom found his groove

Nothing seems to stop Rick Mystrom. From the quest to hold the Olympics in Anchorage, to building an ad agency, to running for mayor of Anchorage, to facing the scourge of Type 1 diabetes, Mystrom...

 

Alaska's awe-inspiring National Parks and Monuments

Recently, a press statement came in from online travel guide Travel Lemming that reported on national parks ranked by affordability, accessibility, biodiversity, crowds, reviews and weather. The overa...

 
 By Dimitra Lavrakas    Travel    May 1, 2023

Kenai Peninsula senior centers welcome travelers

Gone are so many of the historic Alaska roadhouses that provided travelers with a meal and sometimes lodging, but senior centers across the Kenai have stepped in. The Seward Highway to Kenai's...

 
 By Dimitra Lavrakas    News    April 1, 2023

Palmer lunch cancellation hard to swallow

When Palmer Senior Center, a facility under the Mat-Su Senior Services, announced on Feb. 17 that its on-site lunch program would end Feb. 21, seniors expressed anger, sorrow and understanding on its Facebook page. The center’s page disabled c...

 

Alaska writer turns former job into flaming passion

There's nothing better to warm up with on a chilly Alaska night than a romance novel with not only lust, but fire. But with Lolo Paige's books, don't expect covers with buxom women having their...

 

Exhilarating Oregon coast beckons you

You enter Newport via the impressive 600-foot Yaquina Bay Bridge, a combination of art deco and art moderne with touches of gothic architectural style that opened in 1936. It sits a thrilling 135...

 

A plague of travel difficulties to contend with

Thousands upon thousands of travelers have been stuck recently in transportation hell due to a number of problems. Whether it's weather, lack of airline employees, FAA system failures, it's a real...

 

Free medical flights with angel pilots

For 39 years, Angel Flight West has transported thousands of people to medical care – for free. Flights are generally for passengers who can't afford airline tickets, or for whom travel by land or c...

 

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