Thursday Sept 26, 2019

We’re home. (You probably guessed.) We ended our Alaskan adventure several days ago in that country’s northern-most centre: Fairbanks – once a rough-and-ready goldrush town, now the region’s Golden Heart City. Fairbanks is just a couple of hundred kms from the Arctic Circle. In summertime it’s still twilight at 1am in the morning – and darkness lasts barely three hours. During Alaska’s frigid winter, of course, when temperatures drop to 40°-below (or worse), it’s daylight that’s in short-supply. But that doesn’t stop Fairbankers from having fun. Their far-north town is Start-Line for the Yukon Quest – a 1000-mile dog-sled race. It’s also Ground Zero for viewing the weirdly wonderful Aurora Borealis in the northern night skies.

We didn’t witness any auroras, regrettably, despite (some of us) freezing our butts off in the super-dark middle-of-nowhere until 3am in the morning. (Too much cloud – aarrgghh!) But we did sample a slice of Fairbank-life, touring a restored steam-dredge … panning for gold in the hope of a lucky strike … riding the river aboard a lovely big paddle-steamer, Riverboat Discovery … going ashore in the rain to tour a traditional Athabascan Indian village … and eyeballing some Rudolph-the-Brown-Nosed reindeer (real) plus a whopper moose-at last (stuffed)!

By this stage, it was all over bar the shouting. Rising next morning at 2:30am, we caught a southbound flight (via Seattle) to Vancouver: the magnificent City of Glass … celebrated our Mad Midlife Farewell Dinner at the Black & Blue restaurant … crawled into our huge beds for the last time in North America … then dragged bags and bodies back to the airport for our 13-hour Air New Zealand flight home to Godzone.

Alaska? It’s totally amazing! So you’ve gotta add it to your ‘bucket-list’. We’ve had a BALL, we truly have! And we’ll never forget our lovely long weeks in these vast wild regions …

PEOPLE-NEWS: One lucky-last oinky pink pig has fled the pen and found a new home …

  • Heather earned herself our ‘Flushed Away Award’ – for pulling down a pile of fluffy, nicely-folded towels in her hotel bathroom and accidentally dropping them into the loo! Whoops – splash!

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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PPS: And if you’d like to join us on one of our UPCOMING CRUISES OR TOURS, go to www.midlifemadness.tours … phone Glen or Rochelle (House of Travel Ellerslie) on 0800 323 333 … or email info@midlifemadness.tours.

  • We’re touring JAPAN in cherry-blossom season, March 2020 …
  • river-boating along the RHINE & DANUBE in May 2020 …
  • enjoying a WILD AFRICAN SAFARI in August 2020 …
  • cruising on the QUEEN MARY II (Dubai to Suez Canal to London) in March 2021 …
  • and lots more!



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About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!


  1. Hi Coons
    So glad you’re home again. Look forward to seeing you soon 💞
    Hard to imagine only having 3 hours of darkness. Does it make sleeping hard?
    Cannot believe how cold it’s been since you got home. Goes to show that in fact the cold followed you here. Wasn’t like that before ha ha.
    Love n hugz Kerkys xx

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