Check out our new website!
Whether you're sightseeing in Sydney or have business in Berlin, save valuable travel time by purchasing foreign currency and foreign currency travelers cheques before you go. Order a range of different currencies online — at competitive rates with no services fees.

Web Cam's of the Week * Website of the Week * Bonus Mile Offers * Special Offers * Where's Johnny Jet? * Reader Tip of  the Week * SkyGirls ?'s * SkyGuys ?'s * Jet Captain ?'s * Celeb Q&A * Chicago Tribune * LA Times * NY Times * Washington Post * USAToday * Elliott's Commentary * Columnists * Other News * Yahoo * ABC News * CNN * MSNBC * Good to Know!

  • Juneau Harbor Cam Image
  • Sitka, Alaska
  • Anchorage Alaska
  • Pakistan  Karachi Cam
      Don't you miss going to drive-in theaters like you did as a kid? Most are long gone, but we found a website that helps you find them -- whether they're still around or not.
    Didn't have a chance to read last week's newsletter? Click here!

    North to Alaska! Our adventure continues this week with the second half of our trip to the Last Frontier, and our L.A. pit stop and retreat. It's been an action-packed July -- and if you don't believe me, check out the airports we went (I mean, “ran”) through: LAX-JFK-LGA-DEN-ASE-LAX-SFO-SEA-ANC-SEA-SFO-LAX-DEN-FSD-RAP-DEN-LAX .  It looks like August will be the same, so I’ll still have some catching up to do.

    Amber Airplane and I left off last week at the Moose's Tooth pizza place in Anchorage.  For our new subscribers, we headed north for a couple of my book signings. It was also a great chance to hang out with friends.  

    Our day began with some smoothies that Lisa (the wife of Kevin, my friend from college) made. Mmmmm, were those good! Strawberry, raspberry and oatmeal.  That's right, oatmeal. I’d never think to add it, but boy does it make them tasty. It must be an Alaskan thing.  

    We were scheduled to go down to Seward, a 2 ½-hour drive, for a Kenai Sightseeing glacier tour, but at the last minute we had to cancel. Amber Airplane and I really wanted to go, because our $99 Tour Saver book has a 2-for-1 coupon which right there saved the cost and then some  ($109). The Kenai tour is six hours long, and everyone says it is amazing. I guess it will have to wait till next time, because we didn't know Kevin's friends -- the Spaniards -- had planned for us to go down to Girdwood for a farewell Spanish lunch (gazspacho, fritta, and salad with grapes).  

    They prepared everything at Kevin's house. Then we all drove down the  Seward Highway, one of the most scenic drives in North America. Our jaws dropped when we saw some of the most awesome scenery ever: snow-capped mountains, bald eagles, possibly beluga whales swimming in Cook Inlet.  Simply amazing!  

    Kevin's family has a ski cabin in Girdwood. It’s only 26 miles outside of Anchorage, but it looks and feels like another country. Make sure when (not “if!”) you visit Anchorage to make a stop in Girdwood, because it's home to Mt. Aleyska. After lunch we walked to the base of that incredible mountain for a mini-hike. Nacho, who is a Tour de France junkie, was excited when he saw a backroads caravan filled with bikes in parking lot. (I’m not that into bike racing, but check out their website: 

    Everyone in our group had been to the top many times, so they didn't want to go. Therefore, Amber Airplane and I walked over to the ticket booth to buy our tickets. It costs $16 to ride up the tram, but our tickets were free because our Tour Saver includes one free ride (one more reason to get that great book). FYI: You can ride down for free, but that means you gotta walk up. Luckily my exercise-fanatic brother wasn't with us; otherwise I would still be sucking on my inhaler.  

    The mountain is 2,300 feet up, and the tram holds 60 people plus skis. In the summer it departs every 15 minutes, or whenever they get 20 people – whichever comes first. The tram is right next to the Alyeska Prince Hotel.  The tram is open daily from 10:30 AM to 9:30 PM.  As you may know I am not a big fan of heights, so I wasn't too keen on going up. But I can't live in fear forever. Even though the tram is 300 feet high at one point, and sways a bit, I never felt unsafe. That’s because it's so huge, plus the breathtaking views took my mind off how high we were.

    When we got  off we felt like we were on top of the world. The air was cool and crisp. We walked a couple of hundred yards to Glacier Bowl which looked more like the moon.  Like a fool I climbed a 15-foot pile of snow and tried to ski down on my size 13 feet. As you can see that didn't turn out as boastfully as I predicted to Amber Airplane.  

    The glacier is constantly melting this time of year, and a rapid  stream runs all the way to Cook Inlet. Before heading back down we checked out the swanky Seven Glacier restaurant.  It's a 4-diamond eatery with 4-diamond prices, so bring your wallet. The average entree was around $35. Ordering surf and turf will set you back a cool $52. Ouch! But where else can you eat amazing food, enjoy spectacular views, and ski in and ski out?   Seven Glaciers (This Menu Is In PDF), Girdwood, AK, tel.: 907 754-2237.

    It was time to head back to Anchorage. We didn't even have time to continue south on Seward Highway for 10 minutes to check out  Portage Glacier like I wanted to (fortunately, we saw it last year). Instead we rushed back to make the last showing at our favorite movie theatre/restaurant. That's right: a combination movie theater and restaurant. It's called the Bear Tooth.  Not surprisingly, the owners are the same as the Moose's Tooth. They serve their famous designer pizzas, plus a whole bunch of other good food and snacks.  

    I personally love watching movies while eating real food. Picture a normal movie theater, but take out every other row of seats and install skinny  tables.  That's the Bear Tooth. You’d think there would be distractions from people eating and waiters delivering food, but for some reason there are not. Amber Airplane and I agree there are actually fewer distractions than a normal theater. Go figure! Another bonus is that it is very inexpensive: $3 per person to get. That probably explains why it is usually sold out (just like the night we went). They show movies that just left “normal” theaters and are about to be released on video (kind of like the airlines, but without the editing). We saw Anger Management, which we both liked.   Bear Tooth Theatre Pub, 1230 W 27th St., Anchorage, AK 99503.

    It's weird to come out of an 8 p.m. movie looking like late  afternoon.  When we got back to the house it was 11. We chilled by the fire with everyone, and told stories of the past. Just another great night in Alaska.  

    Friday was our last day there. While heading to the car I saw another moose in the driveway.  This wasn't as big as the one I spotted the other day, so everyone teased me: “Wow, did you see that elephant-sized moose?" They laugh now, but who’ll be laughing if the monster I came face to face with returns?   

    Ms. Airplane and I had lunch at another fine restaurant, Simon & Seaforts, with Scott McMurren who runs the AlaskaTravelGram and his friends. The food is as good as the views.  We highly recommend it.  Simon & Seaforts Saloon & Grill, 420 L Street, tel: 907-274-3502.

    After lunch Lisa and the Spaniards picked us up and brought us to another one of Amber Airplane's favorite Alaska gift shops: Alaska Berry. I wasn't complaining, because in addition to all kinds of homemade chocolates they have free samples! This is a must stop for Alaskan presents. Alaska Berry stocks every possible tourist gift, from stuffed wild animals to out-of-the-ordinary jellies (I recommend the fireweed jelly). They also have the largest chocolate fountain in the world. Amber and Lisa had to hold me back so I wouldn't dive in. That's my kind of a waterfall! Don't miss a walk through the parking lot for some fireweed ice cream (so good!). Also check out the reindeer.  BTW: Fireweeds are not pretty flowers; they really are weeds. They got their name because they are the first plants to grow after a fire. Alaska Berry, 5225 Juneau Street, Anchorage, tel.: 800-280-2927.

    We ended the evening with my last book signing at Cook Inlet on 5th Avenue, then went straight to the airport. Like most flights to the mainland, ours did not leave until around midnight. Did you know Alaska Airlines has five red eye flights to Seattle alone? We arrived early, which was good because the United check-in line was a nightmare. It was so long they had to pull us and the rest of the Seattle passengers so we wouldn’t miss it. BTW:  I like the motif of the airport. It's not one of those sterile ones that could be anywhere; you really feel like you’re in Alaska.

    Check out our crazy itinerary: We flew to Seattle at 11:35 p.m., and arrived at 4:41 a.m. Our flight to SFO was at 6 a.m.; then we connected to our LAX flight at 8:05 a.m. We were home by 10 a.m., and boy were we cranky. Can you blame us? We could've flown to Europe in that time. In case you’re wondering, this routing is called the cheap man's ticket to Alaska. 

    We were tired, but there was no time to rest. Instead we hopped on our bikes and enjoyed the warm Southern California sun before heading out on our next trip – a mere 30 hours later.  

    Next week read all about our 8-day South Dakota tour. (If you read last week’s newsletter, did you figure that’s where we went?)

    • Anchorage NBC Ch 2!
    • August 3, 2003 WICU (NBC) ~ ERIE, PA
    • August 3, 2003 WJET (ABC) ~ ERIE, PA
    • August 1, 2003 WSEE (CBS) ~ ERIE, PA
    • August 1, 2003 WICU (NBC) ~ ERIE, PA
    • July 31, 2003 Q104FM - CLEVELAND
    • July 30, 2003 WTMY 1280AM ~ SARASOTA, FL
    • Wayne's World
    • August 1, 2003 WPON 1460AM- DETROIT

    • *If you heard about us somewhere else or have the link to the story please email Johnny Jet media and let us know where!
    • This is amazing!!! I bet Mom can see you now! She and all of us are so proud of you!  Keep up the great work.  Love, Carol
    • Keep up the great work!  Every few days when on my travels I check your website for great articles, leads and information to benefit my travel experience.  What's great about the way you present yourelf in print and photos is that you make us feel as if we're part of your family too!  Your dad reminds me of mine!  God Bless you all... Phil from So. California
    • I just read this and last weeks “Where’s Johnny.”  Although I’m not Italian by birth, the account of your cousin’s wedding was touching indeed – especially your comments to the bride and groom.  You mother would be proud of your for sure!  I also loved your comments about Anchorage.  When my brother-in-law was stationed in the Army in Fairbanks, we flew into Anchorage and drove to Fairbanks.  Although I never intended to travel to Alaska, I would go back in a heartbeat – the whole state is breathtakingly beautiful.  We also later returned to Anchorage, stayed in a private location inside the Denali Park and were allowed to drive to it via the dirt highway.  We later drove our rental car from Fairbanks up the gravel highway to the Arctic Circle – now that was a treacherous ride dodging big rig trucks and flying gravel.  Keep those letter coming!  I feel like a member of your family.  P.S.  I still tell everyone about your website and weekly travel stories – I hope you’re getting lots of new subscribers.’Connor - San Diego, CA
    • I'm glad you got a shot of the mountains as you flew over them.  That's always one of my most vivid memories of my travels to Alaska.  It's truly one of God's wonders.   Congrats on the successful book signing.  That has to be a great thrill.  Robert - Pittsburgh
    • You and Amber running through the airport was hilarious! I actually cried tears reading how you and her ran to the furthest terminal.  And congratulations on your book signing!  That's our boy!  We're so proud of you!  Lolly- Los Angeles
    • Just because you're on tv, radio, and signing autographs, don't get all big-headed on me.  Don't forget about the little people when you become a big star! :-) N. - Boston
    • A couple of Anchorage thoughts:   I took a 747 out of there to Salt Lake, with maybe 10 passengers if you couldn't a couple of people twice.  When I asked the flight attendant why they used a 747, she smiled and pointed down.  She meant the hold:  The plane was filled with cargo.  Anchorage is a key shipping point for goods between the US and Asia, she said -- even if there were no passengers at all, the flight would still make money.  Who knew?  Dan - Connecticut
    • Email looks great. Website looks great. YOU ARE GREAT!!!  Kirk - L.A.
    • Johnny Jet, I enjoy your newsletter a lot. My son is Hobotraveler. Well. He made it to the border of  Iraq , sounds like he had great fun. He told me all about your newsletter and this old lady really is enjoying it. Sharry G - Indiana
    • Muchas gracias! Isn't Alaska the coolest place (no pun, really)? It's amazing to see the landscape so rugged, unique, and beautiful. Too bad that there's so many locations so difficult to gain access to, but it's absolutely worth the effort to try. A whirlwind stay of a few days is like wine tasting - makes you want to go back for more. I'm sure that Amber discovered some fine gift shops there as well.  Burt- New Jersey
    • I really like your website. I am in the travel industry and find it very helpful. Ginny - Atlanta
    • Hi--Am going on a tour of Europe soon, and my flight from Newark to Amsterdam and back is on Singapore Airlines.  Do you know anything about them?  Any safety issues?  Love your site.  Thanks.   Sandy, St.Louis.  REPLY:  Lucky you!  Singapore Airlines wins best Int'l airline every year.  Enjoy your trip!
    • I heard about your web page on the radio yesterday in Cleveland (104.1).  I have to say that it is the best page I have ever seen.  Congratulations and thanks so muck for creating and maintaining it. Jim C - Cleveland
    • As always, I loved this week's newsletter.  We're going on back-to-back cruises (up and back from Vancouver) on August 10.  We have been before.  In Seward, the turnaround point, we have booked a dog sled ride (on wheels) through   They raise dogs for the Iditarod race (March).  They will pick us up at the cruise ship terminal and deliver us back there.  I've talked to others who have taken their tour and it comes highland recommended at $39 a person.  It includes a tour of the facilities and a chance to play with this year's puppies. Willa - Seattle

      *Please note that we reserve the right to post excerpts, perhaps edited, from your message on the Johnny Jet website and newsletter. We will not use your full name without your express permission. If you'd rather not have your message posted on the website or newsletter, just say so and it won't be.
    Sun & Beach Packages - Kids & Family Packages - Great Outdoors Packages - Destinations Under $250* - Search for a destination at the Site59 Homepage
    I wanted to recommend an excellent hotel in Waikiki, the Waikiki Parc.  We use it when we travel for Hawaii visits, and college fairs.  It's reasonably priced, immaculate, the food's great, the customer service is just extraordinary.  Not only is everyone nice, but they're competent too.  It's one block back from the beach, but many of the rooms are ocean view.  They really did me right, so I wanted to pass on some good information about them. The web site is Mike Hughes  - San Francisco

    Have A Tavel Tip? (Send it to

    CHICAGO TRIBUNE (Free Registration)
    LOS ANGELES TIMES (Free Registration)
    NEW YORK TIMES (Free Registration)
    WASHINGTON POST (Quick Survey Required for first time visitors)
    USA TODAY (Free Registration)
      How to Stay in a Hotel for Free
      Next time you stay at a hotel, get "comped." The "comp," which is industry jargon for getting a complimentary room for a night, is the ultimate hotel perk. A free room means you're someone special, like a frequent guest, a high-roller or just a really, really good negotiator. And free, as I explained in an earlier column on flying for nothing, is lot better than cheap. > Details in Power Trip .

      Spend Miles, Save Money , A Guide to Hotel Doublespeak , Four Best Hotel Chains .
      Where do you want to go on your next vacation? If you answered "not too far" then have we got the site for you. shows you the unfamiliar side to a familiar place - whether it's running with the dogs in Sun Valley, Id., or eating frogs in Fellsmere, Fla.
    AIRLINE TICKETS: Orbitz Expedia Travelocity Hotwire Priceline
    HOTELS (UP TO 70% OFF): Hotels.com1800USAHotel Priceline Hotwire
    CAR RENTALS: Auto Europe Enterprise Hertz Hotwire Priceline
    CRUISES: Cruise Deals Cruise 411Cruise WizardCruise Direct
    • JetBlue: More room, but...
    • Virgin takes BA vouchers a step further
    • Free Jazz August 7 At San Jose International Airport And August 8-10 In The City
    • Country Stars Perform A Free August 6 Concert At LAX
    • JetBlue, Delta feud heats up
    • Finding (And Enjoying) The Best Of Finnish Food
    • Alone At Last
    • America's Top 10 Most Dangerous Parks
    • New terror threat rattles airlines
    • LAX to limit number of passengers?
    • Sometimes, a low profile is best
    • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State today suspended two programs that allow certain international air passengers to travel through the United States for transit purposes without first obtaining a visa.
    • American Airlines will make its Web fares now shown only on its Web site available on and, a site for businesses. Both services are owned by Sabre, which has already signed up US Airways, Continental, Delta and Northwest for the same program.
    • Beginning Oct. 1, passengers on Alaska Airlines and its regional airline Horizon Air will pay $25 to check bags weighing 51 to 70 pounds. Alaska hopes to encourage lighter packing and reduce employee injuries. The current $50 fee for bags 71 to 100 pounds will stay the same. There's no charge for bags under 51 pounds.
    • By year's end, Marriott International plans to offer free high-speed Internet access in guest rooms at its Courtyard, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites hotels. Free access will be available at more than 500 Fairfield Inns by the end of 2004.
    • Virgin Atlantic and Continental Airlines frequent fliers can now earn and redeem miles on each other's flights. The carriers have shared passengers since 1998, but until now, customers could not accrue miles.
    • Song, Delta's low-fare carrier, today begins flying two round trips a day between New York LaGuardia and Tampa. Song plans to add Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and West Palm Beach.
    • US Airways is adding first-class seats to all its shuttle flights between New York LaGuardia and both Boston Logan and Reagan Washington National starting Oct. 6. They're already on the Boston-Washington run, where the unrestricted first-class, round-trip fare is $1,151 compared with $761 in coach. First-class passengers will get a seat that's 3 to 4 inches wider than coach and free cocktails anytime.
    • The airline that charges many passengers for meals has relaxed its policy on headphones. US Airways says you can now use your own headsets to watch in-flight movies or listen to audio channels. If you don't have headphones, they'll sell you a pair for $5. Formerly, passengers who wanted to use headphones had to rent them for $5. Last month the airline began charging $7 for breakfast and $10 for lunch and dinner on most domestic flights of 700 miles or more.
    Staying Healthy While Traveling By

    Despite the long, leisurely dinners out, lazy afternoons on the beach, and late mornings in bed, a vacation from your hectic life doesn't have to mean a vacation from your fitness routine. Even if you aren't into any kind of routine exercise, and the prospect of donating blood every morning at six would be preferable to hitting the gym, there are plenty of small ways to beat the vacation bulge and return from your getaway both relaxed and healthy.

    Here are some quick tips for staying fit on the go:
    • Pack sneakers! No matter where you are going, there will be an opportunity to exercise, even if it's just a morning walk or a jog down the beach.
    • Ask if your hotel has a fitness center. Many hotels offer surprisingly well-equipped gyms for frequent travelers who want to keep up their daily workout while on the road.
    • If it's a long flight, walk around on the plane. This will stretch your muscles, and will also reduce the risk of blood clots, or "deep vein thrombosis," which is very rare but can be life-threatening on long-haul flights.
    • If you have a favorite lightweight workout gadget (like a jump rope or an ab-roller), take it with you. You may surprise yourself and actually unpack it!
    • Don't eat whatever you want just because you're on vacation. While traveling to a new place is the perfect opportunity to dig into the local cuisine and broaden your culinary horizons, don't get carried away!
    • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and especially before your flight. Hydrated travelers are healthy travelers.
    • Walk or bike around. This is easy and fun if you are going to a beach or resort location, and you'll often find bikes are the quickest and most efficient way to get around. But even if you're heading to the city, walking to some of your destinations often beats hailing a cab; you'll save a few bucks and burn a few calories.
    • Consider a spa vacation. There are literally dozens of different types, from those offering relaxing massage and mud treatments, to the more active, outdoorsy kind.
    • Try to eat at regular intervals. While this is sometimes a difficult task when you're on the go, it will save you from the pig out session that inevitably follows a few skipped meals.

    This Newsletter is sent by permission only. If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription at any time, please login HERE . If you have any questions or suggestions please send message addressed to

    Want to sign-up for this newsletter?
    Just enter your email below!
    HTML Text AOL
    Johnny Jet

    Dan Woog

    Dennis P. Kamoen