Best Bets

Vacations in the 21st Century quite frankly baffle the Betster. Intrinsic in the meaning or common understanding of the word “vacation” is the expectation of relaxation — of vacating one’s stress, right?


Like so many of you, the Betster is sure, the Betster clambered onto yet another red-eye flight this holiday season (after making it last year’s New Year’s Resolution to never do such a masochistic thing again) and suffered for several hours to enjoy what probably amounted to either an equal or slightly higher number of hours of actual vacation.

Surely, with all the modern marvels of technology, there has to be a way to get those gargantuan metal birds to fly a tad more quietly?

Now, those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing fitful sleep, dry eyes and a sore neck as part of your holiday celebrations, don’t feel left out. You’ll likely wake up feeling as if you’ve just stepped off a red-eye flight the morning of New Year’s Day.

For those of us who did do a lot of traveling over the recent holiday or for whom it was pretty stressful, we’ve got a limited time to recoup before the most awesome of nighttime celebrations hits. Or, if you’re like the Betster, you’ve got a limited time to recoup in order to stay awake until approximately 12:01 a.m., drink one low-calorie beer, wave a flag and hit the hay.

Whether you’re in need of something to do on the upcoming New Year’s holiday, or looking for ways to relax after Christmas, or anticipate needing some R&R after New Year’s Eve, these Best Bets should help you out:

BEST HAVE A BALL BET: Ahead of the New Year’s holiday, you can get the party started with the ROOT Ball from 5-7 p.m. Saturday at the Pratt Museum. The ball closes the ROOT International Mail Art Exhibition at the Pratt. The exhibition pieces are available for bidding in a silent auction that will end Saturday at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and beverages for those 21 and older will also be available. Participants are encouraged to bring their own instrument to have “a ‘rootsy’ jam session.”

BEST BROUHAHA BET: There are no shortage of places to ring in the new year in Homer. Head to one of several midnight champagne toasts at Alice’s Champagne Palace (where the theme is to dress in black and white with glamour and glitz) the Down East Salloon, Kharacters, Salty Dawg Saloon and Land’s End Resort. AJ’s Old Town Steak House will even host a champagne toast at 8 p.m. (midnight on New York time) for the “because I can’t stay up that late” crowd.

BEST SAFETY BET: Don’t let all your New Year’s Even fun land you in trouble. Free rides will be given courtesy of Kostas Taxi, Ryder Transport and Kachecab from 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31 through 6 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1. For rides, call 399-8008, 399-8115, 399-8888 or 235-1950.

BEST BOOKISH BET: The Center for Alaska Coastal Studies is bringing you a new series called Tuesday Night Lights. “Bringing you a little light during the dark nights,” the series has a new theme each week. This week, author Marilyn Sigman will be reading from her new book, “Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Kachemak Bay,” from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2. This is a free event.