Alaska pictures as promised.
So work sent me to Anchorage, Alaska, for Beltane (actually it was for a conference, but lets pretend). Consequently, I did not really get a chance to celebrate Beltane, but then again I usually don't celebrate many of the major Wheel holidays other than Halloween, Yule, and to a far lesser extent and for totally personal reasons Mabon (which I'm fairly sure is the one that doesn't have any real historical legitimacy, so the fact that I make it my own personal holiday works, but don't quote me on that one).
Also, on May first in Southern Central Alaska, the sun does not go down until 11 PM, it doesn't really get dark until midnight, and then the sun comes back up at around 4 AM. Oh and it looks like the dead of winter and there is still three feet of snow on the ground in the rural areas, so celebrating what back in my neck of woods is the full on bloom of spring just does not seem appropriate.
The downtown area of the city is pretty amazing. It's not in every city that you can look down the street one way and see snow covered mountains, and look the opposite way and see water complete with sea gulls. Also, for an arctic city, there are a ton of homeless people wandering around, and I got to see a teenager girl fight in Town Square Park, right outside what I think was their court house.
But before I make you think that the city was unpleasant, it's important to remember I was there two weeks before tourist season. While I was there, it was amazing to watch everybody buzzing around getting ready for the tourists. Street lines were being repainted (all the lines get worn away during the winter because of the gravel they put down on the road, which makes driving in the city with three lanes of traffic and no lanes very interesting). They were washing the streets, prepping all the parks, and in general just taking care of everything.