|Lori and Alan's Alaskan Adventure|
|06/18/04 - 06/19/04 - 06/20/04 - 06/21/04 - 06/22/04 - 06/23/04 - 06/24/04 - 06/25/04|
|It's the beginning of day two of our trip. I was so
tired last night after a day of travel that I couldn't even conceive of
sitting in front of the laptop to write my trip journal, so here goes...
Our day got off to a rough start. Ok, so most of you will laugh, but I actually broke a nail!! I realize this doesn't sound like such a big deal, but with a formal night planned for Sunday on the cruise, added to the fact that a broken nail will catch on EVERYTHING, I had to make an appointment to get it fixed. That also meant that we suddenly had to be ready to leave 45 minutes earlier than originally planned. Not a good way to start.
One of the pictures (the first one) shows the Pacifica all loaded up with all of our bags. What an adventure this is going to be! At 10:40am, about 5 minutes later than planned (not too bad), we said goodbye to the dogs and off we went.
After brief delays and errands (including fixing that nail and Alan running to the bank), we were on I-75 beginning our Alaskan Adventure.
The airport went rather smoothly, except REALLY slow clerks at the check-in counter. Being as anal as I am, I was ready to have fits about running a little late. But after 25 minutes in line, people on our flight were called to the front of the line and taken pretty quickly. Then it was off to the gate. The flight was running about 10 minutes late, so I had time for some Starbucks. So far, the nerves are doing pretty well, except for the effect of the lateness.
We boarded the small jet that would take us to Cincinnati, Ohio at about 1:10pm (10 minutes after our scheduled departure). By 1:20, we were leaving the gate and in the air only moments after. The flight was pretty smooth and uneventful. And only 42 minutes long! YAY! We had a good lunch in Cincinnati, since we had a long layover. Service wasn't great, but the food was good, so we were happy.
Then it was on to the HUGE jet and a very long trip to Seattle. I was NOT happy about that. We sat at the gate for a while, then finally boarded. We were seated near the back of the plane. It was strange - they seated from the front back. I can't say as I've ever seen them do that before, but oh well. We got on. Then I got scared. I talked to the flight attendant, who said they were expecting a very smooth flight, but the pilot would announce any turbulence so I could expect it. That always helps. This was the longest flight I had ever been on.
And I have to say... That flight was as close to perfect as any I've ever been on. Throughout the 4 hrs and 30 minutes or so of flying time, I don't think we experienced more than 20 seconds total time of bumpiness. And the bumps were really little. Nothing that even made me nervous. So it was good. We had nice people around us, I knitted, we both listened to the MP3 player and watched a little TV, and it was all good. We landed at 6:30pm local time, after 8 1/2 hours of travel. It was a long day already, but Alaska will make it all worth it.
Seattle is beautiful. We took lots of pictures of the mountains from the plane. The color isn't perfect - we'll work on that when we get home. We only have so many tools here with us. The terminal we landed at is brand new - opened only last week. So there were a few bugs, and it took us a while to find our luggage. For example, no one told us where to find our bags. We found half of them on one carousel, then half on another. How strange is that?? Our driver was wonderful and helped (thank goodness!). We have a total of 7 bags with us. Unbelievable. But he was a trooper.
Driving through Seattle was fun. He was a great driver, so we were able to just sit back and relax, enjoying the incredible scenery that surrounds us. I think it also heightened our enthusiasm for Alaska... If it's this beautiful here, I can only imagine what it'll be like there. We can't wait.
Our hotel, the Inn at Queen Anne, is nice. Lots of flowers at the entrance, with a long staircase leading up to this little patio. Then off to the side is the entrance, so it really reminds you of a quaint New England cottage. We checked in, our reservation was fine, then we found out we were on the second floor. With NO ELEVATOR. Alan was NOT happy dragging all that luggage up, but he was a trooper and never once complained about it. We had found our friend Sally, who's going with us on the cruise, so she guarded at the bottom of the stairs while we brought the loads up. At least our room was right at the top of the stairs.
The room is nice enough. The bed is a little hard, but we have a HUGE walk-in close, cute bath, and a small kitchen with a fridge, range top, and microwave. And sink, of course. Silverware, glasses, etc., too. It's a nice little room. Definitely spacious enough for us and all of our luggage.
I changed clothes quickly and we retrieved Sally for dinner. She had arrived much earlier than us on a direct flight, so she kinda new the layout of the area. We found a cute little Irish Pub, with a not-very-friendly server, where we had a nice dinner. The conversation flowed nicely and all of us enjoyed the visit. Afterward, I was exhausted and fading quickly so we got me back to the hotel for some much-needed sleep. We said goodnight and turned into our separate rooms.
First things first before I could go to bed. I had to check in with the housesitter, who said everything is going beautifully. He put my mind at ease. It's always so hard to leave the "kids", especially with someone new for so long and with us so far away. But I know it's going to be great. I can tell he loves them and Misty will have him wrapped around her little paw in no time. I think it's going to be a great situation, and slept much better after the phone call.
Alan played on the computer the rest of the night, adjusting pictures, getting our day's photos ready to display online as soon as we have access on the ship. I got ready and turned into bed. What an exhausting day!! The bed is a little hard, but I didn't think it would matter much. And it didn't.
Go to DAY 2 - 06/19/04