My trip to Alaska this summer started with a phone call from my dad. I remember it was a Friday night. I was working. Dad called to tell me that after deciding not to go to Alaska this summer, since he and my mom were so busy with other trips and activities, they were indeed going to go to Alaska, and I needed to join them. Oh yeah, and this would all happen in a little over two weeks from that Friday night.
I was able to swing it…don’t ask me how. And don’t ask me to try to do it again. Travel is stressful enough without having to deal with the ins and outs of booking a flight into Kodiak—an airport the size of my big toe with only 2 commercial flights in and out daily.
Take off from SFO was a dream. I was immediately upgraded to first class because I had booked my flight with frequent flier miles. Yes! This made me feel a little better about the booking hassle. I was able to wait on my flight in the Board Room instead of in the terminal, got to board the plane first, and—hello—free food and booze on board! (Actually it’s all free in the Board Room, too…but there’s only so much one can consume without drawing attention! In fact, I think I still have some peanut butter stuffed in my computer bag.)
The smooth sailing came to a screeching halt when I arrived in Seattle for what should have been a measly one-hour layover. Instead, I checked the gate status of my flight to Anchorage to find that all flights to Alaska had been canceled for the night due to the amount of volcanic ash in the airspace over Alaska. Apparently, the ash can crystallize in the atmosphere and seize a plane’s engines. Duly noted.
Lines quickly started forming at the gates so everyone could re-book. Luckily, I re-booked quick enough that I was only grounded there for one day. I overheard several others down in baggage claim (a whole other blog entry to be filed under ‘chaos’) talking about being stuck in Seattle for two days. Fortunately, I didn’t let this act of Mother Nature get me all riled up. I was starting to see this 24 hours in Seattle as a vacation within my vacation. And it was. I had a great day in Seattle!
The next night, I made my way back to the airport to pick up my journey where I left off the previous night. And everything went according to plan (sans first class assignment, but what are you gonna do when you’re just trying to get out of town?). I arrived in Anchorage to find my luggage patiently waiting for me—something I was prepared for not to happen. And I took off again and arrived in Kodiak as planned.
I had a great week visiting with my brother, sister-in-law and my parents. It was definitely short-lived, and there were just too many things that I wanted to do that I couldn’t get to. On my to-do list for next time: stay long enough for the sun to come out and clouds to clear (which is exactly what happened only hours after I left), kayak around, go 4-wheeling (this was on my to-do list this time, but the rain and other things kept us from doing it), and visit more of Alaska other than Kodiak. Very doable, right?