Saturday, July 1, 2008

For those of you who have read my journals in the past, you know how I feel about air travel. Typically, the entire day is lost, waiting in long lines of frustrated passengers, running the security inspection gauntlet and being crammed in those snug airplane seats. Fortunately, this year had some kinder, gentler aspects.

In an effort to save some dollars, I booked an early bird flight out of Dayton International. So here is this night owl crawling out of bed at an excruciating 4:15 AM, dragging a comb across my head and rushing to the airport. Technology was on my side as I had already printed my boarding pass on my home computer plus spent a measly $2.00 for curbside check-in. No luggage to lug around, no check-in lines to stand in plus I passed through TSA checks in a matter of seconds. Awesome!

Oxygen maskMy first flight was a breeze. I had a nice isle seat on a puddle jumper into Minneapolis and my 50-minute layover went lightning fast. Soon I was in my isle seat for the 5-hour flight to Anchorage. However, the best was yet to come. As you already know, flights are packed full like fat sardines. By some grand and glorious mistake of nature, I was blessed with an empty seat next to me! As the door to the airplane closed, the woman in the window seat to my left and I did a little victory dance, smacked fists together and flipped up the arm rests. Bonus! I then pulled out my new iPod nano and got completely lost in The Godfather (a Father's Day present, ha, ha) and Live Free or Die Hard.

As you already know, fuel prices are soaring upwards at an incredible rate. In an effort to make up for lost dollars, the airlines now charge big bucks for all meals and snacks. Although I got a free can of pop, I would have to pay $3.00 if I wanted Twizzlers, Pringles or M&Ms, $5.00 for cheese and crackers and cookies or $10.00 for a sandwich and salad. I did my part to help rescue Northwest Airlines out of certain financial bankruptcy by purchasing the cheese and crackers.

As the credits to the second movie were scrolling past my tiny screen, the stewardess was beckoning us to put away our electronic devices in preparation for landing. Where had the time gone? I was almost there!

Curt Rudd, an Alaska Railroad employee, met me at the airport and graciously gave me a ride to my Alaska home-away-from-home, the Don Prince condo. Now Don Prince (a retired ARR General Yard Master) had just gotten out of the hospital two days ago. However, he is a man who will give you the shirt off his back. Even though he was still recovering, he still insisted I stay with him. It was great to see my friend again and we chatted away the evening until exhaustion shut me down at 8:00 PM.


Prologue | Index | Day 2