I am on Alaskan soil. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this from the waiting area at the Ted Stevens International Airport and I am two-thirds of the way to my final destination of Homer, Alaska.
First, I’ve got two words for you. “Zippy Shuttle”. They arrived early for the pick up. The driver was polite, smelled nice and even called 911 as we hurtled down the 405 when he spotted a dangerous piece of tire laying the carpool lane. Zippy provides a private, clean van (no picking up 5 other travelers while you sweat out the possibility of missing your flight…) and if you book the round trip - the gratuity is included in the price so there’s no fumbling around for cash at the airport. Zippy Shuttle gets two thumbs up from me.
What can I say about the fine folks at Alaska Airlines? See, when I booked this trip back in January, I was still pretty gimped out with the ankle and I checked the box for “needs assistance” when I made the on-line reservation. And I never changed that since (A) I wasn’t sure how I would be managing stairs and elevators and large airports by now, and (B) I sort of wanted to see what it’s like to travel as a disabled person. Let me tell you, there were people waiting for me at every turn, with carts and wheelchairs and I got boarded first - even before the first class passengers. The only drawback is they seem to like to sit the disabled people near families with small children. Maybe it’s easier to keep an eye on everybody if they’re all in a bunch like that. Luckily for me, the small children were all very sleepy today.
And now here I am!
I don’t think I’m the only person who has ever had this particular reaction, but I believe I’m the only passenger on my flight who was brought to tears by the scenery outside the window. White. White. White. As far as the eye could see there were ice fields and glaciers and mountains covered in snow. Not a road or a building or a tree. Clouds like cotton candy, or that angel hair your mom would use around the gingerbread house at Christmas. This icy landscape went on for what must have been a thousand miles, because that’s all we saw for a couple of hours… So there I was in Seat 12C being buffeted around by awful, scary turbulence as we flew over those mountains - but instead of my heart being in my throat, I had a lump in my throat. Spectacular. Amazing! And I just got here!!
In a little while, we're off to Homer on a prop plane. No doubt we'll see more glaciers and whatnot. I'll try to take photos through the window and post them later tonight.