|Welcome to Alaska!
||[Nov. 28th, 2006|07:26 pm]
Loni, David, Zeno and I left the house at 4 AM to make our flight to Osaka, Japan. |
First, there was a layover in Chicago where we met Mr. Tsusaki. The impressive 777, that would take us to Japan, had free drinks and little screens on the backs of each seat which included a wonderful map feature. The display showed our flight path would be a giant arc that crossed the Bering Straight, and we would cross Canada and Alaska. I played Scrabble with Loni and watched the map instead of the movies. Somewhere near Dead Horse, Alaska, I saw the map indicate a sharp turn that coincided with the aircraft turning a sharp left.
The captain came on and said that there was an important piece of equipment malfunctioning and we wouldn't be able to cross the ocean without it working, therefore, we would be making a short 35 minute stop in Anchorage. The short stop turned into an hour, then two. The drinks had long since quit flowing. "Everything has been put away".
Finally, and announcement from "Lynn", the customer service lady saying that we are sorry and the problem will not be fixed. You will arrive in Osaka approximately 21 hours late.
The passengers were bussed off to various hotels in the city, and given vouchers for dinner and breakfast. "The bus will be there to get you at 10:30 AM".
We happened to be put up in a very cute, very stylish hotel with a 4 star restaurant. A lady from the abandoned flight and Mr. Tsusake joined us. The food and the local beer was awesome.
After dinner, David took Zeno to bed, and Loni and I went out to play in the snow. 2-3 minutes later my un-gloved hands and ears were frozen, so I wimped out and came back inside. 5 minutes later, I had my boots and jacket off, and Loni was pounding on the door. "THERE'S A MOOSE OUT THERE!"
We went back outside and she told me how as soon as I turned around to go back she went to see what was on the other side of the hedge and found herself face-to-face (well about 5-6 feet away) from a giant bull moose. She panicked and ran back, slipped and fell on the icy rocks, but the moose was unaffected. He kept on eating his berries from the tall tree.
He was still there, and he was a magnificent beast. We tried to take some pictures of him, but it was really dark.
After, we went back to the hotel bar to warm up with a glass of beer, and we told the local folks about the moose. They laughed with us and told us all kinds of great Alaska stories.
This morning, the tell us that the shuttle is in fact not coming to get us at 10:30, nor 11:30, but 5 PM. I'm confused by the time difference, considering the Texas, Alaska, and Japan times zones, and the travel time, so I don't really know how much time we lost on our vacation. But Anchorage is beautiful and the people are great here.
That actually sounds like a cool start to the trip. Your post made me reminisce about my trip to Alaska back in 2003. I spent a week in Anchorage, and 2nd week exploring a little north, and then most of the Kenai Peninsula. My company sent me up there as a teaser, because I was the top choice to transfer there when we needed a new fire inspector.
The drive down the highway from Anchorage to Homer (west side of the Kenai Peninsula) and to Seward (east side, where the cruise ships dock) was the most beautiful scenery I have seen in all my 38 years on this planet. Three years later, from time to time I still pull out my map of Alaska and gaze at it, for up to an hour. And I continue to check the job postings on monster.com once a month for a suitable position anywhere in Alaska.
Anchorage was an incredible place. I can see you making a nice home for yourself there.