“It could have been just one building away, but we’re not that lucky,” she said.
The morning after our night in hell began with revelry. Yes, friends, I’m located on an Army base. Er… make that Air Force Base in the Frozen North… er… not so frozen… I slept with the window open last night. Really, I did.And the delicious, Gourmet French Roast Coffee with powdered creamer that just crossed my lips isn’t half bad… It isn’t half good, but in this growing disaster of a pinch… I’ll survive it.
So, the trip started out amazing. We arrived at the airport in record time, due in no small part to my daughter’s amazing father in law, who knew just where to take us to drop off the luggage. We walked to the security and through the gate where the TSA so thoughtfully allowed us to avoid displaying our nudity on the xray machine, and didn’t bother to pat us down… I didn’t even get to offer them a tip to do it again!
Then the next phase of the trip. Five and a half hours of an amazing flight with my grandson, God bless his little heart, closing the window so I couldn’t watch the five and a half hour sunset. It was totally awesome and amazing, at least what I did see of it.
I even took a little cat nap, from which I was rudely awakened when some jerk kicked my toe… Which was under the seat in front of me, protected by the metal band that holds luggage under the seat in the plane, and behind my flip-flop (security at the airport is easier if you’re not wearing lace-ups). And… I think he may have broken my toe. But, no matter. I’m walking on it.
So-kay, we arrive. Probably the most amazingly smooth landing I’ve ever experienced. That pilot knows his stuff.
I go get the pre-paid for rental car, and my card – which they run for security – is rejected because I forgot to notify the card company of my intent to travel. I don’t do plastic, so I only have ONE credit card. They don’t accept debit cards. And to be sure… rental car companies do not accept debit cards as security. No rental car.
We hired a cab, for twenty dollars more than the rental car.
After a screaming trip through Anchorage, we arrived on base, safe and sound, promptly unloaded, and driver spun rubber pulling out of the parking lot, off to meet her daughter – also a cab driver – for coffee at Denny’s. At the wrong motel. Yup, you read that right, she dropped us off at the WRONG address and left us there. With six, count them, two per person, checked at the airport, HUGE (repeat HUGE AND HEAVY) ARMY duffle size bags, plus three carry on roller bags and back packs, purses, etc. (No, I didn’t pack heavy for a vacation, my daughter is moving back to Alaska.)
So, where is our hotel? Two blocks through a maze of parking lots, walking gardens, and various military sized tromping fields – THAT WAY.
Did I mention? We traveled with a two year old, his car seat, and the trappings of CARS required by two year old boys named Kade?
Back and forth we walked, I say WE, and I only walked one way, once, carrying outrageously HEAVY bags, across those two Alaska MILES, at midnight – no less – and up another flight of stairs to our room. Tatia made the trip a couple of times, dragging anything that rolls behind her, before she collapsed. I called Air Force HELP line and they sent a lovely desk clerk to haul the rest of our bags (those without wheels) the two blocks to our building and Tatia brought them in…
Exhausted, we settled in for the night, two weary, worn out travelers and one very tired toddler, realizing there was no food in the apartment, no food sources for MILES around, and no transportation. At 2 AM, Tatia finds absolutely everything funny, and too exhausted to stand one more minute, literally collapsed onto the floor in a heap of middle-school-girl giggles.
Kade settled in for the night with a video of Toy Story and we managed to sleep until Revelry. When Tatia awakened and said, “I wonder if there’s any place where we can get food.”
I pointed out the window and asked what that pace across the drive was, and she said, “I don’t know, but it ain’t food. We’re NOT that lucky!”
And this, my dear friends, is the first morning of embarking on my Anchorage Alaskan Adventure. I’m certain, there will be more… Maybe with pictures.