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Monday, August 14, 2006

The Alaskan Adventure--Part VIII, The End



We awoke the next morning early to disembark. The cruise ship had a very orderly and swift system to get everyone off the ship in Seattle. They knew everyone's flight information and had placed passengers into groups, starting the disembarkation process at 7 AM. We were urged to have as much luggage prepacked and ready the night before, and to have set it outside our staterooms for the stewards to pick up. The rest we would have to hand-carry off ourselves. Breakfast would be available starting at 5 AM in the buffet and one dining room, but coffee and tea would be provided in many public areas, such as lounges and the night clubs. Those were the areas we were encouraged to wait since disembarking might run ahead of schedule. And it did, by almost 45 minutes! Before we knew it, we were off the ship, on a shuttle, and headed toward the airport. Our cruise had ended abruptly and a little unceremoniously, but we would never, ever forget a single minute of it.

On the shuttle to the airport, Rick and I sat quietly in thought about all we had experienced. Suddenly, the tiny elderly woman with the incredibly red hair in front of us whipped out her cell phone. "HelLO Jill!," she squawked loudly. "Jill! Jill! It's me. Yes, I'm in Seattle now. No, I couldn't call you yesterday. We were in Canada. In enemy territory. Now that we're back on American soil, I could call you. What? No, Alaska is part of the US, so I could call you there. So, now what about the cabinets? Was there much damage? What? WHAT? " We went under an overpass. She was oblivious. "Jill. JILL. HELLO JILL!!!" She turned to her husband. "I lost her."

"Thank God," my husband muttered under his breath. "I wish we were about to cross into enemy territory because I almost couldn't stand one more sentence of her conversation with the famous Jill."

"Really?" I murmured softly. "I am all aflutter about the cabinets. What if there's significant damage? Then what?"

Soon, the cell phone was deployed again, and Jill was back on the line. My husband closed his eyes, and I let my mind wander back to Alaska (still part of the US, remember!). I knew there were long plane rides ahead of us, and a layover in Atlanta (aka "Hellanta"), and I wondered if I should be doing some writing during all of the travelling to try and capture my thoughts while they were still fresh. I had done and seen and experienced so many things, both on the ship and off. I knew I wouldn't forget them, but time has a way of blurring and morphing and coloring things.

Finally, the bus arrived at the airport. We located our luggage, double-checked our flight, checked our bags, and then went to our gate. We were truly on our way home now. I'll spare you the horror stories of late departure, lost luggage, delay on the tarmac, the rude guy who almost punched my husband in the airport, and coming home to a cat later diagnosed with ideopathic vestibular disease...or maybe I will tell you that last one sometime! My Alaskan Adventure was definitely the best vacation I've ever had.

But, I look forward to trying to equal it. One last Alaska photo for you:

5 comments:

  1. That picture is stunning! What a backdrop for some away time for you and your husband. Spectacular.

    To Love, Honor and Dismay

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  2. Great stories and photos! Thank you for sharing your trip.

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  3. I'd like to hear the almost punching story myself. Thanks for the fun stories and pictures. These posts have been a joy to read.

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  4. Andrew--Thanks for stopping by the Dept. Alaska really is gorgeous, and it guarantees I'll never forget my silver anniversary.

    anali--You're most welcome. My blog really isn't a travelogue-blog, but I couldn't resist. It's back to our regular programming now.

    j.--The fam just got back from a truly spur-of-the-moment sneak-away to Canada. I'll dig through our experiences to see if there's anything blogworthy.

    Finally, I have to say, once and for all, that these posts would not have been as wonderful if it were not for Rick's photographs. I tease him that it was no big deal when the subject is as cooperative as Alaska, but he really did do a nice job. Kudos to Rick.

    --Nance

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  5. Hey, Nance, you need to send me an e-mail so I can get your address.

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