Discovering Alaska, Part VIII: Coming Home

I think part of me wanted to be on a train from the early 1900s. I would be wearing an Anne-type blouse with puffed sleeves tucked into a long skirt with boots and a dashing hat with a ribbon. I’d hear the whistle of the train, and a conductor shouting “All Abooooard!” as I stepped on with my suitcase and sat on a plush velvet seat, clutching my ticket in my hand as I waited to hand it over.

525Sadly, no one even checked our boarding passes as or after we got on the train in our matching brown sweatshirts. Guess they’re really trusting in Seward, Alaska. The seats were all different from car to car. Though ours were comfortable, the car ahead of us had plush red seats while ours were a plasticy blue. Not nearly old-school enough.


The footrests were so far in front of us that Dina had to practically lay on her back to touch them, which was a little amusing.

We certainly had a beautiful view for the first half of the train ride, but I can’t say it was too pleasant of a ride. The people in our rail car kept talking and talking and talking, the wheels squeaked incessantly (WD 40 time!), and people kept using the automatic door in our railcar to go up and down the aisles every fifteen seconds or so.

The sound of the door was so distracting and the people behind us so loud that Mom and I gave up on reading our books after awhile and concentrated on the view.



And it was a beautiful one.535534


About halfway through the ride, Mom and I determined that we simply had to go to the snack car to indulge in some wine.


Good decision.


We took our wine to the upper deck of the snack car where the atmosphere was quiet and the view still gorgeous, and the train ride immediately got infinitely better.


One last picture of me and Mom.


Much better! We went to camp on the first floor of the snack car and stayed there all the way until Anchorage.


When the train dropped us off in Anchorage, all hell broke loose. There were more than a hundred people and only four taxis. After watching too many people steal our cabs with a close eye on the time, I finally got aggressive and went far out in the road to catch one. Success!

A sweet old lady loaded our very heavy luggage into the taxi’s trunk, and we were off. After she heard about the delay at the train station and what time our flight was, she hit the gas pedal and whizzed through town to get us to the airport. When we finally got there, we were greeted with this line at security.


And this was just the front–the rest of the line curled all the way to the back of the airport. After checking in, we only had fifteen minutes before our flight started boarding, and there were more than a hundred people still waiting at the security checkpoint. Keep in mind this was nearly midnight. Who knew it was such a busy time in Anchorage? I knew there was no way we were going to make it if we had to go through that line.

I asked a woman at the Delta desk who told us just to go through the first class security checkpoint, where the line was only about fifteen people. Though we were questioned a little and a TSA agent scoped my hair for who knows what, we made it with minutes to spare.

The first plane we boarded was large and very nice with a blanket and mini TV for every flier. At that point, I was so tired I didn’t care. Dina fell asleep before we even took off, and I dozed off soon after, pretty much only waking up to get on and off the planes (three in all). Guess I’m turning into a seasoned flier if I can fall asleep now!


After we boarded our last plane in Minneapolis at 12:30pm the next day, we waited nearly an hour on board before being told there was no pilot scheduled to fly us to Appleton. Great. It was getting really warm on the plane, and the flight attendant made sure everyone who wanted it received ice water while we waited. At last, a pilot was scooped off an incoming flight (hopefully a short one), and we were on the way home. I hoped it would be Leonardo Di Caprio but no dice.

We were greeted at the airport by Dave, my friend Shelby, my dad, and my brother Tyler. After I told Dave I thought my mom was a little sad that my dad wasn’t going to be able to make it to the airport to see us, Dave drove all the way out to my parent’s house to get him and bring him to Appleton. Yup, that’s my husband. His face was even more handsome than I remembered.

When we got back to our apartment, Dave carried in my luggage so I could rush in to see the kitties. And just like that, the trip was over, and I was home.


One thought on “Discovering Alaska, Part VIII: Coming Home

  1. Pingback: Checking in from the Real World | Designs on Dinner

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