Planning this 6 week trip to Alaska and it's added side trip to see relatives in Kelowna, B.C. was quite the undertaking. Not only because, hey, the trip is long and we have a lot we want to see and do, but for the first time in my life we are traveling ( and living ) with another couple from California. The difference in time zones made it all the more challenging.
We met Dennis and Vicki last year when we were RV'ing in Europe ( see blog in tab above ) and we hit it off. They were perhaps the only couple in our traveling group that actually shared our love of kayaking, hiking and fine food. Dennis shares Norm's love for craft beer, so we all agreed to try a trip together. Alaska, coincidentally, was next on both our Bucket Lists, and with us all in our 60's, agreed not to put it off any longer.
After nearly 10 months of conference calls, emails and phone calls and a bit of compromising, we finally put it all together!
I discovered a month ago that our oh-so-important airline reservations that I made ( or so I thought ) back November 24th had never gone through! I even picked our seats! I was basking in the after-glow of having procured the perfect airline itinerary, and at an unbelievable cost! That "glow" lasted until last month when I happened to call the airline to check on baggage allowance. Much to my horror, I discovered the reservation never when through! Can you imagine? I would never have suspected until Check-in that we didn't have a flight!! I shudder at the thought! Needless to say, I spent the next 18 hours scrambling for the last seats to Anchorage. Phew! ( at this point everything was reserved, and paid in full as required, and we would have lost a fortune if we couldn't get there!). The flights were not the best, and they cost a lot more miles, but I am SO THANKFUL that I found out in the nick of time and the trip is on!
Testing for waterproofness. This old jacket, after washing and a hot dryer seemed to work the best. Even with this heavy "shower" provided by our garden hose. I guess our new high-end rain gear will be returned to REI.
After a lot of reading I learned we had to prepare for a couple of things: changeable weather and the MOSQUITOES in June. With the rain gear problem solved, the next step we took was to get a highly rated Permethrin spray to put on our clothing.
Let's hope this Permethrin spray is going to work! It is advertised to last over 6 washes. We will have to see.
Finally the day arrived, and after 20 hours of travel time we flew over the most beautiful of mountains. Norm, the sweetheart, had generously given me his first class seat ( I had assigned him the only one available which happened to have a window ). When not being being pampered by the very lovely flight attendant, I was moved to tears as I marveled at the beauty below.
How can anyone not like this food and service?
Oh, my! I nearly wept at the beauty! It's not often that you can see a totally awesome view past midnight. This trip is going to be a memorable one. It does look a little chilly down there. Glad we brought our hats and mittens!
We arrived at our Marriott Residence Inn 2 bedroom suite at 11 PM. Sounds pretty good, but our bodies ( mine particularly since I hadn't sleep at all ) felt like 3AM EST. We staggered into bed.