We were upgraded to first class on flight 67, Alaska Airline’s “milk run” up the coast to home. It seems like we knew every 4th person passing us getting on the plane. We had early boarding because Suzi broke her leg that morning in Seattle, (more on that later.) But the way small town life in Alaska is, by the time we got off the plane friends at the airport knew about the leg. It’s good to be part of a community.
But the nice thing is we were part of a community on the ship. When we got on I said it seemed like we were crashing someone else’s party. When we got off we were part of the party. We had a day in Fort Lauderdale and new friends, Edie and Kurt invited us to have lunch and took us to the airport. We’ve made a lot of friends, and that was, perhaps, the nicest part of the trip.
Our last night on board we realized that we had more stuff than places to put it so Suzi bought a Holland America bag rated to hold 44 pounds (20 kilos.) We loaded it with thirty. We left the bag outside the room, with the others, to meet us at customs the next morning. The next morning at customs it had a big rip in it, so Suzi spent part of our Fort Lauderdale time getting us a new suitcase.
Suzi also spent time with the Geek Squad at Best Buy trying to restart her crashed Mac. The Mac store in Ft. Lauderdale couldn’t set up an appointment (we called them from San Juan) but the Geeks were there to help. They held the computer overnight and it’s working now, after a fashion. All the data was lost. Suzi backed it up just before Cape Town and it crashed on the way out of Cape Town so she lost the South Africa pics, at least for now. She’s spent her first two days home trying different recovery programs.
When we got home neither car started, we expected that after 4 winter months. Being a good Alaskan I have a “Jump box.” I gave the Jeep a jolt and it’s running, but with an alarming knocking coming from the aft starboard (back right) wheel. I have an appointment for it on Monday. The “Jump Box” could not start the Subaru so now it’s in the shop getting a new battery.
And the broken leg., we got to the Seattle Airport Marriott Sunday night. We got up early to swim, probably a good thing because the rest of Monday ate up more time on logistics than planned. The steps down to the pool were slippery. I slipped but launched into the pool. Suzi slipped and wasn’t so lucky. She hit and broke her fibula.
So the mad dash started. Marriott got a wheel chair to the pool so we could go up to the room to change. Marriott had a Lincoln Town Car waiting to take us to a UW Hospital nearby. They x-rayed the leg, diagnosed the break gave her a “gray boot” and sent her walking on her way. We got back to the hotel, scooped up our stuff, got the shuttle to the airport, got a skycap for the baggage and a sky cap for Suzi (in a wheel chair) and made it to the plane with 15 minutes to spare. We would have made it in better time but TSA took a particular interest in the grey boot and told Suzi to stand on two yellow footprints while paging for assistance. I accused the TSA lady of graduating from the Marquis de Sade School of Law Enforcement for making a woman with a newly broken leg, who came in a wheel chair, stand on two yellow footprints. Where does the government find these people? Then TSA decided that Suzi’s carry-on and purse looked suspicious and went through them. Suzi can walk but not quickly, and without the sky cap pushing the wheelchair while I schlepped carry-ons we would have missed the plane. Marriott, UW Medicine, and Sky Caps get high marks.
But now we’re home and enjoying both a nice but subtle sunset and pleasing memories of circling the planet. The trip home was rough but the rest of the trip was smooth sailing, even when we had hurricane winds and 26 foot seas. As the Captain said, bragging rights. I said my last post was my penultimate post but it was not, I think this one will be. I can’t have the final post be negative because reentry was rough. The whole experience was positive. We are fortunate to have had it. Stay tuned for the coda.