Tuesday, May 20, 2008

North to Alaska

The cruise director wannabes in my family (the comely Miss Brenda and her homely twin sister) have been scheming to get us back on a cruise ship to make a trip to Alaska, and this curmudgeonly cruisaphobe has been resisting mightily. The last cruise I went on failed to improve my very low opinion of ships and sailors. Cramming my backside onto a floating prison for temporary incarceration with a thousand civilians trying desperately to have fun was not at the top, or bottom, of my bucket list. I told Miss Brenda I wanted to take a train tour, instead.

Tomorrow morning, Miss Brenda, her parents, and I will catch a flight out of Memphis and link up with Miss Brenda's sister and her hubby in Anchorage tomorrow evening. For the next nine days we will train and coach (tour group euphemism for "bus") our way across a select slice of the 49th state of these re-United States. Should give me some time to catch up on my reading--I mean, how much time can you spend looking at snow-capped mountains, moose, and icebergs?

The last time I was in Anchorage was January of 1982. I was on a charter flight with a couple hundred other miserable Marines headed for the garden isle of Okinawa. The first leg of our polar arc flight took us from LAX to Anchorage and we were allowed to deplane for a couple of hours while they refueled our bird. I wanted a glass of orange juice but didn't have the $10, so I settled for a $5 cup of coffee.

I can only imagine how expensive my caffeine fixes will be this time around.
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