Yesterday started off on a decent note. Flew out to Chicago in the company of a family with two whiny little kids who sat a few seats behind me and whinged the entire trip in that annoying little kid whine. There needs to be special seating for people with unhappy kids...like on another aircraft. How about it, airlines?Just put them all on one plane and let the rest of us fly in peace. In Chicago, I had a brief wait for another aircraft. While there, being horribly thirsty from the dry airplane air and basic pre-trip rush-around-induced dehydration, I sought a bottle of water from the Starbucks kiosk.
FIVE FREAKING DOLLARS!!! Seriously--for something that probably just came out of Lake Michigan a few days ago. Geez, Starbucks...how about next time you want to screw me, you at least buy me dinner first.
And while waiting in line for my water (because you have to wait several minutes for a hosing of that magnitude--they're popular and others wish to be hosed as well), I chatted up a blonde gal ahead of me. She was flying to Denver. By way of conversation, I told her that I'd lived in Colorado for a bit and that I loved the state, except of course for all of the whacky moonbats in Boulder where I went to school. That's when she gave me a frosty look and told me that she lived in Boulder.
Cue Homer Simpson: DOH!
So coming off from that faux pas, I took up for the oppressed masses in Starbucks lines everywhere as an airline pilot in line behind me was trying to get a packet of cream cheese to go on half of a bagel that his crewmember had just offered him. He asked for the cream cheese and the
He got his cream cheese and I got a thank you from him and a few smiles from others in line. I felt a little better about my $5.00 water now. Revenge is sweet.
So then I flew on to Seattle, seated in midget-row seating with two women whom I'll charitably describe as being "plus sized". Arriving late in Seattle, and at the opposite end of the airport from my departure flight that had already started boarding while we were still taxiing in, I got my exercise for the day as I sprinted and dodged people, trying like hell to catch the plane. I made it, but another couple who were also on that previous flight with me did not, apparently because they were out of shape. Then it was off on another trip, seated somewhat ahead of loud-talking guy, whose mission in life is apparently keeping other people from sleeping or otherwise relaxing on aircraft. But that flight was just three more hours, and then I was on the ground in Anchorage, Alaska. A quick stroll took my tired ass to the Dollar rent-a-car rip-off franchise where the clerk offered me a car with "a bit more leg room and visibility" but without telling me that he was also charging me a significant upgrade fee until the paperwork was done and I saw the new price. At that point, when I told him that I wanted the car I'd booked, he sighed and got snippy about having to start over. I have to wonder how many times that trick has worked before because he did it quite adroitly. He also tried to "suggest" numerous other types of coverage and conveniences, each of which would have added substantially to my bottom line. But I managed to resist them temptation to reach across the counter and grab him by the tie while yelling "JUST GIVE ME THE DAMNED CAR!"
But I was nice, and I eventually got out with a mid-sized little Chrysler something or other that took me all the way up to Talkeetna for the night. I nabbed a room at the Talkeetna Roadhouse, an interesting place not lacking in color, and then I went walkabout. I went down to the river for a bit, and met up with a little black-and-white sled dog that trotted up out of nowhere to become me new pal. I scratched his ears for a bit and threw a stick for him a few times, but then someone called him and he ran off, causing me to paraphrase a poem I'd once known:
Whose dog this is,
I think I know
His house is in the village though.
Like I said...tired. Getting loopy.
But I could not sleep yet as I'd just got here. Things to see and all. The town is having an Octoberfest presently so I somehow got the idea to have a beer or two in each place that was serving beer. Two of them were closed, but I hit the other eight in short order. I talked to many people, eavesdropped on numerous other conversations, ate some cod, stared at the incredible cleavage of one dark-haired barmaid far too obviously, and somehow made it back to my little room (alas, without the barmaid) and slept the sleep of the dead until morning. It is now morning, and after I find breakfast and go to the river again to look upon Denali from a distance, I 'll be back on the road as the adventure continues.