May 22nd, 2014
The Petite Airport
The movers had come on Wednesday (May 21st) to pack up our pod and begin transporting the bulk of our possessions back to CO. For the second time in our history, the moving company had seen everything we thought we could fit and told us we were being crazy. Then, for the second time in our history, everything ended up fitting almost perfectly. The pod was stuffed to the gills, but we wouldn’t have to make other arrangements.
Thursday felt more than a little odd as I was left at home with barely any furniture in sight while Tracy went to one of her last days of work at CoolTech’s Anaheim office. I tried to get a little work done, but I also cheated a bit in that I decided to write my articles for the day about the best things for tourists to do in some of the Alaskan ports we’d be visiting. No one ever said writers can’t be self-serving…
I also had to make several calls to cancel some of our utilities in CA and begin some in CO. It was a little stressful knowing that our lease in Boulder would begin while we were likely to be entirely out of the range of cell phones and Internet, so we had to plan ahead.
At about 3:00, Tracy came home from work. Her CoolTech crew had given her a lovely bouquet of flowers (which no one would be able to appreciate before they wilted) as well as some Starbucks cake pops (which Tracy and I were able to thoroughly appreciate). We flitted around the house, trying to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything, and then at about 4:00, we summoned a car via UberX to take us to the airport.
We had never flown out of Long Beach Airport before. John Wayne was literally less than 10 minutes from our condo without traffic, so we had no reason to ever venture out from there. JetBlue, however, basically only flies out of Long Beach, and that was the airline with which we had miles to burn.
Honestly, as we arrived in Long Beach, even calling it an “airport” felt like a major overstatement. It was hard to believe that this was one of the only airports in one of the biggest cities in the world because it felt so small-town. We made it through security almost instantly and found that we had to walk outside to get to the actual gates (a feature you could only ever find in a climate like SoCal, where it only rains a few days a year).
Tracy and I both grabbed dinner at the food court—which was surprisingly well-appointed considering it only catered to a few gates. Tracy opted for a gyro (which I would normally have jumped at as well, but my stomach wasn’t feeling great this afternoon). I played it safe with a chicken quesadilla. After eating, we walked the 20 or so steps to our gate and took a seat.
We have the worst luck with flights getting delayed, and today was no exception. We quickly heard over the loudspeaker that our plane would be coming in a half-hour late (and that soon was modified to an hour). This was EXACTLY why we had decided to fly to Seattle two days before we were to set sail. We didn’t want any dumb travel delays to mess up our plans.
Luckily, our excitement was still running high, so it didn’t feel like we were waiting for TOO long. Soon enough, our plane pulled up to the gate.
Clearly, the reason why we hadn’t flown JetBlue since leaving New York was because the airline is proud to call the city its home. I don’t think there were too many New York Jets fans in CA or WA…
We boarded quickly and found our seats.
Now, in the last year or so, Southwest has quickly climbed in our esteem to become our favorite airline, but JetBlue certainly isn’t far behind.
I love that they still have free TVs in the back of the seats and actually have really decent snacks (pro tip: you’re allowed to get as many snacks as you want, so Tracy and I always ask for at least some sort of chips and some sort of cookies).
The flight itself was extremely uneventful, and both Tracy and I nodded off for a significant portion of it. It did feel a little long, however—probably just because we were excited to get there and enjoy the real start of our vacation.
When we landed and deplaned, I made a quick call to my aunt Lori, with whom we were going to be staying the night. She told me to let her know when we’d retrieved our bags and gave us a general idea where to meet her. As Tracy and I walked through the terminal, we saw this sign for “Alaska” (probably just signaling Alaska Airlines), and we felt like it was some good foreshadowing of where we’d be heading very soon!
Our bags came down the belt without any glitches (phew!), and we headed out to the curb.
We learned immediately that the Seattle police do NOT mess around when enforcing the drop-off and pick-up only lanes at SeaTac. If people stalled their cars for more than 10 seconds or so, an officer would come over, shouting “move along!!” It was actually a little hilarious watching the departing passengers trying to get their luggage out of their cars and saying hurried goodbyes as they tried to avoid getting yelled at.
Before too long, Lori pulled up, and this time it was Tracy and I who had to try to hustle as we got all our things in the car. I actually moved so fast that I forgot to close the trunk of the car, and we started driving away with the back still wide open. Luckily, Tracy noticed that it seemed abnormally loud as we drove away, and I was able to jump out and shut it before anything fell out.
Getting to Lori and her fiancé Stan’s house was pretty quick since it was about 11:30pm by the time we got on the road. Seattle’s infamous traffic wasn’t a problem at that time of night. The neighborhood started looking familiar as we got close because Tracy and I had taken a road trip up to Seattle back in 2007. As we pulled up to the house, everything was just as we remembered it, and it was hard to believe it had been 7 years since we’d last visited.
After heading inside, we went right upstairs, showered, and hit the hay. Tomorrow was going to be another busy day, and we knew morning would come before we knew it.
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