Two weeks before I left, I was sure that I would be blogging like crazy as soon as I touched down. Actually, I was sure that I’d be filming everything up until I left, and writing it down in detail.
Ohhhhh, was I ever wrong! A week before I left, I was mired down with work for a Japanese magazine, and I started to feel the crunch of time. I felt tense, all of the time, especially when they wanted changes to the art work (I wasn’t getting paid– this was basically promotional work for my book). I was happy to do it, but the timing was bad. I could feel the days ticking by without a spare moment.
My books had arrived, but I hadn’t come close to getting them ready yet. When my sister volunteered to help, I was SO grateful!! She shouldered at least half of the work, getting bookmarks ready and filling packages, checking invoices, while I signed books. It never seemed to let up. What a great experience it was (you can still get the book!!! Check out the links at the top right!), but I was running short on time.
And then, since I was leaving, everyone suddenly wanted to spend time with me. Aberdeen is where most of my immediate family (and their families) live, and so I spent some time here, a day there. I helped clean out my Grandmother’s attic the Sunday before I left, which was an all-day affair. And then, I had to pack. I packed, and repacked, and ran out of room, so I went and bought another suitcase. I packed that one, too, and still didn’t have room somehow, so I packed more things into boxes that I’d have sent to me later after I found an apartment of my own. We had to leave at two in the morning in order to make my flight from Portland at 7:30, and I was right down to the wire. I didn’t get more than 30 minutes sleep. I was flying from Portland instead of Seattle, because Animal Quarantine in Hawaii requires that you arrive before three, and there were no flights from Seattle that arrived before that.
Still, I was going to Hawaii!!! How could I possibly complain about that! I still can’t. I’m just telling my story, and trust me, it’s not a complaint. It’s a journey, one that led me here.
I said goodbye to my mom and stepdad at the security gate, and with Sansa’s adorable cat carrier slung over one shoulder and a heavy carry-on bag in one hand, I went through security. Sansa was so scared that she wouldn’t do more than curl in a ball and occasionally mew pleadingly. I had an hour before my flight now, and so I got some oatmeal for breakfast from an airport cafe, and then found a chair in a room where I could sit and talk to Sansa while I put on makeup.
Trying to enjoy my oatmeal, but really just tired. No makeup. Nope.
I felt like I was walking around in a daze. Numb. I wasn’t even excited. Not really. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t much of anything besides tired. Still, I had a plane to board, and the flight attendants took pity on me let me on early thanks to having a pet, along with the other people who had children or “needed extra time to board.” I actually needed the time, though. Getting your suitcase up into the bins, and your cat situated in a comfy place, and then arranging all of your own things before people start feeling irritated at you isn’t an easy task.
Sansa didn’t want to be petted. She was just wishing for it to be over. Her eyes became a little bit pink on the plane, so I felt really bad for her. She’s always had allergies.
Out the window before takeoff.
I was flying with Alaska airlines on a really new Boeing 737-800 jet. I’m used to international flights, all of which have tvs in the backs of the seats now (of varying quality), and serve a bajillion complimentary meals. So, I was shocked when there were NO TVs in the seats! Wait… what?! Instead, you could rent (actually pay for! WHAT?!) little personal entertainment devices. I didn’t do that, since I had my ipad/iphone, a book, a notebook, and Sansa to keep me company, so I can’t comment further on the devices for rent, but it was definitely a surprise. I’ve only flown internationally for the last few years (to London and back, then to the US), but I had thought that all planes had seat-tvs now.
I guess not. Shock.
Guess not… the plane sure was pretty, though, and the seats roomy and comfy! This was just steerage regular cheap class, though.
But there was something that more than made up for it… leg room!! You guys know that I’m 6’1″ (about 186cm) tall, and a lot of that is legs. On basically every flight that I’ve ever taken, my knees have touched the back of the seat in front of me, so that I have to either sit up really straight, or tilt them to the side to get to fit… but it wasn’t an issue here!!!! I had a few inches of room, even while sitting relaxed.
Bravo, Boeing!!! From tall people everywhere, I am really, really grateful to you for your changes! (Or else, I am getting shorter. In which case, I take it all back.)
OMG! My legs don’t just fit, they have EXTRA ROOM! What is this sorcery?!
I knew that there was no meal on the flight (it’s 6 hours, so it seems weird, though), so I researched ahead of time and bought one of the “snack packs” when they came around. They didn’t take cash, only credit or debit (from up in the air in the middle of the Pacific ocean, no less). It was $6, and vegan, and actually quite good! I loved the little pack of olives and the squeeze-tube (lol) of hummus. I’m not sure what the hummus was supposed to go on, but hey, it’s hummus. It can go straight into the mouth… um, right? Omg, I love hummus like whoa.
I had the Mediterranean Tapas snack pack, if you’re curious. It was the ONLY vegan option, but I didn’t feel deprived at all. It was better than most airline meals that I’ve had!
The seat next to me was open, but the aisle seat (I was in the window seat, which also helped ensure that Sansa was as secluded as possible) was taken by a young mother. She has family in Hawaii, and was going to see them, and, OH NO… she had her little baby on her lap. I was scared the moment that they sat down… babies on long flights never turn out well.
To my surprise, though, she was a really, really attentive mother! She did her best to quiet him down when he made a fuss, and she fed him about a billion times (always under a courtesy blanket, that was nice of her). I told her that she could use the middle seat for her son, since holding him would be so tiring, and then she apologized every time that he touched me (quite a few times, as babies are wont to do). I don’t like babies, but I didn’t really mind it. Actually, I was really impressed by her diligence and her attitude, and he wasn’t an issue at all. Even though I was tired and stressed out, I think that she changed my mind towards babies riding on flights just by being so attentive and courteous.
I can’t say as much about the couple with a boy of about 6 or 7 in front of us, though. The boy liked bouncing in his seat (attached to my tray. >.>), and once, I suddenly found a pair of feet in my face! He’d turned around and stuck his feet through the space above the armrests and thought that it was the most hilarious thing ever to wave his little feet at me. I sort of did, too, I mean, it made me laugh, but when his parents didn’t ask him to stop, and didn’t scold him, I felt a little bit irrirated. They didn’t even tell him to turn around. Those parents? Not very courteous, no. They weren’t sleeping, either.
Sansa, for her part, was really quiet. I think that she knew what was going on, because she’d already been on a plane once before, coming to Washington from Japan. She knew the drill.
After checking on the status of my Trexels game (don’t judge XD), I watched the gorgeous scenery roll by out the window. As usual, although I brought a book, I didn’t really read it. This always happens on planes for me.
Before I knew it, we were circling Oahu, and finally my heart began to pound…
See you for more tomorrow! You know the drill!