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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

To the Midnight Smoke, I go!

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

Hold on to your hats...

I think that today, my life suddenly took a turn in the absolute opposite direction from normal...

I honestly do not have much to complain about or even laugh at and make fun of.

Some, of course... but not the usual pile!


Get a hold of this...


I left work a little bit later than originally anticipated and to be honest, I was stressing out slightly about travel time to the airport... border crossing line up waits... border crossing hassle...

... the usual...

I think of at least 15 lights between Mission and the border, I only hit TWO red lights.

There were a couple times I threw my hands in the air and literally raised the roof right in my little red car.


When I pulled up to the lineup at the border, the electronic sign informed me that the border wait was: Sumas 20 minutes.

20 minutes, my ass.


I know what 20 minutes translates in to.

1 hour and 20 minutes.

Experience finally taught me to take the left lane... even though the right lane was shorter and tempting me... calling to me... beckoning...

I wasn't having ANY of it.

Left lane all the way.


Guess who made it to the border officer in less than 15 minutes?

Me.

Me and my dirty, red car.


I was mentally prepared for everything that I was positive was about to hit me.

Why are you traveling alone?

Where's your husband?

How can you just leave the kids?


... hit me.


Nope. Nothing! Zip...

Instead, I got this;

Border Patrol cutie: Where you from?

Me: Mission.

Border Patrol cutie: Where you heading today?

Me: Alaska.

Big pause...

Border Patrol cutie: (holding a completely stern expression) You're heading in the wrong direction.

I looked at him...

...he looked at me...

For a brief second, I honestly considered the error of my ways and then... HE BURST IN TO LAUGHTER!


Have a great trip...

... and I was on my way,


Pulled in to the Bellingham Airport car park, the van was waiting right there to take me to the airport.

Zero wait times.


The guy driving the airport shuttle was quite chatty and told me his big story of the bird that has been whistling outside his window for the past three years.

Robin?

Not a robin.

Then he pointed at an actual robin that we saw and said, "that's the bird!"

Well... that's a robin.

Nope... not a robin,

Anyway- whatever small brown, red bellied non-robin bird this is has been singing the same two notes for 3 years and just yesterday, he discovered that it's a mating call.

Poor bird... he can't find a mate.

I suggested that perhaps, by some weird coincidence, it might be more than one bird.

Not, not a robin and not more birds... same bird.


Can't find love.


Strange.

Fear of rejection? Anger issues? Commitment phobia....


I arrive at the airport... very uneventful. I've already checked in and I'm only taking carry, on - so I head through the security, knowing full well that Brown's is waiting for me on the other side with an obscenely expensive glass of red wine!


I can't really say that I breezed through security because they did take my bags away from me briefly.

I was concerned because they put my particular bags in an area that I couldn't seem to reach... and I definitely tried. Finally one of the border officers came over and informed me that it was where it was because she needed to check it.


Something suspicious in there.

Suspicious?

My mind was racing...


All I could think was that I'd attempted to board an American flight with too much, high-risk, sound the bells & call security ridiculously expensive facial cream.


The sweat on my brow was beginning to accumulate as I envisioned them grabbing it out of my toiletries bag and chucking it in the garbage can to die a painful death with 8000 water bottles.

Then it dawned on me what they were looking for


... rummaging through all my belongings...


My corkscrew.


Don't ever travel without a corkscrew.

***Unless you're traveling through security at an airport.


Bellingham was the recipient of a new black corkscrew.


Bastards!

I admit that I was glad to be disarmed my of my weapons as opposed to being relieved of my moisturizer.


Glass of red wine at Browns.

Check!


On the flight.

Check!

Once on board, I was scouring the plane looking for my seat...

...and then I saw it.


Middle seat. Right in between two guys and a rambunctious toddler. The one guy looked quite stressed trying to keep the kicking child still for a brief moment while everyone boarded.


My bliss was gone.

I approached them with what probably was the most miserable face they'd ever seen and said "that's my seat" ... and pointed to the empty seat smack dab in the middle of the row. Pure misery oozed from every inch of me.

Then he looked up at me, with a look of pure desperation and said "I made a big mistake and booked C and D seats by mistake- is there any way that you would trade me seats so that I can sit beside my son. You can have that aisle seat?" and he pointed across the aisle to the open seat.


Bliss returned.

The moose outside my BnB

Check!

No problem.


The two of them ended up moving seats half way through the flight because the guy on the other side of the chaos passed out and kept falling over on to the father. And I think he stunk.

I wanted to ask... but I didn't.

I should have.


The flight was good. Little rocky at time, but not bad. The pilot kept telling us that Anchorage was smokey... not looking forward to that.


He was right.

It's smokey and the air quality is shit... but I'm here!


I have to say, Anchorage Airport has a lot of signs everywhere leading you in each and every direction... except OUT. I wandered around really hesitating at every turn I made because I had no idea if I was nearing the exit or if I was heading deeper and deeper in to the terminal.


I did manage to make it out alive- and in to a cab... with a cabbie who seemed quite disgruntled about having waited in the airport line for so long for a fare,.. only to be stuck driving me around... and I only needed to go 8 minutes down the road! Oh well.

My Air BnB is a little eccentric... it's a BC box... in Alaska.

The gardens are quite colourful and enticing... but inside kinda resembles lipstick on a pig.

It's like, "let's make it hippy ... today."


Perhaps a little tacky and a little outlandish wrapped up all in one.

The lady who runs it is lovely and see walked me around the house, showed me where everything was and then gave me a map and told me all about the city and where to go. Slow talker.


There is a chalkboard sign up in case you want to book the time you want your shower. To avoid fights... for reals.


I followed the Coastal trail in to Anchorage and wandered around. So beautiful!


I took loads of pictures.

A crack head walked by me and told me to stop wasting his time... so that was interesting.

My first friend in Alaska :-)


I ate a large brewery restaurant and almost froze out on the patio. The server eventually brought me a blanket!

I ate crab stuffed, bacon wrapped jalapeños - I was going to take a picture, but my phone died and I had to get the waiter to plug it in for a bit. Delish...

Then I almost got lost on the way home because I decided to take the residential route back! My phone was dying, I couldn't access Google Maps and I used up all my data on my phone. Always a good combination in a strange place.

Smrt.


As I write this, it's 11:44pm and it's like 5pm outside. I'm exhausted, but I feel like I should wait until it's dark to go to sleep. The lady who owns this place told me that it would start to get dark around 11:30... not happening...


I can feel the smoke in my lungs too. I have been fighting a cold for a bit, but now have developed a tickling couch that is making me crazy. And probably everyone else here in this crickety old, not well insulated BC box.

I have to be up and at the Train Station for 9am tomorrow...


There is seriously no such thing as darkness here.


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