Tag Archives: Alaska Airlines

Travel Time

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Travel Time

Monday morning was way too busy. I’ve been procrastinating about going to Canada and it was finally time to make some plans. First decision was when I should go. Health blip was taken care of and the fitness classes end next week. Guess I can go by the end of the month.

Next decision was how I go seeing as I am not flying on my broom. My first choice was Amtrak. But it got rather complicated when it came to crossing the border. Guess I’m flying.

Flights were tricky to book. My favorite airline, Alaska, won’t get me to Winnipeg. Air Canada flights and connections were a nightmare. Would have to claim my bag in Vancouver when going through Customs and recheck it. Guess it’s Delta.

Now I have to get to SeaTac. Best option is Wenatchee Valley Shuttle. And it will get me there late at night in time for the Red Eye to Minneapolis. One less hotel to book.

A long enough layover in Minneapolis before the flight to Winnipeg so that my cane can remain collapsed in my carry on. Another advantage is that leaves only one stop with one airline to misplace my bag. And it will go right through to Winnipeg hopefully. Inevitable delays in Customs will not result in a missed connection, just my friend Lise drinking way too many cups of coffee waiting for me.

Then there’s health insurance for the remainder of my time here in the USA. And settling the bill with Confluence for the health blip. And booking that last hair appointment at the salon. And a few other last minute phone calls and texts to get organized. And the obligatory FLIGHTS BOOKED announcement on Facebook.

Not bad. I started at 8:30 am and was done by 12:01 pm. Not even thinking about packing yet, although I did pick up some packing cubes last week. I guess I have to leave something for next week.

Fly With Me

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Fly With Me

The other day I was talking with a friend and somehow the topic of airports came up. We compared experiences and horror stories. He commented that I’d flown in and out of a lot more airports than he had.

Later on I thought some more and decided to list all the airports. So here goes.

I’ll start with Mexico. My favorite airport to fly into is Guadalajara. My favorite airport to fly out of is Puerto Vallarta. My least favorite is Mexico City. Other airports I’ve used include Culiacan, Mazatlan, Cancun, Aguascalientes and Leon. That’s a total of eight.

Next will be Canada. No favorites or least favorites here. Just Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, London, Montreal, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Kelowna. That’s a total of eleven.

The winner is the USA. My new favorite airport is Pangborn in Wenatchee. My least favorite is Houston. The others include Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Ontario, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Tucson, Dallas, San Antonio, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, Rochester, Fargo, Grand Forks, Chicago, Buffalo, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Savannah, Charleston, Honolulu, Wendover and Las Vegas. The total is thirty.

Oh, and I can’t forget Havana and Punta Cana. That’s two more.

Grand total is fifty-one. And I haven’t even gone to Europe!

My favorite airline is Alaska. There’s a tie for my least favorite airline between Air Canada and Westjet.

Airports have changed over the years. Many are now like small cities and have multiple terminals and trains connecting them. Dallas-Fort Worth even has its own zip code.

Traveling has definitely become more complicated since 9/11 and is even more so now with the additional challenge of COVID-19. I don’t envy the staff at TSA. And then throw in my knee replacements that always set off the metal detectors and require the body scanners.

Yes, I remember when I actually used to enjoy traveling by air. Not anymore. I now travel by air only because I have to.

Things To Ponder

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Things To Ponder

The sheep reelected the wolf again in 🇨🇦. The decision in the 🇺🇸 was to keep the land borders closed. Here in 🇲🇽 the entire country has been declared green or yellow on the stoplight.

Please take the time to check out the link. A very moving service was held at Spirit of America in Cashmere, Washington on September 11th. I usually attend in person but this year I was already back in Mexico.

We have been getting these incredible thunder boomers at night. After being up in Washington rampant with wildfires and drought, the rainy season here is most welcome. Iracema and I went out for dinner in the pouring rain. By the time we finished eating, the rain had stopped and off we went for a walk in the park.

Talking to friends in Canada this week, it appears that flights to Mexico are still chaotic. Canceled, rescheduled and extremely expensive. I’m so glad I decided to fly down from the USA. Great connections and reasonable fares. Alaska Airlines is the best!

INM is starting to crack down on people with expired tourist visas. They are checking regularly in bus stations and stories are circulating of people being held in detention and/or deported. Original documentation is required and a photo on a phone is not sufficient.

I have finally taken out my gel pens and started coloring again. Now if only King could fix the glitch with Jelly Queen on Candy Crush Friends…..

Travel Time

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I remember when I used to love flying. I admit I still love the joy of take-off and landing, and the part in the middle is great for a siesta. It’s the before part and the layovers that have become more tedious as the years go by.

As a foreigner boarding an international flight, I am never able to check in online. The lines at SeaTac are usually ridiculously long although it can be amusing watching people pulling items out as their bags are overweight. And then the TSA lineups! I used to allow three hours and frequently it actually took that full amount of time.

I’d also take the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle out of Peshastin to SeaTac which added another two and a half hours.

Thank you Alaska Airlines for adding an afternoon flight from Wenatchee to SeaTac. Travel time to Seattle now reduced to just twenty six minutes.

Pangborn Airport…..you are now my favorite airport. In under twenty minutes, I checked in and went through TSA and arrived at the departure gate. When is the last time you flew out of an airport that had only one departure gate?

I had just over two hours in Seattle, plenty of time to catch the train to the other terminal and grab a much appreciated beer along with dinner.

I slept on the flight to LA. This is always an overnight layover, but not long enough to go to hotel and then start up with TSA all over again in the morning. But it was a perfect time for a Candy Crush marathon on my tablet.

I attempted to sleep on the flight to Guadalajara but the friendly staff on Alaska were determined that I remain hydrated. Then there were the customs and immigration forms. And a reminder to about a health questionnaire that I had already completed online.

My bag arrived well within Alaska’s 20 minute guarantee. Minutes later I had my 180 day visa in hand and was in a taxi headed for Central Nueva for the last leg of my journey to Aguascalientes by bus. And I did sleep for most of that two hour bus ride.

Raul picked me up at the bus station and drove me home to Las Flores. Shower and sleep time in a real bed!

The pandemic continues with all the new variants. However I was much more relaxed traveling now than I was a year ago when I finally made it out of Mexico and got to Washington. I’ve been vaccinated, for whatever protection that has to offer. Where I’m living in Mexico, masks, sanitizing mats and temperature checks are the norm. I even hope to do some traveling in Mexico in the next few months.

No, I am not afraid to travel. So are millions of others judging by the full flights I experienced. Life is too short to live in fear. Life is for living!