The alarms went off at 5:30 and we did all the final packing. My sea urchin shell is safely secure in an old Pringles can! Lincoln was not feeling the very early morning wake up and stayed under his covers till the last moment. We got the car packed up one last time and drove the 10 minutes to the rental car return.
At the airport Ty had to exchange back the Mauritius rupees since there’s no where else you are allowed to exchange their money. We checked in for our flight, and learned that it was delayed by 45 minutes. Thankfully we have lounge access. Also this is the one leg of our long flights that we’re not in business class. Just premium for us, no lay down seats. But we figured it’s a daytime flight so hopefully that won’t be a big deal.
We had to wait till almost 10am before our flight left and we got settled into our seats, four across the middle of the plane. The leg room was decent and there was a foot rest. Same old movies from the 90s and early 2000 like before but we’re just thankful the plane has movies. Meals were basic but fine, drinks are limited but again totally fine. We had one very kind flight attendant, and one very grouchy older woman. It was a 10+ hour flight and the first 6 flew by pretty well but it really started to lag when we had 3 or so hours left. I was ready to be done. I ended up mostly reading my book and watching the shows I had downloaded.
Something we found out while we were in the lounge at Mauritius, was our flight from Seattle to Anchorage had been cancelled. With all the planes being grounded from Alaska Airlines that really impacted their flight schedule. With no new booking in sight and Ty was unable to connect with staff prior to us getting on our flight to Frankfurt. So when we landed in Frankfurt, we jumped on the free wifi and Ty started to see if he could get a chat going with an Alaska Airlines representative. It worked! So while we waited for our luggage, and after we got it, we sat and chatted trying to figure out how to get us home sooner than 4 days after our original flight, and without a 7 hour layover in Juneau. The flights seemed terrible! Originally we were supposed to be home the 11th, however the first offer Alaska gave us was to come back on the 15th! We did not want to spend days just hanging out in Seattle. We’ve spent so much time there already. So we kept searching on the phones while chatting with her, and at first Ty found us a flight that routed through Fairbanks, but then suddenly a flight for 4, opened up with seats on the 12th! Yes please. So she rebooked us onto that flight. We will arrive in Seattle and spend the night before leaving on a 10am flight the next day. Very much doable, and not a huge impact on our schedule. Huge sighs of relief, since we’d just spent basically the last hour brainstorming if we stay in Germany, if anywhere else internationally flys direct to Anchorage so we could bypass Seattle, do to just go to Seattle and go somewhere from there…
Now that the fight snafu was straightened out, we needed to get the train from the airport to our hotel. Well we’ve been to this train station several times now so it was no big deal to go down and wait for the train. Till we had been sitting there for over 20 minutes and zero trains had come through. Finally Lincoln and I went up to find when the next train was running and due to employee strikes it wasn’t going to show up for another hour! It’s after 8pm by this point, we’d landed around 6pm and I was over this evening!
We walked upstairs, grabbed everyone some yummy pizzas from the food shops and took a moment to reset. We asked directions on how to walk to the hotel since it’s less than a mile from us, and headed outside. Well that was immediately the wrong decision since it was cold and we were walking on the road just for buses. We made our way back to the airport, and Ty managed to find a bus that was driving to all these nearby hotels. Except ours… also we have 5 carry on bags, 4 backpacks, and two duffles full of kids blankets in addition to our 4 bodies, so a typical taxi wouldn’t work for us. Ty got the brilliant idea just to ride the hotel bus to a nearby hotel and save ourselves the majority of the walk. This meant waiting for the right bus and it was cold, but in the end it totally worked out. The bus dropped us off right across the street from our hotel. We got checked in, Ryder got the pull out, and they even had extra bedding for Lincoln’s floor nook. Everyone collapsed into bed about 9pm and it felt glorious!