Monday night, Steve and I arrived at SeaTac Airport at midnight to head out on a 2:30am flight he was flying to Anchorage, Alaska. It was a ferry flight, which means there were no passengers on board (just myself and a mechanic) because the airplane was being moved to a different location for logistical purposes.
We had planned to bring my daughter Coral on the trip, but Monday morning she had come down with a fever and we had to leave her at home (don’t worry, her dad was around and checking in on her).
With no flight attendants on board, the mechanic and I rummaged through all the different food carts looking for leftover beverages and snacks from the previous flight. I felt like a kid in an unattended candy store…
The absolute coolest part about the flight was that since there was no security risk, the cockpit door was left open and I was able to watch both the takeoff in Seattle and the landing in Anchorage from the jumpseat in the cockpit. It was the most amazing thing! When Steve and I first started dating, I would joke around about how I didn’t think pilots actually did any work…all they did was turn on the autopilot and sit around and talk. However, watching the pre-flight checks, I realized how intense the job actually is. The checking and double-checking of all the systems by the pilot and co-pilot was actually extremely thorough and also quite reassuring…
The landing in Anchorage was turbulent, the winds were quite strong close to the ground, but the landing itself was smooth, thankfully. I realized during the windy approach to the runway, that I prefer the ignorance of being the passenger in the back of the plane who just sees the plane magically land on the ground without any apparent effort.
We finally arrived at the hotel around 6:30 in the morning and got a few hours of sleep. Steve and I walked to the mall to get Starbucks and walk around and shop for a bit. We stopped at Humpy’s for lunch and then, we walked a few miles on the Coastal trail along the waterfront. The sun was shining and there was very little snow on the ground. It was a balmy 40 degrees (aka, colder than necessary).
As we walked along the waterfront, we stopped to take the obligatory yoga pose pictures for Facebook and Instagram. It was cold and I had a hard time getting too deep into a pose, but I think a few of the pics were great. FYI, trying to hold a single toe squat on an uneven rock whilst wearing wedge heels brings the challenge of the pose to a whole new level!
I wanted to go into a full camel whilst balancing on the whale slide but my body just wouldn’t cooperate. My hip flexors were not open enough in my unrested and cold body to allow me to rest my hands on my ankles. I almost felt the pose wasn’t good enough to post online, but how many people get the chance to do whale yoga in Anchorage? 😜
We went back to the hotel for dinner and a few hours of sleep. We woke up around 3:30am to head to airport for our next flight to Narita, Japan where we planned to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom. When we got to the airport, Steve was notified that there had a change in plans for the airplane and he was to head back to Seattle instead on a different flight. Luckily, there was one seat left on the flight for me and we boarded the plane home at the last minute.
One lesson I have learned in all my recent travels is that being unattached to a set schedule or outcome is vital. Unexpected events pop up all the time and being flexible and open-minded to last minute changes allows me to enjoy the journey without disappointment. This lesson is also important in yoga: do not have an attachment to the outcome of a pose. Some days our body will want to go full-depth into a pose and other days, for various reasons, our body is unable or unwilling to enter the pose fully. If we are open-minded and accept what options are available to us, we can enjoy the moment without regret, shame or anger.
I didn’t get to see the cherry blossoms in Narita, but I got to be at home and spend a day lounging around with Coral while she is still recovering from her fever and cough, and that turned out to be the perfect ending to this story.