Mawlers’ Big Adventure ’04:
Nothing Says Vacation Like First Class

Saturday, 24 July 2004 – Edmonton.

So, after having several phone representatives from our airline laugh at me asking if there were any free tickets to Anchorage or Edmonton, it appeared as though we were not going to be able to use our frequent flier miles at all. However, after several calls (as Stuart mentions earlier), I got a hold of the end-all, be-all representative, who hooked us up.

While we still weren’t able to get free tickets, we did get what, in my book, is even better – free upgrades to first class. Yep, a 3+ hour flight to Houston and a 4+ hour flight to Edmonton surrounded by big cushy seats, all the wine and Bailey’s we could drink, and those weird hot towels. Ok, really… what are those things for?

I started to get worried most of the way to Edmonton… This was going way too well. Here we are, in first class, we’ve gotten to the airport with plenty of time to spare, our plane is on time, we’re in first class (did I mention that?), our connection worked like clockwork, we’re on the next flight, which was on time… It’s too good to be true, right?

Not this time. We actually got the biggest treat of all about 45 minutes outside of Edmonton. While the sun had apparently come back up outside the plane window (Edmonton is far enough north that the sunset isn’t until about 11 this time of year), sort of east of the sunset was a big swirl that looked like a cloud at first… But upon further inspection (and a hint from the flight attendant), we could see that it was moving and pulsing strangely, changing shape and color. Yep, you got it. The Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis.

Well, that’s it. The trip’s a success. We can go home now.

Unfortunately, there was no good way at that moment for us to get a photograph, but we still saw the Northern Lights. Comically enough, one of the flight attendants was plastered up against the windows next to us… I guess she hadn’t seen them before either.

An aside about taking pictures out a window: don’t use a flash! You would think the flight attendants would realize this little fact, spending all their time in a small tube that is internally lit. But one of them used her digital camera to try taking pictures of the northern lights and the flash went off every time. She would take the picture, look at the LCD display and say “darn!”, like she really expected to see anything?

The previous installment:
Ready Or Not...

The next installment:
Big Box to the Rescue

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All materials © 2004 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler