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Posted Sep 07 2011 9:21am

I was able to get a flight out of Monterey, California early Sunday morning, and I am now staying with some very good friends of my parents in Surprise, Arizona. Outside of going home, I do not think I could have landed in a better place. I will be staying here until the14th September, and then I will fly to Seattle and board the cruise ship on the 16th September.


Dale and Jim Rutherford are the names of my hosts, and they have been absolutely terrific. The bedroom I am staying in is absolutely beautiful, with all the comforts of home and then some. They have been absolutely gracious, and have allowed me the time and space that I need to work and do my school assignments.


It has been very nice here, not just because of how wonderful they are, but they are people that have no my parents for 20 years or more and it has been very nice talking about dad with them. I have learned things about my father I did not know, and I have been able to share things with them about dad they did not know. I have teared up more than once, but they have been very good about not making a big deal about it.


When I was still in Monterey and trying to find a flight out it quickly became obvious that getting back to Georgia and then to Seattle on time was going to be challenging. By that point I was beyond exhausted, mentally and physically, and I really just needed a place to rest. When I had about given up on the possibility of finding a flight to Georgia, my mother texted me and asked me to check on flights to the Phoenix, Arizona airport. Not only was it significantly cheaper to fly there, I could get a flight out within 24 hours. We decided that coming here was the best option for me, rather than have me fly clear across the country again. Including an hour and a half layover in Los Angeles, it only took me a little over three hours to get here. That is much better than the 18 hours it took me to get to Monterey, California, due to all the stops I had to make.


So far, the hundred plus temperatures have not bothered me, but then again it is a different type of heat than what I’m used to. However, I’m sure by the time I leave I will be ready for the cooler weather that awaits me in Alaska.

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