by Brian Mullen
As I write this, it is 3:45 a.m. on August 24th. My wife is "meditating" for a few minutes before I force her to get up and get ready. We are going on vacation. Our plane leaves Pittsburgh Airport at 6 a.m. (or thereabouts). We are going on a week-long cruise to Alaska.
Because of the amount of work that goes into making sure our jobs will run semi-smoothly without our hands on the rudders, so to speak, we've barely had a chance to get excited about the trip. Last night, however, I bought a 2007 Alaskan cruise travel guide highlighting much of what we can expect. So, even though we were supposed to go to bed "early", we stayed up reading excerpts and getting excited.
We are entering a strange world. The cities we will be seeing have smaller populations (in some cases) that the capacity of the cruise ship - Seward has about 300 locals - our ship has 2100! Each strives to maintain an appearance of historical authenticity while having all the modern day conveniences.
As a writer, I hope to get inspired by new locations and new experiences and come home with a Jack London "Call of the Wild" kind of destiny. Odds are, however, I'll just come home about 10 pounds heavier.
Still, it's early in the morning and a whole new world awaits. Once we get through security, that is.