The cab picked us up early to get us to the airport, so we didn't get the second B of our B&B. The airport itself was interesting. There were four or five stuffed bears, and I'm not thinking about children's toys here. We hadn't seen any live bears, and we could get right up to a polar bear case. We managed to convince airport security to check out our film by hand, since they were quiet and it was all exposed. Of course, it had all been through multiple X-rays before, since everyone claims that their machines are safe for anything less than 800 speed. But I figured every little bit helped.
Not only was Anchorage to Salt Lake City another Little Blue Bag flight (see Day 1), but we were also lucky enough to have an empty seat next to us again as well. So, he took this window and I took the aisle. Then I leaned across him for the first twenty minutes of the flight, watching the mountains. We could even see Denali/Mt. McKinley from the takeoff, which was really neat, since we didn't have enough time to get to it on the ground. The movie was Shanghai Nights (Knights?), which I didn't bother to watch.
We got to Salt Lake promptly, and this time our layover was more than an hour, and the arrival gate was only three gates away from the departure gate. This gave us time to grab a quick lunch at Pizza Hut, since we saw our Little Blue Bags arrive, and weren't sure they’d be as good for dinner as they were for breakfast.
We knew better than to expect the luck we'd had on our previous flight, since this was the flight on which we had been unable to get adjacent seats when we booked several months before. We were at least across the aisle. However, the other two people in Jeff's row were both over six feet tall and looked like they probably went in for contact sports. Much to the delight of all four of us, when they closed the doors and rolled away from the gate, the two seats next to me were still unoccupied. Jeff moved over, they spread out, and life was good. There were quite a lot of empty seats on the flight, in fact, and I'm not sure why we hadn't been able to book together. However, it is at least one positive result of September 11.
The movie was Chicago again, so we didn't pay for headphones. We did discover that we could hear the sound anyway if we turned the volume up loud enough on the armrests. Dinner Little Blue Bags were a turkey sandwich, chips, and cookies - not bad, but we were glad we'd picked up lunch in the airport and could save it for dinner.
Finally we landed again in Newark, a little early. Bryan and Claire met us at baggage claim and drove us home. It was delightful to spend time with people who weren't each other, by then. The cruise was great, but it did tend to run to enforced closeness. The big shock was when we walked outside, and I realized two things. One was that the dark walls weren't just dark glass. Remember, I hadn't seen true night since we left, and not even twilight for the past several days. Dark outside just looked funny. The second thing was that while we were away, it had become summer!