The lobby is furnished like a lodge, featuring large overstuffed chairs and comfortable couches. We are apprehended by two very friendly Rotarians designated as the greeters. The man is dressed in a dark business suit and a fur cap. He extends a limp hand towards Lydia and booms “Welcome to Anchorage.”
A tall, raw boned woman dressed in khaki pants and a tan leather vest trimmed in fur extends a wiry hand in my direction and crushes my fingers into jelly. “A pleasure to meet you,” she drawls. She has beautiful, long red hair and green eyes. I resist the impulse to faint.
We were supposed to meet Jim and Tommy for supper at a local pub. We hurry up to our room, expecting to find a smoke free room overlooking the waters of the sound. Instead, our room reeks of cigarette smoke and overlooks the attractive, rusting turbine ventilators on the roof of the nightclub next door. There’s a mistake, the front desk admits, but we’ll have to spend one night before we can move to a non-smoking room. This will be a problem. My nose is already starting to itch and my lungs are filling with liquid. If nothing else, this propels us back to the lobby in spite of the fact that we are running an hour late. We are bundled up in our heaviest clothing and stop to inquire about to the location of the pub. Once the Bell Captain has stopped laughing and realizes we really do mean to go, he gives us some careful directions. I guess he’s lost guests this way, before.
“One block north, two blocks west. Go out the west entrance of the hotel and this’ll put you close,” the bell captain assures us.