Canada

Well, it has been a pretty epic day. In my mind I have met the criteria for ‘epic’ and I’m still not quite home yet.

Today marked the beginning of my trek back across the ocean to Canada. I suppose it’s a bit of a misnomer to refer to it as a trek (as most of my time was spent sitting on an airplane) but I actually did find myself doing an abnormal amount of walking.

The day began without a hitch. Valentina, Monica and I were up bright and early at 5:30am. This cautious approach paid off in the end as we were forced to play a complicated game of suitcase tetris with our Belgian cab driver before going to the train station! We had ordered a van to take us to the station because we figured that the three of us would have fairly significant amounts of baggage. When our driver showed up in a Mercedes we were slightly concerned. In the end, with the help of our affable Belgian driver, we successfully crammed everything, including outselves, into the taxi. On the way to the station our driver told us great stories and largely distracted us from his blatant disregard for traffic signs! At 6am it didn’t much matter what he did, but we still found it entertaining. After getting dropped off at the train station we purchased tickets and made it to the airport in perfectly short order.

Even the airport began as a positive experience. KLM didn’t charge Valentina for her extra suitcase and Monica and I fell within the Air Canada luggage limits. From here things started to trundle downhill. At the end of our check-in Monica and I were told that our flight had been pushed back by an hour. This didn’t really bother us because we were for the most part still wide awake!

We boarded our flight from Brussels to Montreal and flew into the wild blue yonder. Now, perhaps I’m slightly exaggerating the downward slope of the day because the flight from Brussels to Montreal was great. No turbulence, decent food and a couple of good movies. I watched the Hurt Locker for the first time and definitely enjoyed it. I am going reserve final judgement on it until I see it on a proper screen.

Now, everyone knows that Montreal is where the party’s at. Today was no exception. Our flight from Brussels was late getting in so Monica and I thought that we were going to miss our connecting flight to Toronto! In fact, we had so much time it was painful, but we didn’t know it then.

After racing out of the plane, we made our way quickly through preliminary customs and border security. From there we collected our luggage and passed easily through the final customs check and checked our bags once more. Quickly we found our security entrance and scampered into a line. Unfortunately for us we got stuck in the super slow lane! The Canadians took forever checking my bags, even making me remove the nike+ chip in my shoe! Apparently it looks pretty diabolical to have a chip in your shoe! Who knew? Our flight was scheduled to leave at 2:30, we made it through customs by about 2:25 and booked it to our gate. When we arrived we discovered that our rush had definitely been unwarranted as our flight was delay until 3:30. So we waited at the gate, watching our departure time get closer and closer. But, as seemed to be the growing trend, Air Canada once again changed the time and gate number for the flight. In doing so, Air Canada disrupted a lot of people’s plans so they offered to re-book missed flights. Monica is currently in the air as we speak and headed to Windsor. I helped carry her luggage a little bit today so when I went to bring her stuff up to the top floor to re-book her connection to Windsor I kind of zoned out a bit and ended up outside security…again…

This time through I was a pro and blasted right on to the other side. We actually did board our plane as planned at 7pm, but ended up sitting on the tarmac for about an hour and fifteen minutes before taking off. Our delay was a result of the system of thunderstorms that moved through Toronto this evening.

I am now currently sitting in Terminal 1 of Pearson Airport waiting to take the 11:30pm Robert Q shuttle back to London. I have now been awake for a full 24 hours and am in dire need of sleep. I have dosed off in the middle of more than one sentance of this blog posting and should probably stop typing in case I accidentally write something really stupid!

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