Sunday, July 31, 2016

Travel day

At last, I get some time to sit down and write the blog. It's been an interesting day.

I said goodbye to everyone at the reunion which was sad  - it would have been nice if I could have stayed for today, but that wasn't meant to be and it was just pure luck the way things worked out.  So I said good bye to the extended family members and then stopped at Mom and Dad's (I love that they are in town - it's so darn handy!) And then I was on the road back to Saskatoon. I do believe that is the shortest trip I've ever done to Saskatchewan, but no time to waste. 

OH - I must tell you what happened. During the day (yesterday)  I had to zip into town to pick something up.  The reunion was at my uncle's farm which isn't far out of town.  I was visiting a bit with Mom who couldn't make it out.  We can see that it is raining, but it was only when I got back to the farm that I realized how hard it rained.  In a very short time, they got almost 2 inches of rain. The wind was so strong, it knocked the port a potty over and everyone got SOAKED.  They were all wearing different clothing from when I had been there earlier and the variety of clothing was interesting to say the least.  It was pretty funny!!!!  

After dinner when we still had decent light, I managed to get everyone together who was there for a photo.  Not an easy feat, but we managed.  As usual, pot luck for dinner which was AMAZING!!!!!!  

I checked into a hotel near the airport and decided that I would fill the car with gas in the morning. Let's just say that the day started out as one of those days!  The gas station that I normally visit was closed - no kidding - it was 5:30 in the morning. I needed to be at the airport by 5:40 so no time to waste.  I found another gas station close by and then off to the airport.

Now here is something I didn't tell you.  I have my bike with me. And it's packed in a big box which sits sideways on the luggage cart. EXCEPT the doors at the Saskatoon airport are single door widths.  So the box doesn't go through without being taken off the cart and pulled through while you attempt to hold your wheely cart from rolling away.  Ah - fun and games.

I had tried to check in last night and the stupid app on my phone NEVER lets me log in.  I get to some point and it logs me out.  Do did it take my credit card for the bags???  No idea.  I get to the airport this morning and start the check-in process and NOPE - didn't charge me for the bags - I'm not checked in.  After I paid for the bike and did NOT get a prompt to pay for the other bag, I thought I had saved some money.  Turns out when I checked e-mail later that in fact the payment had gone through the night before, so I paid TWICE.   GRRRRRRR.   Air Canada - are you listening?   That system doesn't work well. The left hand is definitely not talking to the right hand.

No problems to get through security and up to Tim's to get breakfast.  I had to wait a LONG LONG time despite the fact that there was no one in line.  They had to cook the eggs.  By this time they are starting to board the plane, but the gate is right in front of me and I see that I have still have loads of time.

Get on the plane, find my seat. Plane not full, but a man sits beside me.  OK - I can deal with that.  We taxi out to the runway and start to accelerate.  We are milliseconds from lifting off and BANG - the pilot slammed on the brakes.  I'm not kidding - it was pretty scary because we had no clue what the heck was going on.   It seemed to take forever for the plane to come to a stop and then we started to taxi back to the terminal. The pilot came on and you could tell by his voice that something was wrong - he sounded a tad stressed which is not good in a pilot!!!   No kidding my heart was still pounding as well. 

Turned out we hit a flock of birds!!!!   He made a judgment to abort take off to have the plane checked out.  It turned out that we killed 7 birds (no idea what kind) and none got sucked into the engines so that was good.  I think we were delayed almost one hour.

So while we  were waiting for the inspection and the OK to take off, the man next to me started chatting and we chatted all the way to our destination.  It was a very interesting conversation. He was from Dublin and we chatted about garbage, education, the gravel industry, road construction and politics!!!!!   The time flew by and next thing we know - we are safely landed in Vancouver!!!!

Got a cab to UBC where we are staying.  Turns out there is a ton of house construction in this city - old houses ripped down and new ones going up.  And there is a major closure of roads due to water main issues.  

I arrive at the university and my room isn't ready yet.  Well, I might as well assemble my bike.  So everything out of the box, get the tools, get the parts and put the bike together.  Do you think I can remember how to put the damn front brakes together?  Well I figured someone would be around later to help.  Thanks to Mike for coming to my rescue.  I met Mike a number of years ago on another trip and we've met once more in the Atlantic Provinces.

Then I decided that I had to get a row by row from BC, so off to catch a bus.  Thankfully I asked the bus driver before I got on and someone had given me the incorrect information for getting to Granville Island.  But I found the bus stop, waited a few minutes and there was the bus.  Made it down to Granville Island and found The Cloth Shop where I proceeded to buy the license plate and a kit. Then I went into the market to find something to eat.  ACK - too many people!!!!   I could NEVER shop in a market like that - just too many people stopping in the aisles to gawk, to shop and to tick people like myself off.  Nope - not for me.  I'm learning that tourist areas are NOT for me.  I can't deal with that tourist shuffle.

I had lunch overlooking False Creek and then walked back up to the bus.  I was very focused - I had only one thing in mind - get that plate. Then I got mixed up in the time change, thinking it was two hours time difference on my FitBit where in fact it's three.  So I was early to the group meeting.  Anyway  - we have an interesting group of people, half from Canada and half from other countries.  I think we are 3 women and 8 men.  There will be a few more joining us later on the trip.  Everyone is pumped and keen to ride.  I'm looking forward to it.

Having some experience in all this, I have managed to get all my stuff organized into the baskets which will go on the shelves in the morning. My bike is assembled and I think it's ready to go.  I really should go through the handle bar basket and the trunk to make sure I'm taking only what I need with me. No sense in carrying extra stuff!

Now it is time tonight to just relax. I'll have to find out what everyone is doing for dinner or I'll just head out to get a bite myself.  There are a number of restaurants in the area. 

This place is just hopping - there are tons of people around for conferences or just staying the night like ourselves. Anyway - it's a busy place and you should see my room.  I'd love to have this as a room although I would need a bit more space for the quilting stuff. A nice little apartment.

That ends the travel day.  It's been interested to say the least.

I will be blogging as best I can - most camp sites do have Wi-Fi. It will just depend on circumstances - so if you don't hear from me - that doesn't mean bad things.  It just means I can't get on the internet.  I will post each day on Facebook when I arrive in camp. 

Have a good day!!!



  1. Enjoy your trip! Hope you have good weather for the trip

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