Saturday, April 1, 2023

The long way home!

I'm home! 

It was a long journey home! And while I appreciate help when packing up, I really don't need it or want it. I always feel RUSHED, and I shouldn't, but I do! But I got the luggage packed, and then the question was -- how much does that suitcase weigh? I knew I would be borderline as I had left some room for the samples I needed to pick up in Montreal, but when I weighed the case, it was just over 50 lbs, and that won't do. 

I switched a couple of things around, and that was better. Let's hope that all is well. I didn't even get the fabric I wanted, knowing I wouldn't have room. Sigh -- I can always call them and order it. 

The day went very well; for the most part, I'm getting those sewing terms in french more and more solidified in my head. I mentioned that I have one more critical deadline that I can't move, and it is due Tuesday morning when I need to be back on a plane. I have to make a presentation. For the life of me, as I rehearse it - it's in FRENCH, and it has to be in English! It might take a day or two for my brain to convert back. 

So back to the trip home. As I finished the presentations, I saw it was snowing. Great! I received an email from Air Canada earlier in the day saying the weather might impact my flight and I could make changes if I wanted. No room to make changes. 

I took Uber to the airport. Now that was an adventure. When I first moved to Montreal in the late 70s, I was warned about the crazy drivers in Quebec. As I  drove along the 401 and the closer I got to the border, I had visions of total craziness. However, it was better than I had envisioned. 

However, my Uber driver was ALL the crazy drivers rolled into one. We left the store at 5:30 or somewhere around there. We were to arrive at the airport at 6:20. I figured there would be some delays because of the weather and the traffic. Well, he did everything that makes me cringe when I see other drivers do it - we wove through traffic, scooted out in entrance ramps to get ahead, and I swear he tailgated all the way. His brakes will not last long. 

The arrival time changed to 6:25, but by the time we got to the airport, he had made up the time - in rush hour traffic! Plus, it was snowing, so drive with caution? Nope -- not that guy, and for the most part, he was keeping up with the traffic - OK -- so he was trying to be ahead of it all. 

I arrived in one piece at the airport and went off to get that large bag checked. There's nothing sweeter than seeing the bag disappear without being flagged for weight. By my scale, it weighed just under 50 lbs. 

Bye bye luggage

Remember that I had good intentions to do those Adventure Labs when I was at the airport? I was so tired or whatever that I remembered them when we were halfway to Toronto. Sigh..............

They asked if people wanted to check in their carry-on luggage for free as the flight was 'busy," and I thought -- why not? I had to wait for my other bag, which meant one less thing to carry, so I only had my backpack and jacket. 

OK -- I understand that some people don't travel much, but really! The way they board the planes now is by zone. Zone 1 first, then Zone 2, then young children and their parents, of course. There's a separate line for Zone 1 and Zone 2, and zones 3 - 6 are all grouped in one line. As they were about to start the boarding process, I wandered over to the Zone 3 - 6 line, where there were about 10 people ahead of me. I was in Zone 3, and I happened to glance at the boarding passes of the couple in front of me - Zone 4. 

And here's how the conversation went:

ME: "I'll slip ahead of you since I'm in Zone 3." 

Them: "Well, this line is for Zone 3 - 6!" 

ME: "I know, but they load by Zones, so Zone 3 goes before Zone 4."

THEM (the lady to her husband): "It's OK -- it doesn't matter - let her go ahead."  

        (the man): Grumble, grumble

They literally thought I was trying to get ahead of them in the line. I noticed the boarding passes of those directly in front of me were in Zone 5. Sigh.....................

So the moment of truth arrived when they announced that there were now boarding Zones 1 - 3 (NOT 4 or 5), and I went right to the front of the line as I was the first passenger in that line in Zone 3. Yet, I had to scoot past all these other people. If you are NOT in Zone 3, stay in the line, but stand to the side!!! It's not a big deal, but as I had my passport scanned, I glanced back to give the line a GLARE!

I get that you probably don't know if you don't travel, but then pay attention to what is happening around you. This boarding thing happens ALL THE TIME!!!

When I got on the plane, I saw this on the windows -- snow and ice. Yeah -- that means we'll have to de-ice before we take off. 

Snow and ice on the window

This was the weirdest boarding process I've ever seen. I sit in my seat, and only a few other people are coming on board, and this entire row is empty. I sent a picture to the Monday sewing group, and then WHAM! The plane fills! But man -- people are funny! There was plenty of room in the overhead bins. But they constantly tell people to put the suitcase in the overhead bin and the second bag under the seat. A man sat in the aisle seat of the middle section. He put his suitcase in a completely empty bin and then put his second bag and jacket. There was still loads of room in the bin, but he shut it so only his stuff would be there. Did he think this bin was just for him? 

An empty row!

It's fascinating to watch the behavior of other people when traveling! 

So we're on the plane, which is a good sign. Then we have to wait because someone is stuck in immigration, and yes - we'll have to de-ice the plane. We were almost one hour late taking off. The flight was uneventful, although we had some moments as the aircraft descended into Toronto. Lots of bouncing around, and then we HIT the runway with a huge BANG. That felt like a slight misjudgment of the altitude. The pilot may have missed it by one meter, and we were in the 787, a huge plane. 

And to top it off, there was no gate, so we sat on the tarmac to wait for a gate. We finally deplaned, and then I was off to wait for my luggage and hoped both bags got through OK. To tease us, they started the carousel but then stopped it. One man, standing beside me, kept muttering to himself and checking his watch. I swear --- when you travel, especially by plane, you CANNOT have an agenda these days. You must be 100% flexible, and hope it all works out. 

Finally, the luggage started coming, and my huge bag was the first to arrive. I waited and waited, and at last, the smaller bag came, but it was behind another large suitcase, so getting off the carousel was a joy. 

Then down the escalator with two suitcases to get to the Uber pickup spot. Gosh -- can you believe -- I took Uber three times in one day! While warm outside, it was VERY foggy, which probably also accounted for that huge BANG when we landed. 

This driver was just a regular guy, and the trip was uneventful. But it was after 11 PM when I arrived home. Let's say there were two very happy girls to see me. Lexi is pretty aloof -- OH, you're home, and she stands there for a pet. Murphy goes ballistic! MOM'S HOME!!!!!

I forgot to mention my walk in the morning. I'm slightly behind on the walking challenge, but not by much. I might be able to make it up today, although I have a super busy day. I decided to walk to that park along the waterfront. Oh my --- what a beautiful place. The girls would be so happy there. 

The waterfront park

I continued walking and found a marina and this protective piece of land. The marina side was frozen, but the St. Lawrence side was not. 

A spit of land to protect the marina

Not that I was about to find out, but I was curious about how solid the ice was on the marina side. Then I noticed a guy out there. I wonder if he was ice fishing? I was NOT going to rescue him if he fell in! 

The view into the marina

But it was a beautiful walk, and this would be a great place to walk the next time I'm in that location. The location was beautiful, and I bet the place is packed in the summertime! The only to get there is to cross Highway 20 on the pedestrian walkways. I don't think there's a parking lot. OH -- of course, you could get there by boat! There must be a way to get there by car if there's a marina! 

Here's a view of the ships in the port with all the containers. 

The Montreal Port

I took the bike ramp rather than the stairs to get extra steps. Man -- they make the slope so gentle that even kids can ride up there! 

The bike ramp to the walkway over the highway

I kick myself for not remembering those darn geocaches at the airport. I knew I would still have some to do here, but now I have more. And I do NOT have time! Let's see how today goes -- I've already been cutting fabric, and I have quite a bit to do, and the deadline CANNOT slip, so that may mean missing a few hours of sleep. Why didn't I do more before? Because I was stupid busy - that's why! 

I've been very good at keeping up with my little Happiness journal. Some days have two entries, and some have one. Those are from 2012 and 2013. But now it appears that I completely dropped off the radar! How will I fill that little book going forward? Well, let's just see, but it's kind of neat to just write a few sentences before bed. 

My Happiness Journal

Not sure if I want to carry that extra weight on that hike, but I might take paper and write a sentence, and then when I get home, I can transpose it into the book. That might be a good option. Everything in that pack must be there for a reason, and a book to write in? I don't know. 

Miss Lexi is right behind my chair -- not wanting me out of her sight? No idea where Murphy is -- she's probably watching the nature channel out the back door and counting down the minutes until 7 AM when she can go outside! 

As much as traveling is nice, it's best when you get home! I will enjoy the next couple of days before I'm off again. But that trip is only three days and will go by fast! 

Remember to check out the last entry for the QUILTsocial journal cover I made. I LOVE the cover, and it was so much fun to do! As I said earlier, it's a great way to use up odds and ends. I have so many plans for future projects that I can hardly wait!!

Have a super day!


1 comment:

  1. Wowsers on your beautiful orange journal cover!!!! Glad you got home safely and back to your sweet babies 😻