Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The JOYS of traveling

Thanks for the comments about quilt stores --- yes -- we are definitely caught between a rock and a hard place. Unfortunately, it's one of the industries that has become so over-commercialized, with every new designer thinking they can make money at this and that one designer encouraging people. There just isn't enough money to go around. 

OK -- so the picture thing for the blog still isn't fixed. There was zero time yesterday. Let's just say that I've had a few interesting travel days, and well -- I think yesterday has topped them all. 

I had two great events at Central Sewing in Edmonton, but it was at 12:30, after I finished the first one, that I glanced at my phone and realized I was in trouble. Now, I could have done nothing, and then I would have been in big trouble, so I got on the phone. Which, by the way, works like a charm because I'm not going through the cell tower near my house. I must call them when I'm back. 

My next stop on this trip is Saskatoon, which is about 525 KM from Edmonton, and I don't have to be there until Thursday, with Wednesday being a travel day. Do I drive, or do I fly? I chose to fly after checking one car rental that did NOT have a car that I could drop in the new city. 

That meant that from Edmonton, I had to fly to Vancouver (yes --- in the opposite direction) and then fly from Vancouver to Saskatoon. Just silly, but there's no other way. I'm guessing because the flight between Edmonton and Saskatoon is less than one hour, that they eliminated it a while back since many people were driving. That's great if you have your own vehicle, but I have to rent, and not all rental companies want their cars ending up 500 KM from the issuing office. 

Anyway, the flight from Edmonton to Vancouver was delayed by one hour. That was the notice I had on my phone. That means I would not make my connecting flight from Vancouver to Saskatoon. 

So I got on the phone with Air Canada (short wait) and asked what other possibilities there were. Hmm --- there was an earlier flight to Vancouver, but I couldn't make that as I was still at the store. And then there was a flight today leaving Edmonton at 10 AM. I didn't want to wreck my entire travel day by traveling, so I said I would see if I could secure a car, and then I would decide and call them back. 

I called a car rental company, and NOPE -- we can't help you on the phone; you have to do that on the internet. Seriously?? Yep -- MORE offerings on the internet. That just seems so weird. So I went to that company's site, and NO -- they didn't have any cars. This was the same company I tried when I was booking my travel arrangements. 

Like all companies these days, multiple brands are associated with each other, so Budget and Avis are together. But operate separately. Budget didn't have cars (or I didn't operate their website properly), but I checked with Avis, and they did. I ordered an SUV and paid for it online. 

Now, back to Air Canada to cancel those flights. I was on hold with them, and my next class was starting, so I had to hang up and deal with it later. The bottom line -- I had a ride. OH --- I forgot to mention that I could NOT keep the car that I had. That had to be returned to the airport, where I would pick up the new car. 

So the class finishes, and I'm off to the airport, which is about a 30-minute drive in the OPPOSITE direction from where I want to go to catch the Yellowhead Route to Saskatoon. Of course, there was an accident and construction, so it took almost one hour to get to the airport. 

I had to top the gas in the rental car and didn't remember if there were gas stations at the airport (not usually), so I stopped at the little town just before and got caught up in a gaggle of motorcycles. I stopped at the pump, only to have my credit card not work at the pump, so I had to go in and prepay. I've no idea how much I need? So, I pre-paid $20 and went to pump the gas. Then I had to go back in to get the receipt for $7.20 for the premium gas ($1.72 a liter) because when I selected regular, it didn't work. 

Back on the road and into the airport, where there are TWO gas stations. GRRRR -- I should have paid attention to that when I left. Oh well -- I'll remember for next time. 

I arrived at the drop-off point, and before I even got a luggage cart for my crazy amount of luggage, they checked me out. ACK!!!!!

I pile all my luggage onto the cart and empty the ar. Now, normally, one has their suitcases packed but did not. In the morning, when I walked, I got caught in the rain. Everything had been drying in the back of the car, and I hadn't had time to pack it all up. So my pants and shoes were hanging off the luggage cart. It looked hilarious. 

OH -- I forgot to mention that while I was packing up my stuff at the store, I got back on the phone with Air Canada to cancel those flights. This time, the call volume is HIGH, and I'm on hold. Thank goodness for speaker phones. I'm still on hold as I leave the store. I'm halfway to the airport before the call is answered. Thank goodness for hands-free in the car because I was able to get the two flights canceled, and when I finish the flights for this trip, I'll get a full refund. 

So, with all my luggage hanging precariously off that cart, I made it to the car rental office. Thankfully, it's in the garage area where the cars are, and I didn't have to go back into the terminal. Yes -- they have a car, but I'll have to wait. So I waited almost one hour for the car. They mentioned something about a car with Sask plates (likely to get back into Sask), but when they finally called me, I got a Dodge Charger. This is a far cry from an SUV. And it's bright RED. 

By this time, I had repacked my suitcase, so it looked somewhat better. I went to use my credit card to put a deposit down -- I had already paid, but no - they wanted a deposit as well. My credit card was declined!!! Seriously???? I had literally made a payment about 30 minutes before while waiting since it was getting near the limit. So, I made another payment while standing at the counter, and finally, the transaction went through. 

I literally laughed that one off and told the lady that it was just that kind of day. 

I got everything loaded into the car and attempted to connect my phone, but I wasn't successful. But I knew the way, so I didn't need anything. 

As I was whizzing back on the highway to get back to where I knew I could get on the Yellowhead, I missed the bypass, which would have taken me on the EAST side of the city, but instead, I went to the furthest northwest corner and then had to come back through the top of the city. Guess what? That highway was totally under construction! Yep -- it was one of those kind of days. 

And I caught the Yellowyead Highway a mere FOUR KMs, from where the store is and where I was THREEE hours earlier. Yes --- it took me three hours to get to and from the airport and wait for the car. What an obscene waste of time, but seriously --- it was just one of those days. 

At last, I was free of the city traffic and on the highway. How far could I drive as I'm not very good at driving long distances? However, I decided to get to Lloydminster, which is on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan. As I was arriving, I knew I needed to nap. So I was planning on a 25-minute nap, which extended to two hours! I should have stopped and got a hotel. But I was too tired for that -- do NOT worry -- I was not falling asleep at the wheel. I was just tired. 

While stopped, I managed to get my phone connected, and I got the navigation system to work. It was almost midnight, and I had forgotten to cancel my rental car at the Saskatoon airport. They would be waiting for me when the Vancouver flight landed at 30 minutes past midnight. I had tried calling them before my nap, but no answer on the phone. I got through this time, and that rental car was canceled. 

WAIT --- As I was preparing to nap in an empty parking lot, the craziest thing happened. I was able to lay the seat back quite far and stretch out my legs when the darn PANIC system on the car went off. Yikes --- lights are flashing, and the horn is blasting. Help --- how do I stop that? I think it stopped on its own, and I was just stretching out again when it went off again! OK -- so this isn't very relaxing! I had locked myself in the car, which it didn't seem to like. I've no idea, but it only happened twice. Phew!!!

So I continued down the highway through Lloydminster and passed a Holiday Inn. You know what -- I might as well stop here, and then it's a short drive the next morning. The place was full! Hmmm -- let's keep driving. 

Here's the thing -- my parents live in North Battleford, which is on the Yellowhead Route, and I was going to spend my travel day with them instead of forging on to Saskatoon, which I'll do in time for my events tomorrow. So it was only one hour further, and I decided to get a hotel in North Battleford. 

I finally arrived and went to two places, and they were totally booked. What???? There are many people who work in the area (service techniques) that fill up the hotels. So I'm in a third hotel that has been here for years. I've never been in it, but here I am!!!!

I plugged my phone in last night, and I see it must be one of those plugs that only charges when the light is on -- stupid!!!! So I'll have to charge the phone later today. The light at the desk doesn't work, and if I want to plug my laptop in, I have to crawl under the desk. I'm not doing that! 

OH -- I had barely eaten all day either, and when I stopped at Tim's in Vegreville to get a bagel and a cookie, I changed in the car. I had changed my pants and was about to whip off my shirt when a car drove up right beside me, so I had to wait! Anyway, I got back on the road, and that bagel was so stale that even me -- the no-so-very picky eater couldn't stomach it!! 

Let's just say that I'm ready for breakfast this morning. A nice relaxing breakfast. I'm forgoing any walk this morning. After breakfast, I'll pop over to my parents. 

So -- that, in a nutshell, was my travel day. One that I shall remember for a long time, and well, there was no need to get angry at any part of it -- just a folly of errors and well, that made it much more interesting!!!! 

On that note -- have a super day!



  1. My motto is: I'd rather have 1 day go to HE#% in a handbasket that have something crappy happen every day ;-)

    Cheers to a lovely Wednesday!

  2. While your photos are educational, interesting and often amusing, if I were forced to choose between them and your words, I would take the words every time! You couldn't tell us about your "folly of errors" with photos... Victoria in Georgian Bluffs