Wednesday, July 28
Having packed the night before, all we have to do is eat breakfast and brush our teeth. We have our last breakfast at the City Inn, and eat out on the terrace by the river. It’s another beautiful day, and it’s hard to believe that we’ll be home that night. We finish our meal, and head upstairs to do one final look over the room. Heading back to the lobby with all our suitcases, we ask the front desk to call us a taxi. The cab has no trunk, the back of the cab is huge and that’s where the luggage goes. It sits in an open space in front of the backseat. Our driver’s name is Marilyn, and when she’s not driving a cab, she’s a teacher in Busby. We mentioned that Grandpa Jim is from Busby, and that’s when she tells us she’s a teacher there. She asks if we made it out there, and we tell her no. She says it’s a lovely town, not at all like Glasgow. She fills the ride to the airport with suggestions of what to do on our next trip. She spent a few years living in Ontario, but she didn’t really like it. We get to the Glasgow airport, which is fairly small, but well laid out, and has plenty to offer. There are no problems, and we make our way to the gate. Along the way to the gate, we pass a play area they have set up for kids. Why doesn’t every airport have that? There are no problems boarding the plane, and it’s a nice flight overseas. They show Starsky & Hutch, which was pretty funny, and I think I am able to have a short nap. Once we arrive in Toronto, we go through customs and I’m a little confused about filling out the declaration form. Since none of our souvenirs are staying in Canada, I’m confused if they will or won’t charge us for them. This all stems from my beef with Fed-Ex & Canada wanting to charge me for the Christmas gifts I sent. Anyways, they are no problems, aside from me feeling completely ill. I feel nauseated and light headed. Once we get to our gate, Geoff checks his watch to see how long it’s taken to get from one plane to the next. Gosh darn if it isn’t 1 hour. There is a restaurant beside our gate, and we decide at 4 we’ll go get some food. We read our books until then. Our plane isn’t due to leave until 5. I have a salad for dinner, and Geoff orders a sandwich. We then return to our seats and wait to be boarded. Before they start to board us they inform us their computers are down, so they will have to check us in by hand. It will slow the process. Also, the pilots are a little delayed, they are coming from a flight from L.A. and have to go through customs. We finally get to board, and the plane is packed. There are other passengers who met the same fate we did on our way to the UK, so we are able to share stories. After sitting on the plane for a while, it’s starting to get very warm and stuffy. We’re all starting to sweat, and get a little thirsty. We finally get an update on the pilots, they are detained in customs, but they’ll get here soon. People are starting to ask if they can work on getting the air turned on. More time passes, the next announcement is the pilots have been permanently detained at customs. They will call for replacement pilots. At this point I ask, what the heck did they buy in L.A. that got them permanently detained in customs? I laugh and say to Geoff, “at least they aren’t asking us to get off the plane”. The crew tells us they will start the beverage service shortly. 10 minutes later, we are asked to get off the plane. Frustrated we de-plane. Some passengers aren’t taking it very well. The desk is empty of anyone, and the phone is ringing frequently. I’m annoyed because we have no information, and no one is willing to stand there and get yelled at. I can be sympathetic to it to some degree. Who wants to stand at the desk saying I don’t know what’s going on, while angry passengers are in their face. But the phone is ringing and no one is there to answer it. I go off to buy a snack with what’s left of my Canadian money. We’re now delayed enough that I think I should call the Mary and ask her to stop in and feed Honey. I realize I don’t have her number, and I’ll need to track it down online. So I call my mom, since she has a computer and she can look it up. Also, talking to her will help pass the time. But she’s not home. I try Colin & Dawn, they also are not home. Glen & Diane are in Victoria, so I have to accept that we’ll just have a hungry cat when we get home. I know we’re going to make it home, it’s not like the last time in Toronto where we’ll be trapped. We will get home. Eventually someone comes to the desk and starts answering the phone. People flock the desk trying to find out what’s going on, and one group of 3 is demanding their luggage be removed from the aircraft, they don’t want to continue with the flight. They are bordering on belligerent, I’m sitting 3 rows away and I can hear them from where I am. They are told their luggage won’t be removed until they figure out what’s going on with the flight. We are told the replacement pilots are on their way. More time passes and I see what looks like two pilots walk towards us. I turn in my chair and sit on my knees with a hopeful look upon my face. The pilot smiles at me and gives a small nod saying, Yes, it’s us. We erupt into cheers and applause. Geoff remarks that they probably don’t get that kind of response often. They are ready to board us again, and they continue to do random searches. Geoff gets picked. I tell him I’m going back to my seat, rather than wait for him. We all file back in, and we all hope this time it’s for good. We’re all very thankful the air conditioning is on. Once we’re all seated, we’re informed there will be a small delay as the luggage is removed form the 3 passengers who chose not to continue their flight. There is grumbling. Geoff sitting by the window, points out they are just now fueling the plane up. I’m wondering why the heck wouldn’t they do that for the last few hours while we were in the boarding area. Geoff points out that I should be glad the pilots are doing their pre-flight checklist. The flight crew alerts all of us that drinks are on Air Canada to compensate for the delay. Well, goody for those who drink, but where’s my compensation? I want free snacks. Geoff takes advantage of free Canadian beer, so it looks like I’ll be driving home. I try to get some sleep so I’ll be able to drive once we get to Denver. By the time we depart from the airport, we’ve been delayed 3 hours. Once we’re in flight, the pilots inform us why we were so delayed. He says I don’t know what you heard but here’s what happened. They are our original pilots, they came from a flight from L.A. and went through customs. At that point they found out the computers were down, so, not having access to the flight plans, they went to hang out in the lounge. They said they assumed the plane wouldn’t be boarded if the pilots weren’t there and they had no access to the flight plans. So they were in the lounge the whole time! I am not able to sleep too much on the plane, and I worry about the drive home. Once we land in Denver, Geoff offers to drive home. He figures he’ll be okay, it’s been hours since he had his beer, and I’m tired, and I hate to drive at night. We head home and I have to keep talking to keep myself and Geoff awake. We talk about the trip, what was our favorite parts. We arrive home to a very hungry cat. She is crying and she devours her food. We brush our teeth, and head to bed. Collapsing into bed, we try to fall asleep. Honey won’t stop crying. Geoff gets up and gives her a little more food, thinking this will solve the problem. No such luck, she’s still crying. I tell her I’m very tired, mommy needs to sleep because I have to get up in 6 hours and go to work. I go into the hallway and pick her up. I bring her back to bed and place her beside me and stroke her until she’s purring. That did it, poor kitty missed her mommy and daddy. She was lonely. We all go to sleep. It takes a few days before I’m all caught up on sleep.
So lessons, learned are…
1. Don’t fly Air Canada
2. Don’t fly through Toronto
3. Pubs don’t necessarily serve food, so don’t count it as a means of a meal
4. You need to have a lot of money if you are going to travel to the UK
5. You need to have a sense of humor for traveling