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Trip Start Aug 19, 2012
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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Sunday, August 19, 2012

One should never forget to expect the unexpected.

At 5am my computer came to life impersonating a cuckoo clock from the black forest.  For some reason it scared the crap outta me, although this was in fact the 4th day I had been dragged from my sleep by the exact same call.  Unlike those other days, I sprung from my bed, deactivated the alarm, and quickly got about the business of showering.  Once cleansed, I realized that contacts were in fact not a good idea, as evidenced by the sore, dry eyeballs entrenched in my head.

Wired, caffeinated and sugared; I could easily have stayed up the whole night.  However, I knew this trip would actually be a challenge, so I denied myself any further delicious treats or fizzy drinks, and actually went quickly to sleep.  The morning would prove my move to be a wonderful choice of strategery (Bushism, yes, I still remember the great lines we are now deprived of by having a well spoken president).  At least when I end up in the grips of a commie brigade hell bent on my ebarrassment they will be deprived the copious ammunition that was so readily available only years ago.  Hey I'm not talking politics people, I'm just saying it was actually FUN to listen to Bush; never knew what he was going to come up with.

A nifty tidbit for those traveling through Canada; America is not the only security crazy country.  Whether you're catching an international transfer or you're staying right where you land, you're going to have to go through customs, and that means grabbing your bags, hauling them around a ridiculously long rat maze (which would actually probably be advantageous to terrorists used to hiding in caves) and then rechecking them after turning in a little slip of paper.  It's almost like high school at the customs desk, all you have to do is smile and be confident and they'll accept your parents' note about being late to school as legit, the only real difference is that the person behind the desk in Canada wears a flack vest and rubber gloves, not fake nails.  Additionally, it would be helpful to note here that since my layover in Vancouver is actually over 12 hours I will have to claim and re-check my bags there too as well.  This all after I made the effort to call and make sure that I could actually check my bags straight through; that I would NOT have to tote around the majority of my worldly possessions in what amounts to a giant mall filled with the crabby, cranky, ill-mannered and unethical morass that we all tend to become whilst traveling.

In other news, I got to see a city I'm fortunate to have been acquainted with in the past, this time from the air.  (Toronto)  I remembered how downtown was north quite a bit, and I was able to snap some cool pictures of the Canadian shore coming in over Lake Huron.   They've got fields right up to the edge of the shore; not something we're used to seeing in the north on Superior, but really pretty.

 
In any case, I now sit, well anchored to my chair by a large portion of delicious sweet potato fries with spicy ranch like sauce.  Not really State Fair worthy, but tasty and they silenced my complaining stomach like a head slap to a disobedient step child.  I'm set to deal with the next few hours, just sitting here with my kindle, laptop, Singaporean MP3 player that has become obsolete before I even used it (headphone jack is too small), and all the techno savvy necessary to hotwire a toaster.  I really hope none of this stuff starts smoking.  

After landing in Vancouver, I once again scuttled out and claimed my bags.  However at my arrival it was already after midnight and everything was closed.  I wandered about like a zombie, but got some good intel out of a AirCanada man about the best place to sleep on the floor.  This is of course key information and not something one can find by trial and error when you have one night in a strange airport.  There was one ray of hope; Subway was still open, and stays that way 24hrs here in the Vancouver AP.  Heehaw for spicy italian and laying on the floor for 8 hours.  Some times I dog Subway for not being nearly as good as Jimmy Johns or Erb's & Gerb's, but after that late night save, I will never again speak against my cut cut savior.

 I woke this morning to my cuckoo clock alarm ringing clear through a mostly empty check-in area, sauntered to the washroom and did a little sink shower.   I had already paid to get my extra bag checked, but when I got to the counter to re-check it, they had no record that I had paid!  I was so pissed, but there was nothing for it, and I just paid the fee again with the confidence that I would get a refund.  We shall see.  The most annoying part was that I had arrived in Vancouver via AirCanada, and must therefore have paid to get there as both my bags were ticketed from Toronto.  Jeeze.

 

 
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