Monday, August 13, 2007

The Airshow, Airports, and Layovers

I am on vacation, thank god. It's interesting how when you're going on vacation you can put up with more than when you're going home.

My folks were worried about the traffic for the Abbotsford Airshow so I said they could leave early to drop me off. I arrived at the airport at 12:42pm. My flight was scheduled for 3:30pm.

Okay, so I'm early. I entertain myself with the iPod - thank goodness for video iPods! I never thought I'd appreciate it so much! - and wait patiently to be able to check my bags. Once I do, I move over to the waiting area and watch a bit of the airshow before security screening, which I pass easily. Even the egg roll wrappers didn't get a second look.

But then we are informed that our plane hasn't landed yet because it's circling, waiting for the current airshow performer to finish his bit so it can land, kick off the passengers, clean the plane, load us and our bags, and take off again before the stealth bomber takes off in 20 minutes. I've never seen a more orderly airport crowd.

We took off within that 20 minute window, and interestingly enough we passed by the Canadian Snowbirds all lined up, I got within 50 feet of the stealth bomber as it was making its way around the tarmac behind us. It was pretty cool, I have to admit.

Calgary Airport is pretty nice, I must say. I've been there four times now and it's very well laid-out, at least the domestic departures/arrivals area is pretty good. The food court isn't bad, it's always clean, and the "$15 Store" is my favourite place in the airport. I promised myself I wouldn't buy anything there on the way to 'Toon, but there was a cute cute cute baguette-style purse there for - you guessed it - $15. I did inquire if they had many left and would there be one left on September 2nd and the owner said there were only a few left, it was the end of that line for the season and likely not. I had to get it this time around. Let's see what excuse I come up with on my way home!

So then I go back to the WestJet gates to wait for my flight to Saskatoon. Checking the departures board I find my flight number with a big "TARD" label on it, which quickly changes to the English word, "LATE". The revised departure time? 21:18; 9:18pm for you 12-hour persons. I was originally scheduled to leave at 7:50pm which would put me in Saskatoon around 9, and now I wasn't departing until after 9!

Oh well. Free newspapers keep me occupied for a while, chatting with another lady also travelling to Saskatoon passed some time, a grande dulce de leche frappuccino with whipped cream at the Starbucks outlet - thanks Jen M!! - and we were soon on the way.

I lucked out by having a nice fella to talk to on the flight, so that's always better too. Jeff was flying home after a family Harley riding vacation in Sturgis to his girlfriend and their newly-purchased house. It was nice talking with you Jeff, and hope you had a happy birthday.

And then arriving at Saskatoon. The WestJet crews are always a lot of fun, makes your later-than-expected departure much more bearable, and entertaining at the same time. I spotted Dad and Kathy on my way into the terminal and lo and behold..... Dad came to pick me up in his "town slippers."

More to come, the cows got out and we haven't seen them yet!

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