Vancouver | the journey home

I'll start my series of blog posts of my most recent trip to Vancouver with the story of how I left.

I woke up fresh and well-rested in my room at the Pinnacle Hotel in North Vancouver.  As was my custom, I pulled opened the curtains and slid open the door to my balcony.  Breathe.  I let the air flow through my body, trying to keep the memories of that trip alive.  I was sad to leave, as this trip refreshed me in more ways than one and I could easily see myself living there.

With a hot shower and comfy robe to lounge in, I tackled my suitcase/packing and finished up some last minute details.  An hour passed and I met Geoff on break for our last meal together.  He ate his famous chicken penne that he orders every single time, and I made a last minute decision to eat red curry instead of dungeoness crab, which I regretted, but saved me a whole $8.  Needless to say, the red curry did not satisfy.  Once we finished our meals I realized that extra $5 I found in my pocket gave me just the right enough of money to pay for my meal.  I was elated to use my Canadian dollars and have just enough left to pay for the seabus and train to get to the airport.

I took one last tour of the hotel room and checked my flight status.  Perfect.  Everything was in order.  And before I left the hotel, I took one more sneaky stare at the handsome front desk man who helped me with my bike (another story), who, according to Geoff was "alright", but I think every girl would melt with one look at this man's dreamy eyes.

One quick seabus and train ride got me to the airport, and there it happened.  Two hours early and my flight was canceled.  I'd be waiting an additional three more hours and sitting in economy class on my new flight.  So I waited.  I edited.  I waited. And I edited.  Five hours nearly pass and my new flight is delayed.  A queue of angry travelers quickly developed at the gate counter.  The angry grumbling filling the air broke at the sound of a chorus of teenage singers.  Nearly acapella, with what sounded like a mandolin, they went through classic acapella songs like the Hawaiian version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".  Their perfect harmonies echoed through the airport.  When they left to board their flight, the continued to sing and onlookers applauded.  Six hours after my arrival at the airport, many of my fellow passengers missed their connecting flights out of SFO but I was happy to finally leave this airport.

The flight takes off and I'm grateful to have an empty seat next to me an a normal person in my row.  We chat for a bit, then give each other the reasonable break to allow the other to choose to stop talking or continue.  We both decided to read instead.

I occupied myself with "My Life in France", the memoir of Julia Child.  By the end of the trip I read more than 70 pages.  I remembered high school when I dreaded reading.  I practically despised reading.  Then I remembered the third grade when I read Robison Crusoe and when I used to love autobiographies and biographies.  I realized then, the last handful of books I read for pleasure were all autobiographies.  Nowadays I really believe that everyone loves to read, they just haven't found the right books that interest them.  I look back now and wonder how I went so long without this love to read.

By the time the flight attendant came around, I was starving.  My original plan to use up my Canadian dollars accounted for the fact that I would be eating dinner in first class, but with the change in flights, I was without a meal.  I chose the "tapas" snack box, which sounded like it had potential--an assortment of crackers and spreads.  I strategic ate the cracker/spread pairings I suspected I liked the least first, and saved the creamy peppercorn parmesan cheese and rosemary crackers last.

By the time I finished my crackers, I was left with a big bag of green olives.  A scene from "Two Weeks Notice" came to mind, when Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock eat salads, exchanging the bits they didn't like.  Another scene from "How I Met Your Mother" also came to mind about how a significant other eats that one thing you don't like.  Anyway, I wondered who in my life would like green olives plain.  No one came to mind.  So I asked the normal man sitting next to our empty middle seat.  His face literally lit up and an excited anticipated body language emerged.  Evidently he LOVED green olives and considered buying that same "tapas" snack box just for the olives (but decided not to).  How fortunous, I thought! Score.

(This is a long story, huh? Don't worry.  I'm almost done.)

The view from my window provided beautiful scenes throughout the duration of my trip.  The colors of the sky were vibrant and at some points, the horizon seemed as if it were lit on fire.  By the time darkness fell, I saw a magnificesntly bright full moon glowing in the sky.  And when we reached the airport, I could see at least eight other planes hovering in the sky.  (The reason for the delays and canceled flights were the fog, and as a result, a single runway open.)  Our landing was quick and speedy.  We deplaned and allowed all the many travelers trying to catch connecting flights to race out of the plane first, then the rest of us followed.  It was about 11pm by the time I landed and usually at SFO in that section there are very few travelers.  That night it was packed!  And there were probably 50 people in line at customer service (probably trying to get on flights or complaining or whatever).

It was a long adventure getting home, but strangely not the weirdest or even the longest trip home.  Remember that time I had the 12 hour layover and I had to sleep on the ground? :)  Anyway, here's some pictures as a prize for finishing this long dictation of my traveling adventure.