Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Travelling is always an interesting experience.  No matter how many times we go to the same place no two experiences will be the same.  I remarked to a friend the other day that I have been travelling since 1949 when I took my first flight carried  in my mother’s arms.  Of course I don’t remember it at all but to be sure,  the journey changed the course of my life and I have loved travelling ever since then.

Just this past two weeks I travelled to the place I left that July of 1949.  I have returned  numerous times since then using  my favourite love-hate flyer, Air Canada.  Summer is a delightful time to travel but not in the middle of a heat wave to a tropical country.  Talk about sweltering!  Every living salt in my tissues was lost to the flood of water which left my body in waves.  But, why not swelter on a beach in the Caribbean rather than my front verandah which only overlooks numerous other concrete structures in the community where I live.  To see trees laden with Mangoes, flowers blooming all over, and few pesky mosquitos was lovely.

The best part of the travel was a short stint at the Jamaica Inn.  To be honest, the place had, I thought, some unique history with Hollywood but the movie of the same name was based on a book by Daphne duMaurier,  (who I love and admire with all my heart) about a pub in Cornwall.  The resort did have some unique characteristics however.  The ownership has been continuous since the 50’s and the setting has an old world elegance not seen by me for years.  All inclusive hotels are wonderful but for those wanting a relaxing, leisurely vacation without all the mod cons of our fast paced life, this is the place to be.  I was enchanted.

So to follow on from previous complaints about my favourite airline, I have to say that this time they were blameless in the excitement of this flight.  Take off from Jamaica was flawless.  The flight was almost without any turbulence.  We circled lake Ontario in preparation for landing and….we circled again and again until the captain’s resigned voice blared from the speakers.  There was a massive storm over the airport and we couldn’t land.  Circle became the word of the hour.  Running out of gas, we had to make our way to Hamilton Ontario to land.  Hamilton?  Did they have enough space for not one but two or three or more planes all running out of gas.  Apparently they did.  The ground staff looked important as they tried to meet the needs the influx of planes suddenly descending on their small airport.  I had a fleeting thought of how horrible it must have been for some of those small airports to cope during the 911 disaster.  That wasn’t the case here but certainly there would be no deplaning.  Another bag of cashews, some texts and a few phone calls helped the hour to pass.

Ok, we can drive from Hamilton to Toronto in 40 minutes or less.  Are we really going to take off and land in what would amount to a rabbit hop?  After an hour lay over we really did the leap over the storm which was making its way south and west.  The short flight from Hamilton to Toronto was accomplished easily and the pilot landed the craft as smooth as ever on the other side.  Looking down from the window at the blackness of the storm cloud circling below the level of the plane was interesting.  That we could rise above it was the point of the bunny hop I guess.

No point going into details about the chaos at the airport.  Apparently there was a ‘code red’, whatever that means.    What I saw was that planes hanging in the air and planes diverted from Toronto were returning in droves.  The full import of the massive diversion was understood as I waited 20 minutes for a dock to deplane, over an hour for luggage, 45 minutes for a bite to eat at the single Tim Horton’s that was open, and then another 40 minutes for a taxi.  Six hours after the time I should have landed,  I was finally pulling my sorry and tired butt into the house.

None the less, thanks be for the care and control which ensured that no injuries occurred to either humans or planes.  Now we are in the middle of a weather chill.  As I put on my sweater to step outside today, the sweltering beach seems mighty welcome.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I know that many people travel by air every day,  others not so much. This is my third trip this year. For a non business person, I felt like I had reached my maximum.
Instead of travelling by Air Canada, I had to use Delta for the first time. It turned into a marathon, partly by choice. In the interests of saving money, we did the plane, train and automobile and bus route. The bus ride to Buffalo was uncomplicated but crowded. Going over the border still remains a measure of your ability to look honest and answer the questions as if you never did anything wrong in your life.
Timing is everything. A four hour wait at the airport fin Buffalo or the first flight out was hard. A little bench sleep helped the time to pass only 6% faster, as least in my estimation.
Delta has zone loading. they invite the rich and famous first then load from front to back. Seems to me that back to front would work better. In four days, I had four take-offs and four landings. God bless the Sarasota to Atlanta pilot. Best and most comfortable landing. Hated being squashed on a full plane…totally unnecessary on a plane with several empty seats.
Buffalo airport was comfy. Atlanta was a city unto itself. Sarasota was a mini version and very manageable.
Kudos to Michael in Sarasota who was funny and engaging while we waited for luggage. Would like to fly again with the nice man who helped me with a light bag. Loved the friendly Delta crew on the Sarasota to Atlanta flight. They were standouts in a company that already provides friendly respecful service.
To the greyhound bus driver in Buffalo whose sarcasm was unnecessary, I will use the Megabus guys anyday if you are a typical representitive of your company.
Thirty-two hours of travel time for a forty-eight hour visit was worth the effort. To spend time with my extended family in celebration of a 90th birthday is a rarity in many families and not a missed blessing in ours.  Happy birthday again dear cousin and thanks to all my other cousins who made the journey.

Read Full Post »