Tuesday, June 28, 2011

(Day 15) On airplanes, a very expensive convention centre and making connections…

A quiet Monday morning was spent with achieving some last minute tasks and the final little bit of packing – already thinking ahead to what would need to be done next week prior to departure on the bike. 

After waking both boys up and saying good-bye – and getting a mumbled, “Have a good trip. Love you” in reply from each Anna drove me up to the airport – a bit of a chance to connect in the midst of the craziness of the past few days.

Claudia from the Regional CSC Office had booked my ticket – thanks Claudia – a late morning departure just as I had asked for, and as a bonus she routed me through Montreal into Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island. A brief layover in Montreal allowed enough time to go to Moe’s and enjoy a Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich. I learned my lesson last time… this time I did not have the Jumbo sandwich and passed on the fries as well. The sandwich and a glass of water with lemon made for perfect lunch as a watched the planes come and go.

Boarding the flight Toronto was a pleasant surprise, a new aircraft (to me anyways) a Q400 – prop plane with nice wide seats and I guess because it was part of the RapidAir link there was a free food and free beer offered on board. I passed on both. I have my figure to maintain you know!!

Coming into Toronto was a visual treat – seeing from the air, up close and personal, all the places that I used to visit as a child on the Lake Ontario Waterfront: the beaches, Ontario Place, the CNE grounds and of course the CN Tower. Billy Bishop offers great service: a pleasant passenger lounge and ferry service to the mainland every 15 minutes. It’s a long ferry ride… all of three minutes!!! Disembarking from the ferry, helpful staff directed me to the Shuttle Bus run by Air Canada and Porter Air. The Shuttle goes as a far as the Royal York Hotel, and from there I walked pulling my suitcase four blocks to the Sheraton.

After checking in followed by a quick shower, I decided to check email and do some writing on the blog… only to find out that this fine establishment wanted $14.95(plus tax) per day for internet service from the room! Not! That’s the price of two beers (in this place)! As a result I will be visiting Starbucks and using theirs and other free Wifi Spots. Yes, I’m cheap!  I get so annoyed because its such a money grab! $179+ per room per night and they can’t even provide internet service!!! End of rant.

Not being able to connect electronically I headed down to the registration area.  Going down in the elevator I was surrounded by five people all checking their iPhones, Blackberrys and whatever else!  I renewed a commitment to myself that during this week I would leave my phone in my pocket and not check for calls or messages while in the company of others. Anna, Justin and Zack know how much this practice annoys me! I think it could even be called a new syndrome: ADDGR (Attention Deficit Disorder Gadget Related). End of rant.

The next five hours was a time of connecting and reconnecting with colleagues and friends. Serious conversation in the Hotel bar over a bottle of Rolling Rock, Loud laughter filled conversations over spicy nacho chips and iced tea in the hospitality room, a quiet supper at a quaint café around a table laden with aromatic Thai dishes and a bottle of Steam Whistle, and boisterous evening reception with stories, laughter and hugs and laughter, delicious finger foods and liquid refreshments priced out of this galaxy: $9.50 for a beer and $6.50 for a pop and $11.00 for mixed drinks. Needless to the water flowed freely!!!!

Well that’s it for June 27th. Now I am off to find a WiFi Hotspot so I can upload this drivel for your reading pleasure.

On the Sabbath Road…

2 comments:

  1. Very well written - really tells the story!!! I'm glad you're sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the encouragement Linda!!

    ReplyDelete