Gra Nomad Wanderings

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Dedicated to my mate Bev.

Just in case you were thinking about taking a trip involving air travel… please read.

Our flight was:
AA 1450 Seattle to Chicago departing at 0710 - about 3.5 hrs
AA 2026 Chicago to Toronto departing at 1521 - about 1 hour
Too easy!

We were travelling with Bill in his Chev truck. We had stayed in Spokane, Washington, a couple of days, enabling us to help celebrate Suzanne’s 30th birthday. Suzanne is a Southport girl (Queensland Gold Coast). We’d never met her before, but she was visiting Michael (who owns North Division Bike Shop) to help him celebrate his 60th - all organised by the lovely Eileen - events coordinator. Before Spokane we’d stayed 2 days in Coeur D’Alene - a beautiful spot.

Thanks to Meredith at Travelodge in Spokane we had procured accommodation at the Travelodge in Seattle… not too far from the airport with airport shuttle and the right price.
It was some weeks ago, maybe months now, that Bill had driven our 2 kids (Peta and Jeremy) to Seattle from Nanaimo, to catch their plane.
As we approached Seattle Bill told us that he and the kids had stayed in a bit of a dodgy place before they caught the plane. Well, you’re not gonna believe this, but guess which motel we had booked?
So, we had to go to Trudy’s Bar for a drink, just like they did, and then have a Chinese feed at the Chinese Restaurant, just like they did. I wanna tell you, we enjoyed our drink, we loved the Chinese tucker and the accomm at the Travelodge was fine. At least we got the over 55 rate!
We farewelled Bill and jumped on the airport shuttle which got us to the airport about 5:10 am. What on earth possessed us when we lined up at the United check-in instead of the American Airlines? At least we eventually found out we were in the wrong area. Another thing we found out was that our two Samsonite suitcases, containing half a tandem in each of them, were overweight by about 7 pounds. So, grab a few things from each and shove into other luggage. That should work. We checked in 2 pieces of luggage each and told them we had two carry-on pieces each. (You’re allowed 1 piece of carry-on and 1 handbag or laptop. Our “handbags” were some of the biggest handbags ever to get on an airplane. But then most everybody’s “handbag” is a similar size these days.)

The next thing we had to do - Bev would love this bit - put all your carry-ons, your wallet, watch, bumbag, cap, camera, jacket, sunglasses AND SHOES on the conveyor belt which runs through the x-ray machine. Then we had to walk through the other x-ray machine. Before this Fay had suddenly said to me, “Oh, where did we put the METAL knives and forks from our picnic set?” I could see it was only a matter of time before we would be selected by HOMELAND SECURITY and whisked away, never to attend another family Christmas gathering. At least we were in that same position Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy were in just before they jumped. Didn’t have many options. Well, I figure HS wasn’t too interested in us and content that we were departing their country eventually that day…. If the planes ran to schedule.
Plane took off at 7:21 am. They gave us 2 apple juices and a coffee each. We had a meusli bar each as well that Fay had brought on board. Pretty good! Did a lot of reading my book, Brightly Fades The Don by Fingleton. (Don’t tell Bill I stole the book!) Arrived Chicago at 10:44 am.
When you have a stopover like this, you have to eat a bit, use the washrooms (toilets) and do plenty of walking.
Some time later, as we were relaxing, we were informed (via the overhead departure boards,) that our plane was now re-scheduled for a 4:20 pm departure. No drama, but I will ring Telfer and let him know as he’s promised to pick us up at Toronto.
Guess what? Departure is now 5:02 pm. Should I ring Telfer again? He told me it was raining in Toronto when I rang him, so at least there might be time enough for the weather to improve before we arrive.
The plane did take off that night - 2.5 hours late at 5:46 pm. With an hour’s difference, we landed at 7:45 pm and then had a tour of the airport (in the plane) while we queued behind other planes. Going through passport and customs was pretty easy. The tricky thing was collecting our baggage. The assorted items of black, grey, green, brown and red came trickling onto the carousel as if they were too shy to enter the public arena. Eventually our shy bags arrived and we phoned Telfer for the pre-arranged pickup. Thanks for lending Telfer your cell phone (mobile) Ken/Sue.
It was another 1.5 hours for Telfer to reach his house in Neustadt. Sure good to get out of the city and into a lovely country village.
We’re due to fly out of Toronto next week…. maybe Tuesday, for Halifax. I sure hope the date I selected for accomm at Halifax Marriott Harbourfront (see small photo) matches our flight!

Then 19 August we fly NY - London! Unbelievable.
On the plus side this week - Bryan & Marcia’s daughter Jenny had her 3rd boy!
On the minus side - the World’s Greatest Cyclist (in my eyes), Michael Martin from Dubbo passed away. He will be sadly missed by many folk.


At 8:38 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh my word! What a trip you've had! I never knew you could even pack a bicycle in a suitcase. Well, now I know! :D Glad you both made it safe and sound.

At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dad,
Brendan and I just looked at the site and loved the photos from the last post of Lake Louise. Now Brendan has somewhere else he needs to visit!
Baby is at 32 weeks and growing fast and kicking lots. Might be a soccer player rather than a cricketer?!? Speaking of cricketers did you see Steve Waugh's wife Lynette just had surgery on a brain clot but is recovering...
love Deb

At 12:50 AM, Blogger Keasty said...

When we visited you in Miamisburg Jen, we had the Banana Split folded in the trunk (we call it the boot).
Now it is taken apart and put into 2 Samsonite suitcases.
Yes, Brendan, you SHOULD travel Jasper to Banff.... one of the most beautiful roads in the world. We have more photos of that trip too!!!


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