February 13-15

February 13-15, 2009
You’ll never guess where I am at the moment! Nope, not India, yet! I am sitting in seat 17B. That would be in business class, in the chairs that turn into beds! For some strange reason, Allison and I both got upgraded when we boarded! Talk about perfect timing for such an event! I was so tired, because I didn’t sleep much flying from Toronto to London because the hours weren’t really conducive to it! However, after waiting in the Heathrow airport for 4 hours, wandering from shop to shop in attempts to stay awake, getting a bed to sleep in en route to Mumbai has been totally awesome.
On Friday after I left work, I walked up to the hotel on campus to catch the shuttle bus. It was kind of random because one was just leaving, even though I was quite early…so I ran to go get it. Always a nice way to start things off! What actually happened was that there were too many people for the regularly scheduled bus, so they had to put on an extra one. In any case, I got to the airport quite early. It was probably a good thing, however, because security was interesting because they seemed to have the metal detectors up quite high and were having fun searching pretty much everyone. It appeared as though they were being evaluated; there were men with clipboards and red lanyards everywhere. I didn’t actually get beeped, but a lot of people did!
I ate my lunch in the sun/fog. It was kind of a weird day in Edmonton, actually. A lot of flights had been delyed because of the weather. Ours was only 15 minutes delayed, however. I met Caroline and Scott while waiting at the gate. It was nice to have finally met all members of the group at this point! I have already met Allison F because she lives in Victoria. So, when I was there last summer I met up with her.
The flight to Toronto was uneventful. We got free alcohol due to the 15 minute delay! I am learning to take advantage of these situations – thankfully I am drinking now!! It took me the entire flight to drink the little bottle of white wine I got, but I did!!
Allison arrived in Toronto earlier in the day and was kind enough to meet us at the airport. We called for the shuttle bus and called Melissa to confirm plans for Saturday morning. Melissa is the other trip participant from Toronto that was going to be coming with us, but was unable to due to work. I believe she is going in the fall instead.
That all went well. Upon arrival at the hotel, we managed to use their wireless to get seats for the remaining flights. That was a definite bonus. Then, it was bed because it was late – ummmm 2am, about – and we were supposed to be downtown at 10am! ( Nice beds in the hotel…it was wonderful)
We had pretty much the entire day in Toronto because we only had to be at the airport at 3pm ish. We ended up not meeting Melissa at all because she lives about 40 minutes from the airport and even longer from downtown, so she suggested that we see Toronto instead of doing breakfast. I think we all appreciated that, for the walking alone, if nothing else!
The buses and subways were simple to get downtown, but it was so cold. No gloves or hat – only a microfleece and the red Girl Guide windbreaker thing. I was absolutely hypothermic for the entire day. It took until about an hour into the flight for me to finally thaw out. In any case, we went down to Bloore and Yonge streets (if that is, in fact, how you spell them!) and wandered around through all of the trendy parts of Toronto. We saw the U of T campus, walked all the way down to Front street and saw the CBC and Much Music studios. We went to the bottom of the CN tower, but didn’t bother going up because all of us girls have already gone up, and Scott didn’t really seem to care much. We then made our way to the St Lawrence Market. It was probably the best part. It seemed as though the entire city of Toronto was inside, but they had some neat stuff. If I hadn’t been en route to India, I would have probably bought this really nice wool jacket thing…it just didn’t make any sense to haul it all the way to India and back!
We got through security and everything no problem. You could most definitely tell that it was reading week from looking at the airport demographics! There were many groups in matching shirts and already drinking! I wondered what Kendra was up to in the Calgary airport!! J
As I mentioned before, I didn’t do too much sleeping between Toronto and London because it was actually a pretty short flight – less than 7 hours! I was sitting next to an armrest hog too, which was annoying….but I lived. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone read a newspaper quite so thoroughly before! Yah, no highlights I can think of from that flight to speak of!!
We had a good four hours in Heathrow before getting on our last flight. Allison and I walked the entire time. I refused to sit down, because the last flight was going to be 8.5 hours and I didn’t want to fall asleep before I got on!! There wasn’t really any exciting shopping to do, however because it was just a tad expensive. I (asked) took a picture of a nice dress that I may try to have a knock-off made in India, however! Seemed like 200£ was just a little nuts to pay for a dress! We will see!!
Yah, so now I am sitting/lounging in the business/first class area! It is sooooo great! I don’t know how I will go back to the economy seats after this, not going to lie! We went back to go say “hi” to Caroline and Scott and it sure looked cosy back there! I don’t want to hope too much, but it would sure be nice to have this happen again on the way home! Totally worth it – only for the sleeping, though. The food sucks. Seems like normal food is easier to replicate on a plane than fancy food!
This flight lands in another two hours or so. Then, we will (hopefully) have someone at the airport to meet us and take us to Pune. So, I still have another 4 hours of driving on Indian roads to get through before the travels are over for a bit! Pune is actually only about 150Km away from Mumbai, but because of the shape of their roads, it takes 4 hours! Should be interesting!!!

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