Day 18: Tuesday, October 1

Homeward Bound

With both iPhone alarms shrieking, we stumbled up at 4:30AM, showered, finished our packing, then made our way down to the hotel’s Reception where we turned in the room keys. Sadly, this is the last time we’ll be able to stay at the 910 Beach Apartment-Hotel as Vancouver has enacted a new by-law, taking effect October 1, 2019, which prohibits apartment rentals shorter than 30 days.

The hotel had previously arranged a flat-rate cab to Vancouver International Airport for us with a 5:30AM pickup, and the cabbie showed up right on the dot. Very nice cabbie, who got us to the airport in good time (around 6:00AM); not much traffic at this hour (go figure!):

We immediately went through security without a hitch and found our boarding gate. Unbelievably, the boarding gate was already packed with people even though the flight was not for another 2 hours or more.

We had breakfast at Monk’s Grill @ YVR just across the way. In the whole of this trip, this was the only poor meal we had; my Eggs Benny was absolutely gross and the home fries were like lumps of coal. I was unable to finish this mess so we gave up on it and made our way to the boarding gate and took a seat. The flight was announced and called, and boarding began.

Our Air Canada flight (AC106) was scheduled to depart at 8:00AM. The plane was so full with people having crazy amounts of carry-on luggage they were trying to stow (why oh why do airlines allow this?), that we didn’t push back until 8:45 and lift off until 9:00AM.

Vince and I were both so incredibly tired from the early start and the physical activity of the last couple of weeks that we were quite subdued on the way home and just rested, read, or listened to music.

About an hour into the flight breakfast was served. The selection was pancakes and assorted fruit with yogurt, and it was actually very good for airline food.

The time passed unbelievably fast; I could not believe it when the pilot announced we were preparing for descent into Toronto! It felt like we were caught in a time warp or something – in all the flights I’ve taken to/from the west over the years I’ve never made the trip across the country this quickly.

We touched down in Toronto at about 3:30PM (EST). We were late leaving Vancouver so many of the passengers on this flight had either missed their connections or were just barely able to make them. Flight attendants asked that passengers with connections deplane first. The moment we stepped off the plane we felt the muggy, humid air – goodbye blessedly dry prairie, hello Toronto humidity. There was a lot of rain when we landed so this did not help the humidity levels. Due to this rainstorm and bad weather there was a potential of lightning strike so the baggage handlers where not allowed on the tarmac for another hour until the threat passed. This delayed us another hour but it was OK as we weren’t in a hurry. The only thing we needed to do that night was pick up Sophie from her boarding at The Animal Clinic.

The baggage finally started moving after almost an hour’s wait; our bags were the first ones down as we had Priority luggage with our Premium Economy seats on this flight. We collected our bags and met our prearranged car (the driver was a very nice woman named Larisa). The drive home took the better part of an hour as traffic on the Gardiner was bumper to bumper all the way into downtown.

We finally reached downtown and Larisa dropped us home. Everything was fine in the condo when we came in – it was just a little stuffy but that’s about it. It was now about 6:30PM and too late to make a run to the Animal Clinic to pick up Sophie (they closed at 7:00PM). I called the good people there and asked if they would keep Sophie one more night and we’d retrieve her in the morning.

The only food in the house was frozen so Vince ordered a pizza from Domino’s Pizza, which we practically fell upon after its arrival. We unpacked a bit, then to reminisce we watched some Banff/Jasper/Calgary videos on YouTube. We were exhausted from the long travel day so we went to bed around 10:00PM and, well… that’s about it!

Until next time, wherever that may be…

…So Long, Peeps!

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