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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I really love the old classic comedy movie “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”, but I was beginning to feel yesterday like I was a part of the film….minus the sharing hotels with strangers and setting things on fire, of course.

Part of this entry I wrote yesterday while waiting in Winnipeg, the rest I wrote this morning.

12:07CST
I’ve made it as far as the “holding pen” for US bound persons. There’s wireless, but neither Captain Jack nor Gwen can seem to gain access to it. Jack will connect, but never bring up the access page, and Gwen brings up an access page that wants me to log in with my Telus account….something I don’t have. 🙁 Ah well.

My day started out on a VERY bad note. Actually, let me backtrack to last night. I’m not sure if I’ve spoken of my immense arachnophobia on this blog yet, but suffice it to say – I have it in the worst possible way. Anything other than daddy long legs completely freak me out to the point where I sometimes even cry.

Last night I went to carry up the dirty litter and got the bag stuck on a loose nail, so after I got the bag out of the house, I decided to grab the swiffer to sweep all the litter into the basement, where I planned on then using their basement vacuum to get it all up. Except that while I was sweeping off the steps…TWO large black spiders (the size of a US nickel including legs) popped out of a hole and terrified me to the point where I lost my balance and fell down the steps. Not a good thing when I still had some cleaning to do. I emailed Sarah and Joe to let them know what happened, and Sarah told me not to worry about cleaning the rest up.

Anyway, so cue this morning.

My flight out of Dauphin (on a 12-seater prop plane!) was at 7:50. The airline confirmation said to arrive an hour ahead, which made it 6:50, and I decided I was going to call for a cab around 6, figuring on it arriving to pick me up at 6:15 and I’d get to the airport between 6:30 and 6:50.

I was ready to go by 5:45 and had everything packed including my laptop, so I decided to just start giving the cats some good-bye love (which Quincy ignored, Casper was indifferent to and meowed, and Hobbes climbed onto my shoulder), and call the cab company. Sarah told me to use Parkland Taxi, as they were on the other side of the highway. I called around 5:50 and got a recorded message that told me the hours were 6AM til whatever time at night. Wow, glad I didn’t need a ride earlier after all. So, I chatted with my mom on Skype for a bit and tried again at 6 on the nose. Same message. I tried at least three more times and STILL got the recorded message. I was sort of starting to panic. Fortunately, I was able to load the dauphin website on Captain Jack and got the number for Dauphin Taxi. Located a bit into town from Sarah and Joe’s, but they answered the phone and I had a cab by 6:20. My taxi ride was $13 though, so I’m not sure if I had to pay for him to come GET me too or what as the airport wasn’t that far away!

Anyway, we arrived at the airport before the counter person was even there to unlock the door. I think the cab driver wanted me to stay in the cab and let the meter run, but I saw a picnic bench so I told the driver I’d wait there for it to open. As I was paying the driver, the person with the keys pulled up, so I didn’t have to wait outside after all.

While waiting for the flight to leave, I met someone who is some type of Government person. He was pleasant, and we had a nice chat. Soon, it was time to barod the plane and about a half hour later we were landing in Winnipeg.

Two other women on the flight with me who needed to go to the International part of the airport offered to share a cab with me, which was really nice. One of the women was headed to South Africa to visit her family and it was going to take her 2 days and an 11 hour layover in London to get there! (and I complained about my 18 hours?)

Before I continue, I want to add in my little rant about this airport business in Winnipeg. The airport we flew into and the International airport are in the same compound yet if I had taken a cab alone, I’d have had to have shelled out $10-12 for a cab plus tip/baggage handling. To essentially GO AROUND THE BLOCK. Why don’t they offer a free shuttle between the two? Or even a shuttle for a $5 fee or something like that? All they’d need is a 15-passenger van or something. Just seemed ridiculous. In the end I only paid $5 anyway because of sharing the cab (he got $5 from me because I wanted to give him $4 and hold onto my loonie, but I accidentally handed him a toonie and a loonie and didn’t want to grab the loonie back out of his hand, but wanted to give him more than $3 for my share).

Anyway, back to my travel story.

NWA wouldn’t let me check in. Well, she said she could, but then I’d have had to have gone though to the Customs screening right away and been forced to wait in the “pen” all morning where there isn’t alot of food options…but yet if I didn’t check-in, I was able to go upstairs to the main airport….I didn’t quite understand why I couldn’t have checked in for the flight, gone upstairs and then come back downstairs to go through customs, but whatever. I had to drag my suitcase around with me upstairs. I went into a small souvenir shop and picked up a thimble for my neighbour and a few other items (and a really cute purse/bag for me that had pockets on the front the perfect size for my LG9900 and N810).

Then, I went back downstairs to check-in, and the people ahead of me were being a pain. THEIR flight wasn’t until 4, but they were checking guns (eek!) and obviously couldn’t carry those around the airport. So, the counter person had to spend some time trying to get them onto the earlier flight that I was on. (oh joy!)

Surprisingly, it was very easy to get through everything. Checked my bag, got through customs with a grand total of ONE question (“What did you buy in Canada?” “a bathing suit, some gifts for family, and some candy”), and even security was a breeze.

I’m typing this from the lounge though becuse I needed to make sure TSA didn’t do anything to FUBAR my laptop…they ran a freaky wand over the top, bottom, and then opened it to run it along the inside. I asked the woman what it was for and she explained it was to check for any chemical residue. I asked her if she needed me to power it on, and she said no. So, laptop owners can be re-assured that TSA is not out to get us with taking laptops internationally.

Okay, my second leg of my trip starts in about 20 minutes, so I’m going to save this and shut down. Perhaps Minneapoilis will have free wi-fi I can grab…at the very least, I know Philadelphia does!

***

I got so sick on that flight. I was seated at the back of the plane right next to the turbine (I think that’s what it’s called),and I guess the back of the plane is like the back of the bus and I got airsick for the first time in my life. When we got to Minneaplolis, I booked it over to the connecting gate and explained to the guy at the counter that I wasn’t feeling well, could he move me closer to the front of the plane. He said “If I have it, you got it” and moved me to row 5. Then, I spent about 20 minutes walking all over Minneapolis to try to find PLAIN bread/bagels to eat to try to calm my stomach, and finally settled on tea from Caribu Coffee.

The flight wasn’t bad. Row 5 happened to be the first row after first class, and I guess the counter person put a note that I was ill because I got lots of attention from the flight attendant. She brought me ginger ale while we were waiting to take off, and when they were serving first class their meal, brought me a dinner roll. She also told me if I wasn’t feeling well I could use the first class bathroom and could get up even if the seatbelt sign was on.

At Philadelphia, it was a mad dash to get my baggage and try to not have to wait for the R1. Fortunately, our bags came out in record time and I managed to make it onto the 8:39 R1….and then I had problems. See, apparently the Zone 5 ticket I purchased 2 months ago was no good on the R1 line because it didn’t say “CCP” on it, and the conductor wanted me to buy another ticket from her at $7. The problem was, I only had $4 in US Currency. The people who had been with me on the plane and made the mad dash with me didn’t even offer to make up the difference, which I thought was kind of rude, but typical for Philadelphia. Anyway, I explained to the conductor that I only had $4 and asked if I could give her my bad ticket AND the $4. She told me no, and said that she would take my not good ticket “this time”.

I had to wait at 30th street for about 2 hours for my Amtrak train. There were loads of creepy people around at that time of night, but the Cosi offered free wi-fi, so I was chatting to a few friends. Finally, we were able to board the train and I was headed home!

We arrived slightly early, and I think I walked in the door at home at exactly midnight. Mom and I stayed up until 3 in the morning talking!

I shouldn’t be awake right now, I sort of feel like a zombie. I have a lot to do today though. Will was acting a bit weird around my suitcase, so I want to empty it out and febreeze the whole thing because I’m sure he smells strange kitty.

I was going to add some photos from yesterday, but my camera is in the living room, so I will do a separate photo post later in the day.

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1 Comment so far

  1. buzzman October 29th, 2008 18:45

    Greets! Really funny. Big ups! Tnx! Saw!

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