Better late than never, eh. Here’s the final addendum to my Canadian adventure in the wonderland that was Vancouver! Please, enjoy.
They say it’s best to arrive at an Airport at least three hours before your flight time, just to be sure. Checking in; getting boarding passes; getting through security, and then waiting in the departures lounge can be a surprisingly lengthy process.
Check out of the MODA Hotel was at 11PM, but we were Checked Out and in a taxi on the way to YVR by 10:30/10:40. We had checked in and gone through all the necessary processes and had decided to hole ourselves up with a coffee (the first, and only, Starbucks I had on this trip, despite how many there were in Vancouver itself) whilst sitting next to an attractive water feature that had grabbed Thea’s attention. The entire process of leaving the hotel to sitting down in the departure’s lounge took about three hours or so and now all we had to do was wait. Yet, somehow, despite being there so early, ready and eager to board the plane home, we almost managed to miss the flight entirely.
This wouldn’t have been the first time I was somehow able to miss a flight home – that honour belongs to the adventures of George and I in New York, 2012. I’ll never forget that sobering (both literally and figuratively) moment. We had both somehow managed to completely fuck up our dates and figured we had one more day of partying, which we did, drinking into the night rather than sitting on the flight home. Attempting to check in online we were initially confused as to why the website wouldn’t let us, until the reality of the situation dawned upon us. That was a costly, costly, mistake, and an unfortunate end to an otherwise amazing week at Wrestlemania and a trip over to NYC, and one I swore I wouldn’t repeat.
Until this day, it seems.
Rather than waiting within the departures lounge by our gate, we had settled next to the water feature near the food court. With NXT on my iPad via the WWE Network and Thea watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, we comfortably imbibed in our entertainment, headphones in, blissfully unaware that the 3:50PM we were waiting for was not the Boarding Time we had somehow (stupidly) decided it was, but was rather the fucking Flight time.
Despite the fact the check in lady had circled 2:50PM on the boarding passes themselves, slipping them into my backpack and favouring WWE’s NXT over paying attention to the time/boarding passes seemed, at the time, like a great idea. Which it never was. Ever.
NXT finished at roughly 3PM, at which point we decided to get some food before heading over to the gate. Thankfully there was no queue, and we ate the food pretty quick before hitting up the bathroom pre flight. I kid you not: if either one of us had needed to go for a Number Two, we would have missed the flight. Time was that thin between us getting home, and us shelling out £XXX for our mistake (read: stupidity).
Thank Christ then that after quickly peeing we went over to the nearby gate, remarking loudly to ourselves how odd it was that no one was there to board when the boarding time was so soon. The lady at the gate asked if we were travelling to Gatwick, we were, and she said that “everyone is waiting for you.”
There it was, that horrible feeling again. I wasn’t drunk this time, but I was tired, yet suddenly I was super fucking alert.
And that it clicked. Everything that we had known, forgotten, and not paid attention to came coming into clear, crisp, Hi-Def focus in my minds eye, and we had no one to blame but ourselves. Thankfully however the difference between the Number One and Number Two bathroom break had allowed us enough time (10/15 minutes) of grace, and we were able to board (at a quick jog) the plane, apologising to everyone on our long walk of shame to our seats, which somebody had decided to occupy, assuming (almost fairly) that we wouldn’t be turning up.
We weren’t the only ones, though that doesn’t make the situation better of course, with one other passenger being late – though I don’t think they made the flight like we did. We had made it, barely, and we had no one to blame but ourselves. New York had taught me a few important travel lessons; Vancouver taught me a few more. Here’s hoping that going forward I won’t even be close to a situation that involves me missing my flight.
And with that we left Vancouver and flew away from Canada. Truth be told: I didn’t want to leave. I absolutely adored Canada, and I loved the time spent in Vancouver.
For me, with my convoluted, International, background, it felt like this wonderful mash up of some of my favourite places. America + England + Hong Kong = Vancouver, was my take from the trip, and it wasn’t something I really wanted to leave.
I would love to immigrate one day, though who knows if that dream will ever become a reality, and Canada has just made an incredibly strong case for itself.
The beauty of its landscapes, the courtesy of its peoples, and its range of delicious foods make it an attractive, exciting, place to live. But, until next time Canada, as John Denver once sang:
“I’m leaving on a jet plane,
Don’t know when I’ll be back again,
Oh babe, I hate to go.”
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Ever been to Canada, or are you a Canadian? I would love to know your take on Vancouver, and where else you would recommend to visit within the land of Maple Syrup rivers.