So I’m home again. I have to say it’s unusual to experience 22 degrees C in Florida yesterday, and -29 degrees C at home in Labrador. That’s life though, and Dexter and Amy promptly warmed me up with love when I got here. That’s it for now, I’m going back to snuggling.
The following photos are from my flight in today. It’s quite a contrast for me considering I was watching wind surfers in Tampa on the way in there, and I’m watching…….. well, nothing – just ice and snow here in Labrador. The second to last photo of is the Labrador highway and the last photo is of a river that hasn’t frozen completely yet, due to it’s current I suppose. So, snow machinists, be careful. I actually saw quite a few open sections in the lakes and ponds, believe it or not.
Just a quick photo. I took this photo of a painting Erica’s great uncle had done. I was really taken with this, and it’s what I would consider to be really, really good (the photo does not do it justice). I can make this judgment, simply because it stopped me in the hallway almost every time I passed it.
Anyway, to my family down there: thank you for being so wonderful. And thank you for being so strong during this time. Getting together with you each day to talk and laugh and share a meal was something really special.
Erica and Will took me and their friend, Beth out for Brunch on Sunday. During the course of this fantastic meal, I was posed with a question that I need some help with. Is it acceptable to consume six bottles of Champagne between four people during brunch on a Sunday? What if they were Mimosas and the restaurant was French? That’s ok!? Good.
The food was excellent, and while nobody really felt …. impaired, we did laugh a lot. It was such a good time, in fact, I believe it should be a Sunday tradition… well, at least once a month. Rule of thumb: three courses and a bottle per person then clear your afternoon schedule for cigars and Battlestar Galactica.
I thought the day couldn’t get any better until we went to Aunt Danielle’s house for fried chicken. I actually thought I had “fried chicken” before, but apparently not, because Aunt Danielle’s fried chicken was double-battered-crispy-goodness with a hint of fantastic that I’ve never tried before. Follow that up with a hilarity that only a browse through old photos can provide, and I would say it was a perfect ending to my trip to Texas
Off topic (and because my photo today was of money) – Something I learned on my trip:
American Money – the one dollar …. it’s just paper. The rest of the bills are predictable, with you’re obligatory dead guy (as far as I can tell).
Canadian Money – the one dollar… looks like a gold coin!! And has a nickname – the Loonie! The Canadian twenty – it sports a holographic stripe and (drum roll please) The Queen!! 🙂
Unfortunately, it costs $87 to put a holographic stripe on the $20 and, most of the time, it takes 13 Canadian 20’s to equal the value of 1 Amercian 20. Odd but true. *wink*
Maggie is my cousin, Erica’s, cat. Maggie is loving but demanding, sketchy but cuddly and very verbal. She’s actually a lot like Molly.
I spent tonight sampling the brilliance of Samuel Adams and reassessing my opinion of American beer, and topped that off with some Old Fashioneds and Scotch combined with a little online Black Ops action (for those who know) in Will’s Man Cave. Will is Erica’s husband, and he is also loving but demanding, sketchy but cuddly and very verbal. However, he does have some characteristics that make me prefer him over Maggie. These include: a sharp and witty sense of humour, thumbs, and he doesn’t shed. Seriously though, I don’t remember the last time I laughed so much hanging out with this guy. My abs are still sore four days later.
The time spent in the Man Cave was the only regret I had during my whole trip, as I developed a heavy dose of Man Cave Envy, which as we all know, is the worse kind. It isn’t terminal, however, and I’m sure I’ll be over it as soon as I change the layout of the basement. Good bye, storage room… and laundry room. *sigh*
Anyway, the funny thing about this photo of Maggie is, every photo I took of Maggie looks the exact same – huge eyes just staring at you.
I spent the first half of the day with Aunt Alice and my cousin Kenny. They happen to live on the same land as my Grandma so I took a photo of the surroundings. Beautiful weather though, and it certainly helped me get over my midnight arrival. And on back of the house, there are deer everywhere! Like, Bambi type deer. How cool is that!? Kenny threw out some feed to get them to come close and I snatched one. He’s in my carry-on luggage and as I’m typing this in the airport in Halifax, I’m feeding him Tim Horton’s coffee and pieces of maple flavoured donuts, which, of course, is the secret to surviving a Canadian winter.
Look, I know that’s a national secret, but I’m pretty sure it got out first through WikiLeaks.
I had a feeling the day wasn’t going to go as smoothly as I had hoped when I went through the gates to get on my flight to Philadelphia and the plane wasn’t ready. Eventually, everything got warmed up and the plane had to be de-iced. Before we started we were 25 minutes behind schedule. Regardless, the pilot assured us we’d make up the time for our connecting flights. What we didn’t plan on was a snow storm in Philadelphia that kept us in the air for an extra 40 minutes.
I did manage to catch my flight to Tampa, Florida though, simply because it was about an hour over due for the same reason, the snow storm. And when we did get on the plane, we were taxiing and de-icing and waiting in a massive line up for take-off. Needless to say, I missed my connection from Tampa to Houston. I changed flights because it would be impossible to catch my connection in Houston to San Antonio. Then I changed flights again. Then I changed airlines. I went from Continental to American Airlines (the friendliest of the US air carriers I might add) however, Continental did do everything they could to get me to San Antonio. I appreciated that.
Anyway, here I am now in Dallas, waiting for my flight in another hour or so to San Antonio and with the family. Very much looking forward to it. It was a long day, starting at about 4 am (well, 3 am if you read my last blog entry) and I suspect it will end sometime after midnight in San Antonio. With the time changes, I think it amounted to about a 20 hour day running around in large airports trying to catch flights, flying, landing, rushing again for the next one. Changing terminals and airlines. I really do feel like I’m on that show, The Amazing Race. I have fears that the worst is yet to come, as I have my doubts about my luggage making it to San Antonio with me. Fingers crossed it does and I can stop dealing with the airlines for a few days.
But while it was a long day, I did get to see a bunch of airports, and my family will be at the last one to meet me, and that’s what it’s all about.
Here’s a few photos. I never really tried taking photos from the plane much before, mostly because the windows are always so scratched up, but some of these are sort of neat.
Something to note about these photos. When you’re trying to quit smoking, and have a long day, the NO SMOKING sign gets irritating very fast.
At one point, I had cream for my coffee and it was called Mini Moos…. and had a picture of an Indian girl cupping, what looked like, both her breasts!? (** Correction – upon closer inspection, a co-worker thought it looked like her hands were behind her back and, sadly, I have to agree. Oh well. I was tired. …. but I still like what I saw better: ) **)
The city at night shot is of Dallas.
I’m in the Halifax airport sitting up in the observation deck writing this. Not much to observe here, a couple flights every now and again and some pretty thick snow blowing around out there. It’s just below freezing here whereas in Goose Bay it was -20 C when I left, and is suppose to go down to -41 C with the windchill tonight. And there was plenty of wind when I left. Hope Amy remembers to plug in the truck.
Anyway, the photo below is from the observation deck here in Halifax.
3 a.m. Update: So I found the one single spot on the observation deck where there happened to be 4 chairs/seats together without arm rests between them in which I could stretch out and maybe have a little nap. I get up and go for a little stroll and when I return, some dude is sleeping there. Oh well. Feeling sleepy, so I eventually find another row of chairs suitable for sleeping that isn’t occupied. Excellent. *To future Halifax over-nighters with early flights the next morning, the place I speak of is at the end of the food court, it’s surrounded by trees and kind of secluded.*
Earlier in the evening, I notice these signs around the airport – ” ATTENTION Please Do Not Feed The Birds. ATTENTION. Ne Donnez Rien A Manger Aux Osieaux.” Birds? What Birds? They have birds in here? Maybe it’s just during the summer and maybe birds get in here, and maybe it’s actually a problem or something. I flew to Palm Springs in California a couple years ago and they had birds, but it was an open air airport. Anyway, I landed here at about 6:30 pm and I didn’t see or hear any birds.
1:23 a.m. I just start to get comfy. Chirp!! Chirp, chirp! CHIRP!! F@%#. You’re kidding me!? So, there are birds here. And they’re extremely loud, happy birds. And that secluded area I spoke of? With all the trees? Yeah, it’s their playground, and it’s right over my head. What do I do? I accept it, of course, and adapt.
10 mins later: Janitor starts cleaning and buffing the floors 10 feet away. I pull my coat around my head.
10 mins later: – No joke here – Fire Alarm. And it’s broken by an announcement of how the airport authority is checking into an alarm, so pay attention because if the alarm changes from a broken alarm like the one that’s keeping you awake, then you have to get out because the place is going up in flames. There is a pause of relief, then the message is repeated in French and more alarms. This takes place for what seems like eternity.
Ok, I can take a hint.
Thank Gawd Tim Horton’s is 24 hours. I go wash up, grab an extra large coffee and accept the fact that now isn’t the time for sleep.
If I sound bitter about this, I’m really not. I actually found the situation to be really funny. …. it could be slight insanity from the lack of sleep though. 🙂