Here I am, ready to leave the Holiday Inn and head back to Toronto airport, where we are now comfortably ensconced in the Air Canada members' lounge, where we will spend the next 5 or 6 hours. Not the travel itinerary we planned so carefully a few months ago, but we're together, safe and healthy and fit enough to withstand the rigours of travel, so I'm aiming for upbeat. I did descend to places far below upbeat yesterday, driven by some pretty uninspired customer service, but then I compared myself to the family travelling with very young children and also to the quite elderly couple across the aisle, and decided I would aim higher.
Our flight out of Vancouver left the ground before discovering something that made us circle back right away and then be met by fire trucks. No complaints there. Flying really is a miracle of science each and every time it happens, and when something in the science goes wrong, I bow to the wisdom of the safety gods.
After that, however, bad met worse very quickly with long line-ups for food vouchers, service cancelled on the new flight because of a medical situation, being sent out into the Toronto night at 11:30 p.m. Walking too far and waiting too long for a hotel shuttle. Too late to get dinner anywhere. And given a breakfast voucher that would not quite buy a soft-boiled egg . . .
A group of us are in the same boat (I know, bad metaphor here), and I tried to stop my whining when I realized that the family travelling with an infant and a pre-schooler was denied access to their checked luggage. You know, the ones with the extra diapers and the bedtime books, and the change of clothes. We were lucky that we had all our goods with us, having done carry-on, but of course that meant we had a more onerous repeat gambol through security today.
Still, given how tough the last few weeks have been, especially for Pater, we have decided to enjoy the calm. He convinced Air Canada to comp us day passes to their lounge, a perk he used to enjoy as a frequent flyer pre-retirement. Yes, we could have left our luggage at the hotel and travelled into Toronto for the day, but that felt like too much stress for too little reward. Instead, Paul is finishing his report, I'm reading and blogging and knitting. And thinking of the walk we love to make from Denfert-Rochereau to our hotel in the 13th, the wheels of our bags click-click-clicking along the still-clean sidewalks of a Paris morning. Wait for us, Paris, we're on our way, again. . .