Dateline: May 28, 2019. Edmonton, Alberta
So I flew to Edmonton today. It’s my fourth trip this season, and it’ll be my longest, not returning to Ontario until June 22. I’ll take a moment right here to both apologize and thank my wife for waking up at 4:30 with me to accompany me to the airport in Hamilton for a 7:15am flight on the super-cheap Swoop airline. She half-slept in the car on the way and the. Apparently half-slept in the car on the way back home, pulling over at one point to rest and thankfully startled back awake after not-too-long by a text from me telling her I’d made it to the gate, so she got back on the road and back home in time to help our kids off to school.
word to the wise: if you’re flying Swoop early from YHM, get there early. You know, usually the airport says arrive 90 minutes early for a domestic flight, 2 hours for international? I’d recommend padding that by 30min. Swoop is cheap but it also operates cheaply, which is to say they got completely overwhelmed by travelers checking in and bag-dropping. Actually they don’t have a separate place for people to just drop their bags if they’re already checked in, so it was pretty messy and packed and the $35 extra I paid to be allowed to bring my viola on board as a carry-on was almost a waste of money, if I’d been a few minutes later and missed getting to board early with it to ensure getting overhead space....... anyway I made it and it was fine.
Except it was raining and Swoop at YHM doesn’t have access to a covered walkway, or even signs out on the tarmac walkway pointing to which of those three planes over there is the one you’re supposed to be boarding...
YHM tarmac. 3 Swoop planes. No signage. No covered walk. Spitting rain.
So we flew to Edmonton. My window seat was fine. He window shade kept sliding partway closed. My neighbors were two young ladies flying with a near-newborn baby boy who cried a lot at first but then settled down for most of the flight, so that was fine. Except the way they settled him down (on and off throughout the flight) was to hold up an iPhone playing some animated movie in front of him to distract him instead of actually trying to comfort him. I tried to sleep but I kept half-waking up with a stiff and sore neck because the headrest wings wouldn’t stay folded to support my heavy head. But it was fine. Because it was cheap. Enough whining! Sorry. I’ll stop.
Because we made it, and we made it on time, and even early, and my bag came out on the baggage claim carousel quickly, and I was able to catch the shuttle to town without having to wait an extra hour! So that was really fine. And now I know what to expect the next couple of times I fly Swoop during this Crazy Summer.
And it was a beautiful day in Edmonton! I hopped off the shuttle, walked the 10 minutes to my hosts’ house in the very nice neighborhood of Windsor Park, dropped my stuff, picked up some waiting mail, printed another important document, organized my little bag of dossiers for registering my kids in schools and myself for a drivers license and AHCIP (OHIP provincial health insurance, but in Alberta), and took off walking. I walked to Strathcona to swap my ON license for an AB license, and then realizing I didn’t have correct change for the bus I decided to walk into town across the river to son’s school registration packet to the place we were hopeful would work for him to transfer into. It probably won’t work or that school, but the woman I met with seemed willing to help us figure it out for him no matter where he ends up landing for the fall term. Ultimately, he wants to complete his IB program, and we want him to be with us in Edmonton and not boarding with my in-laws back in KW for his final year before heading off to University, wherever that may turn out to be...
So I walked, and walked, and walked some more, and enjoyed seeing the city on this beautiful non-snowy day (my other visits have all been white-encrusted). And I grabbed a simple Subway sandwich dinner, and watched a cheap-Tuesday’s movie in the City Centre mall cinema, and LRT back to the University stop near where I’m calling my new home address until further notice. And those steps really add up!
And then, I got a call from a long-lost friend who happens to have settled in Vancouver recently, and we had a lovely chat. That was nice.
Tomorrow? Rehearsals for this week’s ESO program commence in the morning. Looking forward!
Watch this space!