Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Alaska Trip Journal – Part 1

The alarm sounded at 3:45am and as usual, I was an anxious wreck worrying if I’d have enough time to make my 6:30am flight. To help demystify your analysis of my sanity (or lack thereof), I live about 30 miles or so from the airport, look at the time of morning and remember, this is Saturday.
I made it to the “Economy Lot” (long term parking) at about 5:15 and then was lucky enough to have a shuttle to the terminals waiting there for me (it can take as much as 30 minutes to catch one) and my terminal was only about 10 minutes away (the furthest ones are 20 in no traffic).
My destination of Vancouver, British Columbia, from Boston is a long distance in and of itself and would warrant a sizeable flight. The insanity that is the airline and travel industry that it would be best to send me to Phoenix, Arizona; a 5 hour flight before a rather lengthy trek to another terminal at Sky Harbour Airport where I would take a 3 1/2 hour flight to Vancouver.
Once in Vancouver, I needed to pass through customs. While the line was as long as any line I’ve ever waited in, it moved quite efficiently and by the time I got through and grabbed the luggage, about 45 minutes had passed. After a 10 minute wait for the courtesy shuttle to the Travelodge, and a 10-15 minute ride, I was in my room (#404) somewhere between 2:00 and 2:30pm Vancouver time.
More than 13 hours after the alarm alarmed me into a frenzied state of travelanxious awakeness, I was left with an uncomfortable combination of hunger and fatigue mixed in with as bad a headache as I’ve had (at least in recent memory). I checked into the room, grunted and growled a bit, then for some odd reason popped a toonie into the vending machine for an Oh Henry bar and then popped another toonie into the Internet terminal for 30 minutes of crappy Internet service to deal with some student emails and class issues.
I didn’t have a car, I had no local currency (I got the toonies from the Hotel desk in exchange for US cash), and I was exhausted from a long day of traveling so I had decided that I was not going to discover what Vancouver had to offer in an evening, but rather, I would hold out for some dinner (my belly was waiting, still on east coast time) and I planned on going to sleep early so I could adjust to the time zone and rest off the travel fatigue and insane headache.
Word of advice, if you are ever hungry and see a restaurant called “The Pantry”, choose either to go hungry or find another place to eat. Let my clouded judgment at a moment of apparent vulnerability serve as a lesson to all of you. ‘Nuff said – I ate a crappy-ish meal and went to bed before 8:00pm hoping to wake up refreshed and ready for cruising.
To be continued…


Joy said...

I'm exhausted and hungry just reading this! Whew! Hope the rest of the trip is less stressful and hectic.

ria said...

that first day of travel can be brutal!

Chris said...

FOr me, the worst part of travel is the actual travel part - very stressful.