Day 40 March 25, 2017
The night before I managed to say goodby to a couple people as they were on different flights than us, some going to Calgary, Vancouver, Croatia and our group of 4 to Toronto. One lady was flying WestJet to Calgary. I silently stuffed remaining items away, not wanting to make too much noise to awake my roommate, and went downstairs to a meeting room to reorganize – again!
I will always remember my new friend from Croatia, she taught me so much during this trip and I thank her. The other women who I didn’t see the previous night had gone to the theatre to see a show and I was hoping they would wake up to see us off, but if they didn’t, we always have email to communicate.
Stuffing clothes into tiny crevices and spreading paperwork out to span the zippered up area, I managed to flip the cover over and push it down and slowly zip the zipper around the case. Can’t believe it worked!
I looked at my iPad and saw the battery was a bit too low, as I planned on writing this blog in flight. I found a plug in the entryway and plugged it in.
Soon others joined me in the room, I went to grab a coffee from the machine and dropped a few pound in coin to cover the fee for the last few days. A couple of other women from the 9:00 departures were there and we talked and hugged and began to take out luggage from the building for our 7:00 am pick up. Right on time a car pulled in and 3 women loaded up and left. Our car wasn’t here so I called the number the centre programme person gave me. Her was lost but the man on the phone assured me he was coming. Sitting on the bench I began to look through my handbag and no sooner than my brain realized something was missing, one of our group said “Helen, are you going to need your iPad?” (Or something like that!) I felt so stupid that I may have left it plugged in in the hallway at Pax, but I know I would have noticed it was gone not too far into our journey. I made it a practice to always check for my electronics upon beginning to leave a place along with feeling for my passport at my solar plexus where my neck pouch hung from my neck. I thankfully went back in and unplugged it, the charge was much better.
Soon our driver came and I motioned for him to come up to where we were standing, it was about 7:10. We loaded up, said goodbyes and thank you to the ladies standing there and left Pax. The drive was interesting. Brakes were put on heavily a couple of times, a bit of road rage at one stoplight (this was the first I had seen!) and he drove 80 on the freeway towards Gatwick. A little alarming, but I knew we would be OK.
Gatwick is very strange airport. A North and a South terminal, no signs to tell you what airline until you enter the terminal, even then they seemed misdirected. Eventually we found WestJet.
The flight was scheduled for 11:20 but we started to take off around 12:00 noon. There were no video monitors in the seats, you had to have the WestJet App in order to have entertainment and Lo and Behold I did have it on my phone. I tried to watch a couple of movies, one was just plain dumb to me so I did my thing and fell asleep.
Later I managed to get caught up in writing, and now at this time I am home in my sunroom, listening to the rain falling on the roof, trying to keep my eyes open and finish this trip journal.
When we arrived at Pearson airport, we walked along the corridor for a bit and a man driving an empty transporter looked at our group of 4 and we agreed to hop on, and we had a nice ride towards customs. We noticed people were just standing waiting in line and the vehicle stopped and we got off near the front of the line. And waited. And waited. Apparently the customs Hall was full! After a time we got through and zig zagged and finally got through and picked up our luggage. Here I said my final goodbye to my fellow Ontario and Michigan travellers, hoping we see each other again sometime soon. I headed out toward the exit and was directed over to pay for my overage of the value of goods I was bringing back into the country. I always tell the truth, I want to continue to be able to travel in the future without being flagged as a liar. Just watch those Border service reality shows…
Later, I was outside walking towards where Steve was stuck in traffic and finally we were reunited in a warm embrace and a passionate kiss. Couldn’t wait to get home!