Monday, December 17, 2007

The Great X-mas Caper

As a lot of you already know, the Christmas trip to Thailand was nothing but a ruse to trick our unsuspecting parents into believing we had Holiday plans for Christmas, when in fact, we had plans to come home to Nova Scotia and surprise them.

Act One: The Departure

This was the single most hellish spot of traveling I have ever done. We left Vietnam at 6am for a short flight to Bangkok, Thailand. There we were expecting a stopover of 13 and a half hours. We had mentally prepared ourselves for this wait so it wasn’t too bad. Then, the unthinkable, our flight was delayed. We would now be departing at 4am, another 3 and a half hours beyond our 13 and a half, for a total of 17hours. (For those of you who struggle with math.) There were some mechanical problems with our plane and they had to replace it. We settled into our seats on Qantas flight Q801 and flew for thirteen hours to London. OK so that’s not too bad….but then….

Act 2: The Missed Flight.

We arrive at Heathrow airport in London, England at 11am and our flight is scheduled for departure at 11:15. There is no way for us to catch that flight. More stopover time is accrued while we beg and plead with Air Canada to get us on their next available flight to Eastern Canada. A very nice British woman took care of us and found us a flight to Montreal and then after a short three hour stop-over, onward to Halifax. We thanked her and made our way to our departure gate. I will also mention at this point that Karen had an awful head cold and was quite congested. The touchdown in Heathrow proved to be very painful in her ears and we purchased earplugs for 25 USD at a drugstore in the airport. Yes, you read that correctly, 25$! A few short hours later we found ourselves sitting on an Air Canada plane, waiting to begin our 7 and a half hour flight to Montreal, Canada. We were getting closer and closer.

Act 3: Our Home on Patriot Land

We touch down in Montreal and go through customs. Air Canada staff assures us that they have no idea where our bags will turn up as our bags were tagged when we were in Thailand, before we missed our flight, and were probably in Halifax now. Of course, they couldn’t be sure and it was in our best interest to check baggage claim in Montreal just to be on the safe side. Sure enough, Karen’s bright red bag came tumbling down the belt in Montreal but there was no sign of mine. We stood around like goons until the last bag was shat out of the rubber curtain, and then made our way to the lost baggage counter. Once again, we were assured my bag was fine and probably waiting for me in Halifax, as there was no real reason for Karen’s bag to have shown up in Montreal we should just consider ourselves lucky. OK, Fair enough. We push our way on to a little airbus for the one and a half hour flight to Halifax.

I will also note that Raddie Dave, who was still dizzy over the arrival of his first born son Peter Henry “Hank” Chisholm, with his wife Judy, had arrived at the Halifax airport at 2pm, our original arrival time but a full 7 hours too early after our delays.

Act 4: The Arrival

We arrived at YZH, Halifax International Airport at 9pm on Tuesday, Dec 11. We had sent the RDC a message saying that we would be arriving at 9 instead of 2, but being at the hospital all day, he did not get that message. Dave and Judie were the only two people that knew we were coming so we found some Canadian quarters and made a quick call to Dave’s cell phone. He was at the IWK with his wife and his new baby who were just being released. He said he would swing by the airport to pick us up and take us back to their place. With that taken care of, we were free to go and pick up my bag at baggage claim. This, of course, was not to be. The bag was lost. I did a lost baggage report and made my way outside for my first cigarette in almost 40 hours. I was wearing sandals and a pullover “hoodie” sweatshirt while I stood shivering on the sidewalk. I was half done my cigarette when Dave and Judie pulled up in their Volvo and whisked us back to their house where we spent our first evening in Canada in a year and a half.

We had a good nights sleep and took a taxi to downtown Dartmouth from Eastern Passage and prepared to surprise the hell out of my parents. I will end this blog here, as we have video of the surprise and I will post that separately. So, in conclusion, we are back in the Fax and ready for a memorable Christmas and New Years. We look forward to seeing all of our friends and family. If you are not in Nova Scotia this Christmas season, Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Love,
Ed & Karen video

Sunday, December 02, 2007

1 Week

One week, seven short days, 168 hours or 10080 minutes until take-off. For our third Christmas away from home, we decided to do it right. We are spending a month in Phuket Thialand. "Phuket....Phuket......Why does that sound so familiar?" I can hear some of you pondering. That is because Phuket was the place utterly devastated by the Tsunami four years ago on Boxing day. That is correct, we will be at ground zero on the fourth anniversary of that horrible disaster. Don't worry, however, as the saying goes..Lightning never strikes twice, or some such rubbish. Just to be on the safe side, we will be looking for a room on the fifth or sixth floor. The tsunami hit last time just before 7 am, and we would have slept through that anyway. You can count on the fact that we wouldn't have been up and on the beach that early. We don't know what to expect being there on the anniversary of that awful day, but it should be an experience.
As for those of you in Canada and elsewhere that will be celebrating Christmas and New Year without us once again. We miss you all and we will be thinking about you while digging our toes in the sand and opening our presents on the beach with the yuletide waves crashing on the shore. It will be different this year, that's for sure. It was too depressing the last couple of years hanging around our house on Christmas, so what better way to take our minds off the fact that we will not have our friends and family around us, than loafing on a beach drinking copious amounts of Singha and eating like royalty for the holidays.
God Bless us.....Everyone.
Merry Christmas y'all.
-Peace.