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Day 16 - All good things must end….just sayin’!

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

It’s Tuesday and whereas in the life of Shirley Valentine who has ‘chips and egg’ on Tuesday, for us, M&A its departure day. We’ve got a full itinerary ahead of us which goes something like this …..Depart from Myrna’s at 07 hundred hours, which means getting up at 05.30am, even Myrna, in order to finish packing and repacking, you know the routine. Arrive Kelowna airport at 07 thirty hours for 10am departure to Vancouver. Depart Vancouver at 13.10 hours arrive Montreal at 20.55 hours. Depart Montreal at 22.05 hours arrive Heathrow airport 09.30 hours Wednesday morning! Collect luggage by 10 thirty hours, if it managed to make all the transfers that is, then enjoy a Costa Coffee to wake us up. Collect car at 11 thirty hours. Collect Sir Winston from Jane and Mike’s at approx 14 hundred hours. Drop me off at approx 15 hundred hours. Maice and Sir Winston arrive home at approx 15 thirty hours. No wonder we had a double Berrocca before we left this morning, we certainly need it to keep awake.

Maice had reported that it had been raining rather heavily during the night. Myrna was oblivious to this as she can sleep through anything and I’m in the basement so heard nothing except the gurgling pipe-work! It was raining lightly when we got up and the sky was still covered with a dense grey ash cloud although the sun was doing its best to peep out and try to disperse the cloud cover. Let’s hope the rain helps to dampen down and put out some of those forest fires. This was now the second day of grey skies, a sure sign that the ‘Fall’ was now falling and that autumn was coming!

We arrived at Kelowna airport in plenty of time and were the first people to check-in. We’d decided not to check in on-line the night before preferring to go to the actual check-in desk itself, you know, that dying breed where there is a person sat behind a desk and they actually check you in! For our wisdom we were reprimanded for not doing so, telling us that if they’d been busy and there was a queue we’d have been sent back to the do-it-yourself machines to ‘do-it-ourselves’! Our cases felt really heavy and laden down but Maice’s weighed in at just 15kg and mine was 16kg. Not bad considering all the extra clothes we’d purchased!

We enjoyed a final Tim Hortons cappuccino with Myrna, said our goodbyes at security control and went through to ‘the other side’. Not immediately of course due to a) the incredibly slow security staff who seemed to be working at a snails pace b) the number of ‘boxes’ each person had to use; one for shoes, one for iPads/laptops, one for bags, one for jackets, honestly it was ridiculous and c) the guy two people in front of us was really faffing about trying to unzip his bag to look for his laptop, then looking for his toiletries in the clear bag, honestly it was painful to watch. Eventually another security guy came along and speeded up the process and we managed to go through without setting off the scanners or having our bags checked. We boarded our ‘first’ flight of the day and honestly, what a malaver! We were supposedly boarding by Zones, ours being Zone 4, which was in the middle of the plane, but the system failed as it appeared to be a free-for-all and there were people all over the aisles and trying to put their luggage up in the overhead lockers, it was a real scrum. Maice nearly came under attack from some flailing arms and bags but eventually calm was restored, the flight was without incident and on time. So far so good. We just needed our next flight from Vancouver to Montreal to be a smooth transition without delay. We had a two hour layover before our Montreal flight so grabbed an iced frappe, an expensive one at that….$15 for two, that’s £10, the same price as the tea-towel we purchased for Jane, we found a seat, ate the lemon cakes that Tara had given us yesterday and watched a spider on the outside window making its web. It was fascinating! We boarded our flight to Montreal without incident although one of my pet hates is when people give no thought to the way they put their hand luggage in the overhead locker. One case had just been thrown up there with the handle still stuck out, others had been laid down flat instead of on their sides so that you can fit more cases in. Aargh! Anyway, that’s all I’m prepared to say on the matter!

The flight to Montreal was almost five hours and scheduled to land at 20.55pm however, luck was on our side as we landed at 08.40pm which gave us more time to make the dash to the departure gate for our flight to Heathrow which was departing at 22.05! Unfortunately our luck ran out just after we’d landed as the gate we were taxiing to still had a plane there that was waiting to depart so we had to wait on the tarmac. We sat on the plane for twenty five minutes until it eventually made it to the gate. We’d resigned ourselves to missing our Heathrow flight as we only had 30 minutes in which to a) disembark from the plane b) run the gauntlet of ‘slow moving’ people with cases getting in our way c) our hold luggage would never be transferred to the Heathrow flight in just 30 minutes and d) we had to find the departure gate. We ran as fast as we could to gate A60, which of course was a long way away. It didn’t help that I was wearing my Dr. Marten sandals so it felt like I was running with two bags of sugar on my feet but we made it, thinking that either a) the gate had closed (like Easijet won’t let passengers through if they’re late) or b) we’d be the last people to board and would be stared at when we boarded. We arrived, absolutely puffed out at gate A60 to find all passengers still sat waiting to board the plane, which of course was delayed. We managed to catch our breath and waited. With little communication from staff to say what was happening I went up to ask and was told they’d had all sorts of problems all day and were now waiting for the cleaners to finish their job. It was two hours before we were finally on the plane and in the air. Once in the air we suffered about thirty minutes of turbulence, our stomach’s were all over the place particularly when the plane would suddenly drop, which it did on a number of occasions! The configuration of the plane was a 3-3-3 with both of us being in aisle seats. Maice was sat on her own in the middle three so I joined her which gave us both some much needed room. It was a long flight, in fact it’s been a long day but at least we got fed; chicken or pasta, now there’s a surprise, so pasta it was. We enjoyed the cheese and crisp rolls that Maice had prepared the night before on the second flight but all we’ve eaten today is carbohydrates. The diet definitely starts tomorrow!

Once we’d landed we joined the queues, snaking our way through passport control and into luggage reclaim where thankfully we managed to reclaim all of our luggage. What a relief! Before we went to pick up the car from Blue Circle Meet and Greet we enjoyed a cappuccino to try and keep us awake for the journey home. It was, thankfully a quite pleasant drive, the motorways were particular quiet although there seemed to be more stupid drivers on the roads, you know taking chances and erratic driving. To be honest we thought it would be a little strange coming home what with everything that’s happened since we’ve been away and I’m sure we’ll be swept up in the grief of the nation over the next few days. It’s all very sad.

Our first stop on the way home was to Jane and Mike so that Maice could pick up Sir Winston. She’s missed the cheeky chappy these past two weeks but we have no doubt that he’s had a fabulous holiday, just like us. He was so excited to see Maice again I don’t think she’s going to get any peace from him while he settles back at home. Milly I’m not collecting until next Monday afternoon as I’m off with friends for a long weekend to Bath!

Our holiday to Canada has been different from the norm as Maice has been home to visit family and I’ve gone along for the ride. Everyone’s been so hospitable and friendly and very welcoming and we’ve had such a laugh with everyone. Good times had with all and great memories made. We’ve managed to get out and walk every day and have covered over 80 miles these past two weeks. We’ve enjoyed some lovely cappuccino’s particularly at our favourite cafe, the Bean Scene, we’ve spent quality time with family, eating, drinking, playing games, we’ve been wine tasting, we‘ve been shopping, to the cinema, a music festival and Paddle-boarding. We’ve done lots but it’s been made that extra special because we‘ve done it with family and friends. So a big thank you goes out to….Tara Terror and Dave, Katana, Kerris and Kyran, Carole, Mark, Ginger, Sean and Blaise….and Catherine. You’ve made our holiday extra special.

But we have to say a massive Thank You to Myrna, Maice‘s mum who has been so amazing, looking after us and putting up with the two of us for two weeks……she’s probably sat at home now with her feet up taking in the sound of silence! Thanks for everything. A very special lady and a wonderful family. We can honestly say it’s been a truly amazing holiday…….just sayin’!

Well, we‘ve been up and on the go for over 24 hours. This is M&A signing off until next time….xx

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