I woke up early so I could do my weekly long run of 16 miles. Doing this after drinking the beer I drank the day before is never a good idea! I hydrated and headed out the door. Unlike my Denali run, I had a plan this time. I knew that it was 2 miles from our hotel to Stanley Park. This park is huge! They have a running/biking track along the sea wall It was fairly busy for a Sunday morning. At the start of my run, the view of the ocean and the sky and the light at that early hour almost made me stop in my tracks! I kept going until I came to a fork in the trail. I couldn’t figure out what to do, so I continued to follow along the ocean. That wasn’t the right way to go! I followed the ocean for as long as I could, but then I was forced to run toward downtown. The rest of my run had me stopping a lot to figure out which way to go. I got lost once or twice, but I made it!
When I got back to the hotel, Alana told me that our flight was cancelled! She made one phone call after another to United Airlines to see what was going on. Since our flight was going through their partner, Air Canada, United had no idea what was going on. We decided that we should probably get to the airport by 5:00 for our expected 11:55 flight. Before doing that, we had to do one more touristy excursion. We took a short bus ride to a suspension bridge a friend recommended. It was okay and I took a few more pictures, but it involved a lot of walking and climbing up and down stairs. Usually, I’m good with that but today’s run kind of made me feel like I needed a walker to get around!
On the bus ride back, we decided to get off before our scheduled stop so we could get some lunch. Alana pointed to a café and I agreed, but it looked from the outside like it was a soup, salad and sandwich type of café. When we went in to ask for a seat on the patio, we were greeted by an attractive woman in a tight, short, black dress. After we sat on the patio, Alana said, “Did you notice that all the servers have tight black dresses on?” What I should have said was, “No, Baby, I didn’t notice.” What I said was, “Yes, and they had the same uniform at yesterday’s lunch. I guess they hire only hot women who look good in tight black dresses.” She glared at me. I changed the subject by discussing how both restaurants must be owned by the same company. I refrained from taking their pictures. The restaurant turned out to have a chef who won Iron Chef. Many of the items on the menu were marked to show you his personal creations. I chose a burger and it was the best burger I had on this vacation, with yesterday’s burger a very close second. Amazing stuff!
At the airport, we were lucky enough to get an Air Canada agent to help us understand what happened to our flight. Our original 11:55 PM flight wasn’t going to leave until 1:30 AM, which would make us late for our connecting flight in Toronto to Cincinnati. So they just decided to re-book us for a flight TWO DAYS LATER! In their defense, they called Alana who had her phone turned off. We decided that it would be best to get on the 1:30 flight and then wait until 5:30 PM the next day to go home. I never thought I could nap on airport terminal benches, but I found a way! Before they shut all the restaurants down, we grabbed some dinner. Afterwards, I went to the bar to have some liquid nap fluid. I ended up sitting next to a guy who lives north of Vancouver. Way north! He needs a bush pilot to get him home kind of north. He was a very friendly guy but I was fixated on his thick Canadian accent. It was another interesting conversation among a huge number of people I met on this trip.
Arriving in Toronto, we tried to check into our next flight. We were told to go away until 1:30 at the earliest. There was absolutely nothing on the outside of the terminal for us to do and very limited breakfast options. The only slightly acceptable place for breakfast was a Tim Horton’s and we didn’t like how long the line was. We found a small place that sold coffee and we ate a stale sandwich. I then found out that Alana can sleep anywhere! She put her head down on the table and went to sleep for a couple of hours. I woke her up only because I had to find a men’s room. Once we were able to check in, we got though customs and into the baggage screening area. We checked two bags, so this Jamaican man near the checked baggage drop off area yelled, “Hey, I’ve been looking for you! Come over here!” We went over there and joked around with him, and then he said, “Do you ever watch the show House? You look just like him.” I said, “Yeah, I kind of get that a lot.” I don’t get it as much when I’m clean-shaven, but I had about 14 days of growth on my face because I didn’t shave on this trip. So when I’m an asshole to strangers, they must just assume I’m him and give me a free pass. I like that!
Home finally, we dropped our bags and collapsed. Going on vacation can be exceeded only by coming home. You don’t know what you miss until you can’t have it. Things like a computer with a reliable wi-fi connection, a comfortable couch with a remote for the TV that has hundreds of channels, a comfortable bed and non-lumpy pillows, a toilet that flushes cleanly on the first try, and freshly ground coffee in the morning instead of that god awful coffee I’d been drinking for 11 days. It’s good to be home!