Traveling seems to always be an adventure. Our trip back to BC seemed to be very uneventful. We had the periods of inactivity waiting at the terminals, (Evansville, Dallas, San Francisco, and Vancouver) and we had the tension of rushing from one terminal to another at opposite ends of each airport. We made it all the way to Vancouver without too much trauma, and when, at midnight, we boarded our flight to Prince George, we felt as though we had pretty much completed the game, but the game was far from over.
We sat on the plane for 1.5 hours and the plane didn’t move. Then we were told that there was problems with the de-icing mechanism and watched as several technician came and went from the cockpit. Finally we were told that the flight was cancelled.
A collective moan rose from the passengers, as well as lots of negative comments about Air Canada. We all streamed back into the terminal to see what our futures would be. That is our bleary eyed group you see in the photo.
After about 20 minutes, Joan and I finally made it to the front of the line to talk to the airline representative. She gave us vouchers for a taxi and a room at the River Rock Hotel/Casino. I had never heard of the place, but when we got there, even in my exhausted condition, I couldn’t help but be impressed.
We walked into the glass doors and there in front of us were two huge curving staircases like you would see in a southern plantation mansion. They arched in opposite directions, symmetrically up to the next floor, one on each side in front of us. On closer observation I saw that they weren’t staircases at all, but escalators. Being the country bumpkin that I am, I didn’t even know they made curving escalators. We rode up the escalators to the hotel lobby and registered. It was 3:00 A.M.
My country bumpkin persona was reinforced as we travelled up the elevator to our room. We had to wave our room’s entrance card in front of a card reader on the wall of the elevator before it would move. Then wave it again at the door knob to unlock the door. Once inside the room, we had to insert it into a slot in the wall to make the lights go on. This was all way too high tech for me.
Of course, the beds each had five pillows stacked on top of them (I only need one to sleep, and never know where to put the other ones. On the floor?) I was again made to feel like a techno-peasant when I tried to use the telephone, none of the many buttons seemed to do what I expected. It took us a while to figure out how to make the shower flow. I was exhausted, frustrated, and in spite of all the luxury, I would have much rather been at home in my own bed.
In the morning, I again found myself way out of my element as we used our breakfast vouchers to dine at the elegant resort’s breakfast buffet. I stacked my plate with salmon, fresh pineapple, oatmeal, turkey slices, cantaloupe, honeydew mellon, small crispy chicken nuggets, and a thick fried potato wafer, and we ate overlooking the boat-filled Fraser RIver. There were of course everything else you might want for breakfast, but I tried to be restrained in my eating.
After eating and packing, we left the fancy hotel and spent a couple of hours sitting around at the Vancouver airport, waiting for our noon flight to Prince George. Once there we paid for our 2 weeks of parking ($110) and had to rearrange the back of our car, which was full of 4 tires (we had bought 4 new snow tires in Prince George before we got to the airport in the middle of September when we began our trip to Indiana). We had to make room in the back of our car for a new toilet that we needed to buy before traveling back to McBride.
We scrambled around Prince George checking several stores for a new toilet, (we needed one that was less than 28 inches from tip to wall and a high flush capacity). We failed to find one, so in the end, we drove home empty handed, facing at least another week of using the outhouse. It rained off and on the whole two and a half hours back to McBride.
Our house was cold, Lucy our cat, seemed both happy and confused to see us again. Frost had hit our garden and there were willow branches all over the yard and driveway from a windstorm, but it was nice to finally be in our own space again.
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