This Christmas, for the first time in our lives, my wife and I travelled over the chilly North Atlantic to see for ourselves what the “Old World” really felt like. The first purpose of our journey I suppose, was to visit my adventurous younger sister, who about five months ago moved from Canada to Peterborough, England for a job opportunity. Having my sister in Peterborough was fantastic, because it allowed us not only to see where and how she lives, but also because it ended up saving us quite a bit of money, which in turn allowed us to stay for nearly three weeks. The second purpose of our trip was business; I intended on meeting a few colleagues, with whom I do ListMessenger-related business with, as well as a web-hosting client of mine.
So our adventure began on December 19th, when we left the Ottawa International Airport at around 4:30PM EST destined for Halifax, Nova Scotia, where we would split our flight up a bit and change planes. This flight was sort of fun for me because The Honourable Peter MacKay, Canada’s current Minister of Foreign Affairs, happened to be on the same flight… I spotted him (along with some other gentleman I didn’t recognize) while waiting to board the air craft. Maybe it’s just me, but when ever I hear Peter MacKay’s name anymore, I can’t help but thinking Rick Mercer, Belinda Stronach and inevitably, Tie Domi… all of which made me smile for most of the flight.
After a short stop-over in Halifax, we boarded our overnight flight destined for London, England’s famously busy Heathrow Airport, which I was pretty excited to see as it’s supposedly the third busiest air port on the planet. Our flight was about 6 hours long, which I was initially dreading, but it went very smooth and did not seem as long as I expected. I should probably give cudos to Air Canada while I’m thinking about it. We were on an older aircraft (Boeing 767 from 1988), but the service was amazing. They offered us complimentary beer, wine and drinks (no matter the time); everyone had blankets and pillows… we had two meals during our flight and they did a great job at trying to trick our bodies into waking up in the “morning”.
Near the end of the flight the captain came on and announced that it was 8:00AM GMT (which was still 3:00AM EST)… my body was angry at this point, especially because I was up the night prior until after 3:30AM marking final assignments for the class I teach at St. Lawrence College. Nothing I could do about it really… jet lagged or not, I still had a journey to undertake once we landed.
After we landed and had gone through security (which they were very friendly, positive, welcoming, but thorough none-the-less) we were happily greeted by my sister who ran up the “do-not-enter” isle to give us both a big hug! Brianne and her roommate Dean, drove for their first big “UK drive”, all the way from Peterborough to London to pick us up in one of their friends cars. This was very much appreciated because being as tired as we were from our flight / no-sleep, thinking and finding a train / bus in a country we had never been to might have been a bit much.