Feb 28, 2011

I'm going to Toronto on Wednesday to spend some time with my family and drink lots of Tim Horton's coffee.. it's "Rrroll Up The Rim" time! Flights are booked for leave later on this month... I get 3 whole weekends in Canada! My roster is great, wedding planning is in progress, and everything in life is lovely!

Hope everyone else is having as great of a week as I am!

The Trials and Tribulations of Economy Class

Feb 27, 2011

For those of you who are going to think negative thoughts about the venting that may follow in this blog: For the record, I'm not complaining about my job. I like my job. I'm just trying to paint a realistic picture of it. Like every job, there are good days and bad days. I'm not sugarcoating it to make it seem like I'm living a fairytale life. And on that note... off to London!

Another day, another can of hairspray keeping my french roll firmly in place, and I was off to work. I wasn't thrilled to be going to London, particularly on the busy afternoon flight. I'd been spoiled with beautiful calm trips for the majority of the month and this was sure to be a shock to my system. I was correct in my assumption. There are days that this job is glamourous and fun, but that was certainly not one of them.
Serving 427 hungry economy passengers can be quite a stressful task. First, we must deliver the special meals. On this flight we had 135 of them, all waiting to be hand delivered. After we'd finally finished and I'd had my daily workout, it was time for the main service. Sure, it sounds easy.... give everyone a meal and a drink. Realistically speaking, my semi-stupid (kidding) 16 year old brother could do this job. The problem arises when you run out of one of the meal choices. Politely asking passengers if they will eat the chicken instead of the fish is often met with reactions you'd expect if you were asking them to give up their first born child. Don't get me wrong, I'd be peeved too. When I have my heart set on fish with mashed potatoes, chicken curry just isn't going to do the trick. However, when you are left with dozens of upset passengers who are all holding you personally responsible for the lack of their preferred meal it can be a tad bit overwhelming. While I can give my heartfelt apologies, there is often nothing more that can be done. At 40,000 feet in the air it's tough to find extra meals. On this particular flight, we dealt with the situation and eventually everyone had a meal. It might not have been the one that they'd hoped for, but everyone was fed regardless. Myself and the rest of the crew took a sigh of relief once we'd finally finished clearing the trays from the cabin.
As it was mid afternoon and everyone was wide awake, the call bells rang non-stop. Each time I'd bring one passenger a drink, I'd return to the galley with 10 more orders. It's often intimidating going into the cabin. All eyes are on you as you walk down the aisle, you try to remember what you are going to get as more people raise their hands to signal that they are trying to get your attention. I'd finally attended to all of the call bells and reached the safety of the galley without another drink order. I closed the curtain behind me in hopes of finally eating something. As I quickly ate whatever I could find in the vicinity, I received a call from the front galley informing me that we'd be starting the second service in 20 minutes. "You have got to be kidding me", I thought as I began to prepare the carts with the other tired crew members.
Fortunately, the second service was a light snack and far easier than the previous one. With only one meal choice you can avoid a great deal of excess drama. We had finally finished both meal services and it was almost time to land. I could picture myself walking into my hotel room and plopping into my cozy bed, and the vision kept me motivated as we scrambled to secure the cabin and clean up the mess in the galley. For some reason, once the seatbelt sign turns on everyone suddenly has the urge to use the lavatory. I sent them back to their seats, explaining that we'd be on the ground in 10 minutes. After 7 hours on my feet, I finally sat down in my jumpseat. Landing time is always a happy time!
I put on a smile as the passengers disembarked. Despite the chaos and the fatigue, once the flight is over you can relax. Another day of work has ended.
The rest of the crew looked just as burnt out as I was as we got on the bus and drove to the hotel. Some made plans to go for dinner, but I didn't have the energy to do anything other than put on my pyjamas and dial up room service.
I'd snuggled up into bed and decided upon a dinner of French onion soup. You can imagine my frustration when I was unable to get through to order it. I tried both phones in the room. On the first one, it would ring a few times and then automatically disconnect me. On the other, it would ring and ring but nobody would ever pick up. I tried several times to no avail. I even tried calling reception, but no luck there either. Sure, I could have went to the restaurant downstairs and ordered something, but that required far too much effort on my part. Ignoring my hunger, I went to sleep.
The next day I woke up extremely early. I was starving! I remembered that I had a pack of Pop Tarts in my suitcase (bought in the US import section of my local supermarket... yummy!) and I quickly devoured them. On every layover I go out and make the most of my time in whatever foreign country I happen to be in. The afternoon trip to London is my only exception. Since we arrive at night it's too late to go to the city, and the next day there isn't much time to spare. It was a rainy, miserable looking day, and I was content in the warmth of the hotel.
I decided to do something that I rarely do despite always saying "I should" or "I will"... I put on my gym clothes and went to the fitness centre for a good dose of cardio! Feeling great, I decided to continue my healthy day and set out in search of some place to buy lunch. I borrowed an umbrella from the concierge, put on my Ugg boots, and ventured into the rain. At the mini mart down the street I grabbed a sandwich and some fruit and returned to the hotel.
I knew that I should attempt to sleep before the long night flight back to Dubai, but the sound of planes taking off at Heathrow across the street combined with the constant slamming of doors in the hallway made doing so quite difficult. I was annoyed with the hotel, in particular the housekeepers who chatted loudly in the hallways and constantly ran into the walls with the vacuum cleaner. Eventually I gave up and decided to just get ready for my flight.
The return flight was a stark contrast to the one a day earlier. The fact that we were delayed by an hour meant that there were a few grumpy people, but with only half of the seats occupied and a night time departure, it was a quiet journey back as the passengers slept. We met a few interesting characters including one man who found it necessary to give us his life story...in other words, brag about the fact that he was poor but now makes a great deal of money. As I tried to attend to call bells he continued to go on about his fantastic life and I tried my best to seem interested in the conversation. I was incredibly excited once we finally reached Dubai. I fought to stay awake as I waited for my suitcase, and happily climbed the stairs to the bus. A year ago, reaching Dubai meant the end of a great layover and often made me unhappy. These days, it means bed, pyjamas, and unlimited Facebook!
Another trip is over, but I get to do it all over again in just a few days!

More Adventures in Korea

Feb 24, 2011

I wearily dragged myself to the airport at 1 am, as the rest of the city slept (or partied the night away). Once again, I was off to Seoul. Despite enjoying the layover and the easy flight, I was feeling pretty burnt out from a busy month. I felt a bit robotic as I entered the briefing room and went through all of the introductions. Eventually, I snapped out of it. Onboard I began chatting and making plans with crew and perked up at the thought of eating Korean barbecue later that evening. We landed and made the long journey to the hotel. Rather than napping like usual, I spent the nearly 2 hours talking to another crew member, primarily about our love for food. I felt as though I'd made a new best friend!
An hour after reaching the hotel I headed to the lobby to meet the rest who planned on joining us for dinner. There was a huge group, a change from the normal 4 or 5 of us. We wandered the streets in search of a restaurant that was open late on a Sunday night, and eventually found one. Like old professionals, we sat around the table and ordered from the menu by pointing. The few who had never experienced a Korean barbecue glanced nervously at the menu, which showed photos of raw meat. We assured them that it would be fully cooked and delicious when it came time to consume it.
The servers brought out dozens of tiny side dishes and soups for us to snack on while we watched the beef cook on the grill in front of us. Oh how I love this country and their food! Rounds of beers and Soju began flowing at the table, and I politely declined, requesting a soft drink instead. The waitress shook her head and I accepted that I would not be drinking anything non-alcoholic that evening. I sipped my tiny cup of water, trying to counteract the burning in my mouth caused by eating massive amounts of spicy Kimchee. We happily plucked pieces of meat off of the grill as they were ready, wrapped them in lettuce, topped with sauces and garlic (I was thankful that Ryan was on the other side of the world) and savoured every bite. We ate a massive amount of food that evening. It felt as though we were constantly ordering another round.
With each round of food came another round of drinks, and all but 2 of us were getting loud and silly. I just wasn't in the mood to drink yucky tasting beverages for the sake of getting a bit giggly. I was focused on the task at hand, which was to consume as much food as possible. After all, in such large groups we typically split the bill amongst us. I figured if I was funding the alcoholics, I might as well eat my money's worth. That I most certainly did. We finally finished our meals and I was practically falling asleep at the table. It was most certainly time to go to bed. On the way back to the hotel we crowded into 7-11, as usual. I sold the rest on the deliciousness of green tea ice cream, and they opted to give it a try. As we walked back out onto the street, the moment I'd been anticipating occurred. "We are going out clubbing!" Announced one girl. Myself and the only other sober one shook our heads, telling them to have fun. Of course, it's never that easy. They insisted, not willing to take no for an answer. I wasn't in the mood to stand in the cold and feel guilty about doing what I chose to do, so I told them to hurry up and go, as I turned and proceeded to the hotel. Even if I may have come across as boring or rude, they'd forget it by morning given their current state. I ate my ice cream, checked my voicemail to discover 2 messages from Ryan, and crawled into bed.
The next morning I awoke to a phone call. I was a bit disappointed to hear a girl's voice on the other end, having hoped that it would be Ryan. Instead, it was my new food loving friend. It was her first time in Seoul and rather than do the ordinary buffet breakfast and shopping mall excursion that the rest planned, she wanted to see the sights of the city. I agreed to meet with her and another girl after I had a quick shower.
We met up, grabbed a map of the metro, and set out. First stop... breakfast! I was starving, so I enjoyed a blueberry bagel with cream cheese. Bagels are so difficult to find in other parts of the world, especially with cream cheese. I felt at home as I enjoyed it with a green tea latte. Next up was the metro station. It was busy and chaotic, but after a lengthy time studying the map we found our way. We boarded the train and rode it several stations, getting off at the stop close to a cultural village that the girls wanted to visit. We found the village, walked through, took photos, and left unfazed. It was basically a recreation of an old Korean village, with a few small buildings and signs on the walls. Just another museum, really. We continued walking down the streets in search of a palace nearby. Despite the terrible language barriers, the locals were extremely friendly and quick to help us when we appeared to be lost. We communicated via hand language, and I made sure to thank them, and it is the only word that I know in Korean.
Before we knew it, we were at the Gyeongbok Palace, beautifully positioned in front of a backdrop of the mountains. There was plenty to see, as we happily snapped away.
We posed with the colourfully dressed guards who looked as though they'd been transported from another era. The flight back to Dubai is always a tough one, as it's extremely long and departs at midnight. With this in mind, we chose to return to the hotel to get some sleep while we still could. On the way to the metro station, we discovered that we were lost. Maps don't help much when they are in Korean. Eventually, through asking several confused passerbys, we managed to find a station. It might not have been the one we were searching for, but it would do. I'd decided to get off a few stations before the girls, as they were headed to the mall and I wanted nothing more than to pick up some lunch and go to my room. Upon emerging from the underground station, I once again found myself lost. I nervously glanced around in search of familiar sights, but none were to be found. Going with my instincts, I walked a few minutes down the street in the direction that felt correct, and I was greatly relieved to spot "Bang Bang Plaza". I'd giggled the first time I'd seen the sign for the clothing store, but today it was a welcome sight, indicating that I was not in fact lost in Seoul.
I slept the rest of my layover away, waking up to do the dreaded flight back to Dubai. At 9 1/2 hours, the evening drags by. We eventually landed early in the morning and the remainder of the day was a write off as I slept for far more hours than a normal human being should! Oh the famously lazy life of a flight attendant.

Living the Dream in Paris...

Feb 17, 2011

First off, I'd like to send a shout out to Kristina (I apologize if I butchered the spelling...) who I met at the departures area while waiting for my flight to open the other day. She overheard me speaking to a friend and somehow came to the realization that I was Krysta, and that she reads my blog! It's always funny to randomly encounter people who read it, especially since in the beginning I'd beg my boyfriend to read just so that I wasn't writing it only for myself.
I've done two trips since my last post, but the first was so typical that I didn't feel the need to dedicate an entire blog about it. I went to Seoul, South Korea and as per usual I dined on tasty Korean food, relaxed in my room, and wandered the chilly streets the next day. Nothing too different from the ordinary, except that I was fortunate enough to fly with my beautiful friend Vanja. We spent a few hours at the breakfast buffet having a great conversation. In this industry 90% of conversation ends up going back to our job, so chatting to people who don't have "Plane Brain" is always a nice break. It was an uneventful layover, but a good one nonetheless.
Next up was Paris. I'd only been once before, and I was super excited to return. There is something so glamorous about flying to Paris. I generally try not to talk too much about my awesome job so as to not make others jealous, but I'll admit... I bragged to everyone on Facebook and Twitter for a few days prior. I had my heart set on wandering the beautiful city and soaking up every amazing moment.
The flight over was a breeze. We had a half load and everyone was happy to be there, including the crew. Having a good crew can make all of the difference in the world. I'd been up since 3 am, but even that couldn't bring me down. Ooooh la, la... I was going to Paris!
Once we'd landed and arrived at the hotel, a few of us agreed to meet up after we'd changed and rubbed off the red lipstick. I tamed my disaster of a hairstyle, put on my warm clothes and headed for the lobby. We caught a bus to the airport and then headed to the train station to buy our tickets to the city. It was at this point that one of the crew members began to irritate me. New to the job, I'd expected her to have a bit more enthusiasm. I mean, we were in Paris, France! Instead, she complained about the high price of the train ticket as if whining would do anything to change it. I shrugged it off, as we are given an allowance that is more than enough to cover meals and transport to the city. Fortunately, I was with another girl who was a stark contrast to Miss Grumpy Pants. She was a sweet Irish girl named Karen, who had one goal in mind for the trip: Buy chocolate from an amazing shop on Champs de Elysse. Obviously, we clicked immediately, bonded by our love of chocolate. As we emerged from the train station and out onto Avenue Champs de Elysse, I found myself staring right at the Arc de Triomphe. I rushed to join the mass crowds of tourists taking photos. It was a perfect day, cool but sunny and much warmer than my previous layovers in Seoul and Toronto.
We began walking down the beautiful street lined with expensive shops until we approached our very own shop.... Laduree Paris, which has been hanging around since 1862. Inside the gorgeous shop they sell the most beautiful and delicious chocolates, baked goods, and macaroons. Karen and I waited in the extremely long line for approximately half an hour while the others stood outside. We were determined. I forked over a small fortune in exchange for a pretty little bag filled with macaroons and gourmet chocolates. I was completely satisfied with my splurge of a purchase.
It had been a few hours since we'd landed, and we were all beginning to feel quite hungry. I immediately shot down the suggestion of dining at McDonald's, and we made a collective decision to head to the area near the Notre Dame Cathedral in search of a nice place to enjoy dinner. As we returned to the train station there was some confusion over which direction to go. I like to think that I'm somewhat of a pro at navigating metro stations by now, but a few of the others insisted on stopping to ask for directions. I was slightly irritated as I'd already scanned my ticket and was standing on the other side waiting for the rest, but I let it go... it wasn't worth getting annoyed over, I was in Paris! (In case you'd forgot...) We eventually found our way and as we headed back into the streets I was once again blown away by the historic beauty of the city. I'm so glad that all of the people who ever said that Paris was overrated were wrong. I love this city. We were just a few minutes from Notre Dame and I was dying to take photos of it before it was dark. The others insisted on going for dinner that very moment, so Karen and I headed to the cathedral and told them to save us a spot at the restaurant. It was a beautiful time of day for photos, and I was happy to have somebody willing to tag along with me. I went snap happy as we approached it, thinking of the amazing history behind the cathedral, and of course thinking of Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I remember watching the Disney movie as a child and saying that one day I'd visit, and here I was! The architecture was incredible, and there were even gargoyles!
I was content just to take photos of the outside, understanding that Karen had been here before and was getting quite hungry. To my surprise and joy, she led me inside. Though swarmed with tourists and worshippers, the massive cathedral had a great sense of calm inside. Only the sound of faint music and cameras filled the building. People knelt down in prayer seemed oblivious to the visitors taking photos around them. Every inch was covered in elaborate detail, lit by candlelight and the soft glow of natural light flowing through the colourful stained glass windows. It was hard to imagine that this building had stood for hundreds of years in that exact spot, built in an era long before cranes and the machinery that fills construction zones throughout Dubai.
We spent awhile just staring at the awe inspiring beauty.
After we'd taken our photos it was onwards to dinner. By this point my stomach was growling and I was looking forward to a delicious French meal. We met the others, who were finishing their meals as we sat down and looked at the menu. Starving, we both decided to go with the set menu in order to have 3 courses. I was spoiling myself this layover, and there was no sense in holding back now. In the spirit of being in France, I ordered a glass of white wine. For my appetizer I was brought an amazing salad with some sort of yummy dressing (if the menu had been in English I could probably explain better) and topped with 3 sticks of fried gouda cheese. I was in food Heaven. After I'd cleaned my plate off, I was delivered the main course. Salmon cooked to perfect with potato wedges and garlic mushrooms. Again, delicious. Most importantly, was dessert. Unable to choose just one, Karen and I decided to each order a different one and share. First up, was crepes. In my opinion, no trip to Paris is complete without them. They were topped with mandarin oranges and the waiter brought a small dish of Grand Marnier alongside it. He proceeded to light the liquor on fire and pour it over our crepes. We took the leftover chocolate sauce from another crew member's dessert and poured it over our still flaming dessert. It was yummy, but couldn't hold a candle to the creme brulee. Words can't describe how delicious it was, so I'll just say that it was the best that I've ever tasted. I left the restaurant completely satisfied.
We were all feeling quite sleepy by this point, so we decided to return to our hotel as it was quite a journey from our current location. Before we reached the metro station, we spotted the glowing Eiffel Tower in the distance. It was the first time in Paris for a Brazilian crew member, so of course we paused to take the necessary photos. Grumpy pants girl was complaining again, so we proceeded to the metro station and hopped on the train back to the airport. It was a mission to catch a bus back to the hotel, but we made it eventually. After a hot shower I crawled into my bed, falling asleep immediately despite the constant sound of massive planes landing at the airport across the street.
I woke the next morning with only a bit of time to spare before the wake up call. I'd originally intended to go for breakfast at the buffet downstairs, but I was short on time and instead enjoyed my delicious macaroons. Oh my goodness, they were worth every Euro! I was in a blissful "I love my job" mood as I headed to meet the crew and return to the airport. We had some time to spare, so I picked up a baguette sandwich with chicken and sundried tomatoes. It was the most delicious meal I've ever bought from an airport. It was time to say goodbye to Paris and return to Dubai, sadly. I'd had another great layover, which stood as a great reminder to why I'm still here. This is what it's all about.
In other news, I think that the gym is calling my name today.

Cuddling in Canada

Feb 10, 2011

6 months ago, I switched from the main fleet to the A380 flight primarily for the chance to fly to Toronto. If I had to live on the other side of the world, the opportunity to visit my own country from time to time would make it far more bearable.
Unfortunately, my company missed the memo and up until the end of January I'd only been lucky enough to score one flight to Toronto. As you can imagine, I was over the moon to see "YYZ" when my roster for February came out. After a homesick month it was just what I needed. I immediately shared my good news with my fiance, who immediately booked a flight from Calgary to meet me. Things were working out perfectly, and we were going to have a great weekend away together!
It was a nerve-wracking few days leading up to my flight, as I was still on reserve. We both were well aware of the fact that I could be pulled out of standby for any flight and potentially miss my Toronto flight. Luck was on our side, and on Friday morning I boarded the aircraft bound for the Western hemisphere. I chatted excitedly to the crew and passengers about how great my weekend would be for 14 hours. I'm sure they were all relieved to finally land and escape my non-stop conversation. On the bus to the hotel, I was giddy and couldn't stop smiling. Ryan would be there waiting for me in the lobby!
I was practically shaking with excitement as we pulled up in front of the hotel. I grabbed my bag and rushed inside. There he was! I gave him a great big happy hug as he handed me a pretty blue rose. All in life was perfect again! I didn't mind waiting patiently to get my room key, but one of the crew members insisted that the rest clear the way to let me go through. "Let her go first, it's her country!!" He insisted. I didn't want to be rude, but everyone insisted that I hurry up and go enjoy my time with my love.
Key in hand, we headed up to our room. We relaxed for a few minutes, but I knew that if I stayed in the room too long I'd fall asleep. We bundled up in our warm clothing and headed to (where else) Tim Horton's. I'd spent the last week looking forward to this meal, and it didn't disappoint me. We sat in the warm restaurant eating warm chilli, drinking cold iced caps, and spoiling ourselves with a Boston Cream donut.
I was going on 24 hours with no sleep, so it was time to call it a night. We went back to our hotel room, cuddled up in bed, and went to sleep. It was so nice falling asleep with him lying there beside me! For some reason jet lag only seems to really affect me when I go back to Canada. Despite my extreme fatigue, I found myself waking up throughout the night. Poor Ryan endured my tired chatter as I rolled around unable to fall back asleep every hour. Morning finally arrived, and after a sleepless night I was in need of caffeine. We headed back to Tim Horton's to grab some coffee and then went back to the hotel to get ready for a day of adventure! My grandparents were taking the train from Hamilton to meet us in Toronto, so we organized our cameras and waited for them to arrive. They showed up at our room, hugged us, and we headed on our way! We decided to check out St. Lawrence Market, and were overwhelmed with the amazing food choices. We had lunch reservations so we had to use our willpower not to eat everything in sight.
As recommended by my mom, we decided to dine at Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant. For those of you non-Canadians, Wayne Gretzky is the most famous of all hockey players... known as "The Great One". The menu was full of amazing options. Ryan and I opted to share appetizers, feasting on yummy foods that I can only ever find at home... hot wings, perogies, and of course... poutine. It was all amazing and delicious, and we left the restaurant so full that it hurt to walk. It was well worth it!
Our next stop was the tourist essential of Toronto...the CN Tower. With the exception of Ryan, we'd all been many times before, but it's always fun to go to the top of what was the tallest building in the world before Dubai got greedy with the Burj Khalifa. We rode the glass elevator to the top... a bit of a nervous ride for me despite spending so much of my life in the sky. It was a cloudy day, but we could still see far out across the big city. We spent a long time just taking in the view, taking photos, and braving the glass floor. It's always scared me. I somehow worked up the courage and even looked down at the city below my feet!
We finally decided to head back down to the ground and out into the snow! It was a chilly afternoon, so we decided that a cup of tea would be a great idea. I introduced my grandma to Starbucks! We sipped our tea (chai lattes for Ryan and I) and talked as the snow fell outside. Evening was fast approaching and it was time to say goodbye to my grandparents as they caught their train back home. It had been great to catch up with them. It has been a privilege that this job has granted me. Before flying around the world I rarely made it to the other side of Canada for visits. We hugged goodbye and they went on their way as Ryan and I headed to Eaton Centre for some nighttime shopping. I picked up a few new items of clothing... oh how I miss simple Canadian fashion! We had intended to go for a romantic dinner, but after our huge lunch we still didn't have much of an appetite. Instead we grabbed some frozen yogurt and decided to skip dinner in favour of dessert. The mall was closing so it was time to head back to the hotel. We'd walked underground on the way, and left our jackets in the room. We had anticipated returning the same way, until we realized that the doors were locked. "You've got to be kidding me", I thought, as we headed outside into the cold. Giant snowflakes were falling from the sky and although it was beautiful, I wasn't looking forward to the trek back to the hotel. We power-walked down the street shivering, but we survived. I was the one complaining, but I also insisted that we stop for a photo.

Brrr! We were happy to reach the warmth of our room and curl up under our warm duvet. We'd had a fun day and we were sleepy! It was time for bed, and this time I managed to sleep through the night.
The best part of waking up on Sunday morning was knowing that we still had a full day together. We relaxed in our room and then decided to go for breakfast. I had my heart set on bacon and eggs... none of this turkey bacon stuff that they serve in Dubai... real, crispy bacon. We found ourselves at Marche, a cool market-style restaurant. Our breakfast was great, and we were full once again! We didn't have a plan for the day so we began walking down Yonge Street. When I spotted a movie theatre I suggested that we go for a movie date, since we'd been talking about it for months. There weren't many movies playing, but since it was cheap before 12 pm we decided to see "The Social Network". After all, we are both nerds and Facebook addicts. I'd heard some bad reviews, but I enjoyed the movie!
We continued walking down the street, looking for a good place to have lunch. When we came across a grocery store, we went inside and I squealed with excitement over all of the foods that I missed. A lady offering samples of guacamole was happy that we agreed to try it, insisting that nobody is adventurous enough to eat new foods. We asked her for restaurant recommendations and when she didn't have any, she stopped a family and asked them. They suggested a restaurant a few blocks away and we agreed to try it. We followed the directions and found the place. It looked nice, but much to our dismay it was closed!
We went back to Yonge Street and found a cozy little place that looked good, and most importantly... warm! The food was yummy and to make it more enjoyable we ordered drinks... a cocktail for me and a beer for him. It was a perfect lunch date!
We slowly made our way back to the hotel, stopping at Eaton Centre for a bit more shopping and caramel frappuchinos from Starbucks. Back at the hotel we relaxed, realizing that we were probably among very few people in Canada and the US who weren't watching the Superbowl.
For dinner we decided to return to Wayne Gretzky's, since the hot wings were just so delicious! Sadly, the weekend was ending. I was determined to stay awake as late as possible in able to enjoy the rest of my time with him before his early morning flight. Unfortunately my body didn't agree with that idea and as hard as I tried, my eyes could not stay open. We decided to switch off the TV and go to sleep.
The next morning we woke up at 4 am. Ryan packed his bag as I sadly tried to convince him to miss his flight and run away with me. We both knew that it wasn't a realistic option, so we walked downstairs to wait for the bus. It arrived too soon and I didn't want to say goodbye. I got a little bit choked up as I kissed him and watched him disappear onto the bus. Instead of waiting to wave as the bus drove away, I quickly rushed to the warmth of Tim Horton's. Tears were forming in my eyes and I wasn't about to start crying on the street. I ordered a coffee and went back to my room, feeling miserable. I managed to talk to Ryan online until he'd boarded the plane. It was still early, but I wasn't about to spend the day crying in my hotel room. I put on my jacket and headed out in search of breakfast. I returned to Marche and treated myself to a Belgian waffle. I sat down at the same table I'd ate at with Ryan the day before, and wondered why on Earth I live so far away when it makes me so sad.
I might have felt sad at the time, but I was overall quite happy that I'd been fortunate enough to spend the weekend with my amazing fiance. I didn't want to let my mood ruin my last day in Canada. I walked to the only place that I could think of.. Eaton Centre. I wandered the stores and the underground mall for a few hours until it was time to go back to the hotel to get some sleep for the flight back. I didn't have much luck. I tossed and turned for a couple of hours, missing Ryan and dreading leaving my country. I finally managed to sneak in a little bit of sleep, but I was very tired as I headed to meet the crew for the return flight.
I sat quietly on the bus, sad to see the layover end.
It had been amazing, and probably my favourite of all the many that I've experienced. I suppose that the fact that my favourite trip is one to my own country says a lot about how much I miss home. It won't be long until I'm back there with my amazing family and Ryan, and although I'll miss my globe-trotting life I'm ready to go home.