a week away in ottawa!

Nov 30, 2012

Occasionally I have days in which work is the last place on earth that I'd like to be.  Sure, we all have these days... but unlike most people, I actually do love my job most of the time. However, a series of delays and extra days spent away from home this month had left me longing for some time with my husband and puppy. To make matters worse, I was beginning a 6 day stretch and the light at the end of the tunnel was too far off to be seen.
I did what I had to do. My suitcase was packed and I was off for the airport. Day one was easy, as myself and my crew flew to Ottawa as passengers. It was absolutely freezing at home and I was looking forward to being some place a bit warmer.  When we landed we were greeted by a snowstorm and strong winds, but it was still warmer than home.
My mission for day 1 was to stock up on healthy food for the week.  I refused to eat out every single evening, and thus loaded up a basket of groceries and retreated to my hotel room with my purchases.  It was still early, so I took advantage of my afternoon and wandered downtown.  Ottawa is such a beautiful city, and the snow only made it look prettier. I decided to get to bed early to prepare for the potential chaos that would be the next day's flight. 
Every airline has particular routes that are more demanding than others. For us, it's Ottawa to Iqaluit. Though nothing in comparison to the flights I've worked in the past, it is a bit busier than the majority of our work days. I was prepared for a hectic day, but was pleasantly surprised with our light passenger loads and small amount of alcoholic beverages sold.  Once we'd arrived back in Ottawa I joined the rest of the crew for dinner... my personal favourite... Thai! With full bellies we headed back to the hotel and it was straight to bed!  
I woke up the next morning and took advantage of the free Starbucks vouchers that the hotel provides for those who opt out of housekeeping.  Free coffee in exchange for a messy room?! I don't need much convincing.   

Off to the airport we went for day 2.  I was about to do my safety checks when the captain informed us that the runway in Iqaluit was closed due to a snow storm. Our flight for the day was cancelled! I tried my best to hide my excitement and I walked past our passengers through the airport. I now had the day off in Ottawa, and I was thrilled.  Myself and the other flight attendant headed for the mall, wandered for awhile, and then returned to the hotel.   I had lunch in my room before venturing out again. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the snow sparkled on the streets. 

  I wandered the Byward Market and got into the Christmas spirit as I passed several tree lots. I stopped at the famous Bridgehead Coffee shop for a perfect latte.  Schedules for December had just been released, and to my surprise I was given vacation time at the start of the month. At first I was annoyed with the lack of notice, but throughout the day I chatted to my husband and we ended up booking a last minute vacation! With this sudden trip and my unexpected day off, I felt as though I had no excuse to not go to the gym. I ran and ran and ran, using up all of the energy that would have otherwise been spent serving passengers.  I went for yet another walk to stock up on more food, and then crawled into bed. It had been a wonderful day off, but tomorrow was back to reality.  
It was day 4, and I was longing to go home.  Anything past day 3 feels like an eternity these days. 
Making up for our mini holiday the day prior, we were slammed with an extremely busy day, full passenger loads, and a 2 hour delay in freezing, snowy, Iqaluit.  

Passengers were unhappy, we were exhausted, and by the time we got back to Ottawa we hadn't been able to sit down or take a bite to eat in several hours. It was straight to bed that night.  
Finally, home day had arrived! I spent the last of my Starbucks vouchers, obtaining a decent caffeine buzz to get me through what would be a very long day. We flew to Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Yellowknife... and finally back home to Edmonton. Nearly 14 hours after we'd left Ottawa, I was finally home! I spent the night with my husband and puppy and soaked up all of the comforts of home. I'd be gone again the next day, but at that moment few things mattered aside from the fact that I was home, sweet home! 


Andy said...

I never had the chance to visit Ottawa properly...a week in Ottawa sounds absolutely dreamy x

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