an unexpectedly long journey!

Nov 12, 2012

The first big snowfall of the year had hit Edmonton. The roads were a mess, the air was cold, and despite the fact that this happens each and every year, people proclaimed that they could not believe how much snow there was on the ground.  
None of this phased me much. In preparation for an overnight flight, I spent the day of the snowfall fast asleep.  I woke up and got ready to fly to warmer places.  For the millionth time, I had a flat tire. Though extremely frustrating, this time it was a blessing in disguise as it meant that my husband would have to drive me to work... allowing me to avoid the stress that comes with icy, scary roads.  I met with my crew... for the second time in a row I was working with my good friend Kevin.  We were going to have a great time in St. John's!  
I knew it would be a long night, but I hadn't anticipated just how long it would feel.  As I'd expected, we were delayed from the very beginning.  Major snowstorms wreck havoc on airport operations, and we spent a long time waiting for our turn to be deiced. The flights were long and I got by solely on caffeine.  We flew to the Alberta oil sands, picked up our passengers and flew to Ottawa. We waited forever on the ground as the pilots assessed whether we'd be able to land in Moncton due to poor visibility and ugly weather. Eventually we departed. There were strong crosswinds and it was a tense few minutes, but we landed safely in Moncton and breathed a sigh of relief... diversions would have only made us more delayed than we already were.  We flew the last flight and finally landed in St. John's... better late than never! By the time I reached my hotel room, it had been over 12 hours since I'd checked in for duty. At 6:30 am my time, I was struggling to stay awake and forced to give up the walk I'd planned in favour of a nap. The view from my room was great, but I quickly closed the curtains to darken the room.

  I slept like a baby for a few hours before waking to meet the rest of the crew for dinner. We headed out in the pouring rain to a restaurant where I dined on delicious seafood chowder. As the rest of the crew headed out for more evening fun, Kevin and I declined the invite and returned to the hotel. It wasn't the fun layover that I'd anticipated, but I was too tired to care.  I crawled into bed and called it an early night. 
The next day I awoke feeling much more like a human being. My 10 hour sleep had done wonders for me. I'd showered and began applying my makeup when the phone rang. It was our captain. I knew right away that we were delayed, but was surprised to hear that our plane had yet to depart Alberta. Thanks to the snowstorm, every flight in our lovely province was delayed or cancelled. We were going to have an entire extra day St. John's. This was one of those rare times in which I was happy to be delayed. It was a gorgeous day in a beautiful city, and I suddenly had time to explore!  
I met Kevin for breakfast, where I spoiled myself with delicious fresh berry crepes.

 Some of the crew planned a trip to the mall, and as much as I feel bad turning down invites, I really wanted nothing more than to wander the city. After all, it was the warmest place in the country and I needed to take advantage of it while I could.  Kevin decided to join me, and together we set out for a day of adventure. We started with Starbucks, following our usual tradition. 

 We spent the rest of the morning wandering touristy shops and making a few fun purchases. I picked up a new Christmas ornament for the tree, adding to the dozens of destinations that already adorn it.  

We walked and walked, and at my insistence spent a great deal of time in a large candy store. It would be impossible for me to leave empty handed, so I grabbed a few treats for my candy-loving mom, and some caffeinated chocolate for myself.. yeah... you read correct. Chocolate, with added caffeine. Two of my favourite things combined into one cutely packaged chocolate bar! Perfect for those long night flights when I just can't bring myself to drink airplane coffee.  

We strolled the colourful streets, as I went on and on about how beautiful the city was and how I wanted to have a bright blue or pink house as well.

It was time for an afternoon snack, and since we now had plenty of time before our check in, we opted for some wine to accompany it. With Kevin's recommendation, we ate tempura snap peas and asparagus. Those were perhaps the most delicious vegetables I've ever consumed.

 We browsed a few more stores and wandered the colorful streets until we were hungry enough for dinner. Our dinner destination was a popular restaurant called Get Stuffed.

 Kevin had been to it years ago and raved about how good it was.  I would soon be in agreement. Being in Newfoundland, I felt it necessary to eat fresh cod. The fish was great, and the accompaniments of bacon wrapped green beans and brown sugar carrots were just as yummy. 

We'd took the advice of the restaurant name, and we were definitely stuffed.  As we walked back to our hotel the skies opened up and we were drenched with rain.  We were soaked from head to toe, but at least it wasn't snow! The streets were beautifully lit and it was necessary to stop for more photos.  

Back at the hotel we said goodnight and headed to our rooms where I got ready for bed. 
It had been a long day and I was certain that I was ready to sleep. I was wrong. Thanks to a 3 1/2 hour time difference and my wonderful 10 hour sleep the night before, I was wide awake. It was still early back home, and my wake up alarm was set for the time that I normally go to bed for the night. I may have managed a total of 2 hours sleep the entire night. This time around, our flight was not cancelled, and I was not sure I'd last an entire day with so little energy. It was a seemingly endless day including one particularly difficult 6 hour flight (very long by this airline's standards) but we eventually made it all the way back to Alberta.  It was cold, snowy, and downright miserable outside, but I was happy to be home. My husband picked me up in a warm car, drove me home, and I proceeded to sleep away the rest of the weekend! 


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