It is with many emotions running through me that I write this post, although anticipation is definitely in the pole position. We had a hit this morning, followed by lunch and due to an odd choice of scheduling, about an hour wait for the shuttle bus to return. I'll post up some pics of the club a bit later, I wanted to briefly talk about my trip down here which, while fairly uneventful, was longer and more arduous than I'm used to.
It began monday evening, as there was no way to get from Saskatoon to Cali in one day, I would have to overnight somewhere, and I thought, of my options, Toronto was probably the best bet. So instead of the late night frantic packing adventure I'm used to, I was able to have somewhat of a leisurely afternoon (after a hit in the morning) of laundry and packing before heading to the Saskatoon airport at 615pm. A smooth checkin followed by a somewhat lengthly goodbye with Kailtyn and I was onto the plane and destined for Toronto!
You'll recall I mentioned that an overnight was required during my journey and an arrival in Toronto at almost 1am should probably make it obvious where this would occur. So after leisurely making my way to baggage claim and collecting my luggage, I asked the baggage person where a nice spot to chill for a few hours would be. He informed me there was a "lounge" on the departure level (2 floors up) and near aisle "Q". As I made my way there I was curious as to what the cost of the lounge access would be. I had mistakenly assumed this was a Maple Leaf lounge. My arrival at aisle P brought the "lounge" into view and promptly shattered any delusions of luxury I had previously been entertaining. While the area was somewhat closed off from foot traffic (a door was required to travel in and out), that's where the similarities with any other lounge ended. Other than an entrance, high windows barely passing for walls, and the absence of an aircraft gate, the space was no different than any other waiting area in the airport. The one difference (and of particular importance to me) was the absence of arm rests on the chair benches. This meant that one could lay down on them instead of being forced to sit. It was a silver lining at best, but it was all I needed. I promptly curled up with my bags surrounding me, Kaitlyns travel pillow and my hoodie for a blanket and fell asleep.
Now as you might imagine, sleeping on a bed of several chairs, even lightly cushioned chairs, is not an ideal destination for comfortable slumbering. This made for an extremely light sleep, and in an airport (even one as barren of people as this one was in the wee hours of the morning) the semi-constant noises became a bane to the comforts of dreaming. Even so, I was able to piece a few hours together and while my wakened state at 730am when my alarm went off was far from rested, I didn't feel the unbearable urge to gouge my eyes out (as one can feel after an extended period of insomnia). I was a bit worried when I saw the extremely long line at the checkin kiosk, but was relieved when I realized that they were all waiting for boarding passes, which I had received in Saskatoon, so I promptly and happily waded through the retractable barriers of the empty bag check section and was quickly greeted by a checkin agent. I was worried again when the agent greeted me in spanish (as mine is extremely limited) but when I groggily asked him if he spoke english I was again relieved when his answer was "Of course sir! How can I help you?". The checkin went very smoothly, and while getting through security took a bit longer, I was through with plenty of time to grab some breakfast before boarding began. Fortunately, there was a Tim Horton's right beside my gate! Unfortunately for me, there was another extremely long line of people waiting, but with lots of time to kill, I thought I'd take the opportunity. Only after waiting 25mins to get to the front of the line was I told that they were out of eggs for breakfast sandwiches. As this would have been the last Timmy's I had before leaving the country, and it was 845am (how could they have run out of eggs already???) I was more than a little peeved. Fortunately for the foreign woman working the Timmy's counter, I was also extremely tired so I grumpily ordered a coffee, telling her that would be all. She apologetically offered other sandwiches but it was too late, my hopes had been dashed, my heart broken. Before I left completely dejected though, she mentioned the place next door did make breakfast sandwiches so I could try there. I took this opportunity although I was still left disappointed (check my twitter for that - @TLanderyou). In the end I did get a breakfast sandwich and a coffee so it wasn't a complete loss.
The flight to Panama City from Toronto was just under 5 hours, and after the small caffeine buzz provided by my morning beverage, I was able to stay up for the first couple of hours and take in a movie. Paranorman is an animated movie about a child in a small town that can see and talk to dead people. After some events are put in motion that cause zombies to begin terrorizing the town, Norman must use his "gift" to speak with the intruders and solve the mystery of why they are here and more importantly, how to get them back in the ground where they belong. I didn't enjoy the movie, it was extremely odd both in the story it told and the way it told it. But it was somewhat original in many of these aspects so I do have respect for the filmmakers ingenuity and originality. That was as far as my morning coffee would take me though, as I promptly fell asleep and remained that way until touchdown in Panama.
I'll keep the story going later tonight when I post the rest of my journey that includes my flight into Cali and my unusually long journey to the hotel once arriving. I'll also update this post with pictures from that leg of my journey. Stay tuned!