Wednesday, December 24, 2008

That lovely round of snow we had over a week ago quickly turned into the biggest pain in the ass the city ever saw. Temperatures dipped to crazy low levels, the snow just kept falling and then wouldn't go away as the flight date got closer and closer. We watched the news each morning to see how aiports were handling the snow and it really did not look good at all.

But then, clear skies. For one day. Our departure date.

We missed a turn off on the way to the airport, largely due to the sun bouncing off the snow and blinding us from the signs, we wandered about Richmond's snow packed roads for a bit and made it within the recommended two hours prior to flight.

The terminal was packed with people bumped from flights due to the blizzards back east. Staff were scrambling, the system in place was all wonky and still we made it through check in, baggage drop and security in time for boarding. There were delays at the gate due to a missing flight attendant, but soon one was found and we were off.

We worried that the delay would lead to missing our connection in Calgary but as it turned out, the pilots for the Calgary to Heathrow run were on our plane so we would be alright. We still had a mother of a run to the next building, during which the combination of stress and cold, bone dry air and hauling ass prompted a mild asthma attack, something I don't get very often and didn't have meds for. Ah joy.

So anyway, on the plane, coughing and wheezing, there's an announcement from the pilot that a door indication light was on and had to be dealt with or we couldn't leave. We waited about a half hour until the all clear came through. Then it was de-icing. Then the slow taxi through frozen and freshly plowed runways. And off again.

I managed to sleep through most of the flight (melatonin helped) and despite all those delays we landed only a half hour after our original arrival time.

Breezed through customs, made it to the baggage claim... and no bags.

They never made it out of Calgary. They'd turn up in a day or so depending on the weather.

I had learned from past baggage incidents however and packed a change of clothes. Ha!

We did eventually make it to the apartment, no thanks to the driver assigned by the rental company who dropped us in the middle of a street market and pointed us to a building down the way that wasn't even the proper address. After some meandering without a map we found the place a couple of blocks over and got settled into a very hostel-ish apartment (there's a bunk bed in our room!) with a kitchen sink that immediately up an decided to vomit rank smelling water all over the floor. Alarming sure, but apparently not to the maintenance guy on the phone who said he'd come fix it in the morning.

Oh, and the fire alarm went off at 3am causing an evacuation of the building (management didn't think that was an emergency enough to show up for either, though the fire brigade did appear about a half hour later). One guest, after waiting about 15 minutes ran back in to 'save' a dish of sugar cookies she'd made earlier and passed them around. Delicious.

Back inside the apartment I decided to take a shower to warm up only to find the hot water being iffy on the prospect. It did get warm eventually but only when the cold water was turned all the way off.

I may be getting a bad feeling about this rental...

But we're still in London. Vicky made it from Montreal this morning (despite an actual fire in Laura's apartment building!). The maintenance guy showed up to fix the sink sometime in the afternoon (after a couple more nagging calls). We found a Sainsbury's and got the kitchen stocked for Christmas dinner and the rest of the crew are showing up tomorrow. Tennant is out of Hamlet but Jacobi is doing Twelfth Night *g* and Bill Bailey has a stand up show in town.

Also, I'm told that the Forbidden Planet Signing is on the 30th (Tuesday) but their site doesn't list it, not sure if that means anything. I'll post more info as it comes in.

Time for sleep. Sugarplums and all that.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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