Saturday, June 4, 2016

Go West!

I understand that when you travel all the time for work, the novelty quickly wears off.  However, if one's usual "traveling" for work is to the next building for a meeting, a trip to Vancouver is REALLY exciting! Coming this far, we had to make a vacation out of it.

Mindy will be occupying herself over the next couple of days while I actually work, but I feel like my vacation has already started. I had a rather entertaining flight attendant who interspersed the usual pre-flight instruction with jokes at his ex-wife's expense, claiming: "Don't judge me for these comments about my ex-wife.  You don't know her.  If you do...then you know what I'm saying is true." He then reminded everyone about the Westjet vacations travel company, which does all inclusive trips and holidays all over the world.  He looked out at the plane full of people, smiled and said:

"Who here remembers those Westjet commercials from Christmastime?  You know the ones where we give everything away?  Today is a special day; it's one of those days.  Fifteen people on this plane are going to win all-inclusive vacations for a week to any Westjet destination in the world. Take a look at the floor at your feet.  Fifteen passengers have a red dot on the floor. Bend over and take a look. While you're there, push in the baggage under the seat in front of you and check to see the life-vest under your seat. By the way, nothing is free in this world.  Even I have to pay for my own vacations."

By the end of his spiel, the flight attendants in the aisles were laughing, confirming for even the most hopeful passengers that this was all a joke.

Flying over Alberta, I glanced down at the mountains I'll be tackling in the Canadian Death Race on schedule for the end of July...

I can't say I gained confidence looking at this.

Once on the ground, we headed toward our accommodations for the evening in the UBC residences. My phone's "Google app" tells me there is a nude protest taking place tomorrow just down the street from these residences. (For clarity, I learned this AFTER I booked the night at the residence.) Apparently the protesters are campaigning against the closure of the bus stop that services Wreck Beach.

The residences were surprisingly well-appointed; we learned later that students pay around $1100 per month during the school year for these mini-apartments. I guess in expensive Vancouver, even students have to pay real rent! The view from the window would be worth a lot for many a student, I think:

It always makes sense to lock your luggage when flying, right?  You know what doesn't make sense?  Locking your lugagge, but not bringing the key.  Damn! I brought the key to my shed instead! That cheap lock was remarkably resistant to picking, so I was debating how best to break the zipper. Mindy - smart woman - suggested that we see if the front desk had bolt cutters before I mangle my luggage. They didn't have them handy, but suggested I leave my luggage with them and the lock would be cut.

When the school year is over, UBC shuts down early.  We had limited options for dinner, so we tried Mahoney & Sons pub while the front desk was chasing down bolt cutters.  The pub did the job, and we returned to the room to crash into bed. My luggage was returned to the room shortly after 10pm, and it was all I could do to stay awake until then.

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