Sunday, June 26, 2005

Enroute: Vancouver to Toronto

departing Vancouver airport
departing Vancouver airport
departing Vancouver airport
37,000 ft

Ahhh, executive class.... space... lots of space... hot towels... linens, glass, and real cutlery... not a piece of plastic in sight other than the knives*. I never want to go back to coach class! I'm too cheap to pay for an upgrade, but I've been upgraded for free in the past, from Chicago and Glasgow. David gets upgraded all the time, so maybe his luck will rub off on me!

Mmmm-m-m-m ahhhhh, good food: appetisers of smoked salmon, prawns, and vegetables, followed by a baked salmon dinner, followed by warm cookies and ice cream -- which I had to turn away because I was just too full! It's a good thing I don't get airsick! After a glass of white wine, I was SO DONE. Sated, and ready for a snooze, actually. But I thought I'd catch up on some writing and half-watch, half-listen to "Hitch", the Will Smith vehicle about the wonderful world of dating. The dialogue gets cheesier than Cheez Whiz (by the minute!) and no less contrived, but the characters are easier on the eyes and kinder to the palate.

Food aside, I'd say the best thing about business class is the space. The PowerBook isn't squeezed to death like it was during the US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Seattle last month, when the guy in front of me reclined hard, catching the LCD panel with the corner of the seat where the tray is stored. I pushed it forward before the bezel got twisted, then he pushed back even harder because he thought I was being a jerk. (That's about the only time I ever thought I should've bought a 12" PowerBook instead. A fleeting moment.)

Not today. I'm sitting by the window behind the bulkhead (row 1), so I can come and go without disturbing my seatmate, with room to spare. It was definitely worth it to use the extra Aeroplan miles to upgrade to business. After all, if Aeroplan is going to gouge me 37,500 points to fly in July instead of the usual 25,000 for the low season, what's another 2,500 in the grand scheme of things?

I guess you could call this a birthday present to myself. I wanted to see David again, but I can't cross the border without the fiancee visa in my hand (I am, however, one step CLOSER to getting it as of last Wednesday!!! Yippee!!!). I was initially thinking of flying to Montreal, but then we thought David could fly up in the Tri-Pacer and we could take a spin around Niagara Falls. Thing is, we'd still have to rent a car so David could get to and from the general aviation airport, and around the region. I'll be in Toronto for a couple of weeks, but he's only here for the holiday weekend. I mean, whose cockamamie idea was it to call one day off a "long weekend"?!? Additionally, I wanted to send stuff back with David in the car -- part of my bid to transfer all my stuff to Pennsylvania. Poor guy schlepped two heavy suitcases filled with my bric-a-brac from Vancouver to New York four weeks ago, but there's a lot more left to go. Call me a sentimental fool, I don't care, but I just can't seem to part with anything given to me! Birthdays, Christmas, bribes -- I want to keep it all!

You know, the only way this flight could be better is if I had wi-fi. Can't somebody get on this? What are they doing cloning sheep and genetically modifying food when they should be finding a way for people to connect to the internet in-flight? Sheesh...

Anyways, like I said, this flight is an opportunity for me to catch up a little bit. As you can tell by my mildewing site, I've been away from Blogger for an extended period of time. Hey, it's summer! I've been out nearly every day, and at the moment my arms, hands, and face are a completely different shade of brown from the rest of my body because I've been neglecting the sunscreen lately, too. But I'm taking in as much as I can because my time in Vancouver is limited.

I go on photowalks with the Vandigicam group at least once or twice a week, and join whoever else is game to head outdoors with a camera, other times I go on my own. I carry my Canon A80 everywhere and I've taken to carrying three sets of batteries and three flashcards (512MB, 256MBs x 2) so I never run short of memory or power. Flickr has a 2GB upload limit for Pro users, and I've reached a record 31% for June already. Do the math -- that's a lot of shooting! My camera's counter reset itself because I passed the 10,000 image mark last week. I bought the camera in April of last year, just before I went to Europe. It was already in the repair shop once, a few months ago. Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'...

When I return from Toronto, the plan is to find a wedding dress. I've put this off for far too long, mostly because this isn't my favourite kind of shopping. Send me to the Apple store or IKEA, but not anywhere that has clothing! Ugh! Unfortunately, it has to be done. Not looking forward it, but I'm taking Eliza the fashion guru along as my consultant. Heaven knows I need a second opinion! Speaking of Eliza, the fashionista is also enroute and eating well. While I dine on smoked salmon with lemon, she's probably having caviar or lobster on her cruise to Alaska. We both left Vancouver today, but she'll return before I do. Here's to living large! *clink*

* Can someone explain to me how a metal fork can be any less dangerous than a metal butter knife???