Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Home at Last

Ah, Manila to Vancouver is a long haul. We were up at 5 am to get to the airport where after check in we spent three hours waiting for our flight. It always seems silly to check in so early, but then we look at the line up behind us and are thankful. I'm a very impatient liner-upper so Geordie has to suffer my complaints as we stand waiting and waiting. Our flight to Narita Airport in Tokyo took another four hours, but it arrived early so we had even more than our alloted four hours of waiting time there. When we arrived we had to transfer to the terminal which took another interminable line to snake slowly through a new security check.

Finally we got to take off at 6 pm Tokyo time (7 Manila time) and a matter of 8 1/2 hours flying to Vancouver. It was a long night of little sleep, since there was turbulence and the staff couldn't clear the traytables which meant that they had to keep the lights on an extra hour. I amused myself by watching Where the Wild Things Are, while Geordie played Solitaire or read his book - which he finished and left on the plane. We breezed through customs and immigration - it's so nice when there are so few people there - we were first in our line-up - which is a first in itself. Outside we headed to the new Canada Line terminal and got a cheap ride into the West End - well, Yaletown anyway, and then a bus down the street from which we hopped off to have a late and much tastier breakfast at The Dish (instead of the pretty awful food of Japan Airlines). John whom we saw in Manila just over a week ago was working, so we had a lovely reunion with him and the rest of the great staff there - and I got a wonderful warming bowl of oatmeal - it was after all only 5 degrees and we were wearing only t-shirts and a long sleeve shirt on top of that - no, we don't travel with jackets, although I did suggest to Geordie that it was a perfect time to buy a nice warm fleecy hoodie at the Olympic shop right there in the arrivals hall. He didn't go for it.

After our breakfast we walked, yes, walked, down Davie Street and home, shouldering our backpacks - which were lighter on the return journey than on the first leg - 6.5 kilos for G and 7 for me.

At home it was a little like Christmas, because we found gifts from our house guests to open and then a stack of Christmas cards and letters to read. And the tree outside which is always lit for Christmas is still beautifully bright with coloured lights. Looks like they've decided to extend the lighting through the Olympics. Speaking of which, we also found out today that the official Olympic Torch Relay will pass directly in front of our building - we won't even have to go outside to watch - well, we will go outside, but still...

And then we went to the library - we had books we'd reserved ready for pickup, I had a package at the post-office (origami stuff), and Geordie did a little shopping while I walked up the hill to Melriches to have a nice knitting session - my first since we left on November 6. Although come to think of it, it was more of an un-knitting session since I discovered an error six rows back after I'd knit two rows and I couldn't just leave it alone so had fun ripping back the stitches and picking them all up again. Really, I do like knitting!

We have a busy weekend planned. We should be zombies by the end of it. We are going out for a special Steak dinner at our favourite place, the Hamilton Street Grill (Steak frites for $20.10), then on Friday we will have lunch with friends James and Terry, then dinner with Marje who is arriving from Calgary along with our friends Steve and Karen. On Saturday we're having lunch with Kimm from Calgary too, and Saturday night is the house warming party for Holli, Geordie's daughter, as well as a celebration of our son-in-law's big 4-0!

I'm feeling exhausted already but then again maybe it's the fact that by the time we get to bed we will have been on the go for about 35 hours total. We'll be popping the melatonin, I assure you.