Saturday, December 11, 2010

Back Home.

I think I'm awake,  although not completely sure.
 The "trick",   and it's not really much of a trick,  is to try and stay awake as long as possible and then sleep through the first night.
 Finally had to pack it in around two a.m. Wienerland time,  which of course is only about eight p.m. in Ontario.  Took great delight in watching all of about 15 minutes of TV in English and passed out.
 The annoying thing then is to wake up at about four a.m. and not be able to go back to sleep.
 This causes a certain amount of "fuzzy brain"  I'm afraid,  and since I'm already contending with a certain amount of fuzziness in the brain department,  it's more like a great hairy quilt.
Our flight was fairly uneventful.  As I think I mentioned,  went with KLM which meant having to connect in Schiphol.  Since the Vienna airport is such a marvel of design, (that,  by the way is a sarcastic comment.   Vienna airport should be torn down)  a great number of flights are boarded using the big-assed bus program.   Has nothing to do with whether the airport is a hub or not,  since Austrian has to use the big-assed bus program as well for many of their flights,  even though it's their main port of call.   This is not so bad in the middle of summer,  but the wind was just picking things when we went to board,  as you may be able to tell from the wind sock that is standing out straight here....

Lookin' a tad bleak out there?

Such a lovely experience to stand on the steps waiting for people to figure out how to sit down.  My guess would be the wind chill had to be around -10°C
Kept my coat on for that first leg of the trip just to try and regain a little lost body heat.

There was a certain amount of concern that we wouldn't have enough time between flights,  or that our luggage wouldn't get to the second plane.  I think we only had about 40 minutes there,  and of course the luggage gets there faster since it doesn't have to make it through the whole terminal.

If you prefer not to click on this little map to get the bigger version,  I'll just point out that we came in at Gate "F" (something)  at the lower left, and had to make our way to Gate "D" (something),  which is way up there at the top.
 Good thing they have an abundance of moving side walks, 'cause it seemed like a good couple kilometres there.  Probably wasn't.
Of course,  there are always those people who don't quite know how to use a moving side walk,  but I don't want to get off on a rant.

Before I get too far along here,  there is just this one little thing that I have to poke fun at.   In this case there was some time to kill before the first leg of the flight,  so we figured we'd go and relax in the First Class lounge.  OK so fine,  we flew First Class.   Whatever.   This is our annual "home leave",  so cut us some slack.    Anyway,  all I really and truly want is a place to sit quietly and be left alone,  which is not always entirely possible if the only other place to sit is at the gate.   Especially when there's not quite enough seating at the gate for the number of people booked on the flight.   Please note and refer back to my previous sarcastic comment about the Vienna airport being such a wonderful design.

So what's with the chairs?   Can you see where they've tried to colour the padding underneath to make it less noticeable?
Just go to IKEA if the budget is limited.  I'm sure they cold approach IKEA headquarters and work out a dealski.

Travelling Companion was trying to convince me that that was the actual colour underneath.   Then how would that explain the unretouched  white bits?

OK,  I'll move on now.

The only other slight snag was coming through Toronto, where the motto is,  "we're not happy,  until you're not happy".   It might take you a second or two to get your head around that one,  but we've been known to come in to Buffalo when we lived in Puerto Rico,  just to avoid Toronto.
 First of all,  with any international flight you have to remember to have your passport handy at the gate,  even though you're miles from Customs,  they check everyone coming off the plane.  Apparently if you land on Canada's shores in the hold of some smuggler's ship you're OK,  but if you come in by air,  they need to check to see if you're still the same person who got on the plane.  Nobody has been able to explain this to me.   At least not to my satisfaction.
Then of course there's the hike through the terminal,  which isn't too bad a thing after you have been completely sedentary for over eight hours.    Gets the blood flowing.  There's not too much point in trying to hurry though,  since you're by no means done.   There's then the wait for the luggage.  Now,  I know a 747 is a big plane,  but that's not the reason that it takes the luggage so long.  There really isn't any reason that the luggage takes so long.
It's Toronto.
Remember the motto.
Fine,  our one and only bag finally came out.   But wait!  There's more!   THEN you have to line up for Customs. 
On this occasion,   I'm not really sure how many flights had come in,  and I've gone through this particular customs point several times before,  so please trust me when I say I have never ever seen this long a line of people waiting to clear customs.
 I was starting to wish for a little Tylenol® by that point.

I think we finally got to our rental car by around six.   Our flight pulled up to the gate at 3:45.
Such fun.

It was all worth it.

I'm as giddy as a school boy.  
 Well,  I'll be a little more giddy after a short nap.

 Hope everyone has a fine weekend.


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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.