"It's all part of the experience"
18.08.2010 - 19.08.2010 70 °F
Oi. Vey. Today has been one long, hectic, exciting, stressful, frustrating, exhilarating day. Running off of three and a half hours of sleep, I woke up to my (3rd) alarm at 4:30 am. I groggily went through my pre-departure checklist: passport? check! phone charger? check! my three 45 lb duffel bags? check, check, check!
5:15 am...I have just successfully carried and loaded my bags into the van. Work-out for the day? check! (haha just kidding! ..kind of)
5:45 am...We get dropped off by Mom at the airport (miss you too, Mom). Dad and I then proceed to walk into the airport, only to find the LONGEST line I've EVER seen to check in our luggage. At 5:45 in the morning! My internal monologue: $h*t. (Keep in mind our flight is scheduled to take off at 6:45 and we still have to go through airport security!!) Needless to say, the tension started building. Now, fun fact: something my dad and I have in common is that when we're stressed, we get quiet. So really, the events of the next hour are best chronicled by our gradual decline in conversation.
5:48 am...Light chit chat about coffee, McGill, my apartment; laughter at the people behind us in line who were asking an airport employee if, in fact, this was the only line (yes, yes it was.)
5:59 am...Quiet punctuated by the occasional, self-reassuring comments such as, "This line isn't moving too bad," or "Oh, we'll be fine. What would we do inside other than wait anyway?"
6:04 am...Fidgety, nervous. Significant increase in the frequency of the types of comments mentioned at 5:59. Now grappling with the fact that our flight technically boards in 11 minutes, we don't yet have our baggage checked in, AND the line has pretty much stopped moving forward. THANKFULLY, an airport employee came around looking for anyone on our flight to bring us to the front of the line to get checked in.
6:08 am...Panic. Confusion. Distress. "Enter confirmation number," "Slide passport left to right, photo-side down," "Verify X," "Is Y amount correct?", "Swipe credit card"...AHHHH!!! Look, I am all for kiosks and self-check-out lines at the grocery store, but at 6 in the morning (did I mention I'm not a morning person) when I'm under a SIGNIFICANT time crunch, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, fumbling between print-outs of confirmation numbers, boarding passes, passports, drivers licenses, and credit cards, with the next person in line breathing down my neck and my luggage tipping over and falling on my feet, is NOT my favorite way to start the day. (I prefer coffee..*see 5:45 am)
6:14 am...SILENCE. Not only were the last 6 minutes BEYOND stressful, but our take-off time is now 30 minutes away. And this line IS NOT moving quickly AT ALL. At first, I was quietly trying to calm myself down, "We have 30 minutes, no way this line will take that long...we're fine..." This was only so effective, however, as the lady in front of us, who happened to be trying to make the same flight, was yelling over the winding lines of disgruntled travelers to her husband that he should probably not leave cause she might not make her flight. Greattt...
6:29 am...I am two people away from getting to put my stuff in the little bins that go on the security belt, and some family of 5, pushing a stroller, is using the "Family Line" to cut through line and is approaching the same airport employee as I am. We reached the security guy at the same time. She paused out of courtesy, anddd I went.
6:35 am..."Come on shoes!" Everything has come out of the security belt (laptop, backpack, purse) and is back in my arms..now I'm just waiting for my sandals so I can RUN (Home Alone-style) through the airport to our gate and make sure they don't leave without us. Don't worry, I at least wasn't the only one doing this..another girl showed up to the gate about 1 minute after me, barefoot, and carrying her shoes! (carrying the shoes!! why didn't i think of that?!)
6:40 am...We are seated on the plane to Philadelphia, which is now pulling away from the gate and preparing for take-off. My dad and I looked at each other across the aisle and pounded fists. We also decided to never do that again.
With the chaos of that early morning disaster left behind us, in Minneapolis, we were looking forward to arriving in Philadelphia, calmly walking to our gate, and sitting patiently for our next flight at 11:15 am. Little did we know that we were about to sit through two and a half hours of flight delays...awesome. The best part about this though is that US Airways sends out automated phonecalls to all of its passengers with updates regarding to delays. So literally, while sitting at our gate for our 2nd flight of the day, my phone would start ringing, then my dad's would, and soon you'd look around and see EVERYONE on their phone receiving the EXACT same message. And by the expressions on peoples' faces, you could tell exactly which part of the message they had just heard...For example, the biggest change in facial expression occurred right around the "We're sorry to inform you that your US Airlines flight #xxxx has been delayed" part..
Long story short, we eventually arrived in Montreal at about 3pm. Upon landing I gave my landlord a call (she just happens to be the NICEST lady ever, I later found out) and apologized for my late arrival and agreed to meet her at my new place to receive a key and such.
And that is exactly where I sit now!! (I'll post pictures of my apartment soon)
Briefly, I'm living in a 5-person apartment. Right now, there are a couple of McGill students still living in 2 of the rooms from the summer terms. But they will be moving out in the next week. At which time, a girl from Mexico that I've been kind of keeping in contact with, and 3 girls from Spain will be moving in!! Strangely, I'm not sure if I'm going to learn more Spanish or French while in Montreal!! haha
Anyway, I'm sure that was long and boring for many of you. But that was just a brief run down of my day. Dad and I are going to go to McGill tomorrow to pick up my student ID and explore campus a bit. Also we're going to try to figure out whether I'm going to be walking to using some form of public transport while I'm here...so that should be interesting...