Cedar Point

Take me on a Sea Cruise

Lost in Time in Fiji

The Royal Treatment

Enjoy Stress Free Travel

Climbing the Volcano

Hong Kong: Lived it, Loved it

Island in the Stream

Getting There

Christmas in Jakarta

Travels with Barney

Getting There

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board plane
Jonathan, Elaine and Rosalie prepare to board

by Elaine Weeks photos Chris Edwards

When you’ve been lucky enough to travel as much as we have over the years (especially before children), it’s really tough when you can’t do it. Since starting this publication over 2 1/2 years ago, we really haven’t had time to plan or take a proper trip (i.e., over two days). We decided this past January that we were dammed if were going to let another year slip by.

Chris and I decided we were overdue for a return trip to British Columbia, where we had spent six eventful years back in the 90s. We cashed in all those precious air mile points collected over the last few years and booked 17 days in July when we figured we’d be the least busy.

Along with our two kids 11-year-old Jonathan and 7-year-old Rosalie, we looked forward to hooking up with friends acquired during our years in Vernon. We also hoped to see family members who had moved to B. C. in our wake.

In April, we discovered that we would miss most of the Detroit 300 events, including the appearance of the Tall Ships, as well as the big bash celebrating the centennial of Camilla Wigle Stodgell, ‘Walkerville’s first lady’.

That figures.

The six months between booking the trip and actually leaving for it passed incredibly fast. Chris somehow took care of most of the travel arrangements in between teaching two night courses at the University, producing several videos, a plethora of websites and of course, publishing four Walkerville Times.

Before we knew it, we were battening down the hatches at home and driving up Walker Road to the airport. We arrived bright and early (we love flying out of Windsor – the airport is so small, you can drive right up to the check-in door) and picked up our “e-tickets.” Things seemed to be falling smoothly into place.

Until, that is, it was time to pass through Security.

Will Passenger Edwards please return to the check-in counter?

Somehow in the 1/2 hour since checking in, our boarding passes mysteriously disappeared. After much fumbling through carry-on bags – had we really once traveled around the world for a year? I wonder (see Christmas in Jakarta, Issue 12) – we hear Chris’ name being called to return to the check-in counter. Yes, the passes are right on the counter where he’d left them.

“If they’d still put them in envelopes, I would have them,” Chris explains somewhat sheepishly.

Yes, we really need a vacation.

We board the little Dash 8 for the 50-minute hop to Toronto without further incident. Our seats are by the wing (as is usually the case whenever we fly). But this doesn’t bother Rosalie in the least.

“Wow, look at that!” she cries as she peers out the plane window at patchwork fields far below. “Now that’s what I call the Earth!”

As we slowly ascend into thick clouds, she asks, “Are we going to see heaven?”

“I don’t think so,” I answer thinking, I hope not.

A little while later, she observes, “the propeller is chopping up the clouds.”

I look past her and have to admit that that does seem to be the case.

“Aaaah,” she sighs as she settles comfortably in her seat. “I haven’t been in the clouds in a long time!”

Almost Losing It

The little “puddle jumper” gets us to Toronto in good time for our connection onto a proper jet to Vancouver. We settle into our seats – Chris and I behind the kids, who are excitedly chattering away. I crack open a good book.

Being There
the serenity of Deep Cove in “super natural”
British Columbia helped make our trip great.

Before we know it we’ll be over the Rockies.

Fifteen minutes pass and the jet’s ‘umbilical cord’ is still attached to the boarding gate. Finally, the the captain informs us that we are waiting for the food – the airline switched caterers on Saturday and there have been a lot of delays as a result. He assures us that the food should arrive in 45 minutes – an hour from our scheduled take off.

I remark to Chris, “we should have flown Friday.”

While we wait for the “sure to be delicious” airline food to arrive, the kids entertain themselves playing rock, paper scissors. I read and write in my journal in between watching a tiny boy standing in the aisle next to me. He is bugging his older brother who is doing word searches. Finally, he grabs the word search book and pencil away from his brother. His mother, also doing a word search, does not notice.

The boy refuses to give the things back to his brother. He drops the book in the aisle. His father says,

“Matthew, pick up the book.”

Matthew ignores him. His brother cannot reach it. I pick up the book, give it to Matthew and tell him to give it to brother. He does.

A little while later, Matthew begins to lose it. He is having a crying fit. He will not calm down. He is getting hysterical. We still have not left the ground. Matthew is being passed over the seats from his dad to his mom and then back to his dad again. They cannot calm him down. Everyone studiously ignores them.

Except me. I cannot stand to see him cry and his parents seemingly helpless to get him to stop.

Maybe he is hungry. I dig into my bag – all I have is fruit leather. I pass it to his brother to give to him. Matthew stops crying for two seconds to look at it – then starts bawling again.

We still have not taken off. I’m becoming convinced that Matthew is making so much noise, the pilot will not be able to take off.

Finally, finally, we start moving. As we roll down the runway, Matthew is really crying now. He is louder than the engines. When we finally lift off, Matthew is screaming and then, mercifully, two or three minutes later, he stops. Matthew is asleep. Thank God.

Snake Snit

The rest of the trip was great. Really. Except for when Jonathan put a garter snake on my bare shoulder while I was writing post cards, but I’ve run out of room so you’ll just have to trust me.


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