A Three Hour Tour…

Well we’re back from our visit to Saskatchewan.  It was wonderful to be home with our families, and to let Grandma and Grampa, and Oma and Opa, and all of the aunties and uncles, dote on and spoil Liam.  We had an early birthday party for the little man while we were home and needless to say the only grandchild/nephew in either of our families made out like a bandit.  The vacation as a whole was lovely and relaxing and lots of fun.  And the trip back to Hamilton was a gong show.

If one were to catch a direct flight from Saskatoon to Hamilton (an impossibility with Westjet, by the by), that flight would probably take about 3.5 hours.  With airport waits and such the whole trip would probably take less than 5 hours door to door.  But there aren’t any direct flights from Saskatoon to Hamilton.  Instead you have to fly to Calgary (an hour’s flight in exactly the wrong direction) and catch a connector.  So our initial itinerary for the trip home included the one hour flight to Calgary (that left at 6:10am, which meant we were at the airport at 5:10), a two hour layover, and then the 4 hour flight to Hamilton.  The first bit went fine.  The layover was going fine as well.  We were keeping Liam happy and busy with various toys, stroller rides, and some strategic use of the portable DVD player Jin’s parents gave us (thank you!).  Then, with about 30 mins to go, we heard an announcement over the PA system.  Our plane had been (no I’m not kidding) struck by lightning.  Needless to say our flight was cancelled.  So we trundled off to get our lugguage and then went to the Westjet counter to see what they were going to do with us.  After standing in line for over an hour (where I chatted with some nice folks from Abbotsford) we were informed that Westjet could get us on a flight to Pearson Airport in Toronto with the promise of some kind of transport to Hamilton once we got there.  They very kindly gave us some food vouchers good in any of the airport’s restaurants, and we went off to wait some more.

We finally boarded our flight to Toronto at 12:30 or so (we’d been in the Calgary airport since shortly after 7am), and took off just before 1pm.  Liam was great the whole time.  He played well in the airport, and ate and played well in the restaurant, and when the plane finally took off he fell asleep on Jin’s lap straight away.  He slept for almost the whole flight, only waking up in time for the descent into Toronto.

We picked up our lugguage (which took forever…I hate big airports) and climbed aboard the shuttle bus Westjet had wrangled for us for the hour drive from Toronto to Hamilton.  Traffic was mercifully light and we pulled in to the Hamilton airport at around 6 Central time (8 EST, which we were now on).  Our friend Connan was kind enough to come pick us up, so we loaded up his minivan in the pouring rain (Hamilton rain, not Saskatoon rain…which to say real rain, not wussy rain) and set off for home.  On the way home we got a flat tire.  No, I’m not joking.  Mercifully the rain had stopped, and Connan and I didn’t get any wetter as we changed the tire.  We finally arrived at home at around 7:30pm Central (9:30 EST), having been travelling since 5:10am Central time.

And the funny thing?  Though we were horribly tired and rather hungry by the time we got home, it hadn’t really been all that bad a trip.  Liam was a trooper, Jin and I were mostly laughing about it by the end (the tire was particularly funny), and everyone got home safe (with the exception of Connan’s tire).  Still, I think I would have preferred the direct flight from Saskatoon to Hamilton.