Thursday, May 31, 2018

ALASKA TRIP - MAY 2018 - TRAVELING TO VANCOUVER - THE START OF OUR VACATION - FRIDAY, MAY 4TH, 2018

First day - Friday, May 4th, 2018 
Alaska Journal



3.29 p.m. and we are on the last leg of our journey and are 20 minutes from landing at Vancouver Airport.  




There is snow down there but it looks in the process of melting. 



There also appear to be many small lakes.










Mountains!  Canadian Rockies?





We have had quite a journey.  This morning we awakened at 3.00 a.m.  A taxi picked us up at 4.00 a.m.  Our flight took off shortly after six.  




I took photos of us backing out of the gate.  We booked with Canadian Air and flew from Washington-Dulles Airport to Toronto, and from Toronto to Edmonton, and then from Edmonton to Vancouver.  It wasn't so bad changing flights.  I liked the fact that we didn't have such a long flight between airports.  Being in those tight seating spaces is always a bit of a challenge for us, and taking the break with an hour or two hour wait was enjoyable, and fun looking around each airport.  By that time we had no luggage and kept our bags to a minimum. It was easy to move from place to place without dragging anything with us.



We were surrounded with people who had bad colds.  One man who came and sat next to me in the gate area at Edmonton, gave me cause for concern.  He was very poorly and I felt sorry for him.  He sneezed and coughed heavily and he never covered his mouth.  I was ready for a walk around anyway, so I got up and took ten minutes to look around the stores.  Time to board and who do you think sat across the aisle from us?  The coughing and sneezing man.  A whole plane, a sky bus, and he sat next to us.  Amazing!  Is someone up there trying to tell me something, teach me more empathy, more tolerance?  He coughed and sneezed and groaned after every cough.  I did feel sorry for him but I also worried for all of us close by, but then again there were others too, maybe not as visibly sick but sniffles abounded.  Hopefully the coughing man finished his flight in Vancouver and his wife tucked him up in bed with a hot toddy.  He had been on the phone to someone a couple of times while waiting to board, and not a quiet conversation.  I think his ears must have been affected also.  As I said, lots of people seemed to have colds around us.  Keeping fingers crossed.



A nice thing happened at Edmonton Airport.  While waiting for our plane we met Guillermo from San Paulo, Brazil.  We noticed him before and watched him moving around.  He had those kind of striking good looks and I love to people watch at airports.  It really does pass the time away.  We still had two hours to go before our connecting flight.  Gregg said he walked like a dancer.  Sure enough, when he asked us a question about the flight, we started chatting to him, and he told us he had three auditions with three ballet companies tomorrow.  He happily showed us on his iPhone photos of him in costume, in ballet poses, alone and with his female counterpart.  He looked wonderful and the costumes told us he must have worked for a professional ballet company in San Paulo.  When we introduced ourselves and I told him my name was Denise, he smiled and told me that was the name of his first dance teacher.  I don't hear that very often, don't seem to be many Denise's out there so this was quite a coincidence.  It was another one of those pleasant conversations with people you meet when traveling, one of the many things I enjoy.  We had a good conversation by using Goodle Translate.  Guillermo said he had given himself a year to get work with a ballet company before going home, his mother hoped for less he said with a smile.  He hoped his English would be better by then.  We told him quite truthfully that he was doing great and that his pronunciation was excellent.


I couldn't help but notice that he was approached by a worried looking gentleman from India, who was visiting relatives in Edmonton.  Our young Brazilian friend asked us if we could help.  Unfortunately, after several tries, we were unsuccessful in dialing the number this gentleman had given us, and this time we couldn't communicate very well.  Gregg asked one of the ladies at the gate.  She seemed very helpful and pleasant in our earlier conversations.  As busy as she was, she couldn't have been more friendly, and assisted this gentleman by getting on her walkie-talkie.  We heard her put out a call for someone who spoke Punjabi, where he was from.  We felt that he was in good hands as we all left and boarded our flight to Vancouver.  Looking back I hope it all worked out well, both for our young Brazilian friend and also for the gentleman from India.



Canadian customs was excellent, thorough and yet pleasant. When we left the airport we got a taxi driver who was originally from Iran.  Gregg always enjoys talking to people from other countries, especially from those countries he has been to in his navy days, and I enjoyed listening to their experiences.  In 42 years I have heard many of Gregg's stories of his travels, but they never fail to interest me, and sometimes something new trickles in that I have never heard before. 




The taxi driver dropped us off at our car rental in the city.   As I waited in the hallway with all our luggage, sitting on a bench, door open and with me listening to the business of renting a car, right opposite psychic reading was offered. I took a couple of photos. of course.  All things interest me visually.


No, I didn't knock on the door.  I was cajoled into going to a psychic in my home town - psychic to the stars - when I was barely 20, and that was enough for one lifetime.



A nice young man who worked for the car rental offered to help us with our luggage.  We had to walk up a steep hill to get to the car.  He wouldn't accept a tip and said he was happy to do it.  A kind and friendly young man.  Our luggage was not lightweight and he did all of the heavy lifting. 




We wondered if tipping was not the thing to do in Canada, so maybe anyone out there who is Canadian or in the know about these things, can tell us.  We certainly don't want to offend anyone.



We reached our hotel in North Vancouver, and checked into our room.  We immediately sank down onto our bed, saying how good does that feel?  We fully intended to go downstairs for dinner, but soon dropped off for what we thought was going to be a short nap.  We woke up (4.00 a.m. our time) at 1.00 a.m. Vancouver time and chatted a little.  Gregg dropped off to sleep again but  I was wide awake.  I decided to finish the first day of my, hopefully, daily journal.  Now that I am getting tired again I will try and get a few hours' rest before the day starts.






(I am not sure where the art in the four airport concourse photos were taken, except for that the last one in the set of four was in Vancouver.)



28 comments:

  1. Cool shots! I've tipped in terms of handling baggage, but that was the one time when I needed a redcap to help with my luggage off the train- I'd been injured and was walking with a cane.

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  2. Loving your journal and super impressed at the kindness you received and gave. Some days I need the reminder that there are more good people than bad.

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    1. Thanks EC, so glad you enjoyed this first post. I feel the same way, after reading what's going on in the world, it's good to know there are some wonderful people out there. It happens more often than not.

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  3. Lots of totem pole like art. And your hotel looks very nice. Off to a great start...except for the sick man. Since you have not caught anything yet, you probably won't.

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    1. I liked all the totem poles I saw, all beautifully painted. I did come down with a bad cold but It did not stop me from having a great time, and still have a bit of a residual cough now that I am home.

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  4. That happens to me every time we go to Japan. We get up at around 2 AM. This time, I took a half ambien pill which helped me go back to sleep. And no, that didn’t make me go on a Twitter rant or anything like someone else we all know now. I can just imagine what fun you’re having.

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    1. I will have to remember the ambien when I go away on holiday. Thanks Kay!

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    2. I've made it one of my life's missions to warn people about Ambien. Don't take it. It is highly addictive and life altering. Sounds like you had a great trip to Alaska. Looking forward to seeing what you saw.

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    3. Thank you for the warning Ellen. Really appreciate that.

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  5. Happy June Denise! Your trip sounds very exciting, except for the sick man. I love the Totem poles. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Happy June to you too Eileen. Thank you, I am happy you enjoyed my travel journal.

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  6. I love people watching and yours was really exotic, better than I have had . pink jets? or was that the sun on it. sounds like a super trip except the sick man, hope you did not bring home germs...

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    1. People watching is always interesting isn't it? That was the sunrise on the jets that made it look pink, I think.

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  7. Hi Denise,
    You have certainly had an eventful and interesting start to your trip, having to get up at 03.00 hrs I would not class as one of them.
    Looking forward to your adventures.
    We have a television series over here called Ice Road Truckers that is filmed in Alaska, is Gregg thinking of signing you up as a driver!!.
    All the best, John

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    1. We did, and there is more to come. I laughed out loud when you asked if Gregg was signing me up as a driver on Ice Road Truckers. I think the Ice Roads of Alaska are safe from me ;) All the best John and thanks for the chuckle.

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  8. I am so excited for you -- we loved our Alaska vacation -- and I can't wait to see it through your eyes (and contrast staying in hotels with our camping vacation (in the Roadtrek and we got there by Ferry). Anyway I know you will have a perfect time. I love the way you two visit with people and enjoy them -- we try to do that too but I never write about it -=- and couldn't do it as well as you do!!! Keep on having fun -- I maya not be able to read your posts as you write since we are about ready to take off too and I never know how much time and energy I will have for the computer. But I will catch up eventually and I'm looking forward to that!!

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    1. Hi Sallie, thank you. It was an amazing vacation and would love to see more of yours. Is it on your blog somewhere? Maybe you can point me in the right direction sometime. I got into the habit of writing about our vacations when we were road tripping several years ago. I always enjoyed writing about this and that. Now when we look back it jogs our memory and Gregg and I go back in time for a while. So many nice people out there it is a real pleasure to meet them.

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  9. Those photos of the clouds and lakes are stunning. Great camera work.

    So glad you enjoyed your holiday.

    God bless.

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    1. Thank you Victor, there always seems to be something different out of a plane window, just like everywhere else I suppose. Blessings on you too :)

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  10. You do have the most interesting conversations with people you meet along the way. I pray no illness will befall you from all those coughing and sneezing fellow travelers! Have a wonderful visit, and I am looking forward to your photos and narration!

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    1. Thank you Sara but I did come down with a bad cold, sore throat and cough. I tried to stay positive but you know, I'm positive I got a bad cold, lol! Didn't spoil the fun though.

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  11. It’s interesting reading about all the people you encountered in the airport, Denise, and people watchung is indeed a wonderful and free activity.

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    1. Thanks Dorothy, happy you enjoyed it.

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  12. Tipping is allowed/appreciated in Canada!

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