Vancouver: Flying Solo

February 29, 2012 0 Comments

On a crisp spring morning I drag myself out of bed far too early for my liking. Discarded piles of clothing that didn’t make it into a suitcase litter the bedroom floor. Evidence of late-night packing efforts after a long day at work. With Brodie already settled in over in Vancouver and the dog vacationing with my folks, the house is eerily quiet in the dim morning light. The only reason I’m even up is a breakfast meeting with the new manager I’ve yet to meet in person. So far he only flies East when I fly West. With annual reviews around the corner it would be nice to meet just once before that painful process draws to a close. Unfortunately that means rising with the sun on what’s going to be a much longer than average day. On the plus side, I don’t actually have to go into the office. Once that appointment is done I’m officially on vacation and straight back to the house to finish charging devices and cramming items into what I hope will be a large enough case.

A short Luas trip brings me to Heuston station where I wait anxiously for an airport bus that allegedly shows up regularly according to the timetable at the deserted stop. I’m a worrier. I can never relax until I get to my destination for fear I might be delayed and miss my flight. I’m starting to have some serious doubts about this bus before one finally makes an appearance. Its leisurely meander back and forth around the city starts to make me fret. It takes a very circuitous route around the city before finally heading towards the airport. The unexpected jaunt along the Liffey as far as Dublin Port reminds me that this is a nice area for a stroll. It’s ahrd not to appreciate the cityscape on what is turning into a beautiful spring day in Dublin. The extra height of the bus gives a clear view south to the Aviva stadium and the mountains in the distance. It almost seems a shame to be on my way elsewhere.

Despite my concern, we arrive at Dublin airport with time to spare. After passing through the designed-to-annoy security checks at the airport there’s time to sit with scones and tea. It’s quiet in the airport at this time so I enjoy a seat by the window watching the sun light up the slopes of the Wicklow mountains. THey look freshly painted in blue and green – a respite from typically drab and dreary February weather. I play message ping-pong on various networking sites to pass the time until my flight is ready to board.

It’s not long before the mountains shrink out of sight as my plane ascends above the clouds on a roundabout route across the ocean. It’s a short hop across to London. I stretch out on a row of seats and doze until we start to circle the streets of London. The Thames slinks below, grey and murky. London has yet to shake the fetters of Winter. The patchwork quilt of houses and fields slowly magnifies as I yawn my way through our landing approach. If only this were the end of the trip, but it’s merely the start.

Next stop Vancouver. I’m curious to see if it can make a better impression on me the second time round.  Given that my memories consist of a beautiful park and crowds of mentally unstable homeless people, it’s hard to tell how that’s going to work out.