I’m holed up in a corner of a bar at Toronto airport, after missing my flight to Vancouver because my 8 and a half hour flight from London was late.
So having 5 hours to kill before a 5 and a half hour flight, I thought I might as well get my travels chronicled. I am picking bits from the menu and having a glass of wine.
WHINE: This 9oz glass of Kim Crawford Sav Blanc was $20. GAH!
So, I’ve been MEANING to go back to Ireland for yonks…it has been 17 -years since I last visited and 18 years since I lived there.
There are so many places to go, and Europe is very far and very expensive. Jim would want to go for a month at least and it seemed impossible for us both to take off for that length of time, and I don’t really like going away without him.
When my dear friend Dee Dee passed away I knew that I couldn’t delay my trip – it was devastating not to have seen her, and Jim was insistent that I should go and see my friends and family and promised he’d come with me next time.
I do love and appreciate his generosity and selflessness in making me go…he knew how good it would be for my soul.
Missing The Bus
I’ve done loads of traveling and I get prepared before I leave: I know if I need to switch terminals and where I need to clear customs and all that stuff. I arrived in London direct from Vancouver and timed my Dublin fight pretty neatly: not too long to wait but not too much of a rush. Not even the roaring drunk dude in the same row as me could spoil the trip, though he gave it a really good shot.
My cushion between arrival and the bus departure all but disappeared thanks to a 20 minute flight delay and a ludicrously long wait at immigration. It was starting to get dark, and it was wet and quite cold.
I’d booked the Aircoach to Killiney where Kara was going to meet me and I anxiously waited for my bags, conscious that I would have to race to catch the bus. Ahhhhh! They came off the carousel in the first batch of bags so I loaded them on the trolley and raced out to the bus terminal. Literally minutes later the Aircoach arrived and I threw my big bag in the hold. I grabbed my wheelie bag to stow under the bus and realized that it felt….different. It felt light. Mine was heavy as hell. SHITE!!!
So, I threw the wheelie bag back on the trolley and raced back into the terminal to return it to its rightful owner and (hopefully) find my own bag.
Just as I heard the bus pull away I realized that I was actually short TWO bags now. My big bag was on the bus…and I wasn’t.
Have you ever tried getting back into Baggage Claim? It’s a no-no.
I had to beg, plead, cajole and go in through a back-door security screening place.
Standing at the Lost Baggage Desk was the lovely Indian couple with their adorable 2 year old daughter that I’d been talking to in the ludicrous immigration lineup. It was THEIR bag I had taken, and they were lovely about, assuring me that the contents were unexciting “baby things”. And then, thankfully, in the middle of the floor was my wheelie bag. Phew.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Well of course I’m going to call Kara. She’s who EVERYONE calls in a crisis. She’s the fixer. And She is the one NOT picking me up because I missed the bus – but I know she’ll rescue my bags for me.
And if I’d remembered to take her cellphone number with me, thats exactly what I would have done. DUH.
So I texted Jim and he didn’t answer. I called him and there was no reply. Now I am about to have a high speed meltdown. It was an hour til the next bus, which had seemed like an eternity, but I’d been getting the bags sorted for 20 minutes and now I couldn’t get Kara’s number…time was flying by! FINALLY he called me back and he was cheerily out on the front lawn with the dogs – which is about as far away from my office (and Kara’s number) as he could be. He tried to calm me down and tried to reassure me all would be fine and not to panic. He did not succeed even a little bit. I think I said something along the lines of:
JIM. GO. UPSTAIRS. AND. GET. ME. KARA’S NUMBER!
Finally I talked to Kara. Kara fixed it . She got my bag. She picked me up from the later bus and we went back to her gorgeous, magical house where we drank tea and red wine until the wee hours – and it was like I’d never left.
Incidentally the buses in Dublin and Ireland generally are amazing. They’re big, efficient, frequent and they have WIFI!