A rainy day is always a good day to leave Vancouver.
My goal of only half filling my big wheely bag fell a couple of items short of success, but with the amount of Coppertone Sport sunscreen that I rip through in the first month of surfing, not to mention the multiple bars of surf wax I plan on giving away to local kids along the way, my bag is only going to get lighter for the first month and a half. In case you are wondering, I’m dong my best to pack my bag only half full because I plan on buying cool things along the way.
Our first flight of the trip is on Air Canada and for the first time ever I was amazed by how friendly the check in lady was to us. Like all of the people who work for Air Canada, she was old and I was expecting a carbon copy of the multitude of bitter unionized lazy Air Canada staff that we have all encountered over the years. Why didn’t Canadian survive and Air Canada disappear into the memories yesteryear? But this isn’t a want about bad, but rather a praise about great because the lady who checked us in, aged and all, was something special. She had a sparkle in her eye, she was super helpful, she was happily married for 27 years and she joked around with us by making fun of me which Josi LOVED. Was she nice because we were flying business class? Or perhaps she was nice because I’m now overly nice when checking in to any and every flight I take… Yes, I once made the mistake of not being so nice by arguing with a young lady at check in about who was responsible if the airline were to break my surfboard which ended dreadfully. She must have put a big red X beside my name and when the perfect opportunity struck, she chose to have a 300lbs lady sit in the seat beside me on a totally full flight. At least she was very nice and pretty funny so it wasn’t all bad. Still, this lady was so big her food tray wouldn’t go down more than a few inches, her seatbelt was perhaps 20″ short of being able to close, and when the movie came on it was me who had to fish deep into the side of her many folds in hopes of finding the plug for her headphones. Elbow deep in a scene better suited to a bad comedy, I succeeded in supplying her with the needed audio for her movie and have felt slightly damaged ever since.
I’m writing this post from our double wide, second row, business class seats with more room than I know what to do with. Usually when we fly we fly coach and for us coach is great. What is really really fricken great is that for the next six months we are flying business class.
What I still love about coach is how if you are smart you can get three seats between the two of you if you request it when checking in and when we do Josi and I spread out and sit super close to each other. In case you don’t know us all that well, we love to sit close to each other and we cuddle a lot. If I were reading this and I didn’t know us I would throw up in my own mouth and then my internal voice would mistakingly slip out and saying for everyone to hear, “Get a room”, but for what ever reason it’s not that bad at all with us. I’m guessing it’s because Josi is so dam cute and at the same time classy so she can get away with pretty much everything. Anywho, in business class there’s a big divider/ table/ arm rest between us so she doesn’t get to sleep on my lap, but they are keeping us occupied with the kind of things those in coach only dream about. Warm cloths to clean our hands, hot meals (C-), Baileys/ Coffee, very pleasant red wine (served in glasses made of real glass), and more leg room we know what to do with. Not to mention being whisked straight through the security lines which meant that we had more time in the first class lounge while waiting for our departure.
Did I mention that they didn’t charge us for our surf boards? Once again I’m not sure if it was because we are flying business class, if we just got lucky, or if she believed me when I told her that the surfboard bag was a snowboard bag? Regardless, it’s always a good day if you manage to fly with out paying for your boards. The lady checking us in was so nice I felt a little guilty but the dam airlines have broken way more boards than I have when actually surfing and they always overcharge you like crazy. I never understood why, but when flying snowboards are free while surfboards usually cost between $50 and $200 per flight. Our board bag is only 6’6″, looks almost like a snowboard bag, and is a little lighter. My goal was to stencil the words “SNOWBOARD TEAM” in big bold letters on both sides of our new double board surfboard bag, but time got the better of us and I didn’t get around to it. Surf De Neige is French for snowboard, and it would make a great snowboard bag, so the line between truth and untruth is slightly fuzzy. Regardless, I’m calking this up as a immoral win and any money that I may have saved is my small reward for having to sit beside the 300lb lady all those years ago.
Luckily, our bags are being directed through to Panama so we will be free to spend 13 hours adventuring around Vegas luggage free. Vegas is a funny place that has very little love in my heart, but I’m pretty excited about checking it out given we are only there for such a short time. We will hit the strip checking out a few casinos, eat dinner and then sneak back into the safety of the first class lounge in the wee hours of the night while we wait for our 4:48am flight to Panama City.