Yes… keep calm and go on an adventure!
Old Bilbo Baggins had it pretty much summed up; except for the keep calm part.
This trip showed up unexpectedly in a white gift bag on Christmas morning 2016……a present if you will.
It wasn’t from myself to Lynn or the other way around……nope it showed up in a white gift bag from our daughter.
See, I was expecting the “normal” sort of Christmas gift. In fact, I think I put in my request for a gift card from Mountain Equipment Co-op or something similar.
However, when Lynn opened up the gift bag and handed it to me because she couldn’t talk, I sort of knew something was definitely different.
I can truthfully say it brought a tear to my eye because it was so unexpected. But, our daughter said it was something she always wanted to do and with some help from friends, booked it all herself.
Inside was an itinerary our daughter had booked:
- round-trip airfare from Toronto to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island(connecting through Ottawa)
- 6 nights accommodation at “Dalvay By the Sea” – the only hotel in the Prince Edward Island National Park and a designated National Historic Site
- car rental
- $200 gift card for meals
Yup, not a bad gift I must say, considering at that point she was in only in 3rd year at college. And the bonus was she would look after our dog Katie, plus she suggested leaving our car at her house in Kitchener and she would drive us to our pre-flight hotel and then come back to the airport and pick us upon our return.
For those interested, “Dalvay By The Sea” is a designated National Historic Site. If you ever followed the “Road to Avonlea” series which aired on the CBC a number of years ago, the hotel referred to in the series as “The WhiteSands” is “Dalvay By The Sea.”
So, Day 1 started on June 12.
After the often tedious, but always necessary packing. We’re off to Kitchener.
The first few pics above are Katie packing her stuff; navigating from the back seat of the car and finally arriving at her “big sister’s” place to start her vacation.
Once we arrived in Kitchener, Lynn enjoying a bit of a pre-Toronto bound cocktail.
After a relatively quick trip(I mean quick trip…..what happened to the traffic through Mississauga and near the airport??) Sara got us the International Plaza Hotel(soon to be the Delta by Marriott). Sara had never been to the airport before and anyone who has flown out of Pearson before knows that it is a myriad of interconnecting roadways, ramps and terminals. Having worked just behind the airport, I took Sara on a dry-run of how she would get to the cell-phone lot from her house and then through to Terminal 1 Arrivals to pick us up. See, easy as can be!
We’ve stayed at the International Plaza before; booking it through Hotwire. For an overnight stay prior to flying out it’s perfect. There are other hotels closer, although six minutes from Pearson is pretty close. The cost through Hotwire was about half the regular rack-rate, costing about around $70 before GST. Not bad a bad deal.
Getting “the chill” on some beverages for the evening.
One piece of advice. Should you stay there, pack some earplugs. The hotel is in direct line with runway 24 and you’ll get planes coming in every two or three minutes until after midnight. I always carry earplugs when outdoor adventuring or travelling.
Conversely, the same runway gets used extensively for early morning take-offs. So, if you were wanting to sleep in….spend a buck at the dollar store and invest in some earplugs. Or, just get up and stay up because you’re so excited about your trip!!
I’m a bit of a big baby trying to get to sleep if I keep hearing noises I’m not used to.
We got there about 6:30 or so; checked in and decided to head over to Jack Astor’s on Dixon Road for a bite to eat.
Lynn excited about the “Jack’s Big Astor Fish Bowls.” After dinner, we wandered back to the hotel
As she hadn’t taken any pictures for about an hour or so and was getting withdrawal symptoms; Lynn decided to head over to a grassed area across from the hotel and photograph planes landing.
I, on the other hand, thought it prudent and much wiser to sit in the hotel; keep an eye on Lynn every so often; relax; watch a bit of television and lazily consume a couple of craft beers.
And thus the evening progressed as it should.
Lynn finally stopped photographing planes(I think because it got dark out). We walked about the hotel for a bit; bought some chips; and finished the evening watching some tv.
One of our favourite sayings when on outdoor adventures or travelling is, “we’ll sleep we get home.”
It’s kind of funny, that little did I know that I was about to find out how little sleep one can go on for six days and still function enough to stay breathing…….