Heading off to Boston...
Trip Start Mar 16, 2007
7Trip End Mar 21, 2007
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And so another trip begins with an early start. At least this one was slightly more reasonable than the last, needing only to get up around the usual time of 6:30am. I got my things in the car and headed off to Heathrow - I'm here so often I think I should get my own parking space. Still, I parked up at around 8am and caught the bus to Terminal 3.
For some inexplicable reason there was no queue at all at the Air Canada check-in desk. Perhaps I should have viewed this is a warning, but instead I checked in and did the usual security checks before heading straight to the departure lounge. As I'd arrived fairly late, I only had a short amount of time to kill before the departure gate opened, which was okay.
The flight boarded and we took off on time. I was disappointed not to get my own TV screen, but then the film selection wasn't great so it didn't really matter in the end; I put on a music channel on the radio and had a snooze. The food was great though - a nice poached salmon with miniature boiled potatoes, along with cookies, a bar of chocolate and some very good ice cream. Not sure about the later offering of a barbecue chicken pastry, but we can't complain.
The flight arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia 10 minutes early, so I was quite pleased. It was also the smoothest landing I have ever experienced - didn't even get the 'bump' as the wheels touched down. We all loaded off and collected our baggage from the carousel. I then deposited mine in the onward flight area and went out to check back in. It was here that it all started going wrong. I looked up at the screen to check my flight status, and there it was, flashing in red 'Boston - CANCELLED'. Cancelled??? Cancelled!!!! Noooooo. I went to the information desk to make enquiries, and they confirmed it was cancelled because a severe snow storm had hit the Boston area and the airport was closed. I had to go reclaim my baggage and find out what to do. I went to the Air Canada desk and asked about the next flight. The woman told me I was provisionally booked on the 08:40am flight on Saturday. Needless to say I didn't want to be stuck in Halifax airport for that amount of time, so I went back to the Information Desk and asked them to help me with a hotel.
The woman on the Information Desk, Terrilynn, was absolutely great and organised me a room and transport (I think she took pity on me). I had to wait 25 minutes for a shuttle bus, so I sat down for a bit. During this time I managed to skin a large part of my finger by trapping it in my suitcase as I pulled the zip. I never knew a finger had so much blood in it and as it dripped over the floor I made a run for the bathroom to try and stop it with tissues. Nice. It hurt like hell mind, because it took a lot of skin off the crease where the joint below the nail is. Every time I touched it, it started bleeding again and by the time I got to my hotel I looked a right mess with my bloody tissues.
The bus journey to the hotel took just under an hour. I got dropped off by one of the large chain hotels and had a 3 minute walk to my place, which was the Waverley Inn (www.waverleyinn.com ). I checked in and went to my room - a beautiful room filled with antique furniture and a huge, ornately carved bed. Sadly I didn't have a whirlpool bath in there, but everything else was very comfortable.
I decided to head out for a walk. It had felt a bit nippy when I got the bus so I put on my hat, scarf and gloves before setting out. I could have down with a thermal blanket too, for when I actually got out and started walking I realised that I had never been anywhere that felt so cold before. It was freezing. In fact, it was well below freezing. The wind was blowing off the Atlantic freezing every part of my body. I got down to the waterfront and the cold was making my eyes water, and when they watered they were actually freezing to my face. Now that is damn cold!!! I didn't stay out for too long - I saw a Tall Ship and some of the historic waterfront, but I had to head back after a while because I was just too cold. I headed into a supermarket to get something to eat, as there was no room service at my B&B. I ended up with one of those hot rotisserie chickens and some potato wedges. I also bought cat treats (not for me!), some juice and a few other little bits to keep me going. I went back to my hotel and ate my dinner and watched some TV.
On the TV I finally got to see what all the fuss was about in terms of the storm in Boston. The snow was just flying down! Reports said that it was heading up the East Coast so I was fully prepared that it would be heading my way shortly. I cancelled my room in Boston, nicely they are not charging me for it, and then spoke to Chloe, who seemed to be having a lovely time in all the snow!! Dammit!!!
I went to bed early as I knew if I was going to be at the airport for 6:30am the next morning I would need to catch the 5am bus. Ergh.....