Lucky to have a trip like this !
Trip Start May 31, 2007
16Trip End Jun 11, 2007
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First a small technical note. I hope you all have been watching the video clips we have included. If you are having trouble viewing them, follow these instructions. Click once on the clip icon. It should open a new window. What I reccomend doing then is right clicking with your mouse over the movie clip icon on the new window and choosing from the menu that appears "Save target as" then save the video to your desktop. It may take a few minutes to download based on your connection speed. Once downloaded double click the icon on your desktop to play it. You will need quciktime installled, which most of you likely have. There are other ways to watch it but this is the most fail safe.
Our last day was full of close calls and some luck.
It started out very well as another hot sunny day in New York. We woke up and were all packed and checked out by 9 am. We walked to a local Diner called Empire Diner. It is a rail car diner restaurant that has been seen in many movies. We had out breakfast there. It was our first sit down breakfast of our entire trip. It was very good comfort food. I had a waffle and Korinne a omelet.
Having been ahead of schedule most of the week and having done nearly every optional activity we had reconsidered we decided to just explore. We really had not seen Midtown East yet and Korinne wanted to check out a body shop type of store if I could find one. I did not know where one was, we would need some luck. We headed via Subway with our last Metro card pass to Grand Central Station.
Heading out we went East and got a close up view of the Chrysler building.
Within minutes we came across a bath store that was happening to have a semi annual sale. We got lucky. Korinne got some nice lotions and cleansers. We just kept walking and eventually turned around aiming for home some 35 plus block away. We had no intentions of walking all the way but that is exactly what we did. We can say we have seasoned legs and feet after this trip. Along the way I found some really nice casual shirts like Charlie on the Show Two and a Half Men wears. I bought 2 and they were only $15 each. A deal and a half. Lucky me.
Picking up one last bagel at Murray's Bagel store for the long plane ride (which I am about to savor) we headed to our hotel to pack up our last purchases. We knew Korinne's bag was going to be over weight but there was little we could do about it and would have to pay the surcharge. We waited for our preordered car in the lobby as we had 4 bags and did not feel like waiting on the street as it was half an hour before our driver was to arrive. It turns out he was early and could not get my cell phone to work (it was on but not working for incoming calls we realize now). Luckily he decided to do something he says is not normal and came in to see if we were there. We were glad he did. Lucky us. We got to the airport in no time. He drove like a crazy man.
Checking in at Air Canada was a wonderful experience (no really!). We found the American Air Canada employees to be excellent. We think they should teach the Canadian counterparts how to do service. Anyhow, she checked us in and tried to get us on an earlier flight as our connection was tight in Toronto with only 1 hour and 15 minutes and we had to clear customs there. We could only get on standby for an hour earlier flight and it would cost us $45 each. So we said no but she did mark our bags as priority and then noticed Korinne's bag was over weight. She looked and then said " Ah don't worry about it she marked it as overweight but did not charge us the $35 US she could have. Lucky we got her.
Not knowing LaGuardia was such a small airport, and that our driver would be early and drive there twice as fast as we had been quoted we ere way too early. We walked around in circles having a bit of lunch and delayed heading in to the terminal as we had seen that it is a really crappy terminal on our arrival. We went it a little after 4pm and our flight was at 5:30. We walked to our gate but it was not there. We thought it was just not up yet on the boards. So we were going to walk back to a quieter area until boarding time. I looked at the flight statuses just to make sure. CANCELLED! flashed across the screen. I said to Korinne I think our flight has been canceled. As it came around again, we confirmed our fears. We went to the Air Canada Agent and were behind a couple of people. Thoughts of being stuck in Queens or Toronto for a day went through our heads. Then suddenly they handed us two boarding passes to the earlier flight we had been offered earlier for $45 each but now for free. We got on the plain within 5 minutes and were off to Toronto. We were supper lucky as now we would have over two hours in Toronto to make our connection. OH NO!. We go to sit down (Korinne and I were not beside each other as we got the last 2 seats) and there is someone in Korinne's seat with a ticket for that seat too. Several tense minutes passed as we could not contact the stewardess as people were in the isle. Luckily there was one seat left and we were able to stay on the plane -PHEW!!!!!
Ok that is amazing luck right? Only to get through customs now....... Yep it was not over. We really did not want to get inspected. We had those designer bags and designer watches, as well we may have been a tad over our limit. We get in line and I get nervous. The line we are in is moving much slower than the rest and the customs agent is really drilling the couple in front of us. We get there and she does the same to us. She writes on our customs form as they always do and we headed to pick up our luggage. Yup they made it all four pieces of luggage. Now just to pass the customs exit. "Please turn to the left sir and go through those doors" OH SHIT! Staying calm we headed in to the inspection area as almost everyone else went straight thorugh. We walk into a big room with tables and people having there luggage gone through etc. OH Boy! We get called over to an agent and he asks where we were and if we had fun. We answer New York and Yes. He asks what we bought. I offer a list and he says that it is not necessary yet. He asks if we have food and I say candy. "Oh no problem he says Have anice day." We did not stick around. Hahahah We were out of there. All I remember Korinne saying quietly was "shut up and keep moving" hahahahaah. I did. Now that was close.
And finally we enter our last security inspection for our Regina flight and Korinne is randomly selected for inspection. No big deal right. So we thought for a second then they asked to wipe her new Prada bag that we got in a back room in Chinatown. Later we realized we were thinking the same thing. These are illegal bags that come from who knows where and might be shipped with other items like maybe drugs. But it went ok. We were so stressed by then we went straight to our Regina flight and sat by the booth till it left. And here we are flying home. So unless another close call happens our story is over.
It has been a really special trip. With the exception of the lost luggage that we handled really well and did not let it bother us, there were no real problems. We got along really well and any two people who go that hard for 11 days are bound to have moments and we never really did. We are really glad to have this Blog as it all seems like a blur.
We have posted some pictures here in the blog but that is a very small amount of what we have. We have 625 pictures and short video clips. There are also lots of stories to tell not contained here. So ask us and we will tell you.
We are already planning the next trip. Until then
Vaughn and Korinne