August 22, 2015 Saturday (9:32 pm)
Ahhhh. It feels so nice to have all the travel grime washed off from a hot soak in my own bathtub and then to be in my own bed. My heart still aches at the thought of all the family I have left behind, and I don’t know how I will sleep tonight. My body and mind are all turned around from the time change and not sleeping hardly at all on the red eye last night.
Since nearly two days have passed since my last post, I guess I should recap. (My pen keeps getting bumped as I write this, thanks to a kitty who is very happy to have me home and think I should be paying attention to him. and he has fish breath from whatever canned treat he had at dinner. Ew, cat! On the bright side, his loud purring makes me smile in spite of how sad I am.)
So, Thursday night my cousin’s kids were looking very tired so they went to bed early and we didn’t return to Loon Lake. That was okay though, since we had a lot of last minute packing to do so we would have more time to visit Friday morning. Friday morning I went grocery shopping with my Uncle Bob and cousin, Kanny, and while they were picking up supplies I got some healthy snacks for the plane trip. Our ferry was supposed to leave the docks at 11:50 am, so we went down about 11:25 and the whole B.C. family came down to see us off. After many hugs and tearful goodbyes, my husband, brother, daughter and I boarded the ferry named The Queen of Burnaby and headed to Comox.
Our flight wouldn’t be leaving until 7:50pm but the later ferry would have been cutting it too close. So, we planned to drive around Comox and maybe even go see Campbell River (my birth place) for the afternoon. After we finally pulled out of the docks and my wonderful family were but a mere speck in the distance, I resigned myself to the trip ahead and went inside to join my small family in the picnic lunch I had packed.
We decided, if it wasn’t too expensive, we would rent a car to drive to Campbell River. Things turned out in our favour and we were soon driving around Comox and Courtney and finally, into Campbell River. It was a beautiful, scenic trip, especially whenever my phone’s built-in GPS tried to take us off roading. Fortunately for us, my husband has an amazing sense of direction, so even though the GPS tried to get us lost, we never did.
We drove down to the hospital where I was born and from there to a lovely little marina.
There we found a small, inexpensive aquarium. We were charged $4.50 per person for a really neat experience. We got up close to a wolf eel, sea cucumbers, anemones, young salmon, prawns, sea urchins, sunflower starfish, many other starfish called sea stars, and lots of other really cool sea creatures. There was even a petting tank where my daughter got to pet a sea cucumber and a starfish.
After a very enjoyable time we had dinner at McDonald’s and then headed to the airport. As it was evening, we saw deer on three separate occasions. Two does stood just off the road by themselves and a mother and her two fawns stood off to the side in another spot.
Then, it was time to board our first of two planes homes. We all arrived in Calgary a little after 10pm and then boarded a flight to Toronto a little after midnight.
So began one of the longest, most uncomfortable nights of my life. After waking up from a shallow sleep for the tenth time with a sore back and numb butt, I decided I will never take the red eye again. Not unless they provide a fully reclining bed, pillow and blankets. My daughter got about three hours of sleep, but the rest of us were lucky if we managed to get one hour.
My brother took the lack of sleep the hardest and I worried about him when he got sick into a bag while were descending. Things only got worse from there. In order to get my brother to his shuttle, my husband and daughter had to race to the other end of the terminal to get his suitcase as well as our car seats. We finally got my brother to his shuttle, only to discover that he had left his belt pack (which contained his wallet and house key) on one of the flights. Finally, after much searching by the airline staff, we were informed that they couldn’t find it. So, we brought my brother home with us, so we could all get enough rest to be able to think straight.
Once my brother and I got a couple hours of napping in, I was able to get a clear enough head to make arrangements for him to get home. His workers graciously offered to pick him up from a bus depot as long as I could get him on a bus. As my husband wasn’t fit for driving (his mom picked us up from the airport, bless her heart) I pumped caffeine into my brother and myself via tea and got us both on public transit to the bus station. At last he was safely on his way and I could make my way home, trying not to fall asleep on the way back.
So far I’ve been hanging on, determined not to fall asleep so I can get my day and night flipped back.
So, needless to say, it’s been a stressful, tiring trip. My little girl fell asleep in our bed before her songs tonight. Poor thing was so tuckered and she didn’t nap at all today. I’m starting to fade now too, but I did what I set out to do; not sleep too much so I can combat the affects of the red eye flight.
Well, I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open, so I’m going to sign off for now. I have so many wonderful memories to think back over in the future. Next time, I’d prefer to teleport, but you really can’t beat the sunset and sunrise I witnessed above the clouds.
Well, off to hopefully get some sleep before my daughter’s summer party tomorrow afternoon.