Goodbye Toronto, Hello Vancouver

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7:00am. The alarm didn't even need to go off. I woke up before the time arrived and readied myself for my last day in Oakville. It was all a bit of a blur really... I said my goodbye to Dave as he waited for Darrell to pick him up and drive him to school, something that Darrell had been doing for me for most of the past 12 months. I packed the last few things in my luggage and was pleased with the way I'd been able to fit everything into my two bags.

Sean soon arrived to take me to the airport, so I said my last goodbye to Heidi, packed my bags into the back of Sean's truck and headed down the 403 for the last time. We made good time to the airport, thanks to the express 2-person lane, and Sean dropped me at Pearson's Terminal 1 departures, where we said our final goodbyes. Man, this really is hard. I hate goodbyes.

Once in the terminal I checked in, and then the trouble started. Apparently my large bag was overweight - I knew it would be, and I was prepared to pay the $35 overweight charge - but I mean it was WAY overweight, like beyond the point where the baggage handlers would handle it. After a discussion of the options, I was given a cardboard box (not a particularly big one either!) and had to offload about 40 pounds of weight from the big bag into the box. So I'm standing there in the middle of the terminal with my bags open, clothes everywhere and trying to shuffle stuff from one place to the other to balance the weight out. Eventually, I got what I thought was a workable combination and went back to the counter. It only took a little more shuffling of stuff between bags and we finally arrived at a workable combination. The bad news was that the extra "bag" that I now had was going to cost me $175 to get home. (Actually it was supposed to cost me $105 to get to Vancouver and then another $175 to get to Sydney, but the guy at the desk felt sorry for me and tried to bundle it into a single charge... I did appreciate his effort to do that for me.)

With the bags finally taken care of, I made my way through security and went to Gate 143 to wait for the flight to Vancouver. I had a bite to eat and listened to my iPod for a while while I waited for the flight, which was delayed 30 minutes. (How come flights are always delayed in multiples of 5 minutes? How come they are never 27 minutes late?)

The flight to Vancouver was uneventful, which is probably the best sort of flight to have. On arrival, I checked my large bag and my $175 box into storage at the airport, bought a bus ticket to Whistler and made my way up to Canada's number one ski resort.

Skiing at Whistler has always been on my dream list, so when I was planning my trip home to Australia I wanted to drop in there for a few days. As the time got closer though, I started to deliberate about whether I really wanted to go there on my own, not to mention how expensive it would end up being. In the end I'd more or less talked myself out of going there. Then by a complete coincidence I got a phone call from a mate back in Australia who was planning a Whistler trip with his daughter and invited me to come stay for a few days. Done deal!

The bus from Vancouver arrived at Whistler village at about 5:30pm and I made my way to Aspens on Blackcomb where I met up with my friends Pete and Rebecca. They made me feel very welcome and went out of their way to make me comfortable with them for a few days.

More Whistler adventures soon...

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