An Early Start – First Stop, Denver

(Written while flying to the Mile High City on my first of three flights to get to Edinburgh.)

Adjectives for today:

Tired – I woke up at 3:00am at the hotel for my 6:25am flight. Going to sleep when it’s light out and waking up when it’s dark is a trippy experience. I was the only person on the 3:40am airport shuttle. Go figure, right? 😉




Frustrated – My checked bag was eight pounds overweight, which I was not surprised by. I’m bringing two months of stuff and some gifts. The fact that the person who weighed it told me it would cost me a flat $100 USD, as opposed to what I thought was a per pound rate (I was very clearly wrong), vaguely annoyed me. The fact that I got to the self-serve kiosk to check in and was informed that it would cost me double that amount made my vision go the colour of my luggage. 4:00am is too way early for me to deal with airline personnel giving incorrect information and the kiosk screen telling me that my flight was overbooked and that I couldn’t choose a seat (even though I had selected my seats when I had booked). I hadn’t even had breakfast yet. But I took a few deep, cleansing breaths, told myself to get a grip and collected my boarding cards and receipt (ugh) from the machine.

(My small suitcase ended up being checked anyhow at the gate when they asked if anyone was willing to volunteer to do so with their carry-on baggage because the flight was full and they needed a the overhead bin space they could get. It was “complimentary” but really I had already paid for it earlier. 😉 )

Relieved – First, the United staff member who was assisting at the kiosks when I took my deep breaths. I’m sure she thought I was either a) going to cry (I was perilously close); or b) yell at her (which I never have and would never, ever do – uncool and unhelpful).

Second, me when the woman at the United counter was kind enough to check if I would have a seat on my flight to Denver and in turn my flight to Chicago (this is what happens when you book flights on points) so that I could catch my fully confirmed and assigned seat flight to Edinburgh. She ended up putting me in Economy Plus – for free (thank you!) – and off I went to stand in the first of many long lines with everyone else.

Because I was curious, I asked and learned that the big black case houses a bicycle.

Delighted – A few things… Aside from the whole taking my shoes off at security thing – which I sincerely dislike doing – none of my carry on stuff got micro-examined or questioned (which I thought for sure would happen because it always does). Yay! Serious travel victory.

On top of this, the Starbucks at YVR now serve the breakfast sandwiches like every non-airport location does. At 5:00am, when you haven’t had breakfast yet and are feeling slightly fragile, this is amazing. It’s the little things, folks.

It didn’t get spelled with a “J”, so the lack of “e” at the end didn’t even phase me.

(I’ve always maintained that, when things go awry – particularly with travel – as long as there is a Starbucks (or something else familiar) around, everything will be okay. There’s caffeine (for me it was a two-tea bag Awake tea), and food (turkey bacon and egg white breakfast sandwich), and usually some decent and relaxing music. It’s the perfect place to re-calibrate.)

United Airlines has Wi-Fi on their flights now. Haven’t decided yet if this is a good thing or not. It’s $6.99 USD, probably per flight – of which I have multiple on United today – so I’m thinking I’ll reserve my wireless funds for the trans-Atlantic portion of the day.

Sitting next to good people on a flight is always a bonus and my row neighbours were Brett and his young son (who got a pilot pin – I was kind of jealous). We had a good chat. He and his wife are American but lived in Vancouver for over a decade because of his job and they recently moved back to Colorado for a job. They had Canadian babies and love travelling between both places.

Excited – I’m going to Europe for two months. Aaaaaaah! So grateful and excited to be able to take the time off. Sean is supposed to join at some point, but this is really a “me” trip. A completely selfish thing to get out of the way before not yet created but eventually arriving babies. Can’t go to Greece for a yoga retreat when a little person needs you. And I wouldn’t want to leave that little person.

So here I go while I can! Time for a flight to Chicago.

Infinite X’s and O’s

I broke down and bought a neck pillow before I left. I’m one of those people now, but it was a really good decision.


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