Back To The Airport

We are so grateful that our son and daughter-in-law took us in for Christmas. I think it was around 9:00 a.m. last Thursday when I told our son we couldn’t get home for Christmas and would it be okay with them if we flew to Calgary and spent three days with them before we could fly into Kelowna. It took him less than a second to respond and say of course they would love to have us and, with no notice or time to prep for two more people, they made us feel like we were expected all along 🙂

Our daughter-in-law made festive Sangria on Christmas Eve and it was yummy.

Now we are off on our next adventure, our trip from Calgary to Kelowna, and it didn’t start off well. For some reason we were unable to do online check in. We could see that we had been assigned seats but could not get our boarding passes. Fortunately our flight didn’t leave until 3:00 pm so we didn’t have to leave the house in the early hours. We headed to the airport around 11:00 and we’re are able to get our boarding passes at the WestJet counter with no problems.

With our Nexus cards we were able to quickly pass through security and found a place to have lunch and kill some time.

A window seat at lunch helped kill some time, it is actually very warm in Calgary I didn’t even zip up my coat between the house and the airport.

We had to take a flight to Edmonton and then board another plane for Kelowna and we did have delays in both Calgary and Edmonton but we finally arrived in Kelowna … we were only five days late … but unlike many unfortunate travelers we were able to spend Christmas with family even if it was not the ones we had planned to spend Christmas with😄

I did have a good laugh when I talked to our oldest son on Christmas Day. At one point we thought we may be spending Christmas with them if we had got into Vancouver but couldn’t connect to Kelowna. On our phone call he asked if we made it home and I said no we were at his bother’s but would be heading home on Boxing Day. I told him we had to go through Edmonton and I hoped we didn’t get stuck there because none of our kids live there anymore, but he told me not to worry their renters had moved out a few weeks ago so we could stay at their condo if we needed to … boy it’s nice to have children to look after you! And who knows we may still get to see them if our return flight gets stuck in Vancouver.

I know it sounds like a lot of frustration to come home for Christmas but we look at it as an adventure and the added bonus of spending time with children we didn’t think we would see this Christmas. Life is all about how you look at it 🙂

Until next time …

We Made It :-)

Before we left the house we had a half hour delay in departing Palm Springs, shortly after we cleared security we had another half hour delay, as we were enjoying a great visit with a couple from Seattle we got another hour delay … our son did some research and found out our plane was delayed leaving Toronto this morning due to deicing and then again in Calgary for deicing. Fortunately once it finally arrived in Palm Springs it didn’t need any deicing and we were finally able to board and had an uneventful trip until we arrived in Calgary where we were further delayed for half an hour on the runway because there was not enough staff to get us into the gate. We finally got off the plane and put our feet down in Canada 😀 After quickly clearing customs in Calgary, thanks to our Nexus cards, we picked up our suitcase and made a quick run from the warmth of the terminal to the warmth of our son’s truck … it is very cold in Calgary!

We were able to get a few hours sleep before we heard the patter of little feet on the floor above us so of course we ran upstairs to get warm snuggly hugs. Our grandkids didn’t seem the least surprised to see us when we came into the kitchen, it was like we were there everyday but they were happy to give us hugs and kisses.

We made a quick trip to the liquor store … is was blizzardy and very cold -25C/-13F without the wind chill so the rest of the day was spent inside enjoying family time.

Until next time …

Well the Jello Was Sliding Off The Plate Last Night!

I think when you read this blog we will be sound asleep back in Canada, well as I write this that is what it appears, and what we are praying, will happen.

We arrived in Palm Springs around 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, checked in for our flight, got our boarding passes, and looked forward to an evening catching up with hubby’s relatives. And things went well until 7:30 p.m. when I happen to go into the WestJet app and saw that our flight had been cancelled … WHAT? No warning and if I hadn’t looked we wouldn’t have known until we received an email this morning. But check I did and that led me to get on the phone to WestJet to try and rebook our flights, at first I received voice mails saying they were too busy to talk to me and they hung up on me. Finally I was able to get through, around 8:00 p.m. Wednesday evening, and I was kept on hold for 6:15:22 hours until 2:09 a.m. when an agent answered the phone.

During my time on hold hubby found an article saying international flights were not allowed to land at Vancouver International Airport. The reason was they needed time to clear stranded planes off the runway and they were giving priority to flights within Canada.

So when the agent answered the phone I asked if we could fly through Calgary instead and yes that was an option but he could not get us a connecting flight to Kelowna. That’s okay I replied we were happy to spend time with our youngest son and his family and carry on to Kelowna when a flight became available. Before he looked at routing us that way he said he wanted to check other airlines to see if he could get us into Kelowna before Christmas. Well two hours on hold, with him checking back in twice to say he was still working on it, and it was now after 4:00 a.m., I had been on the phone for 7:59:03 hours when I heard that dreaded click and I was cut off. But that was okay because I had given the agent my number in case that happen and of course he would immediately call me back … Not! So hubby and I both dialed back and got on hold again, 3:16:57 hours later I was once again disconnected but hubby was still in the queue and after several tries I was able to get back in the queue.

We had pretty much resigned ourselves to heading back and spending Christmas in Yuma. From what we could see there were no flights to Calgary left and nothing to Kelowna until well after Christmas, but we weren’t ready to hang up yet. So through breakfast, coffee, chatting, and getting texts from our son saying he could see flights from Palm Springs to Calgary, we listened for someone to answer our call. Let me tell you thirteen hours of WestJet hold music is painful and we had spent the entire night awake listening to it!

I told hubby he would probably get through at the 6 hour mark but he was luckier than me and at 5:30:25 hours an agent answered the phone. The first thing hubby asked was did she have our number and would she promise to call us back if we got cut off and yes she said she would. Unlike the agent in the middle of the night she immediately put a hold on two seats to Calgary Thursday evening. Once she had done that she put us on hold and went to work trying to get us the best flights. I think it was another hour and lots of work and back and forth but after 14.5 hours we had flights to Calgary and flights to Kelowna on December 26th … we are happy we get to spend Christmas with our two youngest grandchildren and we will still get to see the rest of the family after Christmas. This was our year for Christmas with our daughter and her family but it just didn’t work out … hopefully next year … but in the meantime our son and daughter-in-law are very excited to have us spend Christmas with them. Our daughter-in-law said they were not going to tell our grandchildren we are coming, she wants to surprise them in the morning but it’s probably a good idea because at this point who knows if this will all work out and we will arrive after they are in bed anyways …but if, as this blog started, we are snuggled in bed sleeping in Calgary there will be some happy little people and happy old people enjoying snuggles this morning 🙂

Until next time …

A Week With The Little Ones

A week ago Thursday we flew out to Calgary to spend a week with our youngest son and his family, and once again we had a great time with lots of warm squeezy hugs from our two youngest grandchildren.  Oh and bonus for me, since Mother’s Day fell into our stay, I also got a few extra hugs out of our baby boy 😀

Leaving Kelowna and yucky weather behind!

Landing in Calgary, looks nicer but still not spring weather

On Saturday hubby helped our son put some additional shelves in their new RV while our daughter-in-law and I shared a bottle of Prosecco and the grandchildren snuggled into their bunks with their tablets.  It was so roomy in the new RV and we were having fun so we decided to order pizza.  I placed the order and made a note to have it delivered to the RV parked in front of the house, you should have seen the grin on the delivery drivers face when he walked up to the RV with our pizza!

On Sunday I was treated to a Mother’s Day pedicure with our daughter-in-law, her mother and our granddaughter … yup a fun time was had by all!  Our son, with a little help from hubby, made a great dinner of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, and veggies.  There may also have been a few mimosa’s consumed 🙂

The rest of our time was spent watching the grandkids play soccer, walking them to school, and on the last day, when it finally warmed up a bit, we were able to get out for a walk and play time in the park.

They have some really nice walking trails around their house.

We had another great week in Calgary and it was sad saying goodbye on Thursday but I sure am looking forward to their week at the campground in August.

Until next time …

Back In Our Winter Home

Last Sunday we went off to get our fourth COVID test in two weeks, checked in for our flight, packed up our suitcase and then enjoyed our last evening with our son and family … all the while sitting on pins and needles every time our phone made a noise saying an email had come in. Fortunately, none of those emails where from the airline.  Monday morning we had our final snuggles and although we were sad to give up the snuggles we were looking forward to warmer weather and our own bed.

Just as we were leaving for the airport, we got a notice that the flight was delayed by an hour. Well, I guess the good part is we weren’t already on our way to the airport so we didn’t have to spend an extra hour in the airport with our masks on.

Brr, doesn’t it look cold out there!

We were surprised at how quiet the Calgary airport was, every time we have been there it has been a hopping place.  As we approached our departure time we were informed of another half hour delay to allow the crew to clear customs.

Finally they called pre boarding and priority boarding and it appeared our row was a priority boarding row so off we went. We showed our ID and boarding passes, cleared through the gate and made it through the door towards the plane when we were all called back and told we could not board and they were not sure why 😦  Great, we were pretty sure this is where the flight was going to get cancelled but fortunately after fifteen minutes we were allowed to board. We had another delay as we went through de-icing but finally two hours and ten minutes late the plane left the ground and we were on our way back to our winter home.

De-icing the plane

I just like this picture 🙂

We really enjoyed our time with family for the past two weeks but are so happy to be back in warmer weather with sunny blue skies and green, not white, grass 🙂

Our grandson added a picture by his sister and a tree that he made to our suitcase, so now we have fridge art!

Until next time …

Hmm That Wasn’t The Plan

Yesterday was our last full day in chilly Airdrie, Alberta and also our last full day of snuggles.  We were going to miss the snuggles, not the chill and while we have heard that it is cooler in Yuma right now, 15C/59F is still much better than -30C/-22F!

We checked in for our flight yesterday afternoon, went for our COVID tests around dinner time yesterday … we were both negative, came home for snuggles and then we put the grandkids to bed (their parents had popped next door for a drink with the neighbours), poured ourselves a drink and settled in for some TV.  I was going downstairs to start packing our suitcase when hubby received an email saying our flight had been cancelled 😦

The only picture I have taken recently and only to show a friend how little snow we had … it’s too cold for snow!

While we weren’t totally surprised because many airlines have been cancelling flights, we were annoyed that we had already paid $80.00 for our COVID tests which would no longer be any good, and we now had to spend time on the phone trying to get a new flight.  It took 2 hours and 36 minutes but just before midnight we were rebooked on the next available flight, which isn’t until Monday.

Hubby did ask the fellow he was talking to if the airline was going to cover the cost of $80.00 for new COVID tests but was told that question would have to be sent up the chain of command and we should call back the next day to see what the answer was.  Hmm another two and a half hours on the phone … yuck … so imagine our surprise when the phone rang at 1:45 a.m. and we were told that yes they would cover the additional $80.00 🙂  Okay I didn’t really want to be woken up at 1:45 a.m. when we had just fallen asleep, but I do appreciate that the fellow made the effort to look into it and to call us back.

So now we are here for another three days, not the end of the world as our son has a very comfortable guest room and they not in any hurry for us to leave … at least that is what they are politely telling us 😀

I was looking forward to getting back into my morning walks, which haven’t happened here because of the cold and lack of warm clothing, but tomorrow it looks like it will warm up to -9C/16F and my boots, gloves, winter jacket, and a borrowed hat should keep me warm enough for an outside walk.  Well that is the plan, we will see what happens.

Our five year old grandson told hubby this morning that it was going to be a sad New Years because the world is sick 😦  Let’s all do our best to heal the world … do your part, get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands.

We wish you all the very happiest New Years Eve, stay safe and stay warm.  Let’s hope and pray that 2022 will settle into a more normal year than the last two!

Until next time …

A Cold Crisp Walk

Last night we all bundled up and went out to check out the Christmas lights in our son’s neighbourhood.  Remember all those warm clothes we packed?  We had most of them on and we were both still a little chilly but it was still fun to go out and see all the decorations.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera and had to take these with my cell phone.

Our granddaughter rode in the wagon all bundled up in her snow pants and winter jacket, covered up with a blanket, and drinking hot chocolate while daddy and grandpa pulled her along.  She invited me to join her in the wagon and boy do I wish I would have fit 😀

I love the feel of this neighbourhood, there were lots of people out walking and everyone is so friendly.  There are some pretty impressive hockey rinks around the pond and people go to a lot of work to maintain them and make them accessible for everyone in the neighbourhood to use.

It wasn’t a really long walk but we all came home in a very festive mood 🙂

Until next time …

A New Road and a New Airport

Our flight yesterday left from Mesa/Gateway Airport rather than Sky Harbour in Phoenix and because we were headed to Mesa, AZ instead of Phoenix, AZ we were able to take a new road.

Lots of pretty Saguaro

At Gila Bend we stayed on Hwy 238 instead of turning onto Hwy 85 up to I-10 and it was a much prettier drive.

The first picture made it look like it was a busy road but this is what we had most of the way.

This route takes us on a diagonal from Gila Bend to the airport and it took us right through Chandler, AZ which we both thought is a very pretty city.  If we were going to live in the Phoenix area, Chandler may be the place.

We were really impressed with the long term parking at the airport, it was well maintained and had a great shuttle service.  I didn’t take a picture of the outside of the shuttle bus but trust me it was a pretty high end classy black bus.

The airport itself was a bit of a disappointment from what I had read.  We were a little early to check in so we were hoping to get a tea or coffee but there was nothing but gates.  I’m not sure what I was reading but it was definitely a different airport!

For those of you wondering, we had to show our vaccine passports and negative COVID tests when we were checking in and they also made sure we had completed the ArriveCan app but that whole process didn’t take very long.

Going through security at the airport was quick and easy with our Nexus cards. There was a long line up but we were able to go through the pre-screened lined and it took no time at all.

Once we cleared security, we stopped at OHSO Brewery for dinner and to kill some time since our trip to the airport, check-in, and clearing security went much faster than we expected.

We decided not to pay the fee for seats and took the seats that were assigned to us, two middle seats in the same. It was a three hour flight so it was really no big deal if we couldn’t sit together and odds were we would be able to change that once we were on the plane and sure enough that is what happen. We were on a fairly new 737 and the plane was less than half full. In fact, we were the only two in our row, hubby in the center seat on the left side and me in the center seat on the right side, so once we took off we had no problem changing seats and sitting together for the rest of the trip.

It was very festive seeing all the Christmas lights when we took off out of Phoenix.

When we arrived in Canada we were again able to bypass the long line through customs because of our NEXUS cards.  We completed our declaration at one of the kiosks, where handed two sheets about COVID protocols and sent on our way … easy peasy.

We arrived at our son’s place just after 11:00 p.m. and were greeted with a very inviting place to stay but that is another blog.  Now I have to try and get some sleep because I have been warned that our grandchildren plan to wake us up as soon as they get up 🙂

Until next time …