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Traveling with Luggage. Part 2.

Last week I posted about Traveling with Luggage. Part 1. Where my luggage visited more Airports than I did.

You would think that would have been my last and final adventure with luggage on that trip.

It wasn’t.

Leaving Ireland wasn’t bad, I got to play Airport tag with the Irishman. Turns out when you both leave from the same airport and have the same connecting flight, you can play tag in the airports around the world.

My flight from Dublin left on time and we landed at our connecting city of Toronto at our scheduled time. Now I was hoping that this time it would be a breezy two and a half hour lay over. Plenty of time to get my bags, go threw all the checkpoints and be on my next plane. However I stated this “breezy” layover by sitting on the tarmac for a gate for about 10 minutes.

Now this is where the “fun” began.

At Toronto airport you have to pick up your bags go, then go through Customs, re-check  your bags, then go through airport security, and then find your gate.

Part One: Customs.

Customs wasn’t an awful experience. In fact, it was pretty well-organized and the line moved at a reasonable speed. Start to finish, I was in and out in 10 mins.

Part two: Claiming my luggage.

I’ve been to the zoo before, I just didn’t think Toronto airport had one at the baggage claim.

Have you seen a herd of animals around a watering hole before? Well the baggage claim I had to use, looked very much like that but with 300 people. You see, we had one luggage carousel and 3 international flights.

I lost all sense of time waiting for my luggage to come out. People where complaining left and right, then when some luggage started to come off, they turned into vultures seeing if it was theirs. Eventually mine popped out, I took it and I left.

Part three: Re-checking of the luggage.

One must recheck their luggage when traveling Toronto airport. So you gotta line up with the rest of them.

This is the starting point of me

HAVING TO RUN THREW THE AIRPORT AGAIN.

I had handed my ticket to the lady and she said the words no one wants to hear, “You’re plane is boarding, if you check your luggage now it wont make the flight, it will if you take it with you.”

I’m sorry what?
How long was I waiting in the land of baggage claim?
What time was it?

The three guys behind me where apparently on my same flight and the following happened.

Step four and Five: Airport security & finding our gate.

Three guys and one redhead then proceed to RUN ACROSS THE AIRPORT trying to make our flight, that is now boarding.

We ran down hallways, on to a tram to another terminal.

Me with my carry-on, suitcase, and purse.
Them with their massive backpacking backpacks.

The guys politely asked the woman in charge if we could cut in and she said “No sir, I’M not allowed to do that”. Then they asked the people in line if we could cut through and make our plane. Protip- Ask the customers, not the staff to cut in line. To those people, thank you, you truly are nice and polite people.

Now airport security was a breeze until one of the guys got chosen for a random search for his bag. He flat-out said “You know what, you can keep it, I don’t need whats inside. I just want to go home and my flight is boarding”. Airport security handed back his bag and said have a nice flight.

WE MADE THE GATE!

The guys handed over their tickets, got scanned in and then I handed over mine.

“This isn’t your flight. Your flight is such and such gate and leaves in 25 mins”

ARE YOU F!@#$ING KIDDING ME?
I JUST RAN ACROSS A BLOODY AIRPORT!

Turns out the woman at baggage reclaim read my ticket wrong. Me being jet legged and not knowing how long I spent at the luggage zoo, didn’t check. As I walked to my CORRECT gate, I realized, I was very thirsty. So I set out to find a reasonably priced bottle of water.

Guess who I found at the airport.

It’s not the greatest photo of us, but I love it none the less.

Step six: Get on plane.

We even managed to get on the same flight together. I had to explain to the woman at the gate why I had my luggage with me and checked at the gate.

It was an uneventful flight from Toronto to Vancouver, just the way I like them.

It was an excellent trip to Ireland and I can’t wait to go back.

Although I did learn that if I’m ever going to have connecting flights, I’m going to have a 5 hour, at the least, lay over to avoid having to run through yet another airport. Or, I’m just going to fly direct.

Travel

Traveling with Luggage. Part 1.

It’s not surprise to anyone, I love to travel. I love getting on a plane, take off, landing and getting off a plane, ready for adventure.

Probably my least favorite part of traveling is the luggage. Also, running through any airport.

Two weeks ago, I went to one of my favorite places in the world.

Ireland.

I left Vancouver, Canada, on March 24th at 9am and landed in Dublin Ireland on March 25th at 5am. With an hour and a half layover in New Jersey.

My Layover in Jersey was an adventure inside of itself. I had only an hour and half to get from one gate to the next, and a security check point between them. I spent 80% of that time waiting in security and 20% of that time running through the airport. I was the second to last person allowed on the plane.

When I landed in Dublin at 4:55am Saturday morning, I was super tired and ready for coffee.

But first LUGGAGE!

I waited for the travel gods to release my luggage from the pits of the plane on to one luggage carousel.

I watched bags come out, over and down the ramp and waited.

And waited.

Waited some more.

And waited.

May the luggage gods be swift in spitting out mine!

I noticed that the sign on top of the carousel said that the last bags have been unloaded. I then sought out an airport employee to figure out where one needs to go for inquiries about ones luggage.

And so lined up behind about 4 people and waited some more.

Once I had got to the counter, I had to fill out some paperwork.

What is the date?
What does your luggage look like?
How many wheels does it have?
What color is it?
Is it hard or soft?
Does it have a luggage tag?
Where are you staying?
What is your permanent address?
What is the best way to contact you well you are traveling?

Cue filling out the paperwork and using wifi to text the boyfriend to get his parents address and a phone number so airline could contact me with luggage.

Then it happened!
We had made a great discovery!

My luggage wasn’t lost at all!

Just on another adventure.
In another airport without me.
In a different country.

Apparently my luggage had made it off the plane in New Jersey, but somehow managed to make it back on to that same plane I had just gotten off of, and that plane went to London England.

My luggage was in London.

I was in Dublin.

This is why you have a carry on folks! FOR THIS REASON!

Good news/Bad news.

Good news, it should be on the flight at 1pm later that day. But I should call later just in case.
Bad news, I only had one day’s change of clothes.
Good news, they would send it out to me in Waterford where I was staying, via courier. (Hopefully later that day)

By the time I actually got to leave the airport it was now about 5:50am in the morning.

Fast forward to later that day. Once we arrived in Waterford I called the airline to enquirer about my luggage and its location. However, the woman I spoke to on the phone had no idea where said luggage was. My luggage was now on another adventure.  She told me to call back in the morning.

The phone rang Sunday morning and it was the airline. Anto’s mom took the call and explained to him that the luggage in question would be at the house around noon. However, with it being my birthday and Mother’s day, we would not be home when they arrived to drop it off.  So she arranged for them to drop it off at the restaurant.

I remember being told that I would need ID when they dropped off the luggage and I would have to sign for it.

I remember signing for my luggage and the guy asking for no ID whats so ever, and being very excited. But better yet, Antos mom also saw the guy leaving and giving him a heart attack asking where the luggage was because she was the one in contact with him the entire day.

Even though I didn’t get to wear my birthday outfit, I got the gift of being reunited with my luggage.

Finally reunited with my luggage!

Now this was just beginning of my travels. Wait until I post part 2 of traveling with luggage coming home!

Travel

Airplanes.

I believe the best part about traveling is getting in a plane and not knowing where your adventure will take you once you get off that plane.

My first time in a plane was when I went to London. I had never been in a plane before that trip. I had no idea what to expect so naturally I booked a window seat.

Best decision I had ever made, I loved looking out the window, seeing the Rocky Mountains from a different angle. Our world is a beautiful place and I encourage everyone to get out and explore it. Since that trip I always hope to get the window seat.

With this said, sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Like that time I went to Italy

First off, getting to Italy was an adventure in itself. Our plane was to board early in the morning then have a two-hour layover in Frankfort, and fly to Rome. Oh, if only things went according to plan. For some reason, my flight from Vancouver left an hour and a half late.

Ever run across the Frankfort airport? No, it’s a massive airport by the way. Ever try and catch your connecting flight to Rome that leaves in 20 mins?

Well I have!

And I missed it by 5 fucking minutes.

After a re-booking of a ticket, I was on the next one. In two hours. I missed the start of my Contiki trip but I made it to Rome and I got to have a shower.

Now that was me going to Italy. Coming back home was its own cluster fuck.

Check into the airline was fine! First plan boarded a bit late so it made me run across the Frankfort airport.

Again.

I remember standing in line for the last security check and some guy comes up to me and insists that I allow him to go ahead as his plane is going to leave in just a few minutes. I explain to him that I too and in the same boat, so sorry, not sorry. He had rude words to say like “I hope you miss your flight” and “I thought all Canadians where nice!”

Fact: Turns out line guy was also getting on my plane.

A not yet boarded plane was the only reason I made it. I never did find out the reason the plane ended up boarding late. Now, because so many people where squished into a tiny room waiting to get on a plane, it was really hot. Like a sauna hot. I’m thinking great a few hundred stinky people stuck on a plane together. Yay! Anyway, It was so hot that a guy actually fainted. So a medical team had been called, and we waited for them to clear this guy to fly.

Finally we board! However, we now had to wait for a window because there were too many clouds above our section of airway. At this point, I just don’t care, I’m on the plane, I’m heading home, Flight team- Do what you need to get me their safe.

Then the gentlemen from earlier realized he shouldn’t be flying, he feels very unwell and needs to get off the plan.

Oh this all went down well we were on the tarmac, waiting for our window. The airline then had to taxi back to the airport, then unload this guy and his luggage. So needless to say we left the airport two hours later than planned.

You would think that this would be the end of this post, but wait theirs more!

The guy sitting across the aisle from me started complaining to the flight attendants that this plane ride is now 11 hours instead of the scheduled 9 hours. FOOL, BE GLAD YOU ARE ON THE PLANE! The flight attendants on this flight were top-notch. We got lots of free wine, booze, cookies and nuts for our troubles.

Clearly the way to my heart is with cookies and wine.

Now some people become jerks when they don’t get their way. (Here’s looking to you aisle guy). He had gotten so upset that the flight crew couldn’t give him bottles of wine. Yes bottles of wine. He claimed that other airlines would give him bottles, why should this be any different. So the flight attendant gave extra cookies to shut him up. This guy then proceeded to open the bag with such strength the bag just explodes and I’m the one covered in cookie bits. The flight attendant then apologized, I told him no need, it’s not your fault some people can’t open cookies.  The look I got from angry aisle guy was fantastic.
All threw out the trip he would bark orders at our wonderful flight attendants, and I would always finish his sentence with a please or thank you.

It would go something like this:

ASS- “You flight man, I NEED A REFILL ON MY RUM AND COKE”
ME- “Please”

ASS- “You flight worker, take my garbage”
ME- “Please and thank you”

You could tell he wanted to yell at me. Somehow I knew he wouldn’t because he didn’t want to get arrested for picking a fight with a girl half his age. Also, I’m sure he didn’t want to be that guy on the plan.

Other than running across the Frankfort airport a second time and a rude passenger on the plane, it was a good trip home. I managed to watch all three hobbit movies and get super drunk thanks to my lovely flight attendants.

~All the best,

p.s-  Traveling fun tip- Be nice to your flight crew, please and thank you go a long way. (You may get extra cookies and wine)

Travel

Italy.

Let me start off by telling you I that Italy was never on my bucket list. I had originally bought it as a surprise gift for my boyfriend, The Italian*.  About a year ago, we had a conversation about what were on our bucket list. I remember asking him what was on his and getting the reply “I would like to go to Italy”.

So with much planning and the lovely help from the team at Contiki, I was set to surprise the Italian with the greatest Christmas present ever!

However, he said

No.

Who says no to a free trip to Italy?

I have learned from my past travels with Contiki is that life is about no regrets! I wasn’t going to let buying a trip for someone to someplace that wasn’t on my bucket list be one of mine.

So, I went to Italy all by myself!

I actually enjoy traveling by myself. I get to move at my pace, I’m not rushed to get from point A, to point B. I get to see what I would like to see. Although, getting to Italy was its own adventure, but that’s for another blog post.

The people I met on this tour where amazing. The places I saw where breathtaking. The food I ate was plenty and delicious. The memories I made because of these I’ll remember Italy forever.

Sometimes it’s simply not where you’re going that makes the destination, but the rather the people you had met along the way the destination a memory to last a lifetime.

These are just a couple of people I met along the way. Each person I met on this trip was absolutely fantastic and helped create awesome memories of Italy with me.

One of my favorite moments was the last day of our trip where it POURED buckets and buckets of rain in Rome. I refused to buy and umbrella or poncho from the many venders selling them. I was soaked. I didn’t care. What did I do? I handed off all my electronics to Pooja, and started jumping in puddles all over Rome. BEST TIME EVER! Again, Eleri, I’m so sorry I got you wet! I honestly didn’t think the puddle was that big!

I got to put my feet in the Mediterranean Sea. I did a wine tasting in a beautiful vineyard. I rode a gondola threw Venice. I got to see the roman Colosseum. I saw the statue of David. I visited Juliet’s balcony in Verona. I visited the Cinque Terre and saw some amazing buildings.

The buildings in Italy are a sight of their own. The amount of craftsmanship that went into them just blew my mind. The churches I visited where fantastic, but I don’t have many pictures of the insides because a lot of them ask you not to. I’m OK with that. You will have to visit Italy to find out why everything here is so spectacular.

Would I go back to Italy? Yes but not by myself. I feel like I need an adventure buddy to visit Italy again.
Would I buy a trip for someone else and surprise them with it again? I probably will, but not for a while.

As much as I love to travel by myself, my next adventure will have to be with a travel buddy!

All the best,
Bailey B.

*I call him The Italian because he is Italian, his family came from Italy and he was the 1st Italian I had ever met.

Travel

London.

I spent a few days exploring London during my first ever vacation. I decided to come to London because my friend Paul lived their and I thought, hey why not? The UK is home of my favorite crisp, Monster Munch and its also the home of Harry Potter! I saw so many great and wonderful things, but let me tell you about a couple of my favorites.

London Natural History Museum

London Natural History Museum

London Natural History Museum. AMAZING! I did not know that the do-do bird was actually that big! Dinosaurs where massive creatures. Old rocks and fossils are really, really cool. Most of all, it was free. I was shocked when Paul told me we didn’t have to pay. It was one of the things I really enjoyed about London, Museums are free. Well most of them anyway,

Westminster Abby was an experience. It was breath-taking, inspiring, it was moving. The amount of history, architecture, and artwork is amazing. I will admit, I’m not the most religious person, although I do have my beliefs, being in the Abby was very emotional and spiritually moving. I spent about 4 hours, reading, looking and just absorbing the world around me. I could read as many plaques as I could, looked at every square inch of public space. My favorite room was Henry VII’s Lady Chapel. The reason; the ceiling, which is hand carved by the way. In one area of the room they have a mirror so you can look up at the ceiling without putting a crank in your neck. Even as I think back to my time in the Abby, I feel tingly.

Westminster Abby

Westminster Abby

If you are ever visit the Westminster Abby, visit the little green concession stand just outside, buy yourself a tea, find a spot to sit and just reflect.

Some people might tell you that the Tower of London is over-rated and I will tell you, they are wrong. If you a fan of castles, history, jewels or all the above. You most certainly shall not be disappointed. It’s full of twists, turns, history as well as the famous crown jewels. The valet, where they are kept, is grand and massive. You walk into a room, into another room, down a hallway and then finally you enter the vault. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything sparkle like that room. The one thing I found to be nice little touch is when an item is out on loan or display somewhere else, they leave a note card in its place explaining why and where it is.

Big Ben.

Big Ben.

The Elizabeth tower, home of Big Ben, was a place on my bucket list. I took this lovely picture after walking about it for 20 mins. It is a landmark of London, Its grand, and it’s beautiful.

Platform 9 ¾ was everything I thought it would be. I deliberately chose to leave for Scotland from Kings Cross, just so I could stop at Platform ¾. Yes I bought myself a ticket for the Hogwarts express and had to refrain from purchasing a official HP robe. When I go again, well that’s another story.

When I make it back to London, I would love to do the London Eye, the aquarium, do the tour of Warner Brothers Harry Potter and explore so much more!

Do you have any recommendations of things I MUST see well in London? Leave me a comment!

All the best,
Bailey B.

Travel

Scotland.

One of my favorite pictures from my trip to Scotland.

One of my favorite pictures from my trip to Scotland.

As I mentioned in my post on Ireland, Scotland was an add on to that trip. Looking back on my trip to Scotland I’m so glad I added it on because I had such grand adventures! It started by taking my very first train ride from London to Scotland.

I booked myself a 1st class ticket to Edinburgh Scotland when I booked my Contiki trip months earlier. I remember taking the train from Kings Cross Station in London.Yes the inner Harry Potter fan girl did a sequel when I stopped at Kings Cross and found myself at Platform 9 ¾.

I had never traveled 1st class on anything. When I booked my ticket I thought to myself, hey why not? It’s about the same amount to take the greyhound to Kamloops and back. Fact: If you book your tickets far enough in advance, you get a cheaper price.

I remember getting off the train, collecting my luggage and heading to the taxi pickup to head to my hotel. I had the best taxi driver. I gave him the address and asked him so many questions on the way. He had answers for all of them.

I saw Edinburgh castle, sterling castle, Loch Ness, St. Andrews, the isle in the sky and so many other things! I ate so much amazing and delicious foods, I even tried Haggis! I found a love for Irn-Bru

This place had the best pasties I've had to date.

This place had the best pasties I’ve had to date.

It rained once on the trip, well what I call rain anyway. It was on the first full day of my Contiki, also the day we went to Edinburgh Castle. I had purchased a rain jacket for this trip. Living in Vancouver you think I would have owned one prior to this trip, but nope! It came in great use that day wandering around the castle for about 4 hours, exploring each room, taking everything in! The rest of the trip it was cloudy and a bit moist but nothing in compared to that day.

A wet day at Edinburgh castle!

A wet day at Edinburgh castle!

Haggis is amazing! But apparently only if Its made and cooked right. I found it to be a bit spicy. I enjoyed it so much I wanted seconds.

Best Haggis Ever.

Best Haggis Ever.

I leaned a bunch of Scottish dances in Oban; I danced the night away with friends, great drinks and a bunch of Scottish gentlemen in Glasgow. A night of dancing does a girl wonders.

On every trip you take, you will stay at a place where somethings just don`t work or you don`t understand how they work. Like the time I stayed in a hotel in Oban, Scotland. Worst. Shower. Ever. The water was too hot one moment, too cold the next. Then I had only hot water coming out of the facet and my feet where just boiling. I ended up having to get out of the shower and ask my roommate how the thing worked! She also had the same problems and eventually figured it out.

But on every adventure we go on, we will always come out with some not so great but they are great memories now and a bunch of amazing stories!

Scotland, I can`t wait until I get to see you again,
All the best,
Bailey B.