Monday, February 18, 2008

I worked a short day yesterday then headed to LAX to catch my flight to Canada.  When I checked in with Alaska Airlines, the ticketing agent informed me that an earlier flight was currently boarding that had empty seats and I might be able to get on it.  I went up and got on the standby list.  They told me to have a seat and they'd call my name if they had a seat.  Boarding was nearly finished, and they hadn't called me so I figured I hadn't gotten one of the empty seats.  I checked at the counter where the agent asked my name, and said, "," and handed me a boarding pass.  I was the last person on the plane.  Not only did I manage to get on an earlier flight, I actually had a whole row to myself!

I've been to Vancouver B.C. several times but have never flown in, I've always driven.  I'll tell you, the Vancouver B.C. airport is the nicest airport ever.  It is so clean and so cool looking.  There was  Tim Horton's on the way to customs.  Welcome to Canada!  When going through customs, I got a female agent who was a bit of a hard ass.  She asked where I'd be staying, and when I told her I was staying with a friend, she asked where I knew him from.  I don't know about you, but I'm one of those people who gets really nervous around this type of official, and am always afraid I'm going to inadvertently  lie which will ultimately result in some sort of body cavity check.  So when she asked how I knew my friend, I coughed up, "A.A." right away.  Except that because I was nervous, everything I said was coming out like a question.  My answer became, "A.A.?"  Not only had I outed myself as a recovering alcoholic to some random customs agent, I had also outed my friend.  So much for the second "A."  She also wanted to know when we had met, which I answered, "About 10 years ago?"  She asked me what I do for a living. "I'm a television editor?"  Then she began to grill me about whether or not I'd be working while in town, or if I ever got calls to come work in Canada, to which I replied, "Why would they do that when they could hire a Canadian?" which was apparently the right answer.

I got my rental car and made it to my friend's house.  After going to the door to make sure I had the right place, I went back to the car to get my stuff.  This is the point when I set the car alarm off.  At 11:30pm in a residential neighborhood.  Worse yet, I was unable to turn the alarm OFF.  And it was REALLY loud.  After fumbling around for about 5 minutes and nervously waving off neighbors coming out to find out what the hell was going on, I finally got it off.  In the midst of pressing every button I could find on my alarm remote over and over again, I must have pressed the trunk button, because when I came out this morning around 9am, the back window to the SUV was popped up and wide open.  Sweet.
I headed up to Cypress Mountain which is only 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver.  It was a beautiful day, and actually, really warm.  I needed to rent a board and boots which turned out to be a total ordeal.  As it turns out, in addition to being President's Day which drew some families from the States, it was also a school holiday in the city of Vancouver so there were a TON of people there.  It literally took me 2 1/2 hours to get my rental gear, get my lift ticket, and get on the mountain.  It was a little slushy, but a beautiful view - snowy mountains and the city skyline in the distance.  

I love this city.  I would totally move here.  Unfortunately, there is no work here, and even if there was, it wouldn't likely go to an American.  Let me know if you have any bright ideas on how I could successfully make the move and not be an unemployed deadbeat living in B.C.


Blogger dnetrunner said...

LOL...your airport ordeal reads like a super bowl commercial! (maybe one for a super-strong anti perspirant or something)

I think you are a Canadian born in an American's body...

Have a good mini vacation!

7:42 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I love Vancouver - I got my first birdie golfing in Stanley Park.

Customs officials are supposed to make you nervous - they deliberately ask obscure questions so that someone faking an identification won't be prepared. What you think of as fumbling is actually the appropriate response.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

WOW! People came outside to check on the car alarm!?!?! That IS impressive.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Kings Fan said...

People haven't come outside to check car alarms since 1985. I too am impressed with the concern our neighbor's from the north showed for your well-being. Freaking Canucks!

10:10 AM  
Blogger Auburn Kat said...

I LOVE Tim Horton's!!!!!! That is one good thing about being home, I can go get coffee there anytime I want!

2:30 PM  
Blogger Kelly J. Compeau said...

Well, that was an interesting start to your trip, with the nosey customs official and late night car alarm. Glad to hear you're having a good time!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was through Vancouver's airport in July, I too was impressed with how nice it is. There's this waterfall in the international arrivals area that is rather impressive.

I wish I could run away to BC for about a year as well. I joke with a friend of mine up there that I need a Jetsons house that I can pack up in a suitcase and reassemble in her backyard.

(Btw, Happy late birthday!)


11:06 PM  

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