Sunday, August 23, 2009

Killing Time in the Vancouver Airport

I had the unfortunate luck of having a delayed flight out of Vancouver a few days ago. I had just spent a relaxing weekend in Whistler--as my previous entry talks about--and I was heading back to reality in Chicago when I looked at the screen and saw a two hour delay next to my flight number. To make matters worse, being the worrier I am--and my mom being ten times worse--I was already at the airport two hours early for the orginal scheduled departure. I had over 4 hours to wait. Thankfully, I had a good book to read as well as my journal to write in.

But it can be a bit tedious reading for hours on end, and my eyes can start to hurt after looking at tiny type for too long. So the first thing I did--since it was early--was grab a coffee and a damn good cinammon roll. I usually don't indulge on such fattening and sweet food for breakfast, but I felt I deserved something delecatable to help me get through my long wait in a practically empty airport. I ventured over to the gate and took a seat. I decided to take the time to write more about my weekend and pulled out my journal. As I was penning away in earnst, more and more people began showing up, delivering the same sigh of annoyance as they saw the bright red DELAYED sign flashing. I was able to get in touch with my boyfriend to find out that the delay was weather related and it was pouring down rain in Chicago. With this information, I was able to start up a couple conversations with people who were curious about this inconvenience. Many people were only flying to Chicago to make connections to their final destination cities, so the airport became a frenzy of paniced people worrying about getting home. I felt bad, because thankfully Chicago was as far as I had to go, so it was just annoying for me to have to wait longer to get home. Whereas other people could have been stranded or stuck in other cities overnight.

To break away from the hectic ticketing area and all the families rushing around trying to find other flights, I wandered over to the duty free shops, hoping to find some good stuff to purchase. But usually the stuff they sell is really expensive. Plus, I had no room to put anything in my already overstuffed carryon. But shopping certainly killed some more time, and I was able to explore more of the airport. If you have ever been to Vancouver you know, the airport is amazing. It's massive, first of all, and the Native American decor is beautiful. I loved all the wood carvings and paintings of native tribes, it was very indicative of the culture they have in Vancouver. As most know, the 2010 winter olympic games are going to be held there, and I love how they are bringing in regional tradition with all the Native American characters and legends.

In my efforts to pass the time, my stomach began to grumble. Clearly that cinammon roll was not enough to suffice me for the full four hours. So I went in search of something more fullfilling. I found it in Tim Hortons, a coffee chain throughout Canada. They not only have a range of pastries, bagels, and coffee, but they also have a number of sandwiches, paninis, and salads. I opted for a yummy looking chicken salad sandwich and an ice tea. I felt I needed to be a little healthier with my lunch selection, seeing as my breakfast had been a sugarfest. After purchasing a snack for the four hour plane ride--yeah, on top of the delay, the flight still takes that long--I headed back over to the gate to find a seat and enjoy my airport meal. I pulled out my book, because I can't seem to eat without doing something at the same time, and began reading while I took hungry bites from the whole wheat roll. It was delicious! I really wish they had Tim Horton's in the US. Maybe someday they will.

With a full stomach and my mind preoccupied with my book, the rest of the time appeared to fly by and before I knew it my flight was finally boarding. As I sat happily on the plane, ready to head home, I thought back fondly on my unwanted time in Vancouver airport. Truth be told, it was not as bad as I had anticipated. In fact, it was kind of relaxing, laid back and carefree. A perfect end to my long weekend away from reality.

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