I book things in advance, people know this. I do it to make sure I don’t forget things. Therefore when someone calls at my door with a car that’s really too small to accommodate 2 passengers, 2 (not huge) cases, 2 pieces of hand luggage and a wheelchair AFTER booking it well in advance, then I’m a little peeved. He’s convinced he wasn’t told but I have the email (haha). Anyway we managed somehow to fit it all in and we got to Heathrow.
We sped through security, got duty-free (a bit too much by the look of things but we got away with that) and after a coffee we arrived at the gate and then we’re in the air and on the way. Lovely….hmmm. When we dropped our bags off the very nice gentleman put a tag on Amanda’s wheelchair and assured us that we could take it to the door of the aircraft where it would be taken from us, placed in hold number 5 and when we got to Vancouver it would be waiting for us at the aircraft door. What fantastic service. Well… when we arrived in Vancouver we were told, after waiting for about 20 mins and by now the only passengers on the aircraft, that the ground crew had given her wheelchair to another passenger because she’d asked for wheelchair assistance. Someone ran after her and after about 25 mins it appeared with the story that they never REALLY gave it away, no of course not, it was hidden in the hold and it was particularly difficult to remove. The plus point was the BA cabin crew who refused to disembark and made sure we stayed on the plane which forced the ground crew to sort the mess as quickly as possible.
Two wheelchair dramas in one day, not bad eh?
We had problems finding the car rental desk, it’s not well signposted in the airport but were very happy when we finally saw our transport for the next two weeks.
Amanda drove the first leg as I’d never driven on the wrong side of the road (intentionally) before and did a great job. We had a minor issue with our sat nav but I got that fixed and we got to the ferry terminal in plenty of time to catch the 5pm sailing.
By now we were seriously flagging, both scared to calculate how long we’d been up, but once on Vancouver Island it was a 30 min drive to the hotel. Canadian traffic signals gave us a minor heart attack a few times. I made the mistake of assuming that traffic lights are the same wherever you go, a universal method. Red=stop, amber=prepare to stop/prepare to go and green=put your foot down. Here we have flashing red, flashing amber and flashing green. Not flashing like ours meaning things are about to change, just flashing…continously. I had to look them up when we got to the hotel and hopefully we won’t kill someone/get booked/hold up the locals in the future.
The hotel was exactly as we remembered it, peaceful and lovely. I booked so far in advance that the price had come down so I got a $30 a night reduction and they were having problems with our fireplace (who needs a fire this time of year?) and the safe so offered us free breakfasts during our stay too. I reckon that’s about CAD$100 we saved on this stay…(happy face).
Today is a relax/get over jet lag/learn how to use the car/sort out luggage day. Amanda will probably go swimming and I will probably drink beer. Happy holidays