Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Traveling Northern Style

We're home. Finally home. No more travel plans to worry about for many more months. I am totally exhausted, and fairly certain that unpacking will take weeks.

Getting back home to the North usually entails many obstacles, I bet most of us northerners have a fun story to tell about getting stuck somewhere. Throughout our traveling south career we have had no problems getting from A to B, but it was only a matter of time before we gained our own traveling in the north story.

It started with freezing rain in Ottawa and trying to get through rush hour traffic on the 417. We needed to have both Nathan's parents and my brother drive us to the airport because we had 5 suit cases, 3 carry ons, 1 gun case, 1 Malamute and cage and one very unimpressed kitteh. Even though Nathan's parents had 20 inch icicles hanging off of their car, we made it to the airport in one piece and on time. Just as we made it onto the plane and started relaxing the flight attended came up to us and told us their was someone on board with a severe cat allergy and could we please let them put the kitteh up with the pilot? Ok sure, but she meows solid while in transport, so as long as the pilots don't mind. No? Ok.....

"Good Morning, this is your captain and thank you for choosing first air, as you can see we are stuck in a line up and....MEOW... will probably be delayed... MEOW... about an hour... MEOW... so we can be de-iced... MEOW.... thank you for your patience."

Can you believe we were sitting on the runway for hours waiting to be de-iced... in a city that should be used to super amounts of snow and ice, I mean come on! Oh and the whole plane could hear the cat meowing over the load speaker... that wasn't embarrassing...

I guess after a while the pilot decided to let the cats head out of the soft create, so that he could pet her head in an attempt to calm her down. Then at this point they were also letting her walk around up there and then the flight attendants where taking pictures of her "flying" the plane. They came back to show me the photos and I even asked them to send me the photo and if I ever get it I will post it up. Only in the North.

Then we landed in Iqaluit and saw our flight home was canceled! That freaked me out because now I have to not only worry about all of our luggage but the dog and cat. Where am I going to get litter for the night? What a massive pain.

Here is where my northern stranded story transforms into a Northern hospitality story. Usually in the North you see people you know in the airport...this happens every time! We ended up seeing someone we met back in our community, who lives in Iqaluit. He gave us a ride and a place to stay for the night. Then he took us on a tour of Iqaluit because I had said that I had never really seen the place. It was the nicest thing anyone could have ever done for us, and he just said "hey, it's the north!". I am so happy to be back in the north and back home.

I encourage all of us to take this example and pass it forward. Help keep our beautiful white north the most friendly place to live.

9 comments:

Nancy said...

Well that's the best travelling with a cat story I've ever heard! I used to travel with mine too back in the '90s, many amusing (in hindsight!) stories came out of it. Thou shalt always have cat litter ... preferably in carry-on.

Monday weather in Ottawa did indeed suck, but it got worse, good thing you escaped. I've had that problem of sitting on a plane interminably too both here and in Montreal- you'd really think they'd have the knack of it by now...

And I will pop your painting in the mail soon, I swear! I'll blame it on the weather.

Rob, Tina and the boys said...

Soo cool. Did you take any pics while you "sight seeing?"

Lindsay Gee said...

Oh my gosh. That cat story is hilarious.

Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

ahahahah I am peeing my pants laughing at the cat story!! Our kitties meow like mad on the plane too so I totally understand. I can't believe the pilots let her out! What a riot.

Kennie said...

I can see the new post with pictures now .... "Kitteh Fly's First Air plane from Ottawa to Iqaluit". I laughed so hard when I read that Jen! It made my day!

Julie said...

oh Maui! :p

See maybe Jer should have let her drive the car! That's all she really wanted to do!

Anonymous said...

well, it's better than what Azlan would have done the whole way...pfftt.....pffttt...
guaranteed,the pilots wouldn't have lasted more than 30 seconds in that confined space
xo

Way Way Up said...

Definitely gotta love that northern hospitality. I'm forever grateful for those people who always seem to come to the rescue whenever you find yourself in a bind.

Your post reminded me of a time about 4 years back when I was stuck a couple days in Iqaluit following a conference. The first night was cool since it gave me an extra day off work. The second night was very uncool because not only did I not get out but every hotel room in Iqaluit was booked (these were sad pre-Nova Inn times).

As it turned out there were two other teachers stuck with me as well and we managed to get in touch with a lady in Iqaluit who used to teach at the college in the community I was trying to return to. I spent the night in a sleeping bag on a kitchen floor but I've never complained since I don't want to think of what I'd have done otherwise.

Shelley said...

Your cat story had me in stitches!