Saturday, December 30, 2006

Toronto - Saturday Night

In Toronto - finally.

I'm sitting here on my bed in the hotel room, watching Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles while number one son sleeps in the other bed.

It's been a long day. After arriving at 5:30 this morning to catch a 6:30 flight, our plane finally left DFW about 5:00 P.M. Apparently the plane we were supposed to have flown out on this morning suffered some sort of damage from all the storms last night.

If we'd had any sense, we'd have abandoned the airport once we found out we had a later departure. But our brains were foggy. Instead we opted to hang out in Terminal D. and look at all the public art that had been installed when they opened the terminal (several friends have pieces). When we grew weary of that, we checked the shops.

When our feet finally gave way, we ended up camping out within ear and eye shot of various plasma TV screens tuned to the ubiquitous 24-hour news feed. After a couple of hours, I noticed a strange convergence of stories: the funerals for Gerald Ford and James Brown, and the early morning execution of Saddam Hussein. Death seemed to surround us -- not a good thing for would-be travelers.

As 3:30 neared, our flight was delayed again, this time to 4:30.

We finally left the ground around 5:00.

The Air Canada plane was about a third of the way full, which was surprising given that so many passengers needed to be rescheduled from the morning flight. Still, we weren't complaining.

The plane had a fabulous in-flight entertainment system -- each seat back had a touch-screen LED installed, and you could choose from a couple of dozen movie titles, TV shows, and music channels. Coolest thing I'd ever seen on an airplane. I watched "My Super Ex-Girlfriend," saving my wife the chore of sitting through it (it wasn't bad but she has voiced extreme suspicion).

Once in T-town we did customs and stopped by Immigration so we could pick up a Study Application form (number one son is about to become a Canadian college student), then caught a cab to the hotel.

By the time we got there and got checked in, it was 10:30. All hotel restaurants closed at 10:00. But fear not: there is a healthy collection of slightly funky food establishments right around the corner.

Tomorrow: more shopping. Stay tuned!

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