Montreal & Quebec Day 9: Flying Home

As I was flying out on this Sunday, I hadn't scheduled any sightseeing for the day. The previous night I'd briefly contemplated waking up early to see a tall falls east of town and a huge basilique and adjacent canyon farther east. But, I decided I'd seen enough religious buildings. Also, the forecast said rain; hence, the falls were likely to be not very pleasant and not easily seen.

I had trouble deciding what type of food to eat and when (such as one meal or two) before my plane's scheduled departure around 1:00pm. In the end, my parents and I ended up walking this route in a drizzle from our hotel, through old town and many tempting fancier restaurants, to the bakery outside the walls that had smelled so good on Saturday. Along the way, I took these pictures. The pictures also include some photographs I took while flying home.

It was further than any of us thought. We soon realized we were close when the smells of fresh bread wafted down the block. And thus we had breakfast at Panetier Baluchon. Here's my review.

After breakfast, as mom and I packed, dad researched and bid on hotels to determine where my parents would sleep that night. (Me, I thought they'd have planned ahead and figured this out before the trip began or at least a few days before it became needed. This last minute behavior seemed uncharacteristic.)

Anyway, this meant I got the fun opportunity to pick up the car from the garage and drive it through many narrow, windy one-way streets back to the hotel. Really, I'm not being sarcastic: it was fun. The previously linked route also includes the trail from the hotel to the parking garage and my best estimate of the roads I took to return to the hotel.

Given this hotel research, we checked out at the last minute and headed to the airport nearly an hour after I'd originally thought would be a good time to leave for the airport for my flight. I was extremely nervous, nearly panicky, during the drive to the airport. Our lateness turned out not to be a problem at all. Traffic was fine. The airport was closer than I thought. And there was no line for security.

(Incidentally, my parents didn't actually manage to book a hotel that morning; they needed more time later in the day to finish the job.)

Further saving me from any worry of missing my flight was my flight's delay due mechanical problems that "needed further investigation." We took off a bit more than an hour late.

That meant I had time to think about lunch. Quebec airport was so small, there were practically no food purveyors and certainly none behind security. Instead, I ate the remains of olive-garlic bread (still quite good) and wished I had an apple to complete my lunch. (Only one person will get the reference from the latter part of that sentence.)

To get back to San Francisco, I had to transfer twice, once in Toronto and once in Denver. Through these three flights, the planes got larger and larger. The first sat less than fifty people -two on each side of the aisle-; the second, with a similar layout though longer, sat around one hundred and twenty-five; the third was a two-five-two layout and probably sat three hundred and fifty people.

Transferring in Toronto was stressful. I had to take a shuttle to the international terminal, pick up my bags, go through customs, check my bags, and go through security. Even with bypassing all the lines -the privilege accorded to people running late-, I just barely made my flight. Two more minutes and I wouldn't have. Good thing the baggage claim wasn't marginally slower!

Since I arrived in Denver on time, I had over two hours in which to get dinner. I spent most of it walking up and down the terminal getting exercise while deciding where to eat. First, I got a satisfying cheese steak at Steak Escape. (Why can't we have fast food joints that serve such respectable cheese steaks in California?) Then, still hungry, I decided to go vaguely healthy (or at least to delude myself into thinking that anything without meat must be healthy) and ordered a veggie sub at Quizno's. It turned out to be huge, mostly filled with lettuce and black olives. It was fairly good though difficult to eat because it was drenched in so much sweet vinaigrette dressing that the dressing soaked through the bread and made the sandwich begin to fall apart.

From San Francisco Airport, I took a shuttle home. It was surprisingly fast, as out of the dozen people, they dropped me off first! A nice end to a day of traveling.

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