Almost Regina

Today I almost made it to Regina. I was close enough that I could almost touch it. But the karma gods decided to have a bit of a giggle on my expense. You see – Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the last two Canadian provinces that I have yet to visit. And, no matter how hard I try – I always seem to miss opportunities to go to both of them.

Anyway…here is how today’s story went:

5:00am – Alarm goes off and surprisingly I am already awake and anxious to go.

5:50am – Airport shuttle shows up. Already there are two people in the van and we drive to the NW to find the fourth person. I love the airport shuttle – where would I be without it? You book online and are outside at a preplanned time. No worries. No problems finding a ride to the airport. No expensive cab ride.

6:30am – Check in. This is painlessly easy now that there are e-tickets. You can now check in at machines that look like bank machines. Simple. Fast. Painless.

7:00am – Find the gate after aimless wandering and staring longingly at Starbucks (I’m off coffee now). Bypass the magazines because I am broke after putting a down payment on a house.

7:15am – Plane is supposed to board but for some reason Air Canada is holding us back. An announcement is made; the weather is crappy in Regina, but flights are still going that way.

7:30am – Boarding begins. It is a small plane (a prop) so this doesn’t take long. We need to walk out on to the tarmac to get on the plane. As I am walking over I watch the sun rise over the horizon. It is a beautiful and eerie combination with the colours, the plane and a sudden gust of wind that blows my jacket open as I am watching. I feel like I am in slow motion.

7:32am – Find my seat – which is a window seat. See that my view is of the engine and tires of the plane.

7:35am – Man who bathed himself in cheap cologne sits next to me (one of the perks of business travel). I turn the air blower thingy on high and aim it right at my face. Think of the perfume man in the James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever.

7:50am – Plane takes off – everything is fine. Travel out of Alberta and into Saskatchewan. Get some nice snaps of the landscape. Saskatchewan and Eastern Alberta are really flat. As William would say – you can watch your dog run away for 5 days in Saskatchewan.

10:30am Saskatchewan Time – Coming in over Regina. The pilot announces we are making our descent. I snap a beautiful picture of the city – the one that is all white. I think to myself – in a few minutes I will be away from perfume man and will be able to knock off one of the last two provinces I have to see.

10:31am Saskatchewan Time – Pilot says” “Folks, you may have noticed the plane has turned around and we are going back to Calgary…” We can’t land because visibility is 0 and the runway is sheer ice. I groan inwardly because I have roughly another hour and a half next to perfume man.

11:00am – Arrive back in Calgary. Air Canada is handing out phone numbers we can call to rebook or refund our ticket. I later – after many phone calls – rebook for tomorrow so I can try the whole thing again.

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