Varadero, Cuba – Heading home
Our pick-up for the flight home was scheduled for pretty early in the morning so we were up before sunrise. We were supposed to have a wake-up call, breakfast delivered to our room and porter service to get our bags from our room to the pick-up point. Somehow we ended up with none of the above services so somewhere along the way the time or the room number got mixed up. Perhaps someone else got a knock on their door at 6AM and had an unexpected breakfast in bed or …??? Anyway, we were up in time and waiting when the bus arrived to take us to the airport.
We got to the airport with plenty of time to find our line-up to check our bags.Â After that, it was the line-up to pay the departure tax.Â And then it was the line-up to get past the immigration/emigration folks. An then,Â it was the security check and then, we were finally able to rest and wait for the call to our departure gate.
When we looked up at the flight information, our Air Canada flight stated “confirmed” while all of the other flights were shown as “on time”.Â As time progressed, a few of the “on time” listings changed to “delayed”.Â Our flight maintained it’s “confirmed” status so I just wandered around photographing bits and pieces of the airport lounge as more and more people arrived to fill the available seats.
With the uneasiness in Canada with regards to possible pilot strikes and other union issues always in the back of the mind, some travelers began to get a bit nervous about the status of their flights. I wasn’t too concerned, though, since our plane was sitting out on the tarmac but I had no idea whether or not we would haveÂ a pilot to fly it back to Ottawa. Others were likewise probably feeling reasonably happy when they looked out the window and saw that their plane was already sitting at the gate.Â But, for those whose information had switched to “delayed”, the anxiety associated with waiting began to become a bit more acute.
We got the call to board andÂ headed for the gate. When we had arrived a week earlier , our plane had parked out on the tarmac and we had been transported by bus from the plane to the terminal.Â For our departure, the reverse of that process was in effect, and we were transported by bus out to our Embraer 190 which was parked out on the tarmac. It was nice to settle into our seats and await the takeoff.
Once we were airborne, the flight was rather uneventful although we did hit a patch of turbulence somewhere just north of Syracuse. As we flew over the St. Lawrence River, we could see the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks off in the distance and the St. Lawrence River down below.Â There was no sign of snow!!!
As we made our final approach into Ottawa International Airport and flew over the racetrack, it was tough to find any sign that the winter that we had left behind a week earlier had even occurred.
It’s just not supposed to be +20C in Ottawa when I’m taking a winter break and flying to Cuba 🙂 Probably next year will be different!
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