Address: 702 14 St E, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0P7
Hours: Open today · 7AM–10PM
Address: 702 14 St E, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0P7
Address: 702 14 St E, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0P7
Hours: Open today · 7AM–10PM
I am en route from Regina to Boston. My flight from Regina yesterday morning was relatively uneventful. Traveling during peak season with full planes and all ages is always interesting!
I arrived in Toronto at the same time I was supposed to be boarding my flight to Montreal. A mad dash to domestic flights wing was not necessary. By the time I arrived in the waiting area the departure time had changed. It was moved to 30 minutes later. I checked my boarding pass for the Montreal to Boston leg and worried that I may not make the connection.
I lined up to speak to the customer service agent and was assured that I would definitely make my connection. Reassured I decided to go for a walk. Sitting for 3+ hours on a place is never my favorite thing to do.
I returned to the boarding area after 5 minutes and to my dismay discovered that departure time had been moved by another 30 minutes… The explanation was that a maintenance crew was changing a tire.
I lined up… and at this time the same customer service agent once more assured me that I would catch my connecting flight to Boston as the connecting flight was also delayed. Still on the phone she then began to lower her voice to check if the luggage would be accessible for those that were on international flight could claim their suitcases in case they had to change flights. This was not meant to be overheard…
I returned to walking the halls, weaving in and out between arriving passengers, and those that were performing the same made dash I had exercised 45 minutes earlier. Just watching these travelers raised my heart rate, so I claimed a seat and switched to people watching mode.
Another casual glance at the departure board revealed that my plane was now boarding at the time I was supposed to board originally in Montreal.
I lined up… again… and at that time overheard the customer service agent help two young men in front of me also traveling to the US to switch their flights. Hmmm, hope grew and I moved up to the counter with confidence. My third polite inquiry whether I could also switch flights was denied without an explanation. I was told “Montreal will deal with this. If necessary they will put you up in a hotel over night. Next!”
I was resigned that I would not make it to Boston on August 8th, 2015… a similar situation from the same day last year… where I sat in the Regina Airport secure area for 9 hours before passengers were informed that the flight was not leaving… But I digress! We boarded 2 hours later that the original time and after not only the tire was changed but the emergency lighting had been replaced inside the plane. Apparently a passenger had damaged a section of the electrical cables when removing his/her suitcase from the overhead bin…
Fast forward to 8 pm, we arrive in Montreal in an airplane with maybe 1/3 of the seats filled (I am generous in my estimation) as most other passengers had switched to alternate planes. I made my way to the customer service line up. A couple in obvious distress struck up a conversation sharing that they were on the way to Vancouver to their daughter’s wedding. The plane they were trying to catch was about to leave. I moved aside and let them go ahead. A mom with her young daughter appeared very tired and I let them proceed ahead of me to get settled for the night. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon…
Finally it was my turn (it was about 9 pm by now) and I moved up to the counter. The friendly and very pleasant customer service representative was eager to print out a hotel voucher, meal vouchers and the oh so precious boarding pass for my flight to Boston early in the morning. I was about to say thank you when the announcement is made “Sorry, but we have no more hotel rooms.” I thought it was a joke… I smiled and she repeated the sentence adding “I am sorry” at the end.
The alternative offered was: Stay at the airport and find a place to spend the night, fly back to Toronto and try to catch a flight to Boston leaving at midnight, fly to Ottawa where they had hotel rooms and catch a flight at 5 am. Or, check with the Marriott next door if they had rooms. Pay for it myself and then “try to submit the bill to Air Canada – but you should know, they don’t usually pay for the entire bill. But you can try to write a letter to explain and maybe they will pay for the room.” – these were the words of the customer service rep.
I had to laugh… not a happy laugh, definitely a cynical coughing laugh… I opted to stay at the airport. Just as we were wrapping it up another agent comes around the corner. “Do you need a room?” she asked. The service rep nodded and you guessed it, the room was mine!
I made my way to the Marriott… and I felt relief! (In 2009 Air Canada had me spend the night in Winnipeg… not fond memories and it made me stop traveling for teaching during winter months for several years!)
The hotel design made my heart sing…
Thank you to the Marriott at the Montreal Airport! Your beautiful atmosphere and courteous service will always be appreciated! I will give you 5 stars all around!
Air Canada – you have a long way to go before I make you my choice of air travel again!
I better go – my flight is now boarding!!! Have a great Sunday, everyone!
A recent visit to Massachusetts included an excursion to a major historic site, Plymouth. After a travel day from hell with unreasonable wait times when first catching my flight I was ready for sunshine and great views.
My friend Glenna and I set out from her house for a short drive to the Plymouth Harbor area. Our first destination, to walk the break water. This 3/4 mile breakwater protects the harbor from storm surges and other weather affects.
And there is was: Dappled with shadows, inscribed with the numbers 1620 to commemorate the year the Mayflower first anchored in the harbor – Plymouth Rock. Small and almost insignificant until we were informed that this was only a small fragment of the original rock.
The Mayflower II, a reproduction of the original ship is anchored only a short distance from The Rock. The original ship anchored a fair distance from today’s harbor and the early settlers known as Puritans navigated row boats to shore.
These were just a few of my early impressions while shaking jet lag. Check back soon for more images and sightseeing tips in the Plymouth and Boston region. I was traveling with a new to me mirror-less camera, a Nikon 1AW. All images during this trip were captured with this camera.
“So, have you had breakfast? How about some coffee?” Carol, my self-appointed guide for the day asks. She is maneuvering the car through steady traffic always looking for a parking spot that won’t take us too far away from the action. I shake my head to the question about coffee. “OK, we are going to grab an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista.”
Carol is not waiting for or expecting an answer I realize immediately. This is not up for debate. All I can think is that “Irish Coffee” in California must be the virgin type, especially since this a menu item up for consideration on a Sunday morning.
The car is parked, we have sixty minutes. We hurry to cross the trolley tracks. Carol is setting the pace as we move swiftly. We are keenly aware that time passes too fast when you have a great time.
We push open the door of the Buena Vista Cafe: warmth, noisy chatter, and the delicious scent of coffee envelop us immediately. We navigate the narrow path between occupied bar stools and small tables laden with brunch platters filled with the most delicious looking foods. Two bar stools open up as we reach the back of the restaurant. We quickly claim our seats. A perfect spot.
Carol holds up two fingers, and without a second lost two glasses filled with dark liquid, topped with a smooth white crown of cream appear out of nowhere, just like magic. I am still not sure if this is the after diner treat I am familiar with. One sip confirms – it is Irish Coffee and it is only 11 a. m… It’ s goes down smooth!
Click on the video link above for a demo on the Irish Coffee production line at the Buena Vista. And in case the direction of the video is too skewed (I apologize!), here are the individual steps for an out of this world result. Step one: Line up glasses. Step two: Preheat glasses with hot water. Step three: Discard the hot water. Step four: Place two sugar cubes into the glasses. Step five: Add hot, strong coffee and stir vigorously. Step six: Introduce Irish Whiskey. Step seven: Top with soft whipped cream. Step eight: Serve. Ahhhhh! No need to push further – the enjoyment is natural.
A great variety of historical ships and boats are anchored along the pier. Walking among the vessels is free; to gain entry visitors with extra time on their agenda can obtain a day pass and explore at leisure.
We hear shouts and lean over the railing. A group of four hardy members of the local Polar Bear Club are in the process of reaching a decisions on how many more miles to add to their Sunday swim. We hear a female voice with Australian accent shout: “One more mile and let’s call it a day!” and off they are, half submerged and slicing through the blue liquid at speed.
We enter the shop and are immediately greeted with a smile and a seasonal treat: pumpkin spice caramel in creamy milk chocolate. Best intentions to resist are now overthrown and we leave with an assortment of chocolate bars and individually packed squares. I do hope mine make it home as gifts…
…to be continued…
A week spent on the outskirts of Sulmona provided numerous opportunities to explore the city at night and during the day. Market days were a highlight during this week. Enjoy the walking tour of Sulmona. as experienced during the last week of September 2013.
We crossed the Tiber to reach Trastevere. This part of Rome comes highly recommended for those seeking gourmet food and active night life. We chose to visit by day to find architectural gems and quiet streets.
Drawn into the community by strong roof lines and eye catching chimneys we made our way into the heart of Trastevere.
An ancient church hidden among palazzos was closed off to the public.
Every day life continues… laundry drying on a line suspended high above the street.
Restaurants line the streets, a street musician helped us slow down our pace and listen for a while before we continued our exploration.
The late September afternoon sun illuminated the plants above street level, guiding the way deeper into Trastevere.At the end of the street, just before I turned the corner I looked back and zoomed in to capture the Madonella. Instead I captured the seniora taking a smoke break at the ope window.
Thanks for joining me today for my walk down memory lane, recalling one of the best places we visited in Rome during our short stay in late September 2013.
In September 2010 I visited family and friends in Ruhpolding, my hometown. Afternoon coffee at the Windbeutelgräfin ranked high on the agenda. Below is an account of this gourmet experience that portrays a typical Sunday pastime across Germany…
“Thump…” The 18th century oak door closes shutting out a rainy afternoon. The historical farm house envelops us with light, radiating warmth and a low hum of conversation punctuated by occasional laughter spilling from individual rooms off the foyer.
Subtle scents of coffee and baking immediately transport me back to my childhood. A Sunday afternoon with coffee, hot chocolate and cake is a weekly cultural ritual. Small cafés line main streets in every town. Locating a gem like the “Windbeutelgräfin”, a converted farm house away from the main shopping district in Rupolding is a welcome find.
“Haben Sie Platz für uns?” I ask the hostess to accommodate our group.
“Ja, kommt nur rein.” She quickly pushes two tables together and brushes invisible crumbs from chair cushions.
We huddle close to de-cypher the menu. The speciality is “Windbeutel,” an oversized swan shaped cream puff filled with two cups of lightly sweetened whip cream. Various cakes and squares round up the offerings.
“So, was kann ich bringen?” The efficient waitress, notepad and pencil in hand is poised to take our orders. Dressed in the traditional “Dirndl”, a tightly fitted bodice accentuates the low cut blouse and attached full skirt with contrasting apron. She could pass as the model for a beer stein slinging Octoberfest ad.
Will it be a cup or a pot of coffee? One piece of cake each or will we share? Throwing caution and best laid diet plans to the wind we order individual Sunday afternoon ‘sugar shocks’.
Mere moments pass, the waitress and her entourage deliver plates with delectable sweets, steaming coffee and hot chocolate topped with a swirl of airy whip cream.
Theresa, my Canadian travel companion is at a loss for words. Her eyes assess each sweet creation. She lifts her hot chocolate and takes a tentative sip which immediately paints a big smile on her face. “Did you organize this for me? Or is this what happens every Sunday in this country?”
“I wish I had connections like that. This is your ubiquitous Sunday afternoon ritual in Germany and Austria.” I reply.
It’s time, we lift our forks and scoop the first sample of our selections. A hush falls over our group. We engage our taste receptors. Theresa wields her fork annihilating her “Windbeutel”, a stunning creation of Choux pastry filled with whipped cream and fresh berries. Soon her plate resembles a battle field. She emerges the clear winner, licking the last bit of cream from the right corner where upper and lower lips meet.
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