I'm checking in from the Toronto Pearson International Airport where we have found a relatively quiet corner to pass the five hours waiting for our flight to Fredericton, New Brunswick. Considering that we spent fewer than five hours at our Atlanta hotel last night, we are holding up reasonably well. Tim Hortons coffee and timbits have helped, as have free wireless and ample power outlets. Indeed it is almost frightening to contemplate just how dependent we feel on the latter two commodities. As we pulled away from our vacation spot on Hilton Head Island yesterday evening and watched the wireless bars fade away on our various handheld devices, Katie complained that we were cutting her off from civiliation.
The drive from Savannah to Atlanta confirmed our feelings. We had no idea the middle of Georgia was so empty. With the exception of the city of Macon and a McDonalds in Dublin, we encountered little more than the piney trees bordering the wide open highway. The lack of rest areas caused some distress, as did jabbing elbows and bickering children until I managed to separate all four of them by planting myself in the middle seat of the middle row of our big old American-sized rental SUV.
Somehow we managed to drop off our rental vehicle in the maze of the Atlanta airport and make our way to our hotel with seven suitcases, six carry-ons, and four children who could barely hold their heads upright. After checking in I realized a key bag containing most of our power cords had been left behind in our vehicle. This meant Ross had to go back and attempt to retrieve it. Meanwhile I fired up the computer to look at our flight only to realize that we were staying near the wrong terminal. Atlanta opened up a new international terminal just last month, and of course that's the one used by Air Canada. As a result, Ross decided we had better get up at 4am instead of 4:30 in order to make our 6:25 flight. I have long since recognized the futility of arguing with him over departure times that involve flying and did not utter even one word of protest. I had no energy to do so in any case.
Checking in the six of us at the airport is nearly always an arduous procedure. I am positive it takes about the same amount of time as checking in twenty individuals. This morning was no exception. All three agents were required to sort out our tickets which had been booked using airmiles, and then the computer did not allow our luggage to be added for quite some time. Eventually we had to pay an extra $50 which seemed to make the computer happy. I snapped a picture of James as we waited, and waited, and waited.
We had the privilege of flying on a small commuter jet, quite the contrast to the 747 that transported us from Sydney to Los Angeles. It will hopefully have prepared us for the tiny prop plane that is scheduled for the next leg of our journey. Here's a picture of our first plane.
I am embarrassed to confess that I am struggling with figuring out which coins to use to pay for small items. I had finally reacquainted myself with the American quarter and paper dollar bill, only to arrive in Canada with its loonies and twoonies. My loose change has become one messy jumble from three different countries, and when I tried to pay for a journal for Sophie just now with an Australian two dollar coin, the clerk scolded me for trying to use a Euro coin. I think I will blame this on lack of sleep.
I conclude this post with a few photos taken on Hilton Head Island during my favorite time of day there, sunset. Enjoy, and be sure to look for the dolphin in the last one.