Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Glass is Half Empty/Half Full/Not on Fire?

The last 5 days of my life have been an exercise in defining whether I am unlucky or lucky, is it necessary for unlucky to precede lucky? I type this portion of my next series of adventures from the business lounge in the San Francisco airport. Before I go further, I must backtrack. Last Thursday Anna, Clare and I embarked on a sisters' roadtrip to Ohio for Annie Seabright's wedding to Brett Bonowicz. A friend of ours, John Budnik, braved the sisters' roadtrip, our stop at some delightful outlets en route, and even found Clare's jokes funny by the end of our 8 hour drive. (Clare's jokes are very funny, some would say hilarious, we just weren't sure for the first 7 hours if John found them funny...)

Ohio... we stayed at Bissie Seabright's home, Annie's older sister and a good friend, who has a beautiful view of Lake Erie from her living room. Friday Clare and I went tanning on the beach and underestimating the sun's strength we both fried. So worth it though, the day was delightful, the water was just the right temperature and the beach was empty. Saturday afternooon we made ourselves scarce as the bridal party dressed in said living room. Maria Grizzetti and I wandered down to the beach amid a sand storm which was shortly followed by a rain/hailstorm. There is something so beautiful about being in the middle of a storm, on a deserted scrubby beach, in front of a lake that stretches in every direction. I dove right into the waves and we both could not stop laughing and screaming into the wind.

Annie's wedding was beautiful, she was married in a traditional Byzantine ceremony with the chants, wreaths, a cup and some other symbols for their life together. The reception afterwards was held at an arboretum which obviously had incredible views and paths to walk along. Later in the evening, the dancing got started, and her cousins can dance! I've never been to a wedding with such a large majority of wedding guests on the dance floor, completely drenched in their own sweat and so much fun! We danced till midnight then returned to Bissie's place where a small after party continued down on the beach. This time, the night was clear with a storm approaching so the night sky alternated between clear and wild, with grey clouds above us and a midnight green horizon approaching.

Sunday we all drove back to NY, encountered terrible traffic so that I left the WYA house at 910 for an 11pm flight. I may have a future as a NY taxi driver, I made it to the airport, while stopping for gas, by 945! Thankfully my flight was also delayed since I made it to check in at 1020... I arrived to Vancouver at 330am and discovered a quiet corner just past customs. Apparently sleeping by customs is not allowed since I was kicked out after an hour's sleep. I wandered through the airport in search of a quiet corner and had a number of maintenance people try to direct me towards a taxi. What part of "I'm sleeping here" is so confusing, doesn't everyone sleep at airports?

Vancouver is a lovely city, I took a bus downtown, which was in the midst of a freak power outage from a freak windstorm the day before, which may have made my wanderings even more beautiful with the absence of neon lights and tacky music. I discovered a free bus through Stanley park which was so beautiful, to sit and enjoy the skyline, the trees, the gardens, in my jetlagged stupor and then return to the airport made for a great day. I flew out from Vancouver to San Francisco for what should have been a quick layover and on to Australia.

Upon seeking a seat to Sydney, Australia, it seemed United had overbooked the flight by 60 people! They were asking people to give up their seats to leave on a flight a day later and in return get bumped up to Business Class. So after waking up Anna - thanks Anna and sorry! - I called Des to see if it were possible for me to arrive a day later. Whoop whoop to a night in a hotel, a shower!!! and chillaxing for a day in the business lounge. LOVE IT!

I arrived to the airport today around noon and couldn't get to the business lounge with all my luggage as it is through security. When I went to store my bags, my little rucksack was oversized. Yes, a rucksack, according to SanFran luggage storage people is an oversized suitcase, and comes with an oversized fee! I was not pleased and asked how small a nonoversized suitcase was and was shown the smallest backpack I have ever seen. You know those backpacks made like teddybears that 5 year olds wear? picture that plus plus an extra 3 inch diameter. That, my friends, is a suitcase... I first asked them to take pity on me and not charge me such an exorbitant fee, and then I got mad and told him he was a jerk, and left.

Mom calmed me down, reminded me that sitting for the next 6 hours in the airport was probably not worth $15, so I returned and asked a different guy how small my rucksack needed to become for me to be charged $8 rather than the oversized fee of $15. He asked another girl, who negotiated with the guy to only charge me $10, no repacking necessary. A small victory which made me very happy. Especially as, in business lounges there are snacks, free wifi, a tv, free cocktails, and comfy seats. Luxury! So glad Mom talked sense into me :)

And here I am, my flight to Australia leaves in 7 hours, and I then spend 19 hours of my life in business instead of economy!

Quick sneak peek at what is to come... Sydney, Australia for a week: World Youth Day and then various meetings, I'll manage to sneak in touristy adventures. Cairns for a week - scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef!!! and then back to Vancouver for another week. So excited!

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