On Saturday I flew out to San Francisco for three weeks of serious training at the San Francisco Baking Institute (more background available at the Orange Boot site.) It was a good flight overall but I have to admit that these frequent flier points programs sure seem bent on punishing their customers. I booked my flight using Aeroplan points and out of 15 possible flights from Regina to San Francisco on Saturday the only one with a seat available involved a 7 hour layover in Calgary. I made the most of it by calling up my aunt Donna for a spur of the moment lunch. Donna, Jerry and their 12 year old daughter Morgan swept me out of the airport for a long, lingering lunch and a wonderful visit. Thanks for such a wonderful afternoon -- I can't think of a better diversion!
In the end, my time at Calgary International Airport was cut from 7 hours to 3.5, but I still had some interesting times. I helped an older couple find their gate for a flight to Las Vegas (I hope they tip their dealers) and watched a delightful group of seniors collect themselves for the flight to San Francisco. These were seriously old folks, all well into their eighties, and it looked like they regularly traveled together. Whenever another traveling companion arrived they were greeted with a loud Whoop! and shouts of "You made it!" I can't help but hope that will be Cindy and me one day.
I also met a girl from Austria who is working in San Jose at a hotel as part of a management trainee program. She was recruited by the hotel for this 18 month program right out of college. She had spent a week skiing in Lake Louise with her father who had flown over from Europe. Wow.
My Austrian friend was also reading the German edition of the final Harry Potter book. The book looked much thicker than the English version; perhaps German words are longer. My esteem for this girl, who goes halfway around the world to learn how to work in hotel and jets to Lake Louise for a skiing weekend, fell a wee bit as she told me that she was nearly at the end of the book, she thought it was really exciting, then over the course of our flight put the book down at least a dozen times to do something else. In our family, one doesn't eat, sleep, wash or notice any other family members until the book is finished. That's just the way it is.