Back to Reality

It’s been a week since our last day in St. John’s and I have been returning to reality after a summer of “living the dream”.

Lobster traps against boat hull

Lobster traps against boat hull

We slept in late on our last morning in St. John’s.  Following breakfast we checked our of the hotel.  The big question was whether my bike box and all of our luggage would fit in the back of our rented SUV.  I had already determined that the bike box would just fit if it was angled upwards.  Hopefully the luggage would fit around it.

Fortunately one bag fit under the front of the bike box while there was enough room on the side to fit in the remaining bags.  The back was pretty full when everything was loaded but it all fit in.

Quidi Vidi village

Quidi Vidi village

IMG_2121Our flight wasn’t until 8 pm so we had several hours to kill.  Our first stop was Quidi Vidi Village which is kind of around behind Signal Hill from St. John’s.  It is quite picturesque and included an interesting “artists incubator”.  This was a building where the second floor was divided into a number of small studios that were occupied by various artists and crafts persons.  There is also a brewery there which brews a number of the beers we sampled during our visit over the past week.

Susan at Quidi Vidi Village

Susan at Quidi Vidi Village

Next on the agenda was a stop at the Johnson’s GEO center, part way up Signal Hill.  We toured displays on the geological history of Newfoundland and Labrador, the history of the people, and a display on the Titanic.  The latter display was quite interesting as it laid out a lot of the corporate greed, design flaws, equipment failure, lifeboat shortages, poor training, etc. which underlay the disaster.  At the center we also took in a couple of 3D movies: one on the migration of Humpback Whales and the other on the migration of Monarch Butterflies.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador

With a stop for a late lunch, we made it to the airport with lots of time to spare.  This was just as well as it took 3 Air Canada ticketing agents 15 to 20 minutes to confirm that I didn’t need to pay the $50 handling fee for my bicycle.  We were flying business class on points and had 3 pieces of checked luggage between us and one bike box.  We were allowed 2 pieces each and the bike box counted as one piece.  The debate was whether I still had to pay the $50 handling fee.  When I checked in online I declared the bicycle and it came up indicating that no fee was owing.  However the 3 agents were sure the fee was payable and probably used $150 worth of their time to finally confirm that one handling fee is waived when you fly business class.  Great, now onto the security scanner to see if I would have to unpack my bike box.

As luck would have it, my bike box JUST fit inside the scanner.  The sides of the box were rubbing against the sides of the scanner but it was loose enough to go through so they were able to X-ray the contents rather than me having to unpack the box, then repack it.  I was quite relieved to say the least (Elaine had texted me when she flew home to say she had to unpack her bike box).

The rest of our trip was pretty much uneventful.  We had to overnight in Toronto and I had booked us into the Sheraton Hotel at the airport.  It was very nice even though we were only there a few hours.  Our flight landed in Edmonton at 10:30 and by 1 pm we had been home to drop off our luggage then had gone to pick up Risa from the kennel.

It was nice to spend the balance of the afternoon just taking it easy in the new recliner couch that had been delivered after I had started my journey and therefore had not yet seen it.

Home at last!

Home at last!

Getting home mid-day on Thursday also meant that we were able to meet up with some friends at the weekly “pint night” at a local pub.

Friday and Saturday I did a bit of unpacking and a whole lot of “chillin'” which felt pretty good.  It seemed strange to be able to sleep in and not to have to pack up a tent as the first exercise of the day.  Along with washing all the clothes I had with me, I also washed my sleeping bag and fleece liner (probably needed it!)

Sunday morning I met up with Anita and a couple of others for a ride out to Bon Accord and back (about 80 km).  It was nice to go for a ride just for the sheer enjoyment of being out.  My road bike felt a bit strange and extremely light after riding my heavier touring bike all summer.  I did notice the lack of low hill-climbing gears though on a couple of hills.  At least the hills were quite short.  I also confirmed that I was definitely going to get a Brooks saddle for my road bike.

Monday I finished unpacking and worked on various other little projects, none of them being too taxing.  Tuesday morning started off with a spin class at 6:00 am and a Pilates class at 8:30.  OK now I am starting to get back into a routine!

Today, following a lunch meeting downtown, I stopped at a bike shop to buy a Brooks saddle for my road bike.  I also stopped at MEC to buy some bike hangers.  One of my next projects in the next few days will be to do some organizing in the garage and mount hangers for my bikes to get them off the floor for storage, as well as a rack for the snow tires from my car.  Even though the house renovations are all done, there are still lots of little tasks to keep me busy for a while yet!

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