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Old 9 Oct 19, 09:16 PM  
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Melanie R
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Glaciers & Glowtinis - Travel Day

So you left me sleeping peacefully in a really comfortable bed having lovely dreams, when the alarm on my phone went off way too early for a Monday morning, but then I realised where I was and that today was the day I was flying off to my adventure! Iím not a morning person as a general rule, (understatement of the year!) but the excitement for this trip was such that I was up, showered and heading to breakfast with a smile on my face at 7am. I do realise that many people routinely get up much earlier than this, but as I said Iím not a morning person so for me to be so alert and smiling at this time of the day is an achievement

I headed down the buffet restaurant and was relieved to find that breakfast at least was still included in the price I had paid Ė after yesterday I wouldnít have been shocked to be told this was now an extra, so I was taking this as a good omen and a great start to the day.

I had a lovely leisurely breakfast Ė full English with some fruit and pastries Ė Iím not a fan of airline food so wanted to be well prepared for the day ahead! I rounded off with another cup of tea, then suitably refreshed wandered back up to my room. (Sorry no pics Ė as I said, it was early )

I did a final check of the room to make sure I hadnít left anything behind, then set off for the airport Ė it was around 8:30 by now, so plenty of time for an 11:25 flight given I had already completed online check in.

I headed to Terminal 1 and located the bag drop for Air Transat Ė I knew I was slightly over the allowance so had a little anxious moment until it printed me a luggage tag which I attached and handed over my case. I was now luggage free and headed towards security. For once I was well prepped, I only had 1 small item to go in my liquids bag and had nothing to cause any security officer cause for concern, but was still expecting to get the bag check Ė I have never yet managed to get through an airport without some form of additional check!

As I followed the signs to the security check area, I soon ground to a halt Ė the longest queue Iíve seen for some time was ahead of me (think Flight of Passage queue and you wonít be far wrong )

I joined the queue and we slowly shuffled forwards Ė there were repeated calls for people with approaching boarding times to head to the front, but I still had some time to go so just had to stay in the queue and keep shuffling. My boarding time was 10:40, I joined the queue at around 9am and by 10:15 was starting to get a little concerned, then I was finally in the home stretch and at the desk. I passed through the checks, was stopped for a pat down and then my bag was ďrandomlyĒ selected for additional checks. It was gone 10:30 by the time I had cleared security Ė so much for having a coffee and a wander round the shops! I had time to have a very quick stop in Boots for a sandwich for the plane and then went straight to the gate. They were already boarding and I joined the queue and was soon on the plane Ė thatís when it hit me that I was actually going and I had the biggest smile on my face as I headed down the aisle to my row.

The plane configuration was 3 3 3 and I had booked an aisle seat on the right side of the plane Ė as I approached my row, I realised that there was a man already sitting in my seat! I double checked my boarding pass to make sure I had the right row, and then once I had confirmed I was right, I politely asked him if he could check his pass as this was my seat.

He was extremely apologetic and when he checked his seat was in the row in front Ė he made to start moving all his bags and was saying to the couple next to him that he would catch up in Vancouver when I realised that I was splitting a party of 3 Ė I offered to take his seat as I was travelling alone and made no difference to me for the sake of a single row, so took my seat in the row in front next to 2 ladies who were already seated.

We had a brief chat and they told me they were heading back home to Vancouver Island following a month long trip to visit family, then we settled back to listen to the safety briefing and we were soon on our way. The captain made an announcement that due to high winds we would be in the air longer than planned and the flight would now be around 10 and a half hours, so lots of time to enjoy the IFE. I checked out the offerings and have to say was not exactly impressed Ė the only movie I fancied was Avengers Endgame (which I had already seen) and as I was in the middle of a Marvel marathon watching all the movies in order decided to give the movies a miss.

The stewardess then came round with the trolley issuing amenity packs for customers who had upgraded to option plus. With Air Transat, the basic economy price didnít include an amenity pack, snacks and alcoholic drinks from the drinks service but more importantly didnít include any checked baggage allowance. The price of the upgrade was less than the cost of adding a bag, so it had not been a difficult decision to make to upgrade, so I was an Option Plus customer Ė except I had switched seats, so the highly technical system the cabin crew had in place to identify these customers (sticker on the back of the seat) was failing and my amenity kit was given to the gentleman sat behind me in my seat!
To be fair, I didnít give a fig for the kit, but I definitely did want the alcohol, so I explained the situation and my sticker was moved to the correct seat and I was given an amenity kit. To be honest, the contents were nothing to write home about, (blanket, eye mask and blow up pillow) but I did actually need the headphones which they also provided as my Apple headphones had a different connector. The ones they provided were rubbish, but they did the job!

I watched several episodes of The Big Bang Theory, then checked the time Ė still well over 7 hours to go so I dug our my iPad and started to watch movies I had downloaded on there Ė the Disney live action version of Aladdin being one of them.

I had used my time back in the Radisson from my early start to download Aladdin onto my iPad from Sky store - I had pre ordered months ago and it was released today so I had set a reminder to download before I left the hotel

Before too long the cabin crew were coming through with the drinks service Ė my special sticker entitled me to a snack (Pringles with a choice of 2 flavours!) and an alcoholic drink as well as a soft drink Ė the first G&T of the trip was duly ordered and thoroughly enjoyed



A 10 hour flight gives lots of opportunities to people watch which is a big hobby of mine! Iím fully onboard with the principle of stretching your legs and spent some time myself standing in the alcove by the exit (not near anyoneís seat before I get lynched ) so that I could stretch out as the seats were not the most comfortable, but I had booked an aisle seat and every time I got up I wasnít disturbing anyone else. I have no issues with people in window/middle seats asking to get out from time to time during the flight, but I do think there needs to be an element of consideration for the people you are disturbing Ė the 2 ladies next to me were lovely and made a point of getting up when I did so as not to inconvenience me more than needed, and I was of course quite happy to move on the couple of occasions they asked me so they could visit the toilet, but the couple in the row in front of me would have driven me to distraction!

They were sitting in the window and middle seat of the plane, and there was a single traveler in the seat next to the couple. The lady informed him almost as soon as we set off that she would be visiting the toilet regularly throughout the flight and asked him was he planning to sleep as if so she would need to keep waking him. The gentleman immediately offered to switch seats with her so that she could come and go as she pleased, but she declined as ďI like looking out of the windowĒ. With no word of exaggeration, the poor guy was asked to move at least twice an hour, even at one point during the meal service Ė I will admit to feeling soooo grateful that it wasnít this guy I had offered to switch seats with, as Iím afraid my patience would have worn very thin! I understand some people have medical issues and need to access the toilets more often than usual, but surely if that is the case you would take the aisle seat offered to you!

The 10 hours was broken up again with further visits from the crew for meal service (I declined as I had a Boots sandwich), another drinks run where I had an additional G&T and a coupe fo hours before landing a further tea time offering (Iím being perfectly honest when I say I have no idea what this was, but it was some kind of hot finger sandwich with cheese and some other mystery ingredient but it was edible!)

The time passed and we were finally on approach to Vancouver Airport and I was starting to feel a little tired from the travelling and definitely weary, but I was hopeful the fresh air would perk me up.



Before reaching the fresh air I had immigration to contend with Ė the queue wasnít as bad as at Manchester and took around 30 minutes to get through before I was heading to baggage claim. For once I was lucky and my bag was there so I was quickly through customs (nothing to declare) and heading out following the signs for the taxi rank. There was a small queue and before too long my case was loaded in the boot and I was heading into Vancouver towards my hotel. They operate a fixed price system in Vancouver from the airport, so I knew exactly how much this was going to cost before I arrived Ė a great way to work!

I thoroughly enjoyed the drive from the airport into the city Ė it felt great to see familiar signs Iím used to seeing in USA but was different enough to make it feel fresh and new!

Before too long I was being dropped off, I paid the driver (including tip ) and headed into the hotel lobby.



I had done quite a bit of research prior to booking, and the Hotel blue Horizon seemed to tick all the boxes - first impression was very favourable, friendly staff, very efficient and I was soon checked in and heading up to my room. The room was fab - lots of room and very clean and well presented, the view from the balcony was great too - I would definitely recommend to anyone needing a place to stay in Vancouver 😊









I checked my phone to see what time it was - it was 3:30 local time but with the 8 hour time difference it was 11:30 and I was feeling shattered, but wanted to stay up as late as possible, so I headed to the shower to freshen up, my plan being to wander out for some food and to explore my surroundings, then back for an early night.

I wrapped myself in the big fluffy towel and lay down on the bed (I know - huge mistake) thinking I would watch the end of Iron Man 3 which I had started on the plane. I woke up several hours later, all the lights still on and hadnít seen the end of the movie at all

I got up, put on pyjamas and got back in to the very comfy bed - exploring Vancouver could wait until tomorrow 😊

Edited at 12:49 PM.
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Old 9 Oct 19, 09:29 PM  
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Disney_time
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Oh the blue horizon looks a lovely hotel - huge room too.
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Old 10 Oct 19, 06:17 PM  
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Melanie R
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Originally Posted by Disney_time View Post
Oh the blue horizon looks a lovely hotel - huge room too.
It was a really lovely place, and the room was much bigger than the pics show! Will definitely stay there again 😊
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Old 10 Oct 19, 09:54 PM  
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The hotel looks great, I will have to check prices
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Old 11 Oct 19, 07:42 AM  
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Loopylooloo
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Well done making that flight I held my breath for you there that was tight! I agree that the up and downer on the plane should have taken the aisle seat

Your hotel looks lovely I have heard Vancouver is a fantastic city look forward to reading more.
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Old 11 Oct 19, 08:46 PM  
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Wowsers your hotel looks absolutely fabulous. I would love to visit Vancouver.
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Old 15 Oct 19, 01:24 AM  
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Could I ask how much the taxi was? We're heading to Vancouver next year. Your hotel looks beautiful! Can't wait to read more.
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Old 15 Oct 19, 06:22 AM  
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Melanie R
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Originally Posted by anji View Post
Could I ask how much the taxi was? We're heading to Vancouver next year. Your hotel looks beautiful! Can't wait to read more.
Taxi was $32 😊
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Old 25 Oct 19, 12:24 AM  
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I do hope your new seating companions shared their home of Vancouver Island with you, A ferry ride from the City of Vancouver that takes a couple of hours and is possibly the most incredible place we have ever visited - Butchart Gardens and Victoria especially


Your seat swap - seemed to fox the flight crew but amid your people watching , be glad you were not seated in the row with those who insist on looking out of a window yet have a persistent need for the toilet.
Some people watching moments just make you aware of such selfish and insular people.

Hotel looks good - looking forward to the next day now
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Old 25 Oct 19, 05:15 PM  
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Pretty good flight and hotel room looks very good.
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