Monday, July 16, 2007

Bri Leaves and We Are Sad

Bri's scheduled departure time on Sunday July 8 was 6:30 so there was lots of time in the morning to sleep in, have breakfast, finish packing, and then go to the movies.

We went to the noon showing of Ratatouille. Michael and Lorna accompanied us. After the movie, we went to a Greek restaurant called Arkadia on Eglinton and by mid-afternoon, we were done.

Traffic was not bad, despite road construction. We made it to the airport by 4:00 and got into the American Airlines check-in line-up.

It took an hour to get to the front of the line-up where we found that Bri's flight had been rescheduled from 6:30 to 9:00. They needed us to come back at 7:30. With some time to kill, we left the airport and found a Swiss Chalet restaurant along the airport strip.

The restaurant was across the street from the Doubletree Hotel, where Polaris, formerly known as the Toronto Trek science fiction convention, was just winding up. Jill and I jokingly kicked around the idea of going in and finding the Dead Dog Party, but in the end we decided not to.

This was the same weekend last year where we had actually attended Toronto Trek, and the Swiss Chalet was the same restaurant where we had lunch with Sherry and Mark. It was while walking to lunch there from Toronto Trek in July of 2006 that I received the first telephone call from my cousin Tak.

We had had lunch recently, so we only had dessert and a snack and drinks at Swiss Chalet. We had a much better time than we would have had stuck in Terminal Three at Pearson.

Bri was a good sport about the wait. We went back to Terminal Three, and were told by American Airlines that there had been a further delay to 9:30, and that they needed Bri to be back at the counter at 8:30, when they would process her baggage and take her through security. We found a bar (unfortunately just closed as we walked up) with a table and waited. There was time to play a game of Clue.

We went back to the American Airlines counter and said goodbye to Bri at 8:30, after getting her luggage tagged. Bri was the last passenger of the day. They closed the counter after they took her through. Jill and I went back to the bar with Corwin, where, following the rules for the designated guardians of an unaccompanied minor, we waited in the airport until her plane took off. This necessitated a visit to a news stand to get an issue of The Economist, a PC Gamer, and a Ratatouille storybook for the kid.

The flight delay had been due to bad weather in the southern US at Bri's destination point. We were unaware of this at the time, but the same day, there had been an incident at Pearson involving a couple of passengers with undeclared knives getting onto an Air India flight. This bit of drama had not affected Bri's flight in any noticeable way.

Terminal Three, busy and crowded at 4:00, was by comparison almost deserted six hours later. Between frequent checking of the departure screen and a chance encounter with an American Airlines staffer who returned to the check-in counter, we learned that Bri's flight had been delayed until around 10:15. With Bri's flight in the air, we headed home.

It had been a long day, and when we got home, Corwin became very sad that Bri had gone. Jill and I felt much the same way.

The next day, we learned via e-mail from Bri's nanny that Bri had made it home safely, but her luggage had been lost, yet again, by American Airlines.

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