Tuesday, Aug. 1
Day one of the grand "foreign tour" began Tuesday morning, dark and early. We met in the parking lot outside the Field House at 5:15 am to head off to DIA to catch our flight(s). It was pretty standard stuff en route to Seattle, where we would take a quick flight to Vancouver (final destination). The plane was pretty crowded, and poor Sheri (athletic trainer extraordinaire) was seated next to an incredibly paranoid (and talkative) passenger. Good times all around...
For those of you familiar with Denver's airport, you'll know about the trains that run between terminals. Seattle is essentially the same--but to get from B (where we landed) to S (where we scheduled to fly out), we had to take two trains (off one and on another). [Sidenote: LT (Letricia Castillo) observed a sign that said the trains were shut down from 1:00 am to 4:00 am--how are folks supposed to get around during those hours?] Anyway, all was fine and dandy until we reached the top of the escalator at the S terminal, where we discovered that Horizon Flight 2160 to Vancouver was cancelled.
It wasn't the end of the world, by any stretch of the imagination. There were plenty of flights headed to Vancouver, and Capt. Anders (Thanks, Ali!) got everything settled for us to get on the next flight out. The one annoyance? That to get back to the C terminal (where we would depart), we had to get back on three more trains! It definitely felt like we were traveling in a maze...but we got to our gate right on time for boarding, and again, we were off.
Going through customs was a bit of an adventure as well. From long lines to switching lines to even longer lines, it took us a little while, but eventually we got through. We met our BTI hosts, Marv and Carolyn, and when the "coach" arrived to pick us up, we set off on a bus tour of Vancouver (en route to the hotel). We saw some interesting sights, including driving through Stanley Park (a place that hopefully we will get to check out later this week). We ate lunch at the Farmer's Market on Granville Island (and had the most delicious raspberries EVER!), which was a really interesting and gorgeous spot.
Once back at the hotel, we had a little bit of downtime (or worktime, depending on your point of view) before dinner. We walked over to the Old Spaghetti Factory (a staple of the Air Force women's basketball team), and since it was so busy, waited outside for awhile. Let's just say that we encountered some interesting characters while standing in front of the restaurant.
Dinner, as usual, was great, and thankfully, it marked the end of a very long day. It was back to the hotel (and its ultra-comfortable beds!) for a little rest before Wednesday's excitement.
By the way--our tour guide, Donna, shared many interesting tidbits with us, including an explanation for the ever-so-popular Canadian "eh". Why do Canadians say "eh"? You can't spell Canada without it: C-eh-N-eh-D-eh! (And now you know...)