Reflections and images from my travels

Halifax Hop

Hello again everyone! I’m back………!

It has been too long since I’ve last traveled. The same excuses…..work and regular life have consumed my time. The last 6 months have been very heavy for me professionally. You reach that point when you know you need to get away and I definitely had reached that point. As I age, so does my practice, and many of my long term patients unfortunately developed severe malignancies. Life is really fleeting and one must extract as much from life as one can as long as you are granted the opportunity.

The plan this time (one of Anna’s dream trips) was to cycle in Ireland. Neither of us had been to the Emerald Isle and this was the perfect opportunity.

Everything was planned many months ago and Anna took the lead with booking. She had planned the flights perfectly with a short layover in Halifax before connecting to Dublin, but, it seemed West Jet had other ideas. Soon after booking, we received notification that our outgoing flight was canceled and replaced by a later flight out of Calgary on our departure day with an overnight flight to Halifax (great, we never sleep on airplanes) and a 15 hour layover in said city before another overnight to Dublin. No reason or options were provided!! Argh……..! I so love air travel. However, I must admit you eventually do get to great locations.

Packing proved to be more work than expected. I completed mine a day prior to leaving. The plan was to stay overnight at Anna’s and have a relaxing hot tub enjoying a nice bottle of Prosecco I had purchased. I budgeted 1 hour to pack….. it took almost 3 hours so I arrived late at Anna’s Tuesday evening. She had a busy day-working again at a contract position she had taken on- and looked spent when I arrived. Anna had a rough go with many recent family deaths so she just needed to chill that evening. There was still plenty of time for her to pack the next day.

The evening was gorgeous, weather-wise, with a temperature of 25 C and no wind. When we walked out to the hot tub, chilled Prosecco in hand, we were enveloped by the smell of lilac. Thick and sweet like a liquor. Devine. Needless to say we slept 9 hours straight and awoke feeling very refreshed. No, not in the hot tub!!

The next morning Anna packed while I went for a walk and then did some yard work for her. We visited her mom’s place (emotional for Anna). It was an action packed but very fruitful day and things went very smoothly and all got done.

The plan was to head over to the airport early and have dinner there. No rush or stress. There was a little confusion as we assumed we would depart from the international terminal. It was like a ghost town and the bag drop off terminals were unmanned and blocked. We decided to go for a drink at the Merriot Hotel Airport thinking the bag drop off terminals would open 2 hours prior to our boarding time. Anna enjoyed a lovely red wine and I had a gin and tonic (a now favourite cocktail after my Africa trips). We went back to the bag drop but again it was deserted. Thankfully one employee was present who informed us that we would have to go to the domestic terminal as we were connecting through Halifax!

Sometimes the best ideas are developed in bars! While we were enjoying our drinks we decided for the remainder of the trip Anna would be known as Anna Murphy (to reflect her true Irish heritage) and she would come up with a new name/persona daily for me! Check out her choices with each daily blog!

We got through security easily but not after discovering my Nexus card had expired last year! Too many things to stay on top of! I would deal with it when I got back.

We had a quick dinner on the “other side” and then boarded our plane. We both had unrealistic expectations that we would sleep on the overnight flight even though our history of this never having happened previously argued against this preferred outcome. Faith is a strong thing!

Yeah, it did not happen! Thankfully, we had enough foresight to book a dayroom in Halifax.

We arrived early Thursday morning in Halifax and cabbed it to our dayroom hotel. We asked for an early check in but that would not happen for another 2 hours so we found a quaint local breakfast place a 15 minute walk from our hotel. It was called the Ardmore Tea Room and looked straight out of the 1960’s!! Great food and so reasonably priced. I enjoyed the cod cakes with sweet relish chow (a maritime favourite), home made baked beans and poached eggs while Anna had French toast with handpicked local blueberry syrup. Yum!

We were both tired so we retired back to our hotel for a sleep. No touring in Halifax today. Sleep was essential as we likely had another sleepless overnight flight tonight. I had a great power nap for 4 hours while Anna didn’t sleep as expected. She was so disappointed. I reassured her all would be okay.

We had a nice early dinner close to our hotel at Freeman’s Little New York and then headed back to the airport by cab.

We would have to come back and enjoy Halifax more fully in the future. We had not been here for 28 years and so much had changed. A quick “hop” this time but we will return in the future to more fully enjoy it’s East Coast charms.

Would we sleep tonight on the second of our overnight flights? Would it matter? Dublin tomorrow and the start of another excellent adventure regardless. Cheers from Halifax!

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