Thursday, 20 December 2007
Day 2 (Dec 20) Part 1/2: Arrival to Pearson Airport (Toronto)
As I mentioned in my earlier journal, I did not able to get a seat for Toronto flight last night, but finally got booked one in the first flight today at 7am. I woke up at 430am and catched the shuttle bus from the hotel at 5am to the airport (New Liberty Airport). I proceeded to the security checkpoint. I dont know why, Im always being selected for the random inspection which is really time consuming! Every personal item contained in my handcarry bag was inspected by swiping a white filter paper to the item and the paper is being feed to the computer for examination for any dust or powder. They want to know if I have a metal implant in my body!
Before I left the airport last night, I asked the Continental customer service staff about the details of my bookings, including my luggage claim. I was told that it will be on the same flight with me and nothing to worry about. Well, this is true but my big bag was flewn to Toronto last night in good condition.
New Liberty Airport is a huge airport and takes a while to reach the designated gate of my flight. It is very ironic to find out that the gate indicated in the boarding pass was changed and then I have to went back where I had my inspection. First flight will always empty and only few people really book to wake up early, but with my experience, it is worth to be there early to avoid traffic along the road, less people queuing in the security points and it is not crowded inside the aircraft.
Leaving New Jersey in a clear sky is showing good condition above with less turbulence and preventing my ears to ache. I was able to continue reading the book of Sarah Waters. By the way, every time I travel abroad, the visit is not complete without grabbing a good read from a bookstore at the airport, so I bought a hardbound pocket book entitled Heroes, Saving Charlie (inspired from the TV series with the same title) to be added in book collections.
It took almost 2 hours to reach Pearson Airport. While approaching the airport, I could see the whiteness in the landscape of Toronto from top view after a snow storm over the weekend. The airport is not grand compare to New Liberty Airport, but the former's arrival area is like a mall's lobby but less people. Immigration inspection was easy and not much of questions regarding my itinerary. After 30 minutes of waiting, my cousin's husband arrived and I finally have a glimpse of the vicinity of the airport. It takes 15 minutes to reach my cousin's house (in Missisauga) and along the way, patches of snow can be seen along the road and roof's houses.
It was an emotional meeting with my cousin and her parents after 15 years of not seeing each other since we left our hometown. Her parents were my former high school teachers. Im tired and hungry and immediately they prepared my breakfast with Filipino food on the table! Im excited to meet my cousin's kids, ages 4 and 5. We are planning to make a Snowman as soon as they will arrive from school's Xmas party later today.
I realised that travelling during Xmas time especially going to America requires careful planning especially for connecting flights. I booked with Continental airlines for the reason of having cheaper flights during the season. I tried with Zoom.com but my preferred flights were already fully booked with no seats available, and while Air transat does not have flights in December from Belfast, otherwise fly via Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Next journal...shopping at the downtown area of Toronto!