I hate airport goodbyes – especially when I’m waving someone off into the wide blue yonder. So waving Ella off the moment we landed at Vancouver was hard. She was off on a four-day adventure to Vancouver Island where she’d lined up some work experience at the Museum of British Columbia and the rest of us were flying off to the Florida of Canada, where my sister lives.
Apart from a brief hiccup at customs where I ended up with all five declaration forms, leaving Ella with no way to leave the airport all went smoothly. Luckily an eagle-eyed customs officer spotted the discrepancy before Ella was out of earshot so we could sort it out, otherwise I had visions of her roaming the airport for days living off quarters from abandoned luggage trolleys until we came to rescue her, like Tom Hanks’ character Viktor Navorski in The Terminal.
One mad dash through the airport later and we were on the last leg of our journey in a tiny 100-seater plane that caught every pocket of wind turbulence going in its short one-hour flight. An hour later we’d landed in scorching sunshine to be reunited with my sister and her husband and kids and we piled into two cars for the half hour drive home.
It was just after lunchtime, and as we were all still buzzing with excitement, we dumped our bags, explored the house and headed for the beach. The cousins have been apart for almost a year so it was lovely to see them all pile in together and jump in the water like puppies. After they’d cooled off they were issued with hats and bikes and went off exploring. It may be Canada but the area resembles those idyllic American suburbs you still see in TV sitcoms – all wooden slatted houses with adjoining lawns with a shiny pickup truck and a tyre on a tree out the front and a hot tub and a trampoline at the back.
Within minutes ours had blended in so seamlessly I was struggling to tell one baseball-hatted cousin from another as they cycled off into the distance in convoy like something out of ET.
It was time for the adults to chill on the deck while they worked off some steam. Although we had been travelling for about 16 hours, our clocks showed that we had made the journey in about four hours door to door – I don’t know why we don’t do this all the time!
Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn