Once Luke got back from work we headed straight to the airport and just hoped there was no storm or delays. That, as it turned out, was far too much wishful thinking for one day. It did not start well as we both set off the alarms on the body scanner (yes , those again!but I was more prepared this time). I was asked what I had in my back pockets to which I replied nothing as I didn’t have back pockets! Maybe the wrong photo was sent to security? Yet, at least we were allowed through. The woman in front got carted off to who knows where after a friendly looking security guard informed her that some other people were coming to take her away. Sounded very ominous. As did the ridiculously sounding official announcements over the speakers informing us of the transport security administration mandates by the Federal Security Office. However, the most ominous things by far were the black clouds that had began to descend on the otherwise lovely Indianapolis airport.
This, as it happens, was not our main problem. We were very relieved to be on the plane all ready for takeoff , and happy that we were going to make our connection, as the plane began to taxi down the runway. Well, I was sitting in a fetal position with my eyes shut and Luke was laughing to himself whilst reading SkyMall. Alas, we began to see our chances of catching our next plane nosedive as Mr Pilot announced that we would be waiting, on the runway, for a minimum of one hour due to NYC’s JFK having a backlog. Ironic! One of America’s main airports was keeping Indianapolis waiting and not the other way round. If it hadn’t been for the air hostess, and for the community bonding between the passengers at the back as we could all visualise our planes leaving without us, it would have been very frustrating.
However, our air hostess did everything she could to make it more enjoyable. She went right ahead and gave us all our complimentary snacks on the runway because our journey was ‘not going to be so good’. She really was in the wrong line of work as she had the whole plane in stitches except one man who had slept through the pilots announcement. He woke up to us all having our snacks and thought we were in the air, halfway to JFK. He was just a little bit disappointed when we informed him we were still on the runway at Indianapolis. I think he wished he had stayed asleep and blissfully unaware.
Finally, after the air hostess informed us that the flight time meant the time in the air not on the ground, we took off. The plane shot down the runway and was accompanied by the air hostess letting us know, repeatedly, that the flight time ‘Doesn’t count ,doesn’t count, doesn’t count’. Then, as we went up into the air ,’Now it counts’. The latter was greeted by tumultuous applause from all the passengers. This jovial atmosphere was diminished slightly during mid ascent. We were urged to get our seatbelts on, in a somewhat mild panicked voice, as we were heading for turbulence because ‘the weather above was not as good as the weather on the ground’. Excellent, I wish we had stayed on the ground!.
We survived the turbulence and were met at the entrance of JFK by a smiling member of staff informing us our plane had left. Why was she smiling? It had left without us on it that is not something the airline can look on as an achievement! The prospect of an overnight drive to Montreal, from JFK, was nothing to smile about. Having no other option we trudged, somewhat dejectedly, to the Avis office and asked to hire a car. Luckily, the lady took pity on us and gave us a ‘comfy’ 4×4 but it was a bit like a toy, cardboard, version of the Edge . I don’t think anything could have made that journey comfy. I nearly gave myself whiplash from the amount of times I dropped off to sleep and had my neck droop and snap back. So, after being up since five am, we got into the car at eleven-ish and tried to make our way out of Manhattan. The highlight of this drive, and by this point it was a very slim highlight, was being able to see the Manhattan skyline as we crossed the bridge. However, a few hours into the drive and this proved to be an even poorer consolation. If only the F1 had been in Manhattan but no, we had over six hours of driving to do before we reached Montreal.
What was worse was that we were passing lots of interesting places on the drive there such as Woodstock, Catskill , Lake Placid and Schroon. However, it was pitch black and we couldn’t see a thing. Eventually, we made it through customs and across the border into Canada. On the bright side, we did get to see the skyline of Montreal as we made it to the hostel for five am.
After a bit of a problem with the booking we got to our room and tried not to wake Alex and Richard up. We didn’t succeed in this attempt and I don’t think this was the best way for me to be introduced to Luke’s friend Richard . I was hoping they were half asleep still and I could re-introduce myself the next day. Luckily, for me, I was far too tired to notice the mess that comes with sharing an enclosed space with three boys, or the potential embarrassment, and was straight to sleep.