Trains, planes and automobiles indeed!

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To get from Victoria to Kingston is a test of stamina. Up at 3:30 to get to the airport, there by 5:00 and so was everyone else escaping the cold weather! I did make my flight, even managed to buy a banana and fill my water bottle. However, next time I plan to leave earlier if flying out of YVR. In the air, zip across, point the nose down, land in YVR 15 mins later.

Not many choices for buying food at gate C50 so I trekked back to near the gate where we had landed from Victoria, bought a sandwich and coffee, then did a balancing act back to my gate. No spills. I worked on making my two bags easier to carry and stow. Too bad I had not done so before checking in at YVR – my carry-on had to be checked in as technically I had too many bags. I was grateful to be told the fee would be waived, this after I was trying to figure out which boots to take – severe weather or the ‘let’s pray it stays mild’ pair. Once in YVR, I realized it was just as well I was not carrying everything, what I did have was heavy. Decision to leave my winter boots and heavy sweater in Kingston when it is time to go home. I am tempted to leave my winter coat too.

Smaller gifts too. I had two containers filled with macarons my daughter made for her sisters and their families. Security guards do not listen when told to keep bags upright. I would not know how the cookies fared until late evening.

It is very easy to get from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Union Station. From Terminal 1 take the UP Train, it stops at Union Station. However, arrival can be more than a little confusing as the station remains in the throes of “extensive renovations through multiple phases as part of the City of Toronto Revitalization Project.” This was slated to for completion in 2016. Unless they have magic wands it is not about to happen. There appears to be no end in sight. Most recent information indicates 2017 to finish, an approximate one trillion-dollar (boggles the mind) budget and now over budget!

Unlike at airports, with pockets of places to grab a bite to eat or a coffee, (unless it is me wanting something – I seem to always have gates out in the ether) the pocketful at the train station are not easy to access, have no seating, and are a pitiful choice. Once a purchase is made ‘guests’, as Via now calls passengers, provide entertainment for all by juggling meal, drink and baggage all in an effort to find a seat back in the central area five minutes away. With Via, UP, GO and access to the metro all using Union Station I can only hope there will eventually be more than just five vendors. After all, “If you build it they will come.” I can only hope someone has actually looked at the plans.

Money – I am always amazed at how much more expensive it is to travel by air in Canada. With travel insurance, Victoria to Toronto was $560 return. Plus my UP train and Via train at $165 return. Fortunately I will not be spending anything on accommodation, meals and transportation while here unless I visit Quebec City, or Ottawa with my eldest daughter.

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The train was comfortable, nobody sat next to me, it was relatively quiet as we hurtled along the track in the dark. It is a shame Via is so expensive, more people would be inclined to take the train just as is done in so many countries. Leave the car at home, relax, get some paperwork done, even use the internet on these short routes.

I made it, the cookies made it. A hug from my SIL, not expected. A long trip but relatively easy.

Expenses for day:

  • a turkey and lettuce sandwich and coffee from Starbucks at the Vancouver terminal for nearly $15
  • a pumpernickel bagel with roasted red pepper cream cheese, $5
  • an inflated $6 flat white at Starbucks bought at Union Station in Toronto
  • water, tea and a Kit Kat on the train $6
  • taxi $13

If I spend that kind of money, $45.00, everyday I will be flat broke.

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