February started with still no snow decent snow on the horizon, and I left Whistler and headed down Vancouver for my flight over to Toronto. My flight left rather early (7am), so not wanting to pay to spend just a couple hours in a hostel bunk, I decided just to head straight to the airport and wait for a few hours in the departure lounge. I would definitely recommend this if 1)- Your able to sleep well on flights, and 2) – You have plenty of entertainment in the departure lounge. Luckily for me the time difference meant that I could Skype my mate Laura in Switzerland whilst I was passing the time, and I was able to sleep for a good 2 thirds of the 4 hour flight. Vancouver airport itself is pretty good, 24 hour access to tea, a big 3D map in the observation area, and most importantly they let you know the departure gate hours before you have to go there, which helps my stress levels!
Michelle’s mum had kindly offered to help me get around while I was in Toronto, and after landing we headed straight to her house where I caught Michelle completely by surprise as she came down the stairs! She was very pleased to see me, however her exact words aren’t repeatable on here! Haha
That night we had an evening of Mario Kart and wine, and the next day we headed downtown. Michelle had some training for her charity work in the evening, which gave me the perfect opportunity to nip down to the climbing wall for a couple of hours and see a few of my climbing and Edgewalk mates. It was awesome to see them and we had a good old catch up and I got the first roped climbs in that I’d done for over 2 months. Thankfully my strength hasn’t dropped off that much! The next day we went back down to town and I treated Michelle to some afternoon tea. This is one of our favourite things to do, when she visited London last year we went 3 afternoons out of 7! For this we went to Moroco, a chocolate boutique in Toronto’s classy Yorkville area. I had their Kensington Market brew, to get a taste of my old neighbourhood, and Michelle had a chocolate-infused tea called After Eight. It was really tastey stuff, but we both felt like going into chocolate comas afterwards! I just about finished the spread!
I had just three nights in Toronto, so sadly it was over quick as a flash. Although I may have ended up staying a bit longer as I had made my first major planning cock-up of the trip. As I checked my emails on the way out of Michelle’s door I noticed that I had booked my flight for the 20th of March rather than the 20th of February! Slowly filling with panic I gave Michelle a very big hug, mumbled some words about it being great and seeing her soon, and shakily made my way into the terminal to the mercy of Westjet. The panic drained away quickly though as not only were they able to transfer me onto my planned flight for free, they also gave me a seat with extra leg room! And with the flight being slightly delayed, I scored some free cheese too! Cracking customer service!
The next day I awoke bright and early for my usual 0715 start on Whistler mountain, and it all felt like a wonderful dream. Things are beginning to fall into place for the next year of my trip, the main hurdle now is procuring my next visa.