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20-10-2008, 07:29 PM #1
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There’s Darth Vader playing the violin – Day 14: Whistler – Vancouver – Home
Today was the day you don’t want to see on your holiday – time to go home. Packing all done we were up at 8:30 and cases were outside the door for the last time at 9:00.
We went downstairs at 9:45 and, although departure time was 10:00, for the first time in 2 weeks we were the last 2 down. We were on the road by 10:00 and first stop was a comfort/photo stop at Shannon Falls.
From there we followed the Sea to Sky highway to Vancouver. This road is currently being upgraded to handle all of the Olympics traffic, including digging out chunks of mountain to widen it from 2 lanes to 4. Despite the fact we drove through 70-odd miles of continuous roadworks we only stopped ONCE and that was for a couple of minutes.
We arrived at Vancouver around 12:15 and were given some free time while the members of our group that were staying on were taken to their hotels. Our first stop was salmon village to see if they had any sliced smoked salmon we could bring home. As the only sliced salmon they had was fresh and not vacuum packed we decided to leave it so Dad headed off to the Native art shops while I went back to HMV and flexed my card again on some more obscure TV DVD titles.
Dad and I met up again and went for a coke and a coffee before the coach returned to pick us up at 2:00. We made our way through the city traffic to Vancouver airport and once we arrived made our way to Executive First check-in where we dropped our cases off and got the coveted fast-track security sticker.
We made our way through security – didn’t have to take our shoes off at all this time – and went into the duty free shop where we both bought a bottle of Canadian Club whisky. We then went into the Maple Leaf lounge where again I helped myself to a large whisky and a large can of ginger ale (thus needing another two large whiskies to finish it off) and some crisps and nibbles.
In due course we made our way down to the gate and boarded the plane where we received the usual glass of champagne and menu. From what I remember the plane left on time and there was the usual drinks run before dinner was served. I had Asian Shrimp followed by Chicken Masala while Dad had Tomato Napoleon and Salmon Brochette.
Dad was out like a light after the main course but I stayed awake and watched the end of Lucky You, which I had missed when it was shown on the boat and another film called Waitress which was OK but not that great.
I nodded on and off and after one of the smoothest trans-Atlantic flights I have ever had we landed back at Heathrow at 11:05. We had to wait 10 minutes for a gate but we were through passport control fairly quickly and our bags were already on the carousel by the time we arrived there.
We made our way through Customs and met up with the Titan rep in the arrivals hall. We had a short wait for our driver to arrive and for the passenger we had picked up on the way out (who had also been on our tour) to come through and then we were on our way out of the airport.
We soon made the drop at Walton-on-Thames and then it was the long slog through the traffic and lights to South East London where we live. We arrived home at 2:05 and began making plans for a return trip next year.
This was another great trip with Titan – their pick-up from, and drop off at, home really makes things so much more relaxed and we had a great group of characters on the coach who kept us laughing every day right up until the end.
Thanks to those who have been silently following me around British Columbia.
Oh, I nearly forgot – some of you might be wondering where the title for this trip report came from. Well, it was back on Day 4 when we were sitting outside Sam’s deli having lunch. All of a sudden a little girl walked past and said “There’s Darth Vader playing the violin”. I looked round and saw this:
Safe travels everybody.David
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