Sunday, 26 June 2011


So it's been a fantastic 2 weeks in sunny rainy Ireland.  Though I was very excited to come home, I was also a little sad to leave it behind.  There are a lot of great things about life in Ireland.  People are laid back, enjoy a casual lifestyle and they don't require a whole lot for a good time.  It was a refreshing experience to spend some time where material things just aren't at the top of the list.  Still, Canada is my home and there are many things that I love about living here like, poutine, and patios and of course my hubby.  I also can't complain that I'm writing this while sitting on my balcony at 7:30 am and enjoy the start of what is going to be beautiful, summer clothes wearing, sunny day.

Now of course you know that it requires a plane ride to go to and from Ireland (unless you have some serious swimming skills, but its doubtful they're that good).  And this is my story about my long commute from Ireland to Canada.

I had been out the night before my flight, to a house party.  I've been taken under the wing of my co-worker Dave (thanks Dave!) and he's brought me along for one last night of fun.  My flight leaves at 12:45 the following day and Dave is nervous that if he keeps me out too late I'm going to miss it.  Don't worry Dave; I made it.  And in true form, I was early.  A little too early.

I got to the airport for about 9:15am.  I know it was way early but I was excited to get on my way back home.  I was also paranoid that I would have to wait in a line similar to the one on my adventure to Ireland.  Didn't happen though.  There was only 1 person in front of me at the check in.  Well that was once I figured out where exactly I was supposed to be.  You see I saw a really long line where I thought I was meant to be so I waited in that for about 15mins until I realized that the other folks in line were not going to Canada.  This wasn't the first time I was lost at the airport either.

When I had completed check in, I was then told to walk to the other end of the terminal and find the security lines.  In typical Dublin fashion the signage was terrible.  I walked to the other end, didn't see a thing.  I walked back to the ticket counter and had a look for signs there, nothing.  I walked to the other end again, but this time I asked about 3 airport employees to help me find my way.  In my defense, the security was hidden.  Some renovations going on in the airport had hidden the small door that I needed to go through to find the line up.  Once I was through the door, I picked a line and went through security.  I haven't been to a whole lot of airports before but this one was the most relaxed I've seen.  I'm not even sure the person running the little scanner thing noticed I had gone through.  No one waved me to move on and once through I walked around the tech, while she was chatting to someone else, and collected my stuff.  Pretty good for me since security takes no time but kind of makes me wonder what else could have gotten through?

I made it home safe and sound so I'm not going to worry about the could've, would've, should've aspect of security.  I'm through it now and its time for me to find my gate.  I'm still about 2 hours before departure at this time and I'm seeing signs but apparently I'm not very good at following them.  I'm looking for gate 311.  I wander around, popping in and out of duty free shops, and I'm trying to follow the arrows to where I'm supposed to go.  Well I ended up at gate 4 something and then thought now would be a good time to turn around and go back where I came.  This time I followed the signs without doing the window-shopping I did before, and I was able to find gate 311.  I grab some toast and water (as I said, I had been to a house party the night before, :-) picked a seat, broke out the lap top, and watched some Coronation Street.

The flight was a typical flight really.  Small, narrow seats, with a bum to fill them all and bad food.  I was sat at the window this time and the other 2 seats had 2 young rugby players on a school trip to Toronto.  I might be slightly jealous here but why didn't I get to go on a school trip overseas?  I can imagine that these guys are going to have fantastic time in Canada.  

I slept for most of the flight, exhausted from the previous night 2 weeks.  The one good thing about the plane was it had the TV’s in the headrest and you could pick what you wanted to watch.  I watched some of The Kings Speech, some of The Fighter, and some of a documentary called Google World.  I fell a sleep in the middle of all of them but the beginnings and ends were pretty good.  I also chatted with the boys and made sure that when they went to Wonderland they would try funnel cake.  And if they were out for lunch or dinner they needed to try poutine.  Yep, I basically told them all the most unhealthy things that they could try while they were here.  They're young and active; they can handle a little junk food.

All in all, my flight was bearable and my trip was a fantastic time.  As of tomorrow this girl will be back on the GO.  Oh whoa is me.  Though I suppose it could be worse, it could be a full workweek.  Canada Day here I come!!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Here I am writing to you from the beautiful country of Ireland.  I arrived yesterday and immediately went out to see some of the gorgeous sites that Dublin has to offer.  This of course was all thanks to my Irish buddy who offered to welcome me to Dublin.  Thanks Andrew!!

Since this is a blog about commuting though I am not going to share all the details of my adventures or misadventures here in Dublin.  Well not at this point anyway.  I'm sure if something really news worthy happens I will for sure be on here to update.  I digress.  Ah yes, commuting.  Today I'm going to tell you all about my longest commute to work.  Toronto, Canada to Dublin, Ireland.

It all started at around 8:30pm Toronto time.  I arrived at the airport 3 hours prior to my departure, just like I was advised on my ticket.  My husband thought perhaps it was a little too early.  I kind of did too but if it says 3 hours, I'm gonna go with that.  Well the ticket was wrong.  Should have said be there closer to 4 hours in advance.  The line was; how is this best described?  The line was RIDICULOUS.  Plain and simple.

I went in the set of doors closest to my airlines check in counters and began to walk to the end of the line.  After passing the other set of doors (you know how far apart they are in the airport), I started to giggle to myself.  All these people couldn't possibly fit on my flight, I was thinking.  My thoughts were correct.  The mass amount of people weren't there just for a flight to Ireland.  They were there for flights to Rome, Venice, Paris, London and who knows where else.  7 flights in total folks, and they were all departing within 15mins of one another.  Chaos. 

It only took about an hour and a half for me to get to the check in counter.  By that time I had made friends with an Irish women who was heading home and an English/Canadian couple going to London to visit family.  I checked in finally at around 10:10 pm and I was advised that my plane was going to start boarding at 10:40 pm.  What??  I still have to go through security; panic begins to set in.

I find my way to the security check in and to my amazement there were only a handful of people in line.  I mean it took me longer to take my boots off and put all my crap in the bins then it did to get to that point.  Either the security team should be renamed to Rapid Security or they were a little lax.  To be honest, I don't really care.  I needed to get on that plane.

I arrive at my gate after a brief but necessary pit stop to Duty Free.  Sit for 10mins and observe the other people I'm about to be trapped on a plane with for 6 hours.  There were a couple of young families with tired little children but the majority of the plane was to be filled with seniors.  My guess is it was some kind of tour group because even though they were sitting apart, there were a lot of them and for the most part they knew one another.

We begin to board.  My row is one of the first to be called because I'm at the back of the plane.  The plane that holds approximately 250 passengers.  Luckily enough in the set of 3 that I'm sat in there is no one booked to sit in the middle.  I feel like someone is looking out for me because these seats are narrow.  In a mean way, they're narrow.  Like, if any one were to be bigger than I, they would have been uncomfortable the whole flight.  You may think I'm joking or over exaggerating, but really, I'm not.

Moving on.  The other person in the set of 3 seats is a women (sat at the window seat) heading to Ireland to meet a friend from another European country (she told me but it was kinda late, and I was only kinda paying attention).  Anyway, this woman was not the best person to be sat near.  Before take off there was some friendly chatter, which was nice.  But by the time the plane had leveled out and we were on our way, she just continued talking.  

I'm telling you, she really wouldn't stop.  It's nearly passed midnight at this point and I'm trying to tell her politely that I would like to try and get some sleep.  That doesn't work so I just fully tune her out, close my eyes and try to catch some zzzz's.  You think she would get the hint and she sort of does but it still doesn't stop her incessant need to her own voice.  While I'm there with my eyes closed, obviously not in the mood to talk, she decides to push the call button.  Ding dong, I hear.  The flight attendant comes over.

"May I help you?"  The response is quiet and so the question is asked again a little louder and with some leaning in (which just happens to be over me since I'm in the aisle).  She then asks for a blanket but she doesn't want to pay for the whole travel kit it comes with.  For goodness sakes lady it's $7!!  I'm so tired of fake sleeping I nearly offer to buy her the $7 kit just to shut her up, when she agrees to pay for the whole kit and caboodle.  

At last, I'm thinking.  She's got her kit now so she'll be nice and quiet.  Boy was I ever wrong.  She decides that the neck pillow she brought with her isn't sufficient any longer and she needs to blow up the one in the kit.  Nope, she can't do that quietly either.  Ding-dong, the call button goes off again.  This time she needs to ask how to blow up the neck pillow that has the same valve as any other blow up product.  Trying to keep calm, I wait her out.  Finally she is done talking to me and everyone else on the plane.  Finally I can get some sleep.

2 hours later I'm woken but the announcement that breakfast is about to be served.  Yum, I can't wait to see what we've got.  I should have known that it wasn't going to be too exciting but plain yogurt is something I didn't expect.  Oh well, still enjoyed it because neighbour lady doesn't talk with her mouth full.  Thank goodness for that.

Its landing time, and I'm sooo excited.  Not only do I get to see what Ireland is like but I get to finally meet someone that I've known for 5 years, but never seen face to face.  I'm thinking to myself, what a fantastic time I'm going to have.  And so far it's been fun.  I just can't wait to meet everyone else from our Dublin office.  It’s so nice to be able to put faces to names.  I can't wait to see what the rest of this trip will have in store for me!!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Summer has arrived and with that come many of natures little bonuses.  The sun, of course, and the grass is green and the trees are lush.  I personally enjoy seeing all the bunnies in the gardens during my morning runs.  With all these lovely little perks of come some not so fantastic features.  Humidity (you must agree, this is just a mean trick mother nature likes to play on someone’s hair), sun burns (boooo) and mosquitoes (double boooo).  What is the scariest of them all?  The birds!

Before you ask, no, I’m not afraid of the birds.  I’ve seen Mr. Hitchcock’s masterpiece several times and I’m still not scared of these fine, feathered creatures.  (Queue movie trailer for a classic horror movie)

What I am scared of is being pooped on.  Yep, I said it.  I’m not scared of these little birdies but rather what they might decide to drop on my melon.

This fear is particularly prevalent during my commutes.  For whatever reason, there are a ton of birds.  They have taken up residence in the steel rafters above the stairs to the GO tunnel. 

Every morning as I approach the doors to the tunnel, I hear all their little chirps.  I usually think to myself how lovely they are or how my Nana would have really enjoyed listening to them.  Then as I enter the stairwell I go into super stealth mode.  I hear the birds; I dare not look up to see them.  What if they choose that very moment to send their droppings down to land on my face?  That would be a total nightmare.  Instead I opt to look down to see where they have already pooped.  Once my route down the stairs has been mentally noted, I run.  Well, I try to run but usually in these moments of panic I get stuck behind Mr. Super-Slow and Ms. Doddle-Along.

So far I have been able to avoid getting crapped on as I’m heading to work.  I’m just waiting for the day it will happen though.  I feel like it’s just my luck.  I should really start keeping a change of clothes in my car.  You know, just in case.

Now before signing off, I would like to say this; I do NOT consider it lucky to get pooped on by a wee birdie.  People who say that obviously haven’t been s*** on lately and are perhaps due for an experience of their own. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Tonight I'm on a slightly later train then I normally take. I never realized what a 15 min difference can make.

I'm used to the trains being full. All seats taken and possibly a person or 2 standing. Mind you those that stand generally choose that option. As for today, this train car us full!

I wonder if the other cars are experiencing this over crowding. Not only are the seats all full but each set of stairs has 2 people sat on them. Then there are the folks that are standing. They're  standing by the doors (I assume), they're by the garbage bins (as usual) and they're standing in the isles.

This is what makes me most uncomfortable about an over packed car. I generally sit in an isle seat because there is more room under the seat to put stuff, including my feet. When there are people standing in the isle I always wish I was sat near the window.

The train sways and so to they. I'm just waiting for someone to lose their balance and fall on top of me. They move around a lot, having to bend down every time they want something out of their purse or briefcase. Its at these moments i worry about getting bumped by someones rump. And the worst of it all is feeling their hot breath on the top of my head. Granted it's not every time there is someone standing beside my seat, but even once or twice is enough to gross me out.

I just wish folks wouldn't crowd the train cars that end up closest to the doors. If you didn't make it in time to get a seat on this one, keep on moving down the line until you find a seat. That would be so much better then making the rest of us (or maybe it's just me?) uncomfortable.