As many people know, a trip does not start when one checks in at the airport, or drives away from the house. It begins, quite often, months in advance as plans are made, tickets are purchased (in February for us), when holidays are booked at work.
Then, in the days prior to departure, the house is a flurry of activity, the living room looks like a bargain bin (after the shoppers have departed), as suitcases are packed, not so much with clothes for the trip, but with gifts and items not available in Malaysia for the family. Each bag must be carefully packed, then weighed so as not to be over the 50 pound limit for the airline.
Finally the day arrives. My daughter and her husband had volunteered to drive us to the airport. It took a bit of work but we managed to get the two of them, the two of us, three checked luggage, two carry-on bags, a computer bag (for where would I be without my technology) and a purse into their vehicle and off we went.
At the airport we checked in (all three bags almost exactly 50 pounds), breezed through security, found the proper gate and sat down to await our WestJet flight to Vancouver.
Upon arriving in Vancouver we had four hours between flights. Not an issue. I prefer a longer time between flights as it cuts down on connection issues. Besides, after twenty years in the military I was quite familiar with the “hurry up and wait” mentality and have no issue with waiting.
On schedule, we boarded our Cathay Pacific flight and took off for a 13 hour trip across the Pacific. I have to say that although long, this was the best flight I have ever experienced. The cabin crew were exemplary, always there to ensure that we were comfortable and seemingly psychic, knowing when we would like a drink or a snack.
Next, we arrive in Asia.