The morning started with fears of another major ice storm, but thankfully Ottawa was spared. After winter storm watches were upgraded to warnings, and then cancelled shortly after lunch.

The airport was eerily quiet when we arrived — one lonely Air Canada ticket agent processed us, even recommending a better seat selection on our quite empty plane. He seemed impressed that we only had our skis and ski bag to check. Last time we went there were clothes I didn’t wear, so why bring a suitcase if you don’t need to. We’ve managed to fit loads in the carry ons and were still under the maximum weight. Oh the happy travelers.

Maybe when we get back I’ll post the packing list for people who want to know how to do it. I guess I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch. We did it for 10 days in the Southwest USA, but we haven’t done it yet for the European ski trip.

And today was my first time on the bus since last year. Our morning bus driver was a crusty sod, who didn’t call out the stops along the transitway as required. I wish I had noted the bus driver number so I could report him/her. A bit of a “Pat” if you know what I mean. The bus ride home was much more pleasant. A smiling helpful bus driver took me down the Transitway calling out stops and not slamming on the brakes. Still doesn’t make me want to take the bus though.

For the third time in less than a week, we’ve had a meal at a Darcy McGee’s, this time at the airport. This time I had a goat cheese salad and Rob had a chicken and bacon sandwich. The menu was much more limited and I’m glad I hadn’t already had what was on the menu. Unfortunately the beer selection was also much smaller, so we both settled for Keith’s. Can’t wait to get some German brews down in the next few days. Timmy II has made the trip with us. He’s been to Germany before, but missed some of our other trips because he was sleeping in the sun (aka I forgot him and had to get Timmy III, IV, V, and VI). It’s great to be on holidays. Just thinking about the addition has caused enough stress. And the walking home after work during the bus strike should help with the ski legs. I know riding the 10 km on the bike Monday morning was much easier than last year. While I keyboarded an initial draft of this post, Rob sat in the pub reading the free newspaper I got while walking to the bus stop after work. A hockey game (not Ottawa) played on the TV and the flight crew has become a distant memory. Chatter as they left included the waitresses complaining how men only ever leave 10 percent. After we closed the pub (before 9 p.m.) we headed over to the other side of the airport, gate 15 to be specific.

By this point only three flights remained: one to Toronto, one to London England, and our flight. It was a bit of a ghost town, especially after the duty free shop closed for the evening. Before any pre-boarding announcements were made, two (maybe three) uniformed officers arrived at our gate, accompanying a well-dressed man who Rob thought looked to be shackled. They led him down the ramp first. I didn’t see any shackles and I didn’t see him on the plane. What I did see was the CBSA officers doing extra security on the ramp down to the plane. We didn’t meet the profile. Others did.

A nice surprise was the updated interior on the aircraft. I did some updating on the plane, without fear of losing power, and it was nice to have choice to watch  TV. Rob put his eye patch on almost immediately, while Timmy II and I settled in trying to pop our ears during the ascent.