We packed and packed some more. We made sure Mark was tagging along (I don’t trust him in a remake of “Home Alone”) and we left Ottawa.
First, we had to take the Greyhound from Ottawa to Montreal. The two-hour trip turned into a longer journey as the bus was delayed by construction, but Mark and I both slept so it went by pretty fast.
Once at Trudeau Airport, we had to rush: it was past 5 p.m. and our flight was at 7:20 p.m.
“Is that a baby?” a security employee asked, spotting Mark in the stroller.
No, I actually carry an amazing human-looking zucchini in a stroller.
Of course, I didn’t say that. “Oui oui,” I replied. We were then directed to the “family” lineup. You’d think this lineup is more efficient but I have this theory that airport employees pack all the kids and parents in a special lineup so that other passengers don’t have to deal with whiny little ones. Fortunately, Mark was fairly well behaved despite the long wait time.
Airport security is complete bullshit. I doubt it’s even efficient: employees see so many bags and so many people that I don’t think they can spot issues. Nonetheless, we had to empty the stroller, have it checked, have Mark through the security door, take off our shoes, etc.
By the time we made it at Gate 58, the flight was already boarding. Our seats were at the back, in the middle row. The third passenger was a young teen traveling alone and she didn’t mind Mark (she didn’t mind anything, she was glued to her iPad for the entire flight).
I sat Mark on my lap, begging him to be quiet. I wasn’t sure how he was going to react: being in an enclosed space without being able to run around is his idea of hell. He was fine the last three times we flew but he was young. Basically, I was hoping he wouldn’t spot “Ganashes” in the plane.
He didn’t. He laughed when we took off and just sat there, staring at other passengers. I was hoping he would sleep but Air Transat apparently doesn’t want passengers to sleep on the overnight flight: first there was drink service, then the meal service, then duty free offers, etc. and bright neon lights were on for the first four hours of the flight. We were “allowed” to sleep a couple of hours, then the loudspeaker announced we would land “shortly”.
Air Transat’s seats are very small and we were packed tight. Mark didn’t sleep but he didn’t move much either, he just relaxed on my chest. I wouldn’t say the trip was enjoyable but we survived and all in all, it went by pretty fast.
We landed in Nantes (this was a direct Montreal-Nantes) flight, went through immigration, picked up the bags and were greeted by my dad.
France, here we are!
You can see the complete set of pictures taken in France on Flickr.