Home for the holidays: West coast to east coast on American Airlines

Banner in the baggage claim area of the Ottawa airport in Canada
Banner in the baggage claim area of the Ottawa airport in Canada
Banner in the baggage claim area of the Ottawa airport in Canada

Clint and I left San Jose, CA this morning at 5 am to play the annual Russian roulette-style game called “holiday air travel”.

Over the years we have had good and horrible experiences flying home to Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) from San Jose Airport via Chicago’s O’Hare.

Sunday evening we got a text from Carl O. warning us of many canceled flights out of Chicago this past weekend due to winter storms. On top of this, I had read several emails via the San Francisco Loreto Bay Homeowners Yahoo group of “adventures” people were having getting to Loreto. To top it all off, Sunday evening, there were couple of news flashes about various plane crashes in the past. If I wasn’t worried about our trip to Ottawa, I was now.

We were fortunate that in total, our planned arrival time was only delayed by 1/2 hour and going through customs was a breeze. I do believe the airplane deities were smiling down on us.

First, I had an American Airlines air attendant who exclaimed as she was checking my passport, “You have the same birth date as me!” I was getting a glimmer of hope that this coincidence was a sign of my destiny of a good holiday travel experience.

Second, when we boarded the plane, there were whispers that a gentleman by the name of “Steve Young” was on our flight. I had no clue who this was but Clint did. According to Clint (and probably everyone else on the planet as Clint noted in an incredulous voice) Steve Young is a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and NFL Hall of Famer. He was on a flight to Chicago to make it for MNF (Monday Night Football). After hearing this, I figured that our flight would get to Chicago on time as making sure MNF happened garnered a sort of importance that could cut through airport bureaucracy.

All these signs did not deceive! We arrived in Canada for the holidays and to greet us at the Ottawa airport, there was a banner that said, “Welcome to Hockey Country!” I don’t think you can get more Canadian than that!

For the next week, Clint and I will be profiling some Canadian traditions such as all things hockey, Tim Horton’s and Harvey’s.

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