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  • Writer's pictureLucas Friesen

The Canada Trip pt. 4

I was woken up at around three in the morning by Phoenix, our train car attendant. She announced that we were closing in on Edmonton. I put on the same clothes for the third day in a row. Then, I packed my bag and got out of bed. My dad was sitting on his bed with the curtain open. My mom’s curtain was still closed.

That night had been a horrible sleep. It felt like the train conductor had doubled the speed from the night before, maybe to make up for lost time. The train car was shaking all night. The involuntary tossing from the trains G-forces was extremely strong. It was two bad sleeps in a row now. Still, nothing to complain about as the road is very rarely pretty.

Once we were awake, it still took close to an hour to reach the station. There were a lot of people waiting there to board our train, which was ten hours behind schedule. Miraculously, there were still cabs waiting to pick people up. We got in one and headed for the hotel.

The hotel was attached to the Edmonton airport, which was across the city from the Via Rail train station. Even at that hour, with minimal traffic, it was a forty-minute ride. However, it was a nice ride. The city was largely asleep, but it was a good tour of the land. I saw the hockey arena where the Edmonton Oilers play, which was cool.

Check in at the hotel was painless and we got to our room with two double beds. It was nice to finally have our own space after so long on the train. The hotel beds were soft and I got into bed as quickly as I could in order to salvage a few hours of good rest.

The alarm clock went off quick around eight, as our flight was at noon. This gave us time to shower, eat, checkout of the hotel and check in to the flight. The shower felt good, the breakfast was good and we were making good time.

In the Edmonton airport, we reached our terminal with plenty of extra time. My dad had found a seat where we could watch the football game on TV. It was the Buccaneers versus the Saints. I watched until it was time to board.

On the flight, I sat in economy. I was in an exit row and an aisle seat, so I had enough leg room. While in the air, I watched An American in Paris. I really appreciate that Air Canada stocks a few classic films in their offering. However, the lack of any complementary food was a reminder of how much we’ve lost over the years to the paywall on flights. I did receive one complementary cup of ginger ale, which I drank sparingly throughout the flight.

The movie was great. It didn’t have a fantastic story, but the visuals and the dancing were top notch. It starred Gene Kelly, who also choreographed the movie, and was directed by Vincente Minelli. Leslie Carron was also fantastic in it. I later read that it won six Academy Awards (on eight nominations).

The flight landed and we were in Montreal. We quickly got our bags and went to the rental car office where we receive a black Chrysler van. We drove it down to Old Port, an area in Montreal. My parents dropped me off at my hotel and they went around the corner to their hotel.

I dropped my bags and went to meet them so we could walk to dinner. We walked down to Salumi Vino where we were greeted by friendly staff and delicious pasta. It was past nine o’clock. We asked the owner where we should go to dinner the next night. He said, since it’s Monday, the only option was Gibby’s.

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