We’ve been back in Canada for a few days, not in Vancouver but in Toronto.
It was a quick stop for Covid bivalent vaccine boosters, flu shots, a haircut, short visits with son #1 and family and a much-missed Ontario friend and – most critically – a suitcase swap to our summer wardrobes. We fly to Merida Mexico tomorrow for 5 months of warmth.
Our trip back to Canada from Prague, through Amsterdam, was seamless: an 80 minute KLM Cityhopper flight from Prague to Schipol, followed by a 7-1/2 hour flight to Toronto. This was our last Business Class flight for the foreseeable future, so we took advantage of the lounge at Schipol and then the amazing sleeping pods, in-flight menu and stellar KLM service during the flight itself.
Plus, for the first time en route through Schipol, we saw the famous Maarten Baas “painting man” clock.
Interestingly, the first and only real transit glitch we’ve experienced (our short Toronto to Paris flight delay was made up in the air) after tens of thousands of km of round-the-world travel (we’ve done the equivalent of circling the globe twice in distance travelled) was on the subway in Toronto: a combined maintenance issue and “high passenger volume” delay in an overheated packed car, standing shoulder-to-shoulder trying to keep our wheeled suitcases from rolling into other riders.
I have to note that the AirBNB we’ve been in these few days is probably the nicest short-term accommodation we’ve rented to date, and we’ve already booked it again for our end-of-April transit through Toronto. It’s a one-bedroom high-basement suite with shared laundry, absolutely beautifully decorated in white and charcoal, and with every possible amenity, including (Ted’s favourite) really really fast internet. I loved that it had sharp kitchen knives (a true rarity in rentals), and super easy access to retail stores and the subway system. The owner was incredibly responsive, and was even able to recommend a good hair salon for me!
Heading off again means a new packing list, and while we spent 3 months in Europe with just 2 carry-on bags Episode 278 – Packing Again we’re packing a bit heavier this time: everything that was in those bags minus the jackets and long-sleeved tees (the weather forecast for the next 5 months in Merida is 30°C/86°F or higher every day, with occasional rain), but with the addition of bathing suits, hair clippers, an extra pair of running shoes for Ted, and a few more loose cotton shirts and pants for each of us.
Instead of 2 carry-ons plus a duffel and tech bag, we’ll have one 24” suitcase, one carry-on, and a tech bag. Being in one place for 5 months means we don’t mind pulling the larger suitcase through the airport to a taxi; there’ll be no dragging it on cobblestones or through train stations this trip.
So that’s it. Six nights hiatus from our travels, and we’re off again!