Welcome to Day 8 of Janet and Randy's Brussels Adventure 2016
Sunday, January 3rd, 2016
Woke up early (6:00am) and got ourselves ready. Went down for our last breakfast, then came back to the room to finish packing up.
We checked out of the hotel and walked to the Central Station to catch an 8:13am train to the airport (the walk was up a slight incline to the train station and whew ! it was a bit of a challenge). We didn't have any bags to check in, but we went to the Air Canada check-in to present our travel documents and to find out which airline lounge we could use (which was the Brussels Air lounge).
We had to go through passport control - which was a bit of a line-up. There was no fast-track line available for passport control - only lines for European passports and Other. The line we picked didn't move for quite a while (exactly like picking the wrong Costco queue), but then went fairly quickly after that. After passport control we then had to walk through a large duty-free shop before arriving at the security check. This had a fast-track line for business class passengers, so we were able to get through security quite quickly.
We then headed to the Brussels Air lounge. This is not a very big lounge, but it was quite packed as it is used by not only all Star Alliance airlines, but also a number of other airlines, like Etihad and Emirates. We had trouble finding a place to even sit - but a few people cleared out shortly after we arrived. As we had eaten breakfast at the hotel a short time before, we didn't need to eat anything - so just filled up our water bottles and relaxed until it was time to head to the gate for our 10:30am flight.
We got to the gate early and ended up waiting a while until they actually started boarding. It looked like it was a pretty full flight. The boarding area isn't overly large and the queue of people ran well down the terminal and into the walk ways. We settled into the same seats that we had on the flight over and waited for the rest of the passengers to board.
The flight to Montreal was uneventful. Randy and I both had herb-crusted beef fillet for our meal, and it wasn't anything exciting (and mine was quite tough). I also had cheese and grapes and a chocolate tart for my dessert (the flight attendant gave me both choices as there weren't many people having theirs).
I watched some movies, and even had a bit of a snooze. Prior to landing, a light meal was served, but I wasn't hungry so didn't bother having it.
Once in Montreal, we went through customs quickly as we used our Nexus cards and didn't have any checked luggage. We went through security to get to the domestic gates and then went to the Maple Leaf Lounge to await our flight to Toronto - which was leaving out of the same gate that we arrived into from Brussels. It was also the exact same plane. We decided to head to the International lounge. Normally if you are on a domestic flight you can't use the international lounge, but the Concierge working the lounge let us in as there wasn't anyone else in the lounge (who is that handsome devil that is photobombing this panorama?).
So, we boarded the Toronto flight and went back into our exact same seats. We joked with the flight attendant that we could've just left our bags on the plane. We settled in for the quick 1.5 hour flight to Toronto. A cold plate of sliced beef and potatoes was served (which I ate some of), and the flight went by quite quickly.
In Toronto we went to hang out in the Maple Leaf Lounge for a while before our Edmonton flight. It was very busy in the lounge and it took a bit to find some seats. Again, we didn't eat anything - just hung out. Finally it was time to board our flight to Edmonton.
We got settled on the plane, but the flight ended up being delayed because a passenger had checked a bag, but then didn't show up for the flight. So, it took over half an hour for them to dig through the luggage compartment to pull the bag from the plane. By the time we finally got airborne, I was exhausted from the long day of travel. Even though I had initially given a meal preference (mushroom ravioli) to the flight attendant, I told Randy to tell him that I wasn't going to bother eating it, and then I proceeded to pass out. Randy had the meal, but he told me it wasn't that great. I woke up about an hour before landed. It was a very long travel day and I think at this point we both had headaches and just wanted to sleep in a bed, instead of upright.
We walked in the door of our house around 9:00pm, unpacked a bit, and then went straight to bed. We had a fabulous time in Belgium, but it was also nice to be home in our own bed.
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