Welcome to Day 1 of Janet and Randy's Turkish Adventure 2015
Friday, March 27th, 2015
Woke up early, had breakfast, got ready - and we were out the door by 9:00am. Dropped the cat off at the kitty kennel, and got to the airport before 10:00am.
Ran into Sandi, the Air Canada concierge just before going to security and had a chat with her. Randy sees her quite often when he travels for work. Randy had previously mentioned to her (actually it was a different concierge that I had mentioned the anniversary to) that we were going to Istanbul for our 20th wedding anniversary. So, she wished us both a happy anniversary. We went into the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge to get a quick snack before heading to the gate.
While we were waiting for boarding to commence, we saw Concierge Sandi and another Concierge (Loreena) walking into the terminal from the gate. Randy asked what they were doing at the gate, and they seemed suspiciously evasive. We wondered if something was up - and sure enough, when we boarded the plane, we saw that they had set up some champagne and chocolates for us at our seat. That was so nice!! Very impressed by the Air Canada Concierge.
Once we were in the air and the seatbelt signs had been turned off, the flight attendant brought us some glasses so we could enjoy our champagne. Didn't take long to kill the 2 bottles. Little did we know that killing bottles was going to be the theme for the day.
The flight to Montreal was uneventful. I had the mushroom lasagna and Randy had the salmon. Watched a couple of movies and arrived into Montreal just before 5:00pm.
Our friend Paul lives in Montreal near the airport, so we had arranged to meet up with him. We had agreed to meet at the airport Sheraton, which was right near the airport. So, we caught the shuttle to the hotel (after wandering around the Montreal airport trying to figure out where the hotel shuttles left from) and met up with Paul.
We spent the next 4 hours drinking, eating and laughing. We had cocktails, a bottle of champagne (killed it), and then Paul started ordering tequila shooters. Not good. At 9:30pm, we decided to catch the shuttle back to the airport before we lost track of time and missed our flight. We checked in at Turkish Airlines to make sure that they had our checked bag in their system, then went through security. The Air Canada lounge was closed due to renovations, so we were given access to the Mastercard lounge. So, we hung out there for a bit before it was time to head to the gate.
Boarding started just before 11:00pm. We got settled into our business class seats and were given a choice of orange or raspberry juice while we waited for the rest of the passengers to board. As it had started snowing, our departure was a little delayed because the plane had to be de-iced first. We were finally in the air around midnight.
Once we were in the air, the cabin crew came around and got down the bedding and set it up for us. This included a mattress cover to go over our seat, a nice big pillow and a comforter. I assumed that since it was so late, there would be no meal service (or maybe just a small snack). I was wrong. Instead, we were served a 4-course meal. The many flight attendants were very busy scurrying around.
We started with assorted canapes including kebobs and a type of spanikopita. Then there was an appetizer course. I had the Turkish Mezze (including some grilled chicken breast, eggplant salad, tabbouleh and humus). Randy had a beef Caesar salad. For the main course, Randy had the lamb chops and I had a seafood dish containing shrimp, salmon and swordfish. The food service started at 1:00am and I just wasn't that hungry. So, after the canapes and the appetizer, I was full. When the seafood dish arrived, I couldn't even touch it. I skipped out on the dessert course entirely because I was full and tired. By this time it was 3:00am, so I just put my seat into the sleeping position and went to sleep.
The food service itself was quite impressive. Our table was set with little (fake) candles and they came around with bread every 2 minutes. The dessert course was served from a trolley, and you could select more than one dessert if you wanted.
Finally, the food service was done, and they shut off the lights for about 4 hours for people to sleep. However it sounded like the Flight Attendants were cleaning dishes in the galley. Much clinking of dishes and plenty of noise coming from that area. Then 2 hours before landing, they turned the lights back on for a breakfast service. Before going to sleep, we were asked to fill out our breakfast preference - so if they saw that you were awake, they brought your breakfast to you. I was still full from the supper, so was only able to eat the fruit and drink the hot chocolate I ordered (which was really, really good!). I tried Janet's hot chocolate and had ordered one for myself.
Finally, we landed in Istanbul just before 3:00pm the next day (Saturday). Head to the next day to see how this long day continues to roll out...
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