Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Travel Plans Finalized!

Pat, my genial host awaits me on a sunny Toronto Avenue

Good news folks! My travel plans for Canada are finalized.  

Much to my delight I discovered I already had emergency medical insurance both through my Medicare and AARP supplemental insurance.  No worries there folks!

Now, the next worry was how to get to the Philadelphia International Airport from the distant wilderness of Sussex County, Delaware.  Problem solved!  My co-worker Monica will pick me up and deliver me to Philly International for my 7:29 AM flight to Buffalo, New York on Friday morning August 15th.  Pat will meet me in Buffalo.  We plan to check out Buffalo then mosey on over to Niagara Falls for an overnight stay.  After we've had our fill of Niagara we'll travel over the border to Canada to Pat's minimalist abode in Toronto.  For the next two weeks we'll test if Pat can put up with me 24/7.  

Gonna fly that big bird in the sky to Canada next month!

Pat the Tour Director.  I told him to do his regular routine like his three times a week visit to yoga classes, visiting friends, and his weekly church visit.  I assured him I am quite capable of entertaining myself.  Am I ever.  

So folks, this looks like a go for my first real vacation in about……um…..twenty years?  

Now to decide what to take with me.  You know, what to wear.  Uh huh.  You know what folks, I think I'm just going to take a week's worth of underwear, some polo type shirts, and a pair of long pants and a light nylon jacket for any chilly Toronto nights should they occur.  I'll travel in my cargo shorts of course.  

Next up, what cameras?  Do I take my big assed SLR or just my iPhone?  Probably will be sufficient to take my iPhone.  

Toiletries?  What will get through the Security Theater at the airport?  Certainly not my razor or finger nail clippers.  I do need to take my special tar based shampoo but will they consider that container that the shampoo is in a potential bomb threat?  How about my container of fiber blend that I take twice a day before meals?  Probably can't take that either.  Folks, I'm dreading the whole Homeland Security TSA kabuki dance torture that is awaiting me at the airport but I'll get through it.  Even the whole body scanner.  I ain't got nothing to hide, that's for sure.  After all those medical procedures I had last year, I have no embarrassment left at displaying my wares.  I have no secrets left.  No one does in this day and age.  It is what it is.


Amanda said...

All will be well Ron! You can take your shampoo and fiber bottles as long as they are in your suitcase, not your carry-on bag. I am sure Pat has a washer and dryer in his hoose so try to travel light. Your purpose taking this trip is to enjoy your friend's company and to enjoy your surroundings. Do not worry! Life is good!

anne marie in philly said...

no flights to buffalo from BWI or wilmington? bless dear monica for taking you all the way to philly!

nitewrit said...


Just make sure your iPhone is charged up good because if it isn't they might confiscate it or even not let you on the plane. New rules issued this past week for foreign travel. Maybe if you are just flying to Buffalo it won't apply, but ou might want to check the directive just to be certain and have your devices well charged anyway.


Anonymous said...

Glad it's all coming together! You're going to have a blast!

Peace <3

David Jeffreys said...

I suggest that you mail the questionable items such as shampoo and fiber ahead of time to Pat in Toronto. Then you won't have to deal with the TSA.. Just allow plenty of time for the mail, customs, etc. An even easier way would be to ask Pat to pick up a 2 week supply for you there in Toronto of the items and then reimburse him for them. Any leftovers can be left in Toronto for your next visit! LOL. Assuming that Pat could find a place to store them in his minimalism.

Travel said...

Airport security is not terrible. If you are checking a bag (an extra $25 each way) you can pack liquids and gels in the checked bag within reason (I brought home a good bottle of single malt in my checked bag recently.) If you are only doing carry on, the containers need to be less than three ounces in capacity, (it does not matter how much is in them, the containers have to be three ounce size or less) and need to all fit into a single one quart zip-top bag. You will likely need to take that bag out when you go through screening. Lap-tops or tablets need to come out for screening, you may be asked to turn your phone on when passing through screening (rarely, but I have been asked.) You will need to take your shoes and any jacket or sweater off and put them through the x-machine. If they airport is using full body scanners, you need to empty EVERYTHING out of your pockets. I always carry a backpack or bag when traveling, I put an oversized zip lock bag in it and I empty my pockets into it before I get to security. I have to take my belt off sometimes, so I just pull it and stuff it in the bag while I am in line.

When it came time to pack my father has one piece of advice, half as much stuff and twice as much money.

Ron said...

All good advice! I didn't know I could pack liquids (my special tar based shampoo which I absolutely need) and fiber blend in checked in baggage. I've decided not to do checked in baggage, just carry on per Pat's minimalist suggestion. This will be a first for me, not to take so many clothes that I don't wear anyway. I still think it is ridiculous to take your shoes off but I'll do it (of course) just to make the flight. Just how many potential shoe bombers have they caught this way anyway? I will carry a camera bag in addition to my carry on luggage, which I already checked and meets the size requirements. And thank you for the suggestion for an oversized zip lock bag. I will put that in my carry on luggage right now before I forget.
Thanks again David for this very helpful advice about traveling by air. The last time I traveled by air was in 2000, a few months before 9/11. Back when then were relatively sane. I've dreaded travel ever since but I'll get through this. Full body scan next!

Ron said...

Good advice. I've already ordered the fiber to be sent ahead (they have a Canadian office). I'll buy the shampoo in Buffalo (Walgreens) before I go over the border. All good suggestions David. Thanks!

Ron said...

This morning I ordered my tickets. I have my ride lined up for the Philly International airport (Monica). I'm just about set to go. Now to decide what clothes to take. Pat is advising minimal. I think he's right but this is a major change for my way of thinking. In the past I always traveled with all manner of clothing for any occasion and rarely wore them. Methinks it is time for a change.

Ron said...

I did not know about the iPhone charge trap. I'll make sure my iPhone is charged up. I wouldn't want them to confiscate my iPhone. I would be lost without it! I'm not traveling "foreign travel" anyway, just to Buffalo.

Ron said...

Anne Marie,
Sussex County and the Rehoboth area is so backwards for getting to either one of the international airports (Baltimore or Philly). Unbelievable. It's always been a big problem down here. And the "shuttle services" that would take you charge $500 for one way! Why? Because they can. When I lived in Downingtown, it was a no brainer. Rainbow limo, $25 one way. Pick you up at any local hotel or even BJ's. I read they now cost $49 but that's still a bargain considering what the limo services are charging down here in Lower Slower. Yes, thank God for Monica.

Ron said...

I didn't know I could take my shampoo and fiber bottles in my suitcase. Good to know in the future in case this experiment of minimalism that Pat is putting me on (only take a carry on bag with a few clothing items) doesn't work out. Pat does have a washer and dryer in his house. You're so right, the purpose of this trip is to enjoy Pat's company and surroundings. And we're meeting Dr. Spo and Someone on Monday so that should be fun. Yes, life is good!

Ur-spo said...

I envy you for traveling minimalist. I've never been good at this.