Props to You at YVR

We had an excellent, relaxing vacation at Whistler earlier this week. Dave was there for a work conference, and we tagged along. Initially, we didn’t have helmets, but after Natasha Richardson’s tragedy, we decided to rent some on our last day - even for Ben, who just had sledding on his agenda. Luckily for us, the hotel let us use their helmets for free.

Anyway, when I post our pictures I’ll tell you a little more about the vacation. For today’s post, I just wanted to give a little shout out to my peeps at YVR, better known as the Vancouver International Airport.

I was kind of dreading our whole airport experience, since we’d have to go through customs. I was ready for a barrage of questions, “What are you doing in Canada? Where are you staying? How are you getting there?” etc once we met with the customs agent. In the past, I’ve always had a hard time with the interrogation that happens before I’m allowed out into Canada.

Luckily for us, Ben slept through the whole 4 hour flight from Minneapolis to Vancouver…I had an assortment of snacks and toys for him to play with, just in case. Our flight came in at around 11:30am, and Dave’s parents, who were also coming along for the trip, were getting in at around 12:30 so we decided to catch some lunch while we waited. We were a little unsure if there was a food court available after we went through customs.

So when in doubt, you ask someone, rather than find out too late. We approached the customs area, where you get in line to meet a gate agent and they check your customs form and your passports and grill you on why you’re entering the country. There was a massive line of people waiting to go through. Before we got stuck in line, I decided to ask one of the workers if there was someplace to eat after customs. He told me that there was a pretty big food court on the second floor, right after customs. I thanked him, and he saw Dave and Ben with me, and said, “Hey, since you have a baby with you, why don’t you take this line” and pointed at an area to his left, an area that I didn’t even notice, since no one was going there. Turns out that it was the special lane (special for who? I don’t know) and we walked right through, passing the massive line of others waiting for customs. We walked right up to the gate agent, who processed us quickly, without too many questions (which always gets me a little flustered). We went through customs so quickly that we had to wait a bit before our luggage came out.

While waiting, I needed to use the bathroom. So once again, I asked someone who worked there where the nearest bathroom was. He motioned to the other end of the luggage area (which was pretty far), but then looked down and saw Ben (who pretty much goes wherever I go) and then said, “Since you’ve got the kid, go ahead and use the staff bathroom, right behind you.” Score! Benjamin’s my golden ticket.

After our trip, back at YVR, we were checking in our luggage. The woman checking us in was very sweet, and was playing with Ben the whole time…she even gave him his own wings. He really got a kick out of it.

The only unpleasantness we had at YVR was at security. In the US, we’re allowed to bring juice for Ben, as long as it’s outside of our bags in an unopened container. Since it was a long trip, I packed Ben a juice box. We got stopped at security, because I guess in Canada they don’t allow liquids, even for kids. Security was very nice about it, talking to Ben and asking him if he wanted to drink his juice before going through security. So I stood at the side of security, holding Ben’s hand as he drank his juice. I fought the urge to chant, “CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!” as he drank to hurry him up. Finally, he was finished, security clapped for him, and we were through.

While we waited before our flight, we tried to get rid of the rest of our Canadian money, buying little souvenirs and food. Right before we boarded, I had forgotten that I didn’t have juice for Ben. I looked in my pocket and all I had left was $2.10 (one of those crazy $2 coins they use out there and a dime. I’ll never get used to that!). I went to the vending machines and orange juice was $2.25. I went to Orange Julius, and juice was $2.95. Finally, I went to Starbucks, and saw they had orange juice there, but there was no price. So I asked the cashier how much their juice was, and he said, “Um, I think it’s $2.10 after tax.”

“Awesome!” I said, “That’s exactly how much money I have left” as I waved my toonie and dime. He smiled and rang me up, and the cashier next to him gave him a weird look. I looked at the register, and it read, “$3.25″. I started digging into my pockets, hoping to find more change, but the cashier just waved me off and said, “Don’t worry about it” as he reached into his pocket and put in the remainder of the money. I thanked him a lot and told him how awesome he was, and he wished me a safe trip.

So I’d like to say thank you, people at YVR, for being such an awesome representation of the Canadian people. Airports to me are usually associated with frustration and annoyances, so thank you for making the process a little less painful.

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2009-03-21 13:07:15

Nino says

Wow… you’re so lucky to be treated so well… in an airport! It’s always nice to hear of good experiences in airports. :)

2009-04-01 21:59:11

val says

yeay canadians!!


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