So today started out with a VERY early start. Up as close a we could to 3am… get dressed load the car making sure we hadn’t forgotten anything (passport) and headed for the airport. Got dropped off-kiss kiss hug hug – and into the United Airlines line which had about 100 people in it. Wait for it – I’m supposed to be on a Delta flight! Out of line and down to the Delta check in where I’m told I have to fill in the Customs Declaration which I dutifully do at the little desk. Then run over to the kiosk checkin and start padding away at the screen until it asks me to scan my passport… um, where is my passport? Not this pocket, nope, not this one, and (nervous tick) not… this one either…hmmmm. Panic engulfs my whole head. I can hear the blood pounding in my ears. I look over to the little desk and see someone picking up said passport and I duck under the cattle herding straps and smile awkwardly and take it from her ignoring her puzzled expression. Back to the kiosk, get everything typed in and viola! Boarding passes are spit out. Then through the customs and onto the gate which turned out to be in a small war zone. It’s totally under construction with white plywood walls, plastics sheets draped everywhere and complete with banging pipes. To top it off a new mother with a slightly glazed expression sits beside me going on the virtues of Tylenol in keeping her baby quite – quickly adding that she (the baby) has recently had her shots…. Onto the plane which is a very tiny jet and old to boot. We sit on the tarmac for about 15 minutes for no apparent reason then lurch into action taxing to the other end of the airport which, for those of you who know about YYC, that can taker awhile. Delta seemed to have to wait for every West Jet flight that crossed its path and we must have stopped a dozen times.
Then my favourite part – Takeoff which has always meant the adventure has begun. Nothing to report here but the view was spectacular coming out of Calgary and the flight to Salt Lake was pretty uneventful. I have to say – Salt Lake City is pretty interesting. Flat with mountains rising up out of nowhere – no foothills or anything. Tucson is beautiful. A modern city nestled in a very harsh environment. Lots of crazy looking greenery that looks very angry up close. The drive into the Oro Valley which is where the convention is being held is stunning. Can’t wait to paint here! Even in the inner city – it’s very rich!