Just like that, my mini-vacation is over. Last week, I had taken Thursday and Friday off and flew down to New Jersey via the great Porter Airlines for the first time.
A visit that lasted just over 3 full days makes it very hard to juggle anything else when I have well over 50 close relatives who were in the area. It is something I am becoming gradually accustomed to but visiting the family after a few months was really nice. Visiting at a time of a religious holiday can make it feel even shorter since we were busy pretty much the entire time I was there and even slipping away for a few hours to visit some old friends and roommates was hard to come by.
The airline and airport were a very pleasant surprise. I had never flown with Porter Airlines before but had heard some great things from some coworkers and an uncle. There is a free shuttle from the airline that runs about a block away from my place of work which became very convenient when my carry on bag became slightly heavier than I had anticipated. The shuttle took us to the ferry which motored all of about 200 meters (0.12 miles for you American folks) to the airport.
With minimal passengers, the time it took me to check in, pass security clearance and get to the waiting lounge was probably 10 minutes. That’s when things got to be really fun. I was still fasting the day of my departure and since it was getting very close to sunset time, I needed to find a place to eat. Since the airport was very small, I was having trouble find any sort of food vendors or even a vending machine to dispense so snacks. That is until I ran into a sign that said Café. As I prepared to dish out normal airport costs for minimal food items, I was shocked to see complementary foods and drinks for all passengers waiting in the lounge. It included items such as cookies, peanuts, coffee and all sorts of beverages. They even had a decent size “computer lab” filled with 10-15 Mac computers for people to use. I didn’t check if they offered free wifi but saw plenty of people using their own devices that it might have been the case.
The plane was about as big (or small) as I thought it would be, seating a capacity of 70 people but our flight had barely 20-25 people. The overhead compartment to place your luggage was rather small that it didn’t fit my bag but stowed away nicely underneath the seat. That was probably my only issue with the flight as food was served maybe 5 minutes after take off and the exotic vegetable potato chips probably were the craziest chips I had ever eaten. Besides the flight being just over an hour, I barely had any time to catch up on some much needed sleep – it didn’t help that I had taken coffee with chips earlier to kill off any chance of napping.
I am not sure what took me this long but I have been a heavy user of the program Skype to talk to both friends and cousins back south of the border. I recently got the 5.0 beta which allows video conferencing with up to 10 different people at the same time. It has also been pretty useful to stream videos between people at a much faster pace than each person having to get their own copy. If any of you out there use Skype, feel free to add me and maybe we’ll catch up sometime.