The last day of a holiday is always a bit awkward. We don’t have to get to the airport until about 6.30pm which means we have to check out of the room at midday then hang around for the afternoon. It’s a scorcher of a day so we laze by the pool for an hour or two then, as I’m getting a bit twitchy that we might get lost going to the airport (just a hunch, heaven knows why I might think that!!), we get changed and pile into the car for the last time.
I’ve already keyed into the satnav the address of the Alamo Car Rental Depot at Montreal airport and it’s reassuring that, as we get close, we can see aeroplanes in the sky. Have to rely on our GPS pal today as Dougie, throwing caution to the wind, has packed all the maps into the suitcases. Has he learned nothing from this holiday? The roads seem rather quiet as we get to within one minute of our destination: funny that, it being an international airport! We realise why when our lady of the satellites tells us to turn left and then confidently announces;”YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR DESTINATION”.
I’m not so sure. No car rental depot is visible, no other cars in the vicinity. In fact it’s just a very quiet saturday afternoon…………….in the freight section of the airport. The address doesn’t seem to exist in real life, we try keying it in a few more times and satnav lady still believes we’re at the garage. So we both yell at her, in a combination of English, French and some choice Scottish lingo. Decide our best option is to “drive around a bit” until our lovely son spots an Alamo sign. Unfortunately it’s their regional office and it’s closed; fortunately there is a map on the door directing hapless fools like us to the proper returns desk. It is, of course, at the main airport terminal, like all other car rentals usually are. We park up, hand the keys over and I’m very close to bursting into feminine tears of pure relief.
The garage area is noisy and busy and we have to lug the cases to the departure area, which seems to be only accessible by stairs or lift. The lift has dozens of people waiting, so Hubby, fuelled by inner strength borne of utter frustration, carries the cases up to the third floor, knocking women and small children flying as he goes, only for Rory to tell him when he gets there that “departures is on the first floor, Dad”.
We faff about at the British Airways computer terminal to get our boarding cards and seat reservations then queue for a blissfully short time to drop the bags off. There is a feeling of wonderful elation as the cases disappear from view, only to be replaced by Dougie’s face suddenly dropping:
“You know what we’ve still got in the hand luggage?”
“Two bottles of Ice Wine!”
“Nope, I didn’t think when the woman was talking about have you got any liquids etc etc, blah blah..”
“OH YOU BLOODY IDIOT!”
“HOW COME IT’S MY FAULT, YOU DIDN’T THINK TO PUT THEM IN THE CASES EITHER!”
“YES BUT YOU’VE BEEN CARRYING THEM ON YOUR BACK FOR THE LAST HALF AN HOUR!”
Okay, so we have in our hand luggage two lovely bottles of special wine we’ve been carrying around since Day 3. Regulations say we can’t take liquids onto the plane and our cases are already somewhere in the bowels of Montreal airport. We have three options:
A: Pour them down the sink
B: Give them away to someone
C: Drink them before we go through passport control.
Dougie favouring option C but I can’t face slugging down two bottles of syrupy dessert wine before getting on a plane and risking being chucked off for drunkenness. So we consider option B and walk back to the BA desk where a really nice chap had helped us at the computer terminal. We explain our dilemma and, as we are about to offer him the booty, he speaks to his colleague at the desk. She calmly picks up the phone, rings someone and five minutes later a little man appears wheeling one of our cases! Dougie opens the case, revealing all our dirty washing to the gathering crowds, and slips the bottles in between the more fragrant items. I am utterly amazed at how helpful they were and how easy it all was. Thank you, thank you, British Airways. Ah it’s good to be coming home…….