Home » Challenge » Walking and Walking: YUL to ATL to PHL/PHL to IAD to YUL

Walking and Walking: YUL to ATL to PHL/PHL to IAD to YUL

Inspired by David Kanigan, I thought I would write a “Walking” post. Because Lord knows I’ve walked in the past eight days! Of course, mine won’t be as sophisticated as his. I don’t have some cool reference to the latest book I’m reading, inspiring me. No, no. Mine is the Good Gawd Version.

It all started with a decision to go hang out with my fella… Justin opened up the border to the Yanks and I just had to wait until Joe did the same for us. But he didn’t. Damn him! So, arrangements were made to fly – destination Philadelphia followed by a short drive to Delaware, just for the hell of it.

I did the necessaries, i.e. get a proper Covid test (the US, while not open to us Canucks, are less demanding of which test was needed). Found me a drive-through and was planning on getting tested on the Saturday, August 21, on my way up to Yvon’s funeral. It only takes 15 minutes to get the results. However, I decided to follow my sister Tracy’s suggestion that I not wait till the last minute. So I went on Thursday after work, enduring traffic to and fro. But all good. Negatory, so I was set.

Why, pray tell, do we have to present ourselves at the airport three hours prior to boarding when there is no one officially working until 5:30? My flight was at 7:30… There was one woman who was asked to come in early so she dealt with as many as she could, including me, before the rest arrived… And then? Great, she checked us in but the security isn’t open until 6:30? What in the eff?

There is a screen between the cow chute and the agents…

Sunday morning, I was on my flight to, get this, ATLANTA, as a layover to Philadelphia. Nuts, I tells ya. Nuts. I have gone to Florida, to the Dominican Republic and my layover was IN Philadelphia. Now that it was my destination? No, no. we can’t have us no direct flight. Let’s send you for a ride!

Blue skies over fluffy white clouds – gonna be a great week!

I won’t complain too hardily as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a beautiful place. I mean, if you are to have a four-hour layover, this is a grand place to have it. I’d get my 10K steps easy-peasy! I arrived in Concourse A and walked around there, not quite knowing how to get to the other concourses. So I took the train to T and walked all the way back to E. And back. Wow.

Concourse T to A contains a series of Zimbabwean sculptures, each one so beautiful. I took ’em all but won’t torment you here!

Concourse A to B has a rain forest theme, including the sounds of tree frogs and other beasties. So cool.

Between Concourses B and C, you find a serious history lesson. Along the walls the images take you from 11,000 BC to today.

There was nothing special after that that. Was more straightforward.

My flight was on time and it was off to Delaware for a week of reconnection, rest and relaxation.

Fast-forward to Wednesday. I had a Covid Test to take. This time the PCR one. Thanks to my co-worker, I knew that Vybe Urgent Care took appointments and gave results in two hours. Woot! (Booked it on Monday,) Off we went, I took the test and then we walked around South Philly for a few hours. Picked up the results. All good. I was negative.

Friday afternoon, I receive an email from Air Canada telling me my flight next day’s was cancelled. For weather. What? What weather? There was nothing in Philadelphia. Nothing in Toronto (my connecting airport) and nothing in Montreal. What in the blessed eff? Sonova…. They give me my new flight for SUNDAY at 8:30, with a connection in Dulles, Washington. An eight-and-a-half hour layover. Oh. Em. Gee… No matter how much I searched, unless I was Croesus, which I am not, there was no way I could change this. Double Damn. Thankfully, we were able to stay at our joint for another night.

Saturday morning I wake up with a start. Aaaarrrggghhh! My Covid test is now no longer valid! I call Vybe and am told that “sorry, we cannot fit you in”. I call elsewhere and hit a wall. I call back the first Vybe – which is the closest in Ridley and basically beg. Successfully. We have to leave immediately, so off we go.

As expected, it took less than five minutes. So I treated us to breakfast in a diner (meh) and we then walked around until the paperwork was ready. Yay. Negative again (like… of COURSE).

It was great to have an extra day of vacation but the running around necessary? Not so much. Plus, now I had to leave at 8:30 instead of 10:15 yet another early start!

So. Here I am. In Dulles. It ain’t no Atlanta, is all I’m saying. But now I have to distract myself for eight-and-a-half hours. After a lickety-split flight from PHL to ATL (arrived early, of course). I thought I’d be seeing this spaceship (please, take me away!) over and over again but no. I found other places to get my steps! Not too exciting.

I walk from one end to the other and back. I see there is a Bar Symon and I think, that will be a great supper. It’s in Gate B and I still don’t know where I am leaving from. By 10:30 my 4 a.m. bagel is no longer sustaining me so I decide to have a Five Guys burger – a small one. Thank goodness!

Walk some more and wish and wish I could find some place to lie down. All the damn benches have armrests! What is it with this well-maintained airport already? I could like on a wooden bench like some rubby (homeless Canadian drunk) – right the middle of the hallway…. or maybe this cushy one, also set up in full view. I keep walking and find this overpass between Gates A1-A5 and A6-A-whatever)… Dang. That would have worked

Too late. I sit down in my empty gate A5 and start to write this post. I realise, as I am looking for deets, that I cannot find my blue travel wallet. What the? Wait. Oh man. I think, when I took my laptop out of my bag at security in Philly, it fell out. Never saw it. It contained all my paper proof of vaccination, tests, etc. Thank God I had it all digitally but I knew it would make my life easier to have the paperwork. Could this day get any worse?

Why yes. Yes, it could! By 4:30 they call us to verify our vaccine situation and test and all that schmegegge and tell us… hey… by the way, let’s delay your flight by an hour! Sallamabeetz…

Papers verified, I look around. I am NOT taking the chance to walk over to Michael Symon’s joint and find a nearby pub called Firkin and Fox. Imma have me a Yuengling! And a “turkey” (pressed meat) avocado club sandwich. Was edible and quenched my thirst. All for the measly sum of $30. Gotta love airports, eh?

Return to my bench to finish my post and accidentally flush it. Had to start the whole damn thing over (I think this version is better, though still way too long!)

Oh… that a boarding call? Not quite yet as, well, there is something they need to look at…

118 thoughts on “Walking and Walking: YUL to ATL to PHL/PHL to IAD to YUL

  1. That’s a disaster. I would have pulled my hair out by the roots. It’s not easy getting tested in Florida ( probably just as bad everywhere here) and you can expect to wait a week for results. A 15 minute test is unheard of. Another DeSantis throw em off the track stunt. Glad you got back , hope you had a great getaway…. In spite of the fiasco. xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh come now… mine does not include some thoughtful prose shared from my latest reading πŸ˜‰ As for driving – trust me… had Biden opened up the border on YOUR side, I would have driven and our destination would have been somewhere in the state of New York. However. I shall go check out your (insane – to me) 4,000 miles in 7 days… which I could swear I remember reading you saying you would never do that again πŸ˜‰


  2. You are a brave adventurer Ms Rogerson. Hats off to you for such an adventure in times of covid cooties. Like Gigi said you could have walked home for all that trouble. Like I tell a lot of whiners, if you survive your misadventures and disaster, you have great stories for the trouble. You just proved my mantra correct with this marvelous post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha ha ha! Sorry, I know I shouldn’t laugh. But think of it this way, you’ve got a great post out of it. And you made other people smile and chuckle remorselessly!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t believe you wrote and posted this while waiting. Wow!
    I hope you had a wonderful time in between airports and COVID tests. Wow!
    And I hope you waved to me from Philadelphia Airport. I think I saw your flight. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, my, what a nightmare! IF I was considering traveling (which I’m not), this testimony would certainly give me pause. It’s going to take you days to recover, lol, but I hope at least you had a good time catching up with loved ones.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was nuts, lemme tell you! I would have to say that if you consider travelling and can limit it to within your country, you save yourself a whole lotta stress. Its when you cross the borders of countries that you pay for your sins! I definitely had a lovely time reconnecting. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, Dale, that was QUITE the journey! We passed through the Atlanta airport last week as well. It is a lovely place (as these places go). Thankfully our trip to visit family was a bit more, ahem, uneventful. I will say that moving forward, I am going to do my level best to book non-stop flights. Just don’t want the drama. Glad that you are once again safely home! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me tell you, Lori. It is definitelly NOT my choice to book flights with stops and/or transfers but there seem to be no affordable direct flights during these crazy times. If I could, I promise you, I would fly direct! the drama just acted as muse this time πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I DON’T DO LAYOVER! Layovers equate to MELTDOWN. Am TOO old for that shit!

    Bully for you though, I admire calm, cool and collective people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh man. I ain’t rich enough to NOT do layovers… They have used this Covid shit time to take advantage of us poor sods. The price of direct flights is exorbitant to say the least. When I went to Philly last October, it cost me around $300. This time it cost me $625. The direct flights were like $1500. For a less-than-three-hour total flight. Non merci.
      How glad I am that I came off as calm, cool and collected πŸ˜‰


  8. Ah ma pauvre puce – you just perfectly well described why I just won’t do layovers…. But of course it could be a forced decision if direct flights were just too expensive. I do hope that your visit merited all those delays, roundabouts, the stress and evil tests.
    The airport food is another thing I thoroughly hate. We had ONE airport to recommend (Lisbon, since you ask). There I could have gotten delayed endlessly, such was the choice of bars, food places, great stuff and – although international – friendly staff. Your bun/sandige look both very tired, the fries seem to be okay-ish…. BUT you did your quadrillions of steps! Never a moment of doing nothing, our Dale!
    AND you typed TWICE a post – you are one brave and determined woman.
    Welcome home, kid – WAS IT ALL WORTH IT?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah ma chΓ¨re Kiki… I have no choice but to do layovers. I do not have the deep enough pockets to do otherwise. (At this time, anyway!) My visit more than merited all the time spent getting intimate with airports πŸ˜‰
      Had I been in the Gate B area, I am convinced the Michael Symon resto would have been delicious. Expensive, for sure, but at least delicious. Ah well. La prochaine fois!+
      Oh, I could have sat on my duff but decided to use this time to explore and get my goal πŸ™‚
      I dunno about brave vs nuts… But always determined πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Dale,

    Dare I hope you’re home by now? What an “adventure.” It sounds like Murphy’s been working overtime on your behalf. At least you got a good story out of it. πŸ˜‰ Sorry you had to go through all this. At any rate, we know it’s safe to be around you and not catch COVID. Love ya, girlfriend.

    Shalom and lotsa just plain ole hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Oh, I got home ayt. At 11 pm. Murphy was being particularly moody with me, is all I can say! Yes, you do know I like to collect stories πŸ™‚ Thank you and yes, fear not. I am definitelly COVID-free! Love ya right back girlfriend!

      Shalom and lotsa good ole love,



  10. Argh and double argh!!! What the bloody blue blazes?? I absolutely loathe the hub concept of air travel especially when they pull crap like this (delays/cancellations, etc.). Add in a patchwork system of dealing (or not dealing appropriately) with COVID and a person could rip their hair out (or throat punch a ticket counter person). No wonder people hate flying. So sorry you had to endure all this horrid rigmarole. Hope at least the time with your fella was enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, no, oh, no, oh nooooooo…. my goodness you walked some! Okay, I think all this walking should be deducted from the length of your challenge, maybe by 3 months?!!!!!!
    I hope at least that the moments in between were worth it!
    Hope you’re out of the airport now. It’s because of moments like these that the saying “Home sweet home” seems so sweet.
    Sending you many many hugs! …I mean many of them! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a long saga that was. I am glad to read that you are home. I think the whole problem was Philadelphia. That airport has been at the heart of so many travel failures for me. I began taking the train to Philly in 2004. Atlanta is a cool place to spend a long layover. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it was, Dan. I personally cannot stand the Philadelphia airport either – nor United Airliines. They have both caused me grief more than once. I would not choose either if avoidable. We would have driven, meeting halfway, somewhere in New York if Biden had opened up to us Canucks. I never thought of the train as an option, to be honest.
      Atlanta is a beautiful airport. Dulles, not quite a much πŸ˜‰ Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. OH. MY. G*D! Dale, I feel so sorry you went through (and may still be going through!) this ordeal. I don’t think I would still be standing after even half of it. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sounds like a great trip marred only by the travelling! Still sounds like you aced all the obstacles put in your way! Way to go girl!
    While you were getting your outward test, 21st August, we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary , courtesy of our boys.
    So I hope you are safe home now. Hugs πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Q

    Now THAT is what a long day’s journey into night looks like! And all thanks to Air Canada flushing a flight because of . . uh . . weather? I’m thinking the pilots were on a bender and they didn’t have any replacements at the ready and so of course it’s just easier to blame the weather than to take the hit. smh . . .

    You should’ve Canada drunk-it on that bench. But no . . without a comforter on top of that bench, on second thought . . no.

    As for the grub, too bad you didn’t get to take in Symon’s grille, but at least you had a Five Guys burger. They have zero aesthetic value but they are quite tasty all the same. The club sammie . . looks good. I’m sure you were probably thinking to yourself that you could’ve made it ten times better at pennies on their dollar bills, but hey . . airports.

    Here’s to making it home in the same day! Just barely . . .


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dammit… Why didn’t I think of that as a title? Weather. Don’t get me stahted! On a bender definitely makes sense. Or, like my sister said, they didn’t have a full plane so, fuck you, passengers. We don’t give a shit.

      I was seriously tempted, tell you what. If I had paid attention the first time I went over that overpass? I’d lay down right there on the carpet.

      I was thisclose to going all the way over there but figured the luck I was having? Not a good idea to chance it. I thoroughly enjoyed my second Five Guys burger in my life. The last time I had one must’ve been 10 years or more ago! It was very good. The club was ayt. It would have been nice to have real turkey over the sandwich pressed stuff but hey. It got the job done.

      Here’s to making it home… a day late and a dollar short! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s probably more to the truth.

        Well . . laying down on the carpet may have been going a step too far. But making the bench your own? Why not?

        Yeah, Five Guys is good stuff. Take it from our 44th President, who would sneak out on occasion to grab one.

        Haha! But making it!

        Liked by 1 person

        • It ain’t impossible, that’s for shizzle.

          I think by the time I actually considered any of those options, I got my second wind.

          It really is. It’s not a cheap burger but you don’t feel ripped off. I can’t even tell you why I hadn’t been in eons except that they are all a good way out of my way. He did, did he?

          But making it it!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank goodness for the second wind, which is going to be easier to come by now that the temps get a tad bit more agreeable.

            I haven’t had one in a while now, and I’m five minutes away. They are delicious and you’re right, it’s okay to pay when it tastes like that. Yes indeed, every chance he got.


            Liked by 1 person

          • No kidding. That was brutal. I’m only just getting over it. What a wimp!

            Funny how that goes. I might just make a detour next time I have a hankering πŸ˜‰


            Liked by 1 person

          • The heat takes a lot out of people. I know some half my age who are totally exhausted from it, so fret not . . we’re doing just fine.

            Haha! It’s worth it.



  16. You are braver than I am, venturing out into the world of air travel. (They blame it on the weather because they don’t have to pay you or refund you or put you up in a hotel or otherwise compensate you. If it was mechanical or due to staffing shortages — lack of staffing is the most likely possibility lately — then they would have to do more to help you out. So, on their part, better to blame the weather even if there is no weather.

    I can’t remember the last time I had a Five Guys burger. That looks so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I was brave, wasn’t I? And that makes so much sense, Robin. Staff shortages are happening in every domain. So much easier to blame the weather than than admit the truth.

      It was only my second time and I have to admit it was delicious!


  17. This is a horror story! I’m freaking out for you. HORRENDOUS. You seem much more patient than I would ever be. I’ve been in Atlanta airport = yes, easy to get in 10,000 steps. But Dulles? meh. And the layovers and freaky going backwards to go forwards? U G H. Glad you had a good time in DE at least. I was just there (in DE) last week. Between Boston and NJ. But in a car. Where I got NO steps. ;-0 πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lemme tell you, Pamela. I was disconcerted when I knew I had to keep myself occupied for 4 1/2 in Atlanta – which turned out to be a pleasant surprised. It was not disconcertedness that I felt when they flushed my first flight for this crappy alternative. Not even close. Disgruntled is not strong enough. However. Somehow in the past few years I have learnt not to sweat the stuff I can’t control. Dulles is rather dull a place to be stranded for 10 hours (coz with the delays, that’s what it worked out to be!!) However, another lady had been stuck there over night so… we console ourselves with others’ misery?
      I had a lovely time in DE and look forward to my next reconnection with my fella! By car. Halfway. Somewhere in the state of New York. Flying? Imma take a break, thank you very much!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh geez, that was crazy! We haven’t flown since Covid, but it will happen eventually. We were going to visit family in Michigan for Thanksgiving, but now there is an insane surge in our area (gotta love Texas!), so that will probably have to wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. If I combine this post with my past experiences flying commercial (it’s been a while), add all the current news about crazy passenger behavior, and season with a few weather changes; I think I’ll stay home or drive. But then, such are the experiences that provide for interesting blog stories. Well done, Dale, in more ways than one.

    Liked by 1 person

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