The Curious Voyage: Day Two

by Lynn on October 31, 2018

in The Passionate Playgoer

God, stretch limousines are uncomfortable, especially at 5:30 am. Wed. Oct. 24, 2018.

I was one of five people picked up at the hotel in Barrie, Ontario, to be taken to Pearson Airport in Toronto for the next part of the Curious Voyage–the day flight to London, England. And no I won’t tell you anything about that group to protect their identities and save them from ridicule for embarking on such an outrageous, wonderful, curious voyage.

Our driver had a sense of humour. He picked us up in the lobby saying he was there for “The Wedding Party” (no this is not the secret musical), and we should get a move on because traffic was bad (at 5:30 am???). He was joking about “The Wedding Party.”

About the limo. It’s long with a bank of leather seating across the back and a long bank of leather seating along the full side of the car. The seats are low. Your legs stretch out  and your seated body is almost at 90 degrees. If you are ‘a certain age’ and creaky or stiff-jointed sitting in this can be ‘interesting.’

On the other side of the car are glasses for drinks, decanters for liquor (empty in our case) and water and a dish of mints. We made great time and were at the airport at 6:30 am. Our flight was at 9:10 am.

Now getting out of this stretch-limo was like an hour yoga class compressed into two minutes. You (I?) have to draw up your legs and somehow swing them out of the open car door. Because the seat in the car is so low it’s like sitting on the ground so you (I) look hard for a handle, strap, lever to hold on to, rock back and forth to get momentum and then haul myself up when my feet hit the ground. Then I (you) have to make sure that all that effort doesn’t tip you the other way so that you loose your balance and fall flat on your face. I’m a Toyota Corolla person not a stretch limo person.

I had hand-luggage and no checked bags. Security was steady but slow and I got through eventually. All I wanted now was coffee and a Tim Horton’s bagel with cream cheese.

Thwarted!!! Tim Horton’s is in a section of the airport that doesn’t open until 45 minutes before flights going to the States. Sigh. I went to Starbucks for a bagel that came with two packages of cream cheese. It didn’t cost $12 like some of the sandwiches there.

Boarding was smooth but I did look at all the passengers, the flight attendants and some of the people sweeping up garbage thinking they might be involved in this Curious Voyage.

The flight was uneventful and there was no narrative on board. I watched “Paddington part 2” and it was enchanting. Ben Wishaw as the voice of Paddington! How perfect is that. Someone named “Dame Eileen Atkins” played a fortune teller. PERFECT. A dapper guy named Huge Grant played the villain. Brilliant. And Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins played the parents. Divine.

Then “The Post” about the Washington Post when they broke the story about how the government lied about Viet Name. Brilliant.

I read and discarded papers I have been keeping since 2011 (these trips come in handy for getting around to reading that stuff and tossing it).

We landed in London, 9 pm their time. Customs was the longest I have ever experienced in all my years of going to London. I did not tell the customs officer I was there for a secret voyage. He might be secretly involved. I just told him I was there to see some theatre, which was true.

One of my fellow travelers has one of those smart phones to tell us where to meet the driver.  (I don’t have a smart phone. Mine has no intelligence at all and my computer was off so I could not receive the e-mail telling me where the person was who was picking me up. Fortunately others were outside already and guided me to the driver. Just to make sure he was the one I asked to see his sign. He held up his tablet with the names of some of us and mine, “Miss Lynn.” Cryptic.

The ride to the hotel was smooth and comfortable—this was a black van. The check-in was in the basement where the place was decked out for Halloween. There was a bit of narrative that may or may not have been relaxing after a long flight and that was it for the second day. I was to be ready the next day at 1:00 pm sharp, outside the hotel, but to be there 15 minutes early, where the narrative would continue and culminate in this secret musical.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deborah Gibson November 1, 2018 at 8:15 am

Following your adventure with keen interest. Spilled my coffee whilst reading the description of a rockin’ Slotkin trying to exit the limo.


2 BRIAN STEIN November 15, 2018 at 2:52 pm

FYI Starbuck’s has Baguette Bagels made by Ace Bakery (Also available in Loblaws) and they are wonderful.