August 3rd, 2015
I woke up this morning somewhat tired and a bit mentally disoriented. It was around 6:10 am or so, and it took me a few moments to realise where I was. I went to the bathroom to relieve myself, and saw that someone from the hotel had slipped the (relatively) final bill beneath the door. I looked at it for a few moments, and then went back to bed, but couldn't actually sleep. Too many thoughts whirling around in my head. Travel day. When the alarm on spross's watch went off, I was kind of relieved, because it meant that we'd be heading back for Ottawa today! I did my morning blood test, and saw that it was a bit higher than it's been (no doubt the stress of the trip home starting already), and then showered and did my ablutions. I made sure to shave with the disposable razor, as I didn't want Canada Customs to think I was a scruffy son-of-whatever. I finished up a bit of last-minute packing and reorganising a couple of things in the carry-on bags while waiting for spross to go through his morning routine.
Once he finished up with morning shower and stuff and got dressed, the two of us descended down to the Marriott North's lobby and went for breakfast in the Bistro 33 restaurant. I was tempted to have the oatmeal or perhaps the pancakes, but truth be told, I was feeling all right after the shower and morning routine, and didn't want to change things up too much before flying back to Ottawa, so had the usual breakfast - two scrambled eggs, side order of peameal bacon, side of sauteed mushrooms and spinach, two slices of toast, some sugar-free jam spread, and a bit of yogurt followed by decaf coffee. Quite tasty. We ate a leisurely breakfast since there was no rush. Check-out from the hotel was 11:00 am, and we had to be at the airport to return the rental car by around 12:00 noon. After breakfast, I thanked the restaurant manager and his staff for their wonderful care of me in the diabetically friendly foods department, and then spross and I went back up to the hotel room to finish packing the toiletries and sundries, and making sure nothing was left behind in the room.
I had three bottles of the Gold Bond for Diabetes lotion that I wanted to take back with me, but could only fit two of them in the suitcase (as I was already worried about the weight of that, given the heavy rpg books contained therein), and I slipped one of them in the overnight carry-on bag, and the Gaviscon bottle of liquid into the medications bag of the hand carry-on bag. I hoped I'd have no problems with them at Customs. We checked everything out of the room, made sure again that we'd left nothing behind of importance (other than some of the food that we'd not eaten from the stuff we purchased) and some of the hygiene stuff that wasn't going back with us. I packed up the insulin in the freezer bag right before we left the room, but I was worried that it was either contaminated or inert because of the fridge "conditions". We hauled the (very heavy, or so it seemed) luggage down to the lobby, and I waited there with everything while spross went and brought the Honda Accord around. After we packed it all into the car, I said goodbye to several of the hotel conciergerie staff, and tipped a couple of them for their outstanding service, and then we headed for the airport and the car rental return with "Amy" giving us the directions.
We arrived at the Indianapolis International Airport around 11:45 am, and "Amy" guided us flawlessly to the Hertz car rental return area. After spross parked the Accord, one of the car rental agency fellows came over and did his examination of the car, and everything was good. It was starting to get warm for the day, and we hauled our luggage into the airport proper and went over to the Air Canada check-in area. We took care of getting our tickets for both flights without problems, and made sure that the tickets were not at the back of the plane (as had been the ones for the Toronto-Indianapolis flight coming in), and then headed for the U.S. Customs security checkpoint, with a detour to one of the airport washrooms on the way. At Customs, while they didn't question me about the insulin this time around, the two bottles of liquid in the carry-on bags (the Gold Bond Diabetes lotion and the Gaviscon) raised the alarm, but I was able to convince the U.S. Customs agent that they were stuff that was really important to me), and she was kind enough to let me take them through. We headed out through the airport for the gate that was to be where the plane would depart from, and on our reaching the destination, learned that the flight at 2:55 had been delayed by some 20 minutes until 3:15.
spross and I decided to go and do some lunch, as it was right around that time, and we were both pretty hungry. We headed over for the Granite City Food and Brewery franchise that was in the airport, and close by, and figured we'd eat there. I've tried to blot it out of my mind, but I ate a hamburger on a ciabatta bun with some salad and some iced tea. Let's just say that the burger was so greasy from the cooking that it was slipping of the ciabatta bun, which was pretty greasy itself. I ate the piece of meat in the end, with the salad and some of SteveR's fries (only three or four, as they were pretty bad too), and then we headed back for the lounge area in the airport at the gate the plane was supposed to leave from. I actually felt nauseous from the meal, but managed to keep it down - and vowed that I would never eat there again if we come back to Indianapolis. I actually regretted not eating at the Naked Tchopstix concession in the main concourse area about 45 minutes earlier, but such is life.
When we returned to the gate area, spross pointed out to me that the flight had been delayed once more until 4:00 pm. Talking with several gamers from GenCon also waiting to go home to various points in Canada from Toronto and elsewhere, we learned the reason for the delays was severe thunderstorm activity in the Toronto area, with hail that hit the size of golf balls! Eeek! I went up to the agent at the gate, but she informed me that she handled the Air Canada stuff but worked for United, and so any information that she gave me would be second-hand and unconfirmed. I was worried about missing the connecting flight from Toronto to Ottawa, but she reassured me that there were flights to Ottawa at 8 pm and 10 pm as well. She told me that she could book me on another flight, but that if we did that, it might screw up the original reservations and confuse the system and the ticket agents in Toronto. I thanked her for her time, and went back and joined spross, and we just sat back and waited to see what would happen.
While relaxing and talking about how the return trip from Indy to Ottawa always seems to be cursed in some way, one of the fellows sitting next to us who'd been to GenCon had checked the Air Canada app and found out that the flight from Toronto to Ottawa, scheduled for 6:15 pm had been scrapped, and been replaced with a new flight at 7:15 pm. That was consoling, since by 4:20 pm, we started to board the flight to Toronto, as the plane finally arrived from that city. spross and I didn't have adjoining seats, but my flying mate was a good bloke from Saskatchewan who'd been to GenCon, and we chatted for most of the flight about what we'd seen there, what we'd done there, and so that was an enjoyable way to pass the time. The flight arrived around 5:30 pm, and we debarked the plane and then headed for the Security area where Air Canada folks were waiting to pass out tickets for the new flight to replace our old ones, and then it was off to Canada Customs and the security check. I got stopped again about the two bottles of Gold Bond Diabetes lotion and the Gaviscon, but the Customs agents took pity on me in regards to both, and allowed me to keep all three bottles. I also made the proper declaration for the gaming stuff that I'd shipped home by FedEx, and while I had an extra form to sign, there were no problems, and we headed for the gate from where the Toronto-Ottawa flight was scheduled to depart.
The flight from Toronto left a little bit late, due to the change in flight and the passenger accommodations and stuff, but the pilot gunned the jets (if you'll pardon the pun) and the flight landed in Ottawa a little after 8:10 pm. Vroom, vroom! :) spross and I were both pretty tired, but his mother met us at the baggage claim area, and once we'd picked up our luggage, we headed out to the car that spross's dad had brought, the Lincoln towncar, and SteveR, his parents, and my mom set out for an Asian fusion restaurant that I was too tired to recognise at the time. It was the same place on Bank and Hunt Club that I used to go to for Chinese buffet, but had changed hands again. Supper was nothing to write home about, though I enjoyed the sesame beef dish and the almond chicken. I don't really recall all that much about the meal, to be honest, as I was brain-dead.
spross and his parents dropped mom and myself off at my place. He helped me cart the luggage into the house, and we chatted for a bit. I thanked SteveR's mom profusely for helping to get us home, and told SteveR to thank his dad (who was waiting in the car) for me, too. After unpacking the meds and a couple of other things, and stowing the insulin away in the fridge (I hoped it was still good), I took my nightly blood test (blood sugar was a bit high. Gee, I wonder why? :)), then my insulin injection, had a light snack of cheddar and celery with a large glass of water, and then crawled into bed to try and sleep. It didn't really happen too soon, as I wasn't used to the firmness of my own bed, but eventually I dropped off around 20 to 1 or so. Slept the sleep of the restless dead.
And that's it, the final entry about the actual trip to Indianapolis and the events of GenCon 2015. This was a very long Monday, due to the flight delays and the like, but I'm just glad I got home that day and didn't have to spend a night in Toronto, or Goddess help me, Indianapolis.
In any event, I'll be writing just one or two more posts about this year's GenCon, a retrospective of sorts, some thoughts on the convention, and some photos of my loot from the convention.
As always, thoughts and comments are much appreciated. :)