A wonderful holiday… and a horrible return to the UK

Our holiday in Canada was brilliant. Glen had to work and while he was in the office Robbie and I visited the sights in Ottawa, a kids’ museum, and did some shopping. Glen would join us in the evening for more fun activities. We all went to Montreal for the day and then to Niagara Falls for Glen’s birthday. It was amazing. We had a room on the 25th floor of the hotel nearer the falls with fantastic views of both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. We also went behind the falls, as close as you can get, where the sound of the water was all you could hear.

On the last day we went to the airport. Glen was continuing his journey to the USA for another week of work there, and Robbie and I were due to catch our flight back to the UK. We got to the airport three and a half hours before departure and went to check in. At the desk they told us that the flight was oversold, and Robbie was on standby. I pointed out that it made no sense to give me a seat but leave an 8-year-old boy on standby. They reassured me that it would not be a problem and to make our way to the gate. After several enquiries at the gate and as time went on and they started to board the flight, it became clear that we would not be getting on. They said they might be able to squeeze Robbie in, but we wouldn’t sit together. Robbie panicked at the thought of not sitting with me, and in the end I had to give up my seat on the plane. I had to call a number to rebook to another flight for the following morning. They told me that they could reallocate Robbie, but not me as I was never on standby and I’d voluntarily given up my seat! After an hour of calls and getting customer services involved, they finally agreed to rebook us. The only problem then was that because of all the cancelled and re-routed flights because of Hurricane Sandy, there were no available seats on any of the direct flights, so we’d have to take two planes instead. We went to a hotel (by the time we’d sorted all of this out it was already midnight) and had a few hours’ sleep before making our way back to the airport for 7 am. They put us on a flight to Edmonton (a 4-hour flight in the wrong direction) and then we had to wait a further 6 hours before catching a flight that took a lot longer to get to the UK because we’d gone so much further west. In the end landed 25 hours after our original arrival time. The whole thing was ridiculous. In case you’re wondering, the company was Air Canada. Avoid at all costs!

Once home, it didn’t take long for Robbie to get very grumpy. He’d had very little sleep and soon enough there was a violent incident over nothing. The rest of the week has been difficult. I’ve been jetlagged and caught a cold, so my patience and attitude towards Robbie’s challenging behaviour haven’t been my best. But we’ve finally made it to the weekend and Glen will be back tomorrow. I’ve told him he’s in charge for the rest of the week so I can get some rest!