The next morning I had an early flight to Atlanta, for a conference I needed to attend. Given the festivities from the previous evening, the early flight was in jeopardy. I was supposed to catch a cab at 6:00 – only to find myself waking up at 7:00 – way late for my 8:00 flight!

So I get to the airport, only to discover that my 8:00 flight was delayed until 9:20 (which makes me on time!) – yay, not my fault. Of course there’s the slight problem that I won’t make my connection, once I get to Toronto. So they put me on an earlier flight that gives me the slimmest of chances of making the connection.

Did I mention that I was really hung over? So, five very painful hours later I’m in Toronto. So I dash up to the connections area, and wait for my bags. My flight was due to leave at 5:15, and it’s now 5:00. No sign of my bag. So I go to chat with the Air Canada people… yeah, they’ve already pulled me from the flight, and booked me on the next one – at 8:30. Sigh – my bag shows up 30 minutes later. Never had a chance…

So I drag my still-very-hung over ass up to the Air Canada lounge (thank god for that – three hours sitting in the terminal in that state might have killed me), grab some “food”, and veg out. At 7:30ish, I head over to the small terminal where the regional flights go out. Joy, the flight is delayed. Not by much. We get on the plane, all set to go – and they throw us off the plane. Improperly fueled (too much fuel – how can there be too much fuel?!?!?) – we have to wait for another plane that’s due in 20 minutes. We’ll be delayed by about an hour total.

An hour later, we’re told that maintenance is looking at the plane, and we’ll know at 10:00 if we’ll be able to fly tonight. And to add to the fun, I think I’ve got a mild case of food poisoning from a sandwich I ate in the terminal. Short story long, we get off at 11:30, putting me into Atlanta at about 1:30 – nauseous, tired, sore and very unhappy with Air Canada.

Sadly, the travel ended up being the most… eventful part of the trip. The course itself was very good – learned a lot. I did manage to get to the Georgia Aquarium for a visit one evening. It’s supposedly the largest aquarium in the world. It’s damn impressive. Their “feature attraction” is their main saltwater habitat, which is monstrous. Something like 23,000,000 liters of water. And their claim to fame – the only aquarium with whale sharks! They have four of them, mixed in with the usual assortment of reef fish. Plus some very cool extras – hammerheads and some big grouper. Well worth the trip.

On the way back from Atlanta, I was able to stop off in Toronto and visit with the family for the weekend. Given that it was right around everyone's birthday's, it was great timing, and nice to see everyone.