WestJet flight 720 from Saskatoon to Hamilton with a plane change in Winnipeg. We are at 41,703 feet and flying at 497 mph. It is 6:30 in the morning and the eastern horizon is glowing with an intense orange fading to the light blue of the still night sky. Slivers of dark blue clouds cut through the orange. According to the tiny screen in the seat back we are over the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border. Looking down I see the reflection of hundreds of lakes shimmering against the black background of the earth.I was hoping to see the Great Lakes as we flew from Winnipeg to Hamilton, but somehow when we were on the ground in Winnipeg a heavy cloud bank rolled in and we now fly over solid white.
Landing in Hamilton the air feels warm and moist as we walk across the tarmac to the terminal.The airport is tiny. People crowd around the baggage carousel. One batch of luggage comes and goes and we still wait. Finally our bags arrive and we proceed out.
I dig up two quarters and phone the number I have for Laura, my niece, at the Hamilton Children’s Hospital. Chris will be coming in later in the day. Timothy will probably be discharged this afternoon. Joyce is at the Ronald McDonald House. We check with the car rental booths, but none have any cars available. The Hamilton Tourism Bureau has a reception counter with friendly-looking people behind the desk. Our options would be: taxi to the hospital or taxi to the nearest car rental place. They phone a couple car rental locations and reserve a car for us with Enterprise. Then they phone a taxi for us, print out a detailed map of where the Ronald McDonald House is, and highlight our route on the Hamilton City map of where the Enterprise location is and how to get from there to the Ronald McDonald House. Wow. Thank you Hamilton Tourism!
The land is quite flat, except for the Niagara Escarpment that runs the length of the peninsula. Lots of brick buildings.
Our car is small, new, black, 4-dour, and basic. 1 key. No power anything. You roll the windows down with a handle. You lock the door by pushing the lock knob down. The seats are hard. This is what you call an economy car. What can you expect for $35.99/day (less our 10% discount from our entertainment card!).
We make the connections with Laura and her family and then drive the hour east to Jordan Station where they farm – grapes and chickens. We spend the next day-and-a-half with the Mullet-Koops, exploring their farm and surroundings and visiting. Thank you Laura, Chris and Joyce!