Canada – Où il est toujours hiver: Départ

Delta T4 Expansion Opening
The Wet, The Windy, The W

Départ / Departure
Sadly, on Monday morning, my time in Montreal would come to an end. The worst part about this was that this was perhaps the most beautiful day all weekend. It was exactly what I had been hoping for and I would only get a few hours to enjoy it.

As soon as I managed to wake up (which wasn’t too difficult, since I didn’t stay out very late), I got ready and headed out to at least enjoy a stroll through the old city before I caught the bus back to the airport.  I was glad that I got at least that short period of time to enjoy Montreal as I wanted to, but given the fact that I had a 1:02pm departure from Montreal, there wasn’t much time for me to wander before heading back to the hotel to check out.  While, it would be great if Montreal extended the Metro to the airport, the 747 Express Bus at least is convenient; just a short 5-10 minute walk and then plenty of waiting (seriously, like two buses should have been by according to Google Maps by the time one finally showed up).

Place de la Grande-Paix de Montréal / Place d’Youville

Rue Saint Paul Ouest

Place Jacques-Cartier

Checking in at Montreal was effortless as was my previous trip; using the Sky Priority lane resulted in no wait to see an agent, but even the regular line had practically no wait either.  I admittedly was a bit confused for the signage for the a premium passenger lane to get through security, but eventually figured it out and sped through security and US Customs and Immigration.  Since my passport will expire at the end of 2014, I asked the agent to stamp my passport, even if they are US stamps, I’ve still got a little less than half of the pages that I need to fill up.  I better get busy!

One Stamp Closer To A Full Passport…

Once through all of the process, I had more than plenty of time to kill.  It would be nice if Delta would contract with Air Canada for First/Business Class and/or Gold, Platinum, Diamond Medallion members with lounge access, but I have a feeling that is a bit of a pipe dream.  Instead I wandered around the Concourse, trying to find any excuse to buy something at a duty-free shop (surprise, it was nothing more than a Tolberone), and eventually just admitting defeat and picking a spot to sit down and wait.

Eventually, my flight was called for boarding, and being one of the first onboard I quickly reached my favorite seat on the CRJ900/700, Seat 1A.  For starters, you’re in First Class, then you have a ridiculous amount of leg room, and then you have both aisle access and a window.  How could you not be happy?  I had a pre-departure beverage of Coke Zero while I waited for the rest of the plane to fill up, which did not take long at all.  After all, it is a regional jet.

Departure was quick and before I knew it we were airborne and back within the airspace of the United States.  Montreal isn’t that far from the border and ~20 minutes after departure we were solidly over Upper New York State.

Actually, It Was Probably Less Than 20 Minutes

The fantastic weather that morning in Montreal continued into the US as well, and as lunch was served, I was treated with some great views out of my window.  There really isn’t anything better than sitting down at 30,000 feet, looking down to the world below, especially with a drink in your hand or while enjoying a meal.  To me, the airplane is like the ultimate scenic restaurant (well, when you’re in First or Business Class, because let’s face it, food in Economy isn’t usually the greatest).

Never a Bad View

Since Montreal isn’t a long enough of a flight to get a hot meal, a cold option was served.  It was a corn and bean based salad with a cold chicken breast and tortilla strips.  It was a new one to me and, honestly if given the option there are a few meals that I’d rather have this over that Delta offers in First Class (Club Sandwich, I’m looking at you).  Only downside, was it was a bit bland, but one somewhat expects that with airline food.

Delta Air Lines First Class Lunch (YUL-ATL) – Cold Corn And Bean Salad With Chicken

The rest of the flight was enjoyable and the arrival into Atlanta was on time.  Upon disembarking when I turned around to look at the gate podium, I found out that I didn’t have very far to go for my flight to Panama City…it would be using the same aircraft I flew in on.  I still had time to kill though, so I made the short stroll down to the Concourse D Sky Club to hang out for a bit.  Nothing remarkable to note, and eventually I made my way back to the gate to get on the very standard flight back to Panama City.  Only thing to note was that I cleared an upgrade on that flight as well and found myself in Seat 2A.

Same Gate

In my two trips to Montreal over the past year and a half, it really has become one of my favorite places to visit. There’s a lot the city offers and combined with the history and culture it makes a great quick escape from life in Florida.  I can’t say enough how I wish the weather had cooperated more, but I’m still glad that I went and saw and did the things that I set out to do.  Perhaps I’ll have to try again sometime soon and book an extremely last-minute trip when I can know for a fact that the weather will play nice.

Of course I still want to plan a trip to Quebec City too.  Perhaps, I need to visit there first before I make another trip to Montreal….

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