Travelling anywhere from Salt Spring Island can be a challenge. There are ferries, flights and “connecting ground transportation” that needs to be dealt with on a normal day, but just recently my travel plans went from “challenging” to “extreme”
I needed to get to New York City. I needed to be there, showered and “dressed” by 230pm on a Wednesday. This meant me leaving our little island by 11am on the tuesday.
Yikes already, I know.
Victoria, to Vancouver, to Toronto.
And then, a wait. Because when one arrives in Toronto at 1230am, there isn’t much to do while they wait for the 730am flight out in the morning.
But I was prepared.
I had a blanket, and was ready to find myself a comfortable bank of chairs and catch a few winks. It wasn’t going to be perfect, but it would work.
It isn’t actually as bad as it sounds, especially for a mom of 3. I am used to sleeping in strange positions, draped in children, and surrounded by various sounds of snoring, and dreaming. This has been going on for 11 years so I figured I could hack a night in the Toronto airport.
Plus, trip advisor said that sleeping in Toronto airport wasn’t actually going to be that bad. It was one of the “better” airports to spend the night.
This may be the time when you start questions why I wouldn’t just book a room in a hotel. Well, in this
cheap logical brain of mine I wouldn’t actually get TO the room until about 130am. My flight left the next morning at 730am, so I would have had to BE at the airport again by about 430, 5am. To me, 4 hours sleep was about as bad as NO sleep.
Upon exciting the flight I found myself a comfy spot, right by the Tim Hortons. I figured that when the staff came in the smell of fresh coffee would gently wake me from my slumber. I tucked my little blanket under my chin, and rested my legs on my carry on bag. I could do this.
Things were good. I was drifting off. Wait, whats that noise? Who is talking? Why are they so loud?
I put in my ear buds.
OMG ARE THEY RE-INACTING A PLAY? Why are they shouting?
Apparently the “Tims” is some sort of staff hang out zone, or it was this night. In a huge, expansive airport, 4 staff members decided to come and sit DIRECTLY BEHIND THE SLEEPING PERSON.
It was a cruel sort of joke.
Frustrated and tossing all sorts of shade in their direction, I trundled off to find a better nap zone, dragging my suitcase behind me, blankie wrapped around my shoulders.
I was told that there was a “good spot” just through this one hallway by a few security personal.
I asked “is it safe?” They said, “Of Course”
I clarified, “Is it as safe as it is here?” (as in, through security)
“Yes, it is. Very safe” They replied.
I wanted to make sure, so I asked again “Safe enough to sleep, with my suitcase? I just want a few hours to catch a nap”
“Oh yes. You will be good there” They assured me.
So, like Alice, I swallowed and step through the doors.
As soon as I realized they had sent me back out to the “airport proper” I swiftly turned to go back, only to be greeted by three smiling
assholes security personal saying “Can’t come through here. Secure zone only”
I delicately responded that they had sent me out to the airport, where there were NO chairs and heavy construction was happening (Jackhammers anyone) As well, if I were to snuggle on the floor, it would be right beside automatic doors to the street.
The réponse was as expected “So sorry. Nothing we can do” as I turned heel and stomped off.
At 1:00 in the morning.
My anger bubbled. I was tired. VERY tired (and I have some “issues” emotionally when I am sleepy) and I was pissed off. I had a good thing going, a plan to see through. And it was thwarted by airport personnel.
I found myself a corner, steps away from the jackhammers, tied my suitcase to my arm with a scarf and attempted to calm my nerves. I had 2 and a half hours until security opened and I could make my way back into the airport zone. The spot with the comfy seats, and “no weapons allowed”.
Ear buds in, I went to my trusty songza, looking for ANYTHING to drown out the noise.
And there, on the screen of suggested playlists was “In an Airport, at 3am”
I don’t know how songza knew, but they DID know. This playlist was made for me. It had the peaceful soundtrack I needed, calming rhythm, but with enough “noise” to block out the airport activity. It brought me to my hour of slumber and calmed my fears about someone stuffing a bomb into my suitcase while I slept.
It wasn’t a good sleep and it hardly prepared me for the day ahead, but I was able to drift off, no thanks to the Toronto airport of course. I was the first person through security and US customs that morning, and promptly found myself a comfy corner, next to a power source where I stretched my legs, blanket over my tired body and slept in peace for a few more moments.
So, for anyone else looking to sleep in the Toronto Airport, DO NOT exit the secure lounge. STAY where you are, and click onto the sweet sonza playlist of 3 am in the airport. Trust me! I learned the hard way.