Travel Day – New Jersey to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
For this trip, I arranged for a car service to take me from my home to the airport. The Newark airport long-term parking has a 30 day limit (which can be extended as long as you call the day you leave the car in the lot), but would have ended up costing more than the car service.
I got a call from the driver about 45 minutes before he was scheduled to arrive at my house. I had a hard time understanding him, but it sounded like he wasn’t even in the right county. I provided some directions, and he finally said he would pull over and check the address on Google Maps. Ultimately he showed up about 10 minutes late, but then got me to the airport in record time. Normally, it takes me about 2 hours to get to the airport, park in long-term parking, and ride the shuttle bus to the terminal. It took the driver just over an hour to get me from my house to the terminal. The driver was not speeding – he just got the traffic right once I directed him to I-287.
The flight was out of terminal A. I breezed through check-in and security, ending up at the terminal gate 2 hours early. As soon as I sat down I received a text message that the flight was delayed for 1 hour, so ended up waiting 3 hours for the flight to board. The flight was on a commuter jet where I barely had room for my camera/computer bag. The flight itself took less time than getting to the airport and waiting to board the plane.
We arrived at the Halifax airport just after a jumbo-jet from London. This meant long lines at passport control. It was interesting to see how many college age folks with parents were on the flight. I wondered how many would be joining the Semester at Sea voyage. The Canadian immigration folks did detain several folks from the London flight for extra questioning. The ones being questioned appeared to be from India or Pakistan. The passport control official made a comment that I appeared to be the oldest student coming into Halifax to board the MV Explorer. The taxi ride from the airport to my hotel in Halifax cost $53 Canadian. As soon as I checked into the hotel I walked about 6 blocks down to the harbor to find something to eat and take some pictures. There were lots of young folks checking out the restaurants and bars in the tourist area near the harbor. I was surprised how many tourists were in town being that there were no cruise ships in port. I found the location where I needed to go for boarding the MV Explorer on Wednesday. The MV Explorer was not yet in port. I stayed in the harbor area until sunset, and then went back to the hotel. The bars near the hotel were busy until well after midnight, and it didn’t get quiet until 02:00.