Rideau River near Manotick (Ottawa), Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chicago to Ottawa

You would think it would be fairly simple to get from Chicago to Ottawa. And it should be, but for us it was an all day affair.

We used our Air Miles account for this leg of the trip, so all we had to pay was the taxes at $78 each for the one way flight. But using Air Miles means you are limited to the airline that Air Miles chooses to use, and a limited choice of routes. We had to use Air Canada, which would not have been our first choice. Turns out that Air Canada does not fly direct to Ottawa from Chicago, so you have to change planes in either Toronto or Montreal. We chose Toronto.

Left the hotel at 7:00am and it was easy to take the bus to the train station and the blue line train to Chicago's O'Hare airport. Approximately the 3rd busiest airport in the world. To put that in perspective, Toronto's Pearson International doesn't even rank in the top 25.

One of the reasons we don't like to use Air Canada (and there are a few) is that the people who work for the airline never seem happy to be there. Today was different though. At the check in, the person who helped us was really good. As he was booking our seats I mentioned that it was our 28th wedding anniversary and asked if they had any empty seats in business class. He said they weren't allowed to do those kind of favors any more, but that he was happy to be able to put us at the emergency exit so that we would have extra legroom. Bonus! Because with my long legs, it's always a little cramped in an airplane.

28 years ago yesterday.

Our plane was a little late arriving but they were quick to get it ready and we left pretty much right on time. The flight was uneventful, but once again the people on the plane were really good. It was kind of humorous listening to the one attendant try and say things in French. On a Chicago to Toronto flight there is little likelyhood of anyone speaking French, but Air Canada has a ridiculous policy of having to say things in both official languages no matter where the flight is going to or coming from. In this situation, it was almost embarrassing because I could have done a better job and my French is beyond terrible. 

At O'Hare, our plane to Toronto.

Legs stretched right out! Nice!

Got into Toronto and through customs with no problems. But then even if you have a connecting flight and you only have carry on bags, you have to exit through the checked luggage area and re-enter later which means you have to go through security again. A total waste of time and not an efficient system.

Nice view of Toronto skyline flying in...too bad the window was so dirty.

Had a two hour wait in Toronto for our flight to Ottawa. It was a little late leaving, and a little late arriving in Ottawa. Scheduled to arrive at 4:10, and didn't pull up to the gate until almost 4:30pm. Ruth's Dad was outside waiting for us, and then we picked up our son Alex along the way. He was at the test for the first actuarial exam and he passed! Each exam requires about 400 hours of study time, so he was totally happy that he passed. Good for him! 

It was another forty minutes drive to Ruth's Dad's house where we are staying for the next month. But we'll be showing you some of Ottawa, Canada's capital city over that time so we still plan on getting out and doing things. Then, it will be off to London, England.

View of the Canadian Mississippi River outside Ruth's Dad's house.

Don't forget to vote! We're still in first place, but we need you to vote every day...

About to break the 6,000 mark!

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mom's out there!


  1. Happy Anniversary and congrats to Alex.

    Back in Canada, huh?

  2. Have a wonderful anniversary together... on the road and in the air and wherever else you may end up!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  3. Looks like the travels are continuing smoothly. I hope actually to get myself to Ottawa this summer (along with Toronto and Montreal and PEI.

    The French language thing on the plane is probably not an airline policy, but rather a legal mandate for any Canadian flagged airline on any flight, anywhere to anywhere.

    Congrats as well on the anniversary.

    1. Actually, it's because Air Canada used to be a crown corporation. In 1988, the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney enacted the Air Canada Public Participation Act, which allowed for the airline to be privatized, but which also provided that, even as a private company, Air Canada would be required to operate in conformity with the Official Languages Act, precisely as it had done when it was government-owned. In 2003, Air Canada restructured (at taxpayers and shareholders expense!), spinning off a number of independent companies, including Jazz Airlines. Because these new entities are not part of Air Canada, they are no longer subject to the terms of the Air Canada Public Participation Act, and are not obligated to adhere to the practices of the Official Languages Act.

      Our flight yesterday was with Jazz Airlines, but Jazz still operates throught eh Air Canada website.

      The other two popular Canadian airlines, Westjet and Porter do not have a mandate to be bilingual, although they do offer bilingual service on some routes.

  4. Happy Mother's Day to you too! Don't you just love an uneventful travel experience?!?

  5. Happy Anniversary and Happy Mother's Day. Nice for Ruth to be home with her Dad fro a bit.

  6. Welcome back to Canada! and Happy Mother's Day Ruth!

  7. We enjoyed the Chicago tour and are looking forward to learning about Ottawa. We've never been there. Congrats to your son and congrats on your wedding anniversary! Oh, and Happy Mother's Day, Ruth! Enjoy your visit with your dad!

  8. Happy Anniversary .
    Hey Kev, what happened, Ruth hasnt aged but you, well I'll just leave it at that :-)

  9. Happy Anniversary. You two don't look a day older than 28 years ago. What is your secret?

  10. My wife Frederika and I celebrate our 1st Anniversary May 14...which is today, but I haven't gone to bed yet, so to me it will be tomorrow, if you follow me. Happy Anniversary!

    1. Happy Anniversary Pete. Hope you have a good one.

  11. Thank you for all the anniversary wishes and Mother Day wishes. We have had a nice weekend being back with family. Also thank you for the congratulations for Alex, he is one happy guy.

  12. Happy Anniversary and welcome back to Canada eh!

  13. Happy Anniversary ~ you guys are always a fun read with all your adventures... Loved it!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  14. Just catching up on my blog reading. Happy Anniversary! Looking forward to learning more about Canada.


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