Day Zero -- Getting There

March 10th, 2009. Day Zero. Getting there.

Well, after weeks of anticipation and preparation, today we start our journey. Mom and Dad picked us up at 4:30am and took us to the airport. (Much cheaper than a cab. Mom and Dad are great!) Even though it's mid-March, it is still COLD in Saskatoon this year. The windchill is -44C with a "real" temperature of -32C. I had used the web check-in and printed off our boarding passes yesterday, so all we had to do was drop off our bags and get through security. Everything went really smoothly. My daughter went through the metal detector before me and I think the security guard on the other side was gently questioning her before I came through -- probably just to make sure things were kosher. I've never had a problem, but I'm still always a bit nervous as a divorced parent travelling alone with my daughter. Yes, I carry all the required paperwork.

The flight to Windypeg (Winterpeg? I can never spell that one right. ;) ) was just over an hour. The city definitely lived up to it's derogatory nicknames, as it was even colder and windier than Saskatoon. As this was my first visit ever to the home of the Blue Bombers, I decided we should spend the entire four hour wait for our next flight inside security at the airport. We hadn't eaten breakfast before we left and there were no good breakfast eateries inside security. Both our breakfast and lunch ended up consisting of snack-type food I had brought along.

The flight to Mazatlan boarded about noon with only 65 people on board. Apparently you could purchase a ticket for $79 this morning.

A quick aside about the evils of daylight savings time... I want to go on record saying that Saskatchewan does it right. Changing clocks is simply confusing. Ya, sure, there's that whole "do what everyone else does" thing, but "everyone else" doesn't do the same thing! A couple of years ago, some wiseguys in the states decided the start and end dates for DST should be changed. As a computer programmer I definitely took note of this. It had the potential to break a lot of date-handling code. Canada decided to follow the states but Mexico, which only reluctantly started using DST in 1996 is still using the old dates. All this to say, that I have no idea how long my flight from Winnipeg to Mazatlan was, and I didn't figure out what the time was until the next morning. Mazatlan is almost exactly straight south of Saskatoon but is currently on "Alberta Winter time" even though Alberta switched to summer time a couple of weeks ago.

So... at 3:20pm we landed in Mazatlan after a flight that I think was an hour longer than I was expecting. Immigration and customs was a breeze. (remember, only 65 people on my flight.) The shuttle bus to our house took over an hour, though. The driver dropped off the farthest people first, and worked his way back towards El Centro. It was a nice tour including some of the newer developements north of the Marina, and a big reminder of why I almost never travel to Zona Dorada. It wasn't enjoyable to a seven year old that had only one thing on her mind -- the swimming pool. So, after dropping our bags in our room, I told her that yes, she could go in the pool now. I nearly had to drag her out an hour later so we could go eat our first meal of the day at La Fonda. After a long day, we crashed early. (actually earlier than we thought -- remember, I hadn't figured out what timezone we were in yet.)

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