I have said before that many a holiday is spent on the road and in the company of coworkers. Special occasions become as great as you make them. Being on call this month has been a big adjustment not only has it meant that I am at the beck and call of crew scheduling. It also meant I was at their mercy on my birthday. As it fell on a Saturday on Father’s Day weekend I knew I would probably end up flying on the anniversary of my birth. It doesn’t really bug me, it’s nice to have it off when it falls on a weekend, but the older I get the less of a hoopla happens on my “special” day. I had come in from an overseas flight and had slept most of the day away before I got the call that I was going to spend the evening on an airplane and in an airport. The scheduler was apologetic when he rang me and gave me my turn to Vancouver. It wasn’t a hard day. It was two flights of an hour and a bit each but there was a three hour wait between the flights that is usually less than desirable. After my crewmates found out that it was my birthday we easily spent the wait in search of dinner, cake and laughter. Even though I had just been in Japan I was still craving Japanese food so we made the trek from one end of YVR airport’s domestic wing to the international food court area and the Japanese restaurant , Hanami, only to find it had closed minutes before we arrived at its doors. Seeing as none of the fast food restaurants served anything resembling food we made our way back towards our outbound gate. We cleared security and headed to one of the various food courts near the gates and wandered aimlessly looking at the sweet options. Whilst walking back and forth from end to end of the terminal we definitely walked off the calories cake would have added to our meal, if we could only find any.
We stopped at Brioche Doree; a sandwich shop I had heard had good sandwiches. I chose the Turkey, Brie, and green apple baguette and had it grilled. I was able to both save and savour half of the rather large offering for my lunch the next day. I really liked it as there was lots of cheese on it and the apples contrasted nicely with the flavours. One girl had the tricoloured ciabatta and it was disappointing as there was little on the sandwich and it was very dry for almost $8. The best part was finding the tarts. They have a chocolate ganache tart or a strawberry and custard tart. The crusts were okay but the fillings were great. To celebrate we got one of each and one of the girls decorated two stir sticks to look like candles and we sang and pretended to blow out the “candles” in the middle of the terminal garnering baffled stares from passing travellers. It made us laugh.
Once we were able to get on to our new plane to return to Calgary one of the girls let it slip to our pilots that it was my birthday. The captain ran off the plane and came back with a bag of the most divine crème brulee Godiva chocolates for the whole crew to share. The first officer serenaded us with his best Marilyn Munroe, breathless birthday song rendition whilst we set up the plane for passengers. It was priceless, and he had us in stiches with his bang on impression. The kindness of my crew made being at work on my birthday fun and special. I may not have been able to go out or spend it with family as we landed as everything in town was closing and most people had turned in for the night, but I still felt special, and lucky to be in the company of friends.