Oliver and I haven’t traveled internationally together, alone since 2013 when we went to Tokyo when he was 12 years old.
Now he is 17, going on 18, and a burgeoning young adult, and we are off to Europe for the next two weeks.
Tonight we travel overnight to Malmö, Sweden, by way of Frankfurt and Copenhagen; we’re in Malmö until Monday, then by train to Berlin where we’ll spend three days (not nearly long enough). On Thursday, August 30 we join our friend Martina on the train from Berlin to Amersfoort where we’ll join a larger group of ragtag revolutionaries for the STM18 birthday unconference hosted by Elmine and Ton (and their daughter, who we will meet for the first time!) A short dash into Amsterdam for the night of Sept. 2 and 3 and then back to Halifax on the 4th, arriving back in Charlottetown on Sept. 5, just in time for Oliver to start grade 12 the next day.
We left Charlottetown just after 1:00 p.m., stopping at the Handpie Company in Albany for lunch (our first time at their dreamy new location in the old Bank of Nova Scotia). We made quick work of the drive to Halifax, parked the car at the Quality Inn (where they’ve upped the ante in the airport hotel wars, offering two weeks free parking with any reservation), and took the shuttle across to the airport.
As I type we are sitting in the fashionable lounge of the Alt Hotel Halifax Airport, where we have sought respite after the only recommendation from the friendly airport information desk clerk about how to kill two hours here was to “walk up and down the hall.” The hotel has tuck shop that serves coffee, and the lounge has all manner of comfortable nooks with power outlets and free wifi. If you ever have to spend any time at YHZ, come over hear and your time will be much more pleasant.
The next quest is Condor check-in for the flight to Frankfurt, followed by security and boarding. We’ve already interviewed the first-level CATSA agent about the best way to proceed, and he advised that we ask for the “family line,” which has relieved us greatly. Good on you, Halifax.