We got back from James’ birthday at about 1am and finished packing our things up and organising ourselves. By the time we got to bed it was 2am and we woke up at 4am to leave for the airport. Out of habit from a year of travelling Mark checked the flight number to see if it was on time. It was delayed by 2 hours which would mean we would miss our connecting flight to Vancouver in Hong Kong. We left at 4.30am as we had planned and said a teary goodbye to Mark’s parents. When we checked in we were told that we would miss our connecting but that they would put us on the next flight 12 hours later and give us a hotel voucher for our wait.
When we got to Hong Kong we were given our hotel voucher and made our way to the hotel to check in. Along with a hotel voucher we were also given a dinner voucher. We got to our room, showered and then planned he next 10 hours. We would sleep until 8pm, get dressed, go eat dinner at 8.30pm, check in for our flight and chill out in the lounge until our flight left at midnight. Our alarm went off at 8pm and because neither of us had slept on the flight over and had only slept a couple of hours the night before we decided sleep was more important than food so we would sleep until 9pm, 9.30pm at the latest and go check in for our flight, missing dinner if we needed. Mark reset the alarm and we both immediately fell back asleep. At 11.30pm I woke up with a racing heart trying to remember where I was and quickly realised that we shouldn’t be where we were. I woke Mark and asked him for the time (the phone’s were charging next to him) to which he replied 11.30pm and we both jumped out of bed grabbed all of our things and ran out. He checked the flight number and saw that it was delayed, or was the flight from the day before delayed? What day was it now that it had just gone 12pm? What day was our flight scheduled for? As we were running out of the hotel we handed our key to concierge and ran off, unable to wait in line to check out. We ran to the check in counters to confirm what we already knew – we had missed our flight. We went straight to the help desk and after explaining that our first flight was delayed and we missed the connection and then fell asleep which never would have happened had we not missed our original connection the help desk assistant scheduled us onto the next flight which was 14 hours away. We thanked him and walked off realising that we would now miss our connection from Vancouver to Calgary. We sat down on a beach seat in the airport and brainstormed. What were we going to do? Mark called Air Canada to explain and hopefully get transferred onto the next flight as we would only miss it by an hour. They were more than happy to do this although we just had to pay a small fee of $440 per person! We decided it wasn’t worth it so we cancelled the flight and got a credit and then sat down to decide what to do. Mark’s answer, “Hire a car as soon as we land in Vancouver and drive as far as we can, stop, sleep, and continue driving the next day until we get to Banff, stay in Banff for a few days and make the most of the amazing snow they’ve had.” So that was our plan. We booked in as much as we could and then realised we were still in the airport without having anywhere to stay in hong Kong so we walked back to the hotel we had just come from less than an hour ago and asked if we could stay, again, probably in the same room if possible. The same room wasn’t available (How quickly did they clean them?!) but we could get an executive for double the price. The hotel wasn’t worth it so we jumped online, found a hotel outside of the airport and got a cab there. We requested late check out, ordered room service because we were starving, and set a million alarms to make sure we woke up in time. We had no problem waking up on time and eventually made our way back to the airport to check in for the same flight we were meant to be on 24 hours before. It was Sunday the 24th, Mark’s birthday but unfortunately there was no cake, no nice meals, no relaxing. We were on a flight and once we arrived at Vancouver in the afternoon of the 24th (it was the longest birthday Mark had ever had and he spent the entire time on a plane or in a car). We picked up our hire car and drove out of the airport only to turn around because the car we had been given was displaying faulty lights on the dashboard. We eventually were given another car and Mark drove for hours while I slept and when we pulled over to grab some food, I took over the driving and we made it to Revelstoke, booked into a hotel we found driving past and finally felt like we could relax after an exhausting trip. Leaving Melbourne airport had felt like a distant memory and we were excited once we made it to Banff to be able to fit in a few days of relaxing and enjoyment.