Day 11 MoTab Tour ❤ Thursday 28 June 2018 – Vancouver, Canada
Today we say farewell to San Francisco. It’s been such a wonderful stay I’m sad to leave. But, I’ve never been to western Canada, and I’m excited to sing in Vancouver. Here are two stories that made this an extra happy day.
I knew that I would not get to see our bus driver friend Peter again and I wanted to give him a little farewell gift. He was driving the 5:30 am bus to the airport today (our bus time for our flight wasn’t until 11:40 am), so I knew yesterday was my last chance to see him. I tried to get on his bus on the way to Weill Hall, but couldn’t find his bus. I found out he was driving the guests up – and Mr. Mo actually ended up on his bus, and chatted with him. But I had the gift bag! Oh no! I had a prayer in my heart all afternoon that somehow I would see Peter. The buses all arrive, load up and go with the Choir members after a concert. Out of 11 buses, what would my odds be of finding him?! Extremely slim. So, I prayed.
After the concert, I rushed out to the buses. It was dark, and I was herded to the very next bus in line which had only a couple seats left.
Guess who was standing there at the door? PETER! Seriously. It was his bus! Mr. Mo had told him I was searching for him, so he started laughing and said “Wow! And there you are!” I had to sit in the back of the bus, but since I was the last off, I was able to chat with him for a moment after we unloaded at the hotel and give him the gift bag. Prayer answered. God is good.
Lounging In Style
A few weeks ago we signed up for a Chase Reserve travel credit card. The goal is to try to earn as many points as possible for every purchase we make to help defray travel costs to Spain. We’ve been kicking ourselves we didn’t do this sooner, but at least we have the chance to make a lot of points with our tour travel. And, the card comes with perks. Like staying in airport lounges. We had a couple of hours wait time in Seattle before leaving for Canada. We had to take a tram to a completely different terminal, and walk down a very very very long hall dragging our suitcases and carrying my heavy bag, but it was worth it!
To check in, we provided our priority card, and showed our boarding pass. This lounge was very posh. It provided a free full hot breakfast (an unexpected surprise, and very welcome since we hadn’t eaten), tons of free snacks, fruit & drinks, and some very beautiful non-airport-ish bathrooms. I have to say, we kind of felt like stars. In fact, I was so entranced I forgot to take any photos – so I’ve borrowed these photos – with credits.
Choir members were flying to Canada in 7 different waves today. Some left as early as 3:15 am. Mr. Mo and I are assigned to Group H with a bus departure of 11:40 am and a flight departure of 2:25 PM. Interestingly, Mr. Mo and I haven’t been assigned seating next to each other on this trip. That’s okay. They’ve all be short flights, and since all of the tickets were purchased at the same time, choir members have been seated together. That’s also why it was very unusual I was seated on this flight next to two non Choir members. I had the window seat, and next to me were husband & wife from India.
We struck up a conversation. What a wonderful experience this turned out to be to get to meet these beautiful, fascinating people! It turns out this guy is pretty famous! Just Win Singh (aka Jassi) runs the Institute of Happiness in Gujarat, India. He has written books, and even has his own YouTube channel! Jassi & Sonia (I think it’s Sonia, or Sophia? I’m so sorry!) have been travelling through America (their first visit), and he has been giving lectures on how to be happy. In fact, he was just recently in Santa Rosa lecturing about happiness while the Choir was giving our concert to bring happiness. 🙂
So, in our own unique ways, both of us are on a mission to share happiness and peace in the world. We were meant to meet!
I’d never heard of the Happiness Institute, and they had never heard of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. So, Jassi shared his card, and I shared a MoTab CD.
Later, we messaged each other. So, now I have some new friends – and an open invite to come visit them in India (which would be so cool, adding this to our list)! And of course, maybe they will even come visit me in Utah some day, and get to hear the Choir perform for them in person.
First impressions are priceless, and my first impression of Vancouver was WOWZA! It’s not often you wish you could spend more time in an airport, but the Vancouver international terminal is pretty incredible. Beautiful art, decor, jellies, a giant fountain & totems – plus, a big beautiful mall (but only people who have a layover can go in). All of this is thanks to being the Winter 2010 Olympic host city when they invested in multi-million upgrades.
Arrival In Toronto
The first things I noticed in Canada from my bus window were American; a Safeway grocery, a McDonalds and a Subway. This made me chuckle (and a little sad).
The Choir often stays in Marriott Hotels when we tour (there’s a Mormon connection). It’s nice to find a Book of Mormon next to the Gideon Bible in the bedside table. We checked into the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel quite late, but were blessed to be able to grab some tasty food from the hotel restaurant just minutes before the kitchen closed.
Many Choir members were here all day exploring the city. We hear we are only 2 blocks away from the Vancouver Waterfront and Olympic Cauldron – but we will have to wait for that. Tonight our only goal is to enjoy sleeping in our very comfortable bed with fluffy sheets.
Happiness abounds! – MoSop