Today was the last day of our epic journey. We spent the previous night getting most of our luggage packed, so we didn’t have too much to get ready for our departure in the morning. So of course, I was wide awake at 6:30. My legs were covered with bruises – a combination of my camera banging against them and some awkward entries into my seat on the train. I also had sore calves and a stiff right hip flexor from our ill considered hike the previous day. Totally worth it.
We took the larger bags out to the car on the way to our final buffet breakfast at Chili’s. My husband stood behind the car pressing the trunk open button on the key fob, but nothing happened. Oh shit, did the battery die? Then we looked up and saw the trunk of the car about 50 feet ahead of us standing open. We were trying to get into the wrong rental car. It was the identical make, model and color, just parked slightly closer to our room. What were the odds of that happening? We laughed about it all through breakfast.
We ended up hitting the road a good hour before it was necessary, just because we really didn’t have anything else to do. We waved goodbye to Banff and hit the road to Calgary. The highway was nice and smooth and the scenery was stunning, at least for the first half of the drive. The only notable occurrence was a raging car fire (fortunately) on the other side of the highway.
Since we had so much extra time before our flight, we decided to park in short term parking and check our bags before returning the rental car. That all went smoothly. Then we needed to fill the tank and things went a bit sideways. Our GPS indicated there was a gas station on airport property. I was skeptical, but it only involved a few turns, so we gave it a try. Nope. So we tried the next closest place. It took us on the highway and then wanted us to turn around and double back. Not falling for that one again. We had already spotted a station on the other side of the highway, so we went with the sure thing.
Then we returned the rental car and went in with just our carry-on baggage. Calgary allows you to pass through US Customs at the airport, saving you from doing so upon landing. I was caught a little off guard by the Global Entry kiosk and ended up having my photo taken with my boarding pass in my mouth. So flattering. The customs screening was the most effective one I’ve ever experienced. The agent engaged us in a conversation, asking about our trip, where we lived, our (previous) jobs and where we graduated from college. It was very pleasant for us, but anyone traveling with a nefarious purpose would have started stammering. Way more effective than random screening.
Delta doesn’t have a lounge in Calgary, so we had a very nice lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s and finished just before it was time to head to our gate. The international terminal is brand new and gorgeous, but the gates were a pretty far hike and had limited seating and nothing in the way of services nearby. It was a short and uneventful flight. Our vacation was fabulous, but it’s always nice to come home again.