What am I doing in Orlando and why don’t I have any underwear?

Greetings from my lovely suite in Orlando, Florida!

Awhile ago, I moaned and groaned about winter and how it was sucking the life out of me. It’s true, and I can’t help it. Cold and slush and stormy weather just sucks the joy right out of my heart. It’s almost as bad as hearing how someone I respect loves Twilight.

In a fortunate twist of fate, I was contacted by the kind folks at Aeroplan and asked to participate in their annual “Welcome aboard” event, exclusive to Aeroplan members and CIBC Aero cardholders.

Thank you, Aeroplan. I was pretty close to jumping off the side of Signal Hill.

What it is: This year, Aeroplan members were invited to redeem their miles for an exclusive “all Aeroplan” flight from Montreal and Toronto to somewhere fun for spring break, like Orlando. To qualify for the Orlando flight, you had to be an Aeroplan member and CIBC cardholder.

So there I am in Montreal after getting only 2 hours of sleep and waiting to board my flight to Orlando, and then an orange carpet is rolled out. There are cute little families everywhere and I’m the only person who looks like I just crawled out of a cardboard box. My eyes are bloodshot and my hands are trembling.

ORANGE CARPET! Just as high class as red. Matches my hair colour.

When the Balnea Spa folks roll up with their portable massage chairs, I start getting excited. VIP treatment and a massage before boarding? Um, okay I guess. The masseuse situates me in the chair and tells me in her thick French accent that her name is “Sonya.” My face is entirely smooshed into the head holder thingy and all I can do is mumble, “I’m Candice.” Like she cares.


I practically melt into the airplane once it’s boarding time, after chatting with various Aeroplan people and trying to grasp at any coherent thought bold enough to break through my sleepy haze. I’m given an executive class seat where service is so damned good that my fears of crashing in a fiery death are completely overridden by chocolate fudge cake and unlimited Heinekens.

Whip out your knitting needles in first class and order three beers, and suddenly everyone stares.

You know how travel bloggers always write those inspirational posts about how you have to live outside your comfort zone and do things that scare you? Luxury scares the crap out of me. I do not fit in, and I’m very aware of every single move I make. And yet I totally can’t help but be smug about looking like a homeless person in first class while all the others are stuck in economy.

Same goes for the hotel I’m in, at the Westin Imagine. They’ve given me a full freaking suite, with a kitchen and living room. I have a balcony overlooking the whole resort and people treat me like a queen. I eat alone at Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana and cannot figure out what to do with the pile of cheese on my plate. But man, that lobster ravioli is good.

Unfortunately, that’s where the fun stuff has ended, as Air Canada lost my suitcase and I still haven’t received it…over 24 hours later. I smell bad and people keep giving me funny looks. I was so tired last night, I crashed at 9 PM with the hopes of having my belongings this morning. Nope. I called Air Canada, and they told me this afternoon. Then they called and told me this evening.

It’s 8:30 and still no luggage.

This is the first time I’ve had trouble with Air Canada. Their customer service has been great to me, but I would REALLY like my stuff.

Ok, so there are worse places to be stuck.

Plus I bought all these cute sundresses.

But I swear I will not complain any further, and I will crawl into my king-sized luxury bed this evening with an upbeat attitude and positive thoughts. And failing that, I’ll just get really drunk tomorrow.

Disney World awaits!

*While my flight and accommodations were sponsored by Aeroplan, much of what I’ll be doing over the next couple of days is happening on my own dime. In the meantime, check out their Carbon Offset Program. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so happy to be working with them!

  • March 07 2012

    Sounds like an awesome start to a vacation! (besides the whole not having clothes thing. I usually put an extra pair of underwear and basic toiletries in my carryon just in case something like this happens, which can get awkward when you’re digging through your purse and a pair of underwear comes flying out…)

    • March 17 2012

      Ugh, I’ve NEVER had luggage lost before…I suppose it was only a matter of time! Definitely doing that from now on, haha.

  • March 07 2012

    Looking forward to reading about the rest of your adventure! The Westin Imagine is sweet digs indeed:)

    • March 17 2012

      Daaamn good digs! Slowly getting posts up now

  • March 07 2012

    They let you take knitting needles on a plane? Isn’t that a weapon? To use when someone gives you the stink eye for being a hobo in first class? :)

    • March 17 2012

      Hahaha, you’d be surprised how many people ask that…but nope, they’re plastic!

  • March 08 2012

    Ugh…losing luggage is the worst! At least you’re in a city with stores nearby – and a country with reasonable sizes! Enjoy your trip, can’t wait to hear about Disney :)

    • March 17 2012

      I was pretty smelly and gross, but I survived without having to buy new clothes! Haha

  • March 08 2012

    Oh, *beep*!
    Tell me the chicken costume wasn’t packed and is now AWOL?!
    Seriously, though… I hope things turn around and you have a great time from now on… (keeping my fingers crossed the luggage waddles its way back to you)!

  • March 08 2012

    This is going to be the most amazing trip, Candice! I just hope you get your luggage really soon. The whole being without clean clothes thing could get real old real quick, as you’ve already noticed. Florida must feel wonderful to you after freezing in Canada!

    P.S. Lobster ravioli used to be one of my favorite dishes in the States. This post made me miss it!

    • March 17 2012

      I never had it before! So good. Florida was amazing, and I totally miss the sunshine. :(

  • March 08 2012

    does your fancy schmancy hotel not have shampoo and soap etc? and laundry service? could’ve lounged in your complimentary robe while they cleaned your only clothes!
    (if this hotel has none of that, I’m officially disenchanted by ‘luxury’ hotels…)

    Did anyone comment on your knitting? Whenever I’ve knit on Porter flights, I always get flight attendants that are super interested in what I’m doing!

    anyhow, as I write this, I’m pretty sure you have your luggage… so… YAY! :D
    Cannot wait to hear about how you find disney and all that :)

    • March 17 2012

      Oh it did, and they gave me a bunch of free toiletries like deodorant, a toothbrush, etc. I just hadn’t realized they had it on hand until I asked at the front desk, haha. for shame.

      Only the lady next to me was interested in my knitting!

  • March 08 2012

    Whoa, nice job scoring a trip thanks to aeroplan! Definitely does suck to not have your luggage, hopefully it won’t be long following.

  • March 08 2012

    Perhaps you need to head on over to the Lost Luggage counter with those knitting needles — show ’em who’s boss and all… :)

    • March 17 2012

      An angry redhead with some knitting needles would DEF be scary

  • March 08 2012

    Oh man, I hope you get your luggage soon! I remember when I first arrived in Paris and couchsurfed, I didn’t have any clean underwear left to wear! I ended up buying some maxi pads and wore those for the next few days ;)

    And yes, there are worst places to be stuck in so have yourself some fun and I bet your luggage will turn up soon!

    Cathy Trails

    • March 17 2012

      Bahaha, hilarious! Good call on the maxi pads. Will have to try that next time. ;)

  • March 08 2012

    I felt completely out of place in business class! Oh my god, I had the worst experience at the airport in Frankfurt when I had to pick up the 2nd set of my tickets. The guy looked at me and said, “YOU’RE in business class?” I wanted to deck him.

    It made me so self-conscious that I bought a different pair of shoes and a sweater dress in Kyrgyzstan for the ride home.

    Ugh, and that totally sucks about the luggage! At least you’re in a warm happy place to offset that downside.

    • March 17 2012

      They said that to you?! OMG. I’d complain. You could be a celebrity for all they know

  • March 08 2012

    Is that giant bag that you lugged across Canada that’s lost? Candice – it’s time to think small and beautiful.

    Heh – at least you got executive class and a great big suite. Sounds pretty darn good to me. I shoveled snow for 3 hours this week.

  • March 08 2012

    So sorry to hear about your lost luggage! I didn’t realize that you still didn’t have it. =( Let me know if you need anything, m’kay?

    • March 17 2012

      This is a bit late, but thanks Camile! Lol

  • March 09 2012

    Bummer about the lost luggage… but if all else fails, you might be able to knit yourself a little somethin’ somethin’. I’ve seen Rhianna rocking those knitted swimsuits… I think.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip! We’re excited to follow along on your adventures.

    • March 17 2012

      Oooh good call, itchy wool undies? I think YES

  • March 12 2012

    Sorry about your luggage. Not sorry about where you are staying. That place looks FINE!

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