The SMD3 chartered flight has made its way safely to Canada. This is my first time in Montreal and it is amazing how far away from home you can feel after such a relatively short flight. Things are spoken (and written) in French first, English second. The buildings in Old Town were so beautiful and interesting, and had a very different feel than I am used to in Texas.
The only bad thing so far about Montreal, is that we don’t have more time here. I think that my takeaway lesson from yesterday on the SMD is that it isn’t so much about where you are, as who you are with. It seems there is always someone there to chat with or share a drink with. After a group breakfast yesterday, we headed to the airport and hung out in the United Red Carpet Club lounge. While many in the group had RCC membership and access to the club, many did not. However, with 150 new best friends, there is always someone willing to help “guest you” into the club.
The chartered flight was a very short hop over to Montreal. We were served a few rounds of champagne, did some raffles, and even got to witness a marriage proposal! It was very cute. I have a video of it I will upload and share soon. We were then met with a 60-90 minutes wait in Customs, however it is 60-90 minutes with people who are as crazy (or crazier) than you are about travel, so the time flies by while chatting about all things travel.
Air Canada put on a fantastic program with good food and another open bar. That is another lesson from Day 2 – these kids can drink! I’m doing my best to keep up. It is so hard having to make my way through wine and mojitos and cranberry vodkas. Oh, the sacrifices I make. I got a chance to meet The Points Guy, Brian. I think he is somewhat of a celebrity on this trip, and thus often is surrounded by quite a few people who are undoubtedly picking his very knowledgeable brain about points, miles, and travel. He is as nice and helpful in person as he is online. I think there is a picture of us floating around on Twitter somewhere. Update: Here’s the pic.
One of the highlights of the program was seeing people win great prizes from Air Canada such as 50,000 miles and two tickets in First anywhere they fly! It is fair to say the guy who won that prize had lots of new pals willing to travel with him!
After the official program, a group of 8 of us tried to go out in Old Town, but couldn’t find a bar that had room for all of us, so we eventually retreated to the hotel bar. It was still great to walk around through some of the city.
After 4.5 hours of sleep, it is time to get ready for our Bombardier tour and flight to Denver. Maybe I will take a little nap on the flight today. Lord knows sleep isn’t really on the SMD3 itinerary!