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2/2/11 6:05 AM - Come Hail or Shine

“So I’d really like you to photograph my wedding”

“Sure, it’s going to be on the beach in Thailand, right?”

“No, Moncton, Canada, in January…”

This fateful exchange, with my friend Marie, lead to one of my most memorable trips abroad, almost for all the wrong reasons.

I have never, nor ever will be late for a wedding, I absolutely refuse to let that happen no matter what, but when I staggered off my overnight flight from Tokyo to Toronto and was told “no flights” I was a bit worried that my finely crafted plan wasn’t coming together.

Apparently the entire east coast of Canada was in the grips of blizzard and nothing was moving so I was stuck in Toronto. Thankfully Air Canada were able to arrange a hotel and after a hot shower and a night of laying in bed I arrived back at Toronto airport bright and early.

I explained that I really needed to get to Moncton to the ground staff who were once again really helpful however all they could do was book me onto the 11:00 flight and hope.

After checking my bags and heading through security (a process I was to get good at over the course of the day) I waited nervously at the gate, until around 10:30 when the “on time” marker flashed and flipped to a red “cancelled”. There was an immediate groundswell of people heading to customer service to rebook their flights.

“Next flight is at 12:00″ I am told.

12:00 – Moncton — Cancelled….

13:15 – Moncton — Cancelled…

I was starting to get a little nervous as the rehearsal dinner was a little over 30 hours away and I was stuck, in an airport, 3,000km away.

I started looking for alternative plans, widening the possible destinations, St John, Halifax, anywhere in the Maritimes. Apparently the whole area was closed. It was time to consider plan B.

Marie had mentioned that her maid of honour was driving from Montreal on the Friday, it wasn’t ideal but at that point I would take what I could get. A few phone calls later, a $780 plane ticket and a fifth trip through security I was booked on two flights, one to Moncton and one to Montreal. The Moncton one was cancelled…

Time since I’d slept 60 hours, time to the wedding, 36 hours, coffee based drinks consumed, several…

I arrived in Montreal at 10pm on Thursday, managed to find the only cab driver in Montreal who doesn’t know his own city and managed to meet up with Caitlin and her fiance Sasha.

On one hand I wouldn’t be getting to spend any time before the wedding getting acclimatized, on the other it was time for a roadtrip!

Here in Japan we are able to keep most of our snow where it belongs, on mountains, for skiing. Canada it would appear has far less well disciplined snow, this stuff was everywhere and not just a few inches here and there, we were talking feet of it.

Thankfully the roads were clear and we arrived just in time to make the rehearsal from where I headed to my hotel room and slept straight through until my alarm at 6am the next day to go and catch the girls getting ready…