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Airports across Canada have some similarities but they are easily recognizable from each other.  Vancouver is pretty flashy.  The recent 2010 Olympics brought a ton of energy and resources to dress up the place and it shows.  Trust me, it shows.  It’s beautiful.  Calgary’s airport takes on the spirit of the city it services.  Very bright, lots of shops, a bit of a bustle to it.  You know you are in Cowtown when you sit in the Calgary airport.  Edmonton reps its city well.  25 minutes outside of the city—what’s with that?  Services but more of an emphasis on functionality.  Nothing splashy but nothing dowdy either.  Regina is a great little airport.  Not a big one, but it does the trick.  Winnipeg’s airport is old, tired looking.  I know they are building a new one to open soon but the old one feels like the city.  A little old and tired.  Thunder Bay has an airport too!  I like it.  Toronto has 3 airports–or three terminals because it’s Toronto.  They just keep growing and expanding.  Montreal’s airport functions, but it’s surprisingly tiny for the size of the city.  I always feel like I am sitting with 100 people in a room that is designed to hold 75. 

So what do you do in an airport if you have a couple of hours til flight time?  Hmmm, you can read.  You can wander (fruitless after about 7.5 minutes).  You can people watch (more fun than you first think).  You can sit quietly.  I like the last one.  Airports are quiet spots for me.  You can be invisible and quiet without any trouble.  If you turn your cell phone off–you are “off the grid”.   It’s amazing how many good ideas come to you as you sit and do precious else but think. 

Airports are a gift.